U.S. champion Gracie Gold posted her lowest short-program score in more than three years at the Four Continents Championships in Taiwan on Thursday.
Gold, competing in a tune-up event for next month’s World Championships in Boston, fell on her first two of three jumps and totaled 57.26 points.
She stands in ninth place going into Saturday’s free skate, 16.22 points behind Japanese leader Satoko Miyahara, the reigning World silver medalist.
“I just wasn’t able to get up in the air like I usually do,” Gold said. “I wasn’t really in proper shape for this event. I wasn’t able to rotate really any of my jumps well enough to land.”
Gold hasn’t scored that low in a short program since the 2013 U.S. Championships, when she was also ninth after the short but had the best free skate to finish second and make her first Worlds team.
“My free skate is obviously much better than my short program, as it is this year and every other year,” Gold said. “I’ve definitely trained my free skate program a lot harder. I’ve been having a lot of trouble with my short program in practice and in my events this year. That was reflected today.”
Gold also struggled at Four Continents last year, finishing fourth against a field that didn’t include any Russians or then-U.S. champion Ashley Wagner. She finished fourth at the World Championships against a much stronger field one month later, matching her Sochi Olympic finish.
Gold’s teammates for this year’s Worlds — Wagner and Polina Edmunds — opted not to compete at Four Continents.