Dundee ice star Natasha McKay has managed to bank her best-ever placing at a World Figure Skating Championships by qualifying for the free program today.
The 24-year-old is out in Saitama, near Tokyo, Japan competing at the games for the third time.
And, earlier today, McKay was able to perform well enough in the short program to qualify for the ladies free skating final for the first time.
At the near-40,000 capacity Saitama Super Arena, the three-time British ladies champion dazzled on the ice to finish comfortably in the top 24 and progress to the next stage of the tournament.
Of the 40 entrants, McKay ended up in 21st position with a terrific score of 56.40 for her routine.
That total represents a new personal best for the Dundonian and a vast improvement on two 32nd-spot finishes and scores of 50.10 and 45.89 in the previous championships in 2017 and 2018.
Before jetting out to the Far East, speaking to the Tele in training, McKay believed she could achieve qualification and stated it would be her main aim for the competition.
McKay said: “I was delighted with my performance today and felt very comfortable out on the ice but to score a PB as well was great!
“I had in my mind when I came to Japan that I could qualify and I managed to make it even with the quality of skating being so high and the qualification score up by five.”
Now she is in place for the final, McKay and Dundee and Team GB Olympic coaches Simon and Debi Briggs will feel she can put on a good show for the Japanese crowd.
Coach Simon Briggs said: “Today showed exactly what Natasha is made of.
“She is a hard worker, has a strong mindset and can perform when it matters.
“She has been building momentum over the last three seasons, and throughout this one, and she has brought her very best skating to the ice in Japan.
“She has proven that she belongs among the top flight of ladies in the world, and she will go out on Friday with the same great attitude and determination as today.”
McKay will take to the ice on Friday afternoon aiming to build on her new PB and, perhaps, even have a rethink of her ambitions for the Championships and set her sights a little higher.
McKay qualified for the tourney by being Britain’s top ladies skater and has nothing left to prove an that level.
However, further success at these games would only cement how far she has come on the international stage in the past year or so.