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Watanabe Rinka: Top facts you did not know about the Skate Canada champion

Meet the Japanese figure skater who won her Grand Prix Series debut in October. Did you know that Watanabe Rinka likes giant isopods? 

2 min By Shintaro Kano
Watanabe Rinka 
(Picture by USA TODAY Sports)

In her maiden senior season, Japan’s Watanabe Rinka won her Grand Prix Series debut at Skate Canada on 30 October.

The 20-year-old managed to make the most of an unexpected opportunity after Higuchi Wakaba pulled out due to injury.

The signs perhaps were there in September, when Watanabe captured the Lombardia Trophy with the sixth highest score of all-time by a Japanese woman (213.14 points).

Watanabe is turning her sights to the NHK Trophy this weekend in Sapporo, where the Hosei University student will take on many of her compatriots including women’s world champion Sakamoto Kaori.

It will be her '2nd' NHK Trophy

Watanabe has appeared at Japan's stop on the Grand Prix circuit before - nine years ago, as a novice national champion.

Take a look at little Rinka below.

Interesting hobby

Do you know what a giant isopod looks like? Well if not, you do now.

Asked at the post-Skate Canada press conference what hobbies other than anime she has, Watanabe gave the following reply:

"When I was in junior high, I saw a giant isopod for the first time at an aquarium. It can survive for six years without eating and ever since I found that out, I've been collecting its character figures since.

"I'm not sure how it affects my skating. During the off-season I watch anime, go to aquariums so I guess it helps me switch off".

Naturally, she had the crowd of journos floored.

This is what a giant isopod looks like.
This is what a giant isopod looks like.

Jurassic Rinka

In a recent interview, Watanabe said if there's one place in time she could travel to, it would be the age when dinosaurs ruled the earth.

"I want to go to the age of dinosaurs. I'll take some kind of weapon, beat one up, bring it back to now and cook it and eat it.

"Tyrannosaurs do look lean".

Watanabe wants to fight a T. Rex and eat it. Go figure.
Watanabe wants to fight a T. Rex and eat it. Go figure. (2009 Getty Images)

Archaeological digs and Miyahara Satoko

If Watanabe had a month off, she wants to visit an archaeological dig again, which she did when she was once injured for three months.

And if there was one person Watanabe could be for a day, it would be PyeongChang 2018 Olympian Miyahara Satoko.

Miyahara, for good measure, once said she wanted to be Usain Bolt for a day.

"I truly admire Satoko not only as a skater but as a person. I just think she's so cool. She's keeping really busy now with ice shows and what not, but I want to experience that busyness".

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