Narumi Takahashi

Narumi Takahashi (高橋 成美, Takahashi Narumi, born January 15, 1992) is a Japanese retired pair skater and six-time Japanese national champion (2009-2012, 2014, 2015). With former partner Mervin Tran, she was the 2012 World bronze medalist, the 2010 Junior World silver medalist, and the 2010–11 Junior Grand Prix Final champion. They were the first pair to win a World medal for Japan. She has also skated with Ryo Shibata, Ryuichi Kihara and Alexandr Zaboev.

Narumi Takahashi
2012 WFSC 04d 152 Narumi Takahashi, crop.jpg
Takahashi at the 2012 World Championships
Personal information
Country representedJapan
Born (1992-01-15) January 15, 1992 (age 28)
Chiba, Japan
Height1.46 m (4 ft 9 in)
PartnerRyo Shibata
Former partnerAlexandr Zaboev, Ryuichi Kihara, Mervin Tran, Yoshiaki Yamada, Gao Yu (CHN)
Former coachYuka Sato, Jason Dungjen, Sergei Petrovski, Richard Gauthier, Bruno Marcotte, Sylvie Fullum
ChoreographerNikolai Morozov
Former choreographerMarina Zueva, Julie Marcotte
Skating clubKinoshita Tokyo
Former skating clubAqua Rink Chiba
Training locationsChicago, Illinois
Former training locationsBloomfield Hills, Michigan, St. Leonard, Quebec
Began skating1997
RetiredApril 2, 2018
ISU personal best scores
Combined total189.69
2012 World Figure Skating Championships
Short program65.37
2012 World Figure Skating Championships
Free skate124.32
2012 World Figure Skating Championships
Japanese name
Kanji高橋 成美
Kanaたかはし なるみ

Personal lifeEdit

Narumi Takahashi was born in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. Her father's job took the family to China when she was nine.[1] She lived in China for five years.[2] She moved to Montreal, Quebec, Canada to train with Tran in 2007. As a result, Takahashi is fluent in Japanese, Mandarin and English. In addition to skating, Takahashi also played soccer for six years on a city team.[2]


Early careerEdit

Narumi Takahashi began skating at age five, following in the footsteps of her elder sister.[2] She won the Japanese bronze medal in novice ladies' singles.[2]

After moving to China at the age of nine, Takahashi continued skating in singles until she was about 12–13 and then switched to pair skating.[1] She skated with Chinese partner Gao Yu for one season; they placed 6th at the 2004 Chinese Championships on the senior level.[2] She decided to leave China and skate for Japan so she asked the Japanese federation for help in finding a partner; she eventually found a partner in Japan but the partnership was unsuccessful due to insufficient height difference.[2]

Partnership with TranEdit

Takahashi/Tran in 2011

Takahashi moved to Montreal, Quebec after two years of corresponding with Richard Gauthier, whom she met at a competition in China. Gauthier began looking for a partner for her in Canada. Bruno Marcotte recommended Mervin Tran, who until that point had been a single skater. Tran agreed to come to Montreal for a tryout and the pair began training together in July 2007.[2][3] During their career together, they trained in St. Leonard[4] and received funding from the Japanese skating association.[5]

Takahashi/Tran made their international debut on the 2007–2008 ISU Junior Grand Prix, where they placed 12th and 6th at their events. They won the Japan Junior Championships and earned a trip to 2008 Junior Worlds, where they placed 15th.

In the 2008–2009 season, Takahashi/Tran placed 4th at their first Junior Grand Prix event. They won the bronze medal at their second event, qualifying them for the 2008-2009 ISU Junior Grand Prix Final, where they placed 7th. They won the senior title at the 2008–2009 Japanese Championships. At the 2009 Junior Worlds, they placed 7th.

During the 2009–2010 season, Takahashi/Tran competed on the Junior Grand Prix circuit. They won the bronze medal at their first event and gold at their second event, which qualified them for the 2009–2010 Junior Grand Prix Final. They also debuted on the senior Grand Prix series with an 8th-place finish at NHK Trophy. They won silver at the JGP Final and at the Junior World Championships. They became the second pair representing Japan to medal at an ISU Championships (Yuko Kavaguti / Alexander Markuntsov were the first pair when they won silver in 2001).[1]

During the 2010–2011 season, Takahashi/Tran won silver medals at their JGP events and qualified for the Junior Grand Prix Final. They won gold at the event, becoming the first pair representing Japan to win the title. They also won their first medals on the senior Grand Prix series, a bronze at 2010 NHK Trophy, and then silver at 2010 Cup of Russia. As a result, they were first alternates to the senior Grand Prix Final. They won the bronze medal at the 2011 Junior Worlds. They also made their senior World Championships debut, finishing 9th.

During the 2011–2012 season, Takahashi/Tran's first Grand Prix assignment was 2011 Skate Canada International, where they finished fourth. They won the silver medal at their second event, 2011 NHK Trophy. In November 2011, Tran said he was considering pursuing Japanese citizenship in order to allow the couple to compete at the Olympics but said it was a difficult decision because it would mean giving up his Canadian citizenship.[6] They became the first Japanese pair to qualify for the senior Grand Prix Final.

At the 2012 World Championships, Takahashi/Tran placed third in both programs and won the bronze medal.[7][8] They became the first pair to medal for Japan at a senior World Championships.[8] They placed third at the 2012 World Team Trophy. In April 2012, Tran said he would continue to consider an application for Japanese citizenship and the president of the Japanese Olympic Committee said he was "willing to make a special request (on behalf of Tran) to the government if necessary."[9][10] In May 2012, a government official said it would be difficult to naturalize Tran because he had never resided in Japan.[11]

In April 2012, Takahashi dislocated her left shoulder while practicing a lift.[12] After five or six recurrences, she decided to undergo surgery on October 30.[13] As a result, the pair withdrew from their 2012–2013 Grand Prix events, the 2012 Cup of China and 2012 NHK Trophy.[12] They said they would miss about four to six months.[13] On December 18, 2012, the Japanese Skating Federation announced that the pair had ended their partnership.[14][15]

Partnership with KiharaEdit

The JSF said they hoped to find a new partner, with preference to skaters holding Japanese citizenship, by February 2013.[16] On January 30, 2013, the JSF confirmed that Takahashi had teamed up with Ryuichi Kihara, until then a singles skater, and would be coached by Yuka Sato and Jason Dungjen.[17][18] They trained in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.[19] They represented Japan together at the 2014 Olympics and placed 19th. They pair split in March 2015.

Partnership with ZaboevEdit

On July 6, 2015, it was announced that Takahashi had teamed up with Russian pair skater Alexandr Zaboev and that Takahashi would continue to skate for Japan with him.[20]

Partnership with ShibataEdit

On May 18, 2016, it was announced that Takahashi had teamed up with retired single skater Ryo Shibata and that they would train in Chicago.[21]


With KiharaEdit

Season Short program Free skating
  • That's Entertainment
  • Love is Here to Stay
  • I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise

With TranEdit

Takahashi / Tran won their first senior Grand Prix medal at 2010 NHK Trophy
Season Short program Free skating Exhibition
Gigi (1958 film):
  • Main Title
  • You Never Told Me
  • Gigi's Big Moment
  • Gaston's Decision

  • Farrucas
    by Pepe Romero
  • Chano Lobato
  • Maria Madgalena
  • Paco Romero (Flamenco)

Competitive highlightsEdit

GP: Grand Prix; CS: Challenger Series; JGP: Junior Grand Prix

With ShibataEdit

Event 2016–17 2017–18
Asian Games 6th
Asian Trophy 3rd
Japan Championships 4th 2nd

With KiharaEdit

Takahashi/Kihara in 2013
Event 2013–14 2014–15
Winter Olympics 18th
World Championships 17th 19th
Four Continents Champ. 10th
GP Rostelecom Cup 7th
GP NHK Trophy 7th
CS Nebelhorn Trophy 7th
Lombardia Trophy 7th
Nebelhorn Trophy 11th
Japan Championships 1st 1st
Team events
Winter Olympics 5th T
T = Team result

With TranEdit

Takahashi/Tran with their fellow medalists at the 2012 World Championships
Event 07–08 08–09 09–10 10–11 11–12 12–13
Worlds 9th 3rd
Four Continents 5th 7th 5th
Grand Prix Final 6th
GP Cup of China WD
GP NHK Trophy 8th 3rd 2nd WD
GP Rostel. Cup 2nd
GP Skate Canada 4th
International: Junior[31]
Junior Worlds 15th 7th 2nd 3rd
JGP Final 7th 2nd 1st
JGP Estonia 12th
JGP Germany 6th 2nd
JGP Mexico 4th
JGP Poland 1st
JGP U.K. 3rd 2nd
Japan Champ. 1st 1st 1st 1st
Japan Junior 1st
Team events
World Team
1st T
3rd P
WD: Withdrew
T = Team result; P = Personal result; Medals awarded for team result only.

Previous partnershipsEdit

(with Yamada for Japan)

Event 2006–07
Japan Junior Championships 1st

(with Gao for China)

Event 2003–04
Chinese Championships 6th


  1. ^ a b c Flade, Tatjana (June 6, 2010). "High ambitions for Takahashi and Tran". Golden Skate. Retrieved April 9, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Mittan, Barry (August 30, 2008). "Young Team Gives Japan Hope for Future". Skate Today. Retrieved April 9, 2011.
  3. ^ Brodie, Rob (April 14, 2011). "Takahashi and Tran: Young Pair Flying High". International Figure Skating. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Rutherford, Lynn (September 20, 2011). "Japanese, Canadian pairs face off at Mid-Atlantics". Icenetwork. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  5. ^ "Mervin Tran, un "Japonais" à St-Léonard" ["Japanese" Mervin Tran in St-Leonard]. La Presse (in French). December 9, 2011. Archived from the original on December 16, 2011.
  6. ^ Sato, Shigemi (November 14, 2011). "Skater Mervin Tran mulls turning Japanese". Agence France-Presse. Archived from the original on November 14, 2011.
  7. ^ Kondakova, Anna (March 28, 2012). "Savchenko and Szolkowy land throw triple Axel; lead pairs in Nice". Golden Skate.
  8. ^ a b Kondakova, Anna (March 30, 2012). "Savchenko and Szolkowy capture fourth World title". Golden Skate.
  9. ^ "JOC willing to work with Tran on citizenship issue". Ice Network. April 27, 2012.
  10. ^ Flade, Tatjana (May 6, 2012). "Takahashi and Tran prepare for next season with new confidence". Golden Skate.
  11. ^ "Figure skating: Pairs skater Tran's naturalization process hits snag". Mainichi Shimbun. May 16, 2012. Archived from the original on May 16, 2012.
  12. ^ a b フィギュア:ペアの高橋成美が左肩脱臼、GPシリーズ欠場 [Figure skating: Pair skater Narumi Takahashi dislocated her shoulder and will miss GP series]. Mainichi Shimbun (in Japanese). October 25, 2012. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012.
  13. ^ a b Rutherford, Lynn (October 26, 2012). "Takahashi, Tran out of Grand Prix, worlds doubtful". Icenetwork.
  14. ^ 高橋、トラン組ペア解消 世界フィギュア銅メダル [World bronze figure skating pair Takahashi and Tran end partnership] (in Japanese). Sports Navi. December 18, 2012. Archived from the original on December 19, 2012.
  15. ^ "Figure skating: Takahashi-Tran dissolve pair combo". Kyodo News. Mainichi Shimbun. December 19, 2012. Archived from the original on December 19, 2012.
  16. ^ 高橋、新パートナーは日本人優先/フィギュア [Takahashi's new skating partner preferably Japanese]. Sankei Sports (in Japanese). December 24, 2012. Archived from the original on December 24, 2012.
  17. ^ "Skater Takahashi pairs up with Kihara". Jiji-Daily Yomiuri. January 31, 2013. Archived from the original on February 18, 2013.
  18. ^ フィギュア:高橋・木原の新ペア、佐藤有香コーチに師事 [Takahashi / Kihara pair skating team learns from Yuka Sato]. Mainichi (in Japanese). January 30, 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-02-03.
  19. ^ a b "Narumi TAKAHASHI / Ryuichi KIHARA: 2013/2014". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 21, 2014.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  20. ^ [ "高橋成美が元エストニア代表のザボエフと新ペア結成"] Check |url= value (help). Yahoo Sports. Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  21. ^ "International Figure Skating". International Figure Skating Facebook. 18 May 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  22. ^ "Narumi TAKAHASHI / Ryuichi KIHARA: 2014/2015". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on May 20, 2015.
  23. ^ "Narumi TAKAHASHI / Mervin TRAN: 2012/2013". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on February 4, 2013.
  24. ^ "Narumi TAKAHASHI / Mervin TRAN: 2011/2012". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 16, 2012.
  25. ^ "Narumi TAKAHASHI / Mervin TRAN: 2010/2011". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on August 16, 2011.
  26. ^ "Narumi TAKAHASHI / Mervin TRAN: 2009/2010". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on April 17, 2010.
  27. ^ "Narumi TAKAHASHI / Mervin TRAN: 2008/2009". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 18, 2009.
  28. ^ "Narumi TAKAHASHI / Mervin TRAN: 2007/2008". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 25, 2008.
  29. ^ "Competition Results: Narumi TAKAHASHI / Ryuichi KIHARA". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on August 6, 2017.
  30. ^ "髙橋 成美/TAKAHASHI Narumi 木原 龍一/KIHARA Ryuichi" (in Japanese). Japan Skating Federation. Archived from the original on March 19, 2015.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  31. ^ a b c "Competition Results: Narumi TAKAHASHI / Mervin TRAN". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 21, 2013.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Narumi Takahashi at Wikimedia Commons