Figure skating & ice dancing


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Tournee post-olympique – L’equipe de France de patinage

Alacsony elvárásokkal mentem el erre a gálára, sőt kis híján ki is hagytam, mondván nem olyan érdekes a jelenlegi francia csapat, de aztán Nathaliék és Brian miatt csak elmentem.

Az elején jó, hogy nem vártam sokat, különben az első fel órában otthagyom az egészet. Először politikusokat vonultattak fel, majd Eugen Peizerat haláláról volt megemlékezés. Aztán fél óráig a helyi és egyéb utánpótlást kellett nézni. Persze cukik a gyerekek, de a francia utánpótlás mélyebb gödörben van, mint a magyar. Nem igazan szórakoztató komoly lírai zenére novice és junior lányokat nézni, akik nem, hogy ugrani nem tudnak (a szimpla axel is problémás), de a mozgásuk is erőltetett csapkodás. Másik érdekes dolog, hogy a híresebb lyoni klub, ahol Peizerat-ék, Schoenfelderék egész pályafutásuk alatt edzettek, Pechalat-ék onnan indultak, jelenleg a Gabriella Papadakis es Guillaume Cizeron páron kívül semmiféle utánpótlást nem tudtak kiállítani a helyi gálára. A másik lyoni klub, ami elvileg műkoris klub, ellenben egészen kis aranyos novice táncospárt, egyéni táncos kislányt es par műkorist bemutatott. Újabb bizonyíték, hogy itt pár nagy névnek le kéne szállni a magas lóról és néhanapján a kávézást egy kis munkával megszakítani.

A tortúra még itt sem ért véget. Laenaelle Gilleron-Gorry valószínűleg csak azért turnézhat, mert valakivel ki kell tölteni a műsoridőt. Nem valami szórakoztató a dupla toeloopjaival. Aztán végre valahára elkezdett felpörögni a műsor, Chafik Besseghier nagyon pozitiv meglepetés volt, kifejezett tetszett amit csinált. Pernelle Carronéktól többet vártam. Pernelle szép ruháin kivül untam őket. Maé Berenice Meite is pozitiv meglepetés volt. Videókon nem tetszett az anti-nőies mozgása és megjelenése, de élőben van benne valami. Látszik, hogy örömmel csinálja, amit csinál. Jó lenne, ha ez minden edzőről és korisról elmondható lenne. Florent Amodio is tetszett a műsor első felében. Úgy látszik apránként elkezd hallgatni Lambielre és megpróbál valami mást is mutatni a szokásos stilusán kivül. A VB kihagyása valószinuleg jó döntés volt, mert most is sokat bukdácsol a jégen. Gabriella Papadakis és Guillaume Cizeron elég jók, de mindig az az érzésem, hogy csak a zene viszi őket. Szerintem jót tenne nekik, ha követnék a többi lyoni jégtáncos példáját és elmennének innen más levegőt szivni. Még mielőtt rájuk ragad a munkamorál teljes hiánya, ami itt nagy mértékben terjeng. Brian Joubert-től sem vártam sokat. Első, régi nagy kedvencem ugyan, de már régóta nem nyűgözött le. Hát most sikerült neki. Nem tudom hogy az elő látvány varázsa, vagy Brian is a reneszánszát éli most, hogy minden verseny terhe végképp lekerült róla. Ha nem is egy finom, művészi korcsolyázó, de az a sebesség, amivel száguldozik, szemkápráztató. Ugyan már nem strapálja magát halálra ugrásokkal, de amit ugrik az még mindig messze a legmagasabb, szó szerint repül. Tegnap este újra úgy éreztem magam, mint régen, amikor a 2004-es Mátrixot nézve először beleszerettem a műkoriba. Azóta ugyan már eléggé más stilust szeretek a jégen, de ezt az érzést azt hiszem csak Brian adhatta vissza. És el sem tudom mondani, hogy a lyoni edzések után erre milyen nagy szükségem volt. Nathalie és Fabian Kis herceges programja mindenképpen az első félidő csúcspontja. Egyszerűen nincs róla mit mondani, mindenki nézze meg valamilyen formában.

A francia közönség minden produkciót nagyon meghálált. Most már értem miért nem hívtak külföldi fellépőt a turnéra. Kicsit laposnak tartottam a fellépők listáját amikor a először megláttam. De a franciák mindent imádnak ami a sajátjuk. És többnyire csak azt😀 Hihetetlenül lelkesedtek mindenkiért. Mivel francia társasággal mentem nézni a gálát, már lassan kezdtem én is franciának érezni magam és átragadt rám a lelkesedésük. Bár azért be kell valljam, rendesen megijedtem, amikor Nathaliék első programja után az egész csarnok egy emberként nagy tömegben megindult a dedikáló asztalok felé. Szó szerint véres közelharcra hasonlított az a tolongás, ahogy mindenki próbált közelebb furakodni a jégfelújítás szünetében a korisokhoz. Kezdtem aggódni, hogy itt legfeljebb az emberek harmada fog aláíráshoz jutni a jégfelújítás végéig. Aztán végül az lett, hogy azok a korisok akik előbb szerepelnek, kezdtek elszállingózni, viszont Brian (a lényeg) ott maradt az utolsó emberig. Itt valóra vált az egyik álmom, alá tudtam íratni vele a korimat. Ettől bizonyára jobban fog menni az axel😀. Tudni kell rólam, hogy a korim tisztaságára és épségére mániákusan vigyázok. Nincs más ember a világon, akinek megengedtem volna, hogy “összefirkálja” a korimat alkoholos filccel. Kivéve még Stéphane Lambielt, neki tartogatom a másik korimat.

Szóval az aláirás miatt lemaradtam a második félidő elejéről, ami a francia szinkroncsapat es Laenelle második száma volt…valahogy egyik miatt sem érzek hiányt. A második félidő valahogy pörgősebb volt, ide tartogatta mindenki a szórakoztatóbb gálaszámát. Nagy változás nem volt, itt is azok tetszettek, akik már először is. Az egész showt azzal reklámozták, hogy az egyetlen gála, amin négyfordulatos ugrást láthatunk. (Majd a svájciaktól kapnak a fejükre a franciák, Lambiel is quadot ugrott az Art on Ice fináléját). A második félidőben mindenki bemutatott még egy ráadást a programja után. Egyedül Chafik Besseghier ugrott quad toeloopot, más meg sem próbálta. Mae Berenice 3T+3T ugrott. Florent tripla axelt igért, de kétszeri nekifutásra is csak dupla axel lett belőle. Ezek után meglepődtem, hogy Brian nem csak kis ráadást adott, hanem pár perc levegő (és egy igen látványos palánk melletti pólócsere) után egy teljes harmadik gálaprogramot is lefutott, amiben kétszer is kiszenvedte a tripla axelt. Így még látványosabb volt, hogy Florent-nél valami nem stimmel. Remélem a következő szezonra helyre teszik. Brian nagyon tud élő showt csinálni. Nem gondoltam volna, hogy megint olyan leszek, mint 16 évesen a zágrábi EB-n. Teljes extázisban sikítoztam neki. Most szabályok nélkül, a neki megfelelő stilusu zenékre még egészen jól is mozog. De ez Franciaországban igazából teljesen mindegy. Itt mindenki meg van veszve érte és ez átragad a nem franciákra is. Utóbbi egyébként nagyon ritka, talán ettől is olyan családias a hangulat a francia turnén, tényleg mint egy nagy család. Még külföldiként is bármerre néztem, ismerős arcokat láttam. Pedig a lyoni Patinoire Charlemagne az egyik legnagyobb az egész országban, itt volt a 2006-os EB is.

A második félidő után már nem volt hivatalos, szervezett autogram osztás. Csak pár igazán hardcore fan és a hely korisok kis csoportja tudta, hogy a korisok bejáratánál érdemes várakozni. Utóbbiakkal tartottam én is. Megérte, még úgy is, hogy Brianra várva lekéstem az utolsó villamost, ami hazavitt volna. Felváltva szállingóztak ki a korisok és szerencsére tényleg nagyon kevesen voltak elég fanatikusak várni rájuk, így nagyon közvetlen, családias hangulatban lehetett velük fotózkodni és beszélgetni is. Nagyon örültem a közeli találkozásnak Nathalieval, Fabiannal, Guillaume-val, Pernelle-lel, Morgannel, de azért csak Brianra vártam főleg és már kis hiján feladtam. Úgy tűnt véget nem érő pofaviziten van az étteremben és az üvegre feltapadva lestük, hogy jön-e már kifelé. Végül jött és azonnal megtámadtuk. Szerencsétlen csak annyit kért, hogy a bőröndjét had tegye fele a turnébuszra. Utána nem volt neki menekvés, de nem is próbálkozott. Tényleg max 15 ember lehetett már ott hajnali fél 1kor. Mindenkit türelmesen végighallgatott, mindenkivel beszélgetett, mindenkit megölelt és megpuszilt. Tudja már magától, megspórolja azt az időt, hogy amúgy is megkérjék erre😀. Hatalmas élmény volt, még annál is nagyobb, mint amikor 2008-ban Párizsban a Trophée Eric Bompardon interjút készítettem vele. Akkor még csak angolul beszéltem. Amit meg franciául betanultam mondatot, arra is angolul válaszolt, mint kiderült, azért mert olyan rémesen rosszul tanultam be még azt az egy mondatot is.

Most elmondtam neki, hogy milyen nagy hatással volt rám a 2004-es Mátrix óta és ha őt nem látom, akkor most nem élhetnék ebben a gyönyörű országban. Miatta kezdtem franciául tanulni és korizni is. Brian tényleg szereti a magyarokat és nagyon jó fej volt. És most már franciául válaszolt. Ezt szóvá is tettem, mire mondta, hogy ha érzi, hogy valaki csak egy mondatot tanult be, arra inkább angolul válaszol, mert azok úgysem értik a franciát, de nálam most úgy érezte egészen jól beszélek. Ez életem legnagyobb bókja a francia tudásomra, a nyelvtanárok meg elmehetnek a francba😀. Kevin van der Perrennél azt éreztem, hogy a korcsolyázásban is eljutottam valameddig. Most hihetetlen nagy élmény volt Briannal franciául beszélni, hiszen valamikor még ő motivált, hogy egyáltalán belekezdjek. J’ADORE BRIAN!!!

 


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Last GP of the season – Cup of Russia, SP-s

Time for the last GP. By the end of this weekend, we’ll know who managed to get into the GPF but let’s talk about that later. Now concentrate on Cup of Russia short programs.

Young Russian talent, Julia Lipnitskaia is leading among ladies, right ahead of Carolina Kostner. This also shows that the political battle started. In the past years Kostner was one of the regularly overscored skaters. Now she did pretty well, managed to land triple toeloop + triple toeloop combination but it wasn’t enough. Technically Julia was definetly better today. She did more difficult jump combination (3Lz+3T), her solo jump was also more difficul. Julia did triple flip while Carolina did triple loop. Julia also got the highest level for all her spins and step sequence. If the final result will be the same, than Costner might won’t go to the final, it depends on the scores because she would have the same placements like Elena Radionova. It’s quite sure that Julia can go to the final as she won her previous GP and now she has a good chance to finish on the podium. Btw, she also had a new dress for this GP:

When the GP lists came out with the participants, probably Cup of Russia was the most exciting because Evgeni Plushenko and Brian Joubert were also assigned to compete here. For various reasons both of them withdrawn. I thought, ok, the excitment has gone, we won’t see the returning battle of the two stars from the previous generation. However, there is the new, amazing generation, those young guys who was growing up with the new judging system. Russia might have found it’s home in men’s category. Maxim Kovtun did two quad jump in the short and as this was the short, it had to be two different jumps: a quad salchow+triple toeloop combination and the solo jump was a quad toeloop. This is just amazing! I remember Brian Joubert who was always talking too much about quads. This guy doesn’t talk about it, he does it! Apart from the amazing jumps, Maxim Kovtun has some issues with other elements, likes spins and the step sequence. He didn’t get very high level for those. One of his spins got only level 1. It not satisfying at this level. Little bit old fashioned to concentrate so much on the jumps and loosing points with low-level spins. Otherwise his program definetly worth to watch as it’s so passionate. Only the experienced eyes will see the low technical levels at some spin.

I also must mention the second in men’s competition: Tatsuki Machida from Japan. His interpretation of the music is just amazing. It’s not a surprise, as his choreographer is Stéphane Lambiel. He made some minor mistakes in jumps but otherwise it was a strong performance and his elements got higher levels than Maxim Kovtun. It’s a pity that Tatsuki doesn’t have a chance against two quad jumps. We’ll see what will happen in the long program. Anyway, both of them has good chance for the Final if they stay on the top of the podium in any order.


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Trophée Eric Bompard 2013 – French GP or French drama?

popb_bercy

Trophée Eric Bompard is a special competition for me because in 2008 I was lucky to be there as a journalist. The whole place, the Bercy Arena in Paris, is very special. Just look at the photo.

It’s a bit late to write a detailed review about the competition and quite pointless. The results are available here. As it was predictable, Patrick Chan won but this time he really deserved it. This technic is magnificent, this time with perfect jumps. Soft knee work, deep and clean edges, good speed across the ice, triples out of nowhere. There wasn’t any second stop in this program. Like a skating-robot. Yes, exactly like a robot who was skating to Four season. No passion, no emotions. What comes to my mind? Of course, Stéphane Lambiel’s famous Four season program. It was a totally different experience to see and reusing a piece of music which makes people to think about an other skater, maybe not the best choice. Even though Patrick Chan will never ever be such a passionate skater like Lambiel, with this level of technic, he is unbeatable at the moment. In 2008, Chan also win TEB and I made an interview with him. That time it was fairly ridiculous that he told me he had expected to win the Olympics in his home country, Canada (2010), but in this season this is reality. I can hardly imagine anybody to beat him, even though I don’t like watching him.

What about Florent Amodio? And the rest of the French team? What happened to them and where are they? Amodio physically was here but mentally must have been somewhere else. He had the worst long program in this competition, and overall he was 7th out of 8 skaters. WTF? Seriously, he was European champion, he had quad salchow, Stéphane Lambiel made choreography for him. I’ve read somewhere that he is re-learning jumping technic which is ridiculous in an Olympic season. Definetly too late! There were only 8 men skaters because 2 other guys withdrawn due to injury. Brian Joubert was not even invited to the GP which was held in his homecountry! I can’t understand this. This is his last season. He was invited to 2 other GP-s but he is withdrawn because the French federation decided so. Yes, now it’s official, he won’t participate neither at the Russian GP. The reasons are covered with shadow. Some says injury or illness but there are also news which say that the French federation doesn’t let him participate the GPs. This is simply unacceptable for me.

The big drama was the free dance. After the short, Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat were standing in second place, but then they’ve finished the competition only in 3rd place, behind a Russian couple. The Russian, Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov were really amazing, and the Canadians, Tessa & Scott also. However, for Nathalie and Fabian, it’s quite a shame to be “only” third, in their home-competition. They seemed very disappointed, the whole audience could see the tears in Nathalie’s eyes. I’m sorry for them. The british commentators also said what I could see as well. Their quality was not enough this time. Even thoug, their program is still the most enjoyable! Like real theater. I still love them the most. This year even Tessa and Scott are a bit boring. Especially after their Carmen.

In the ladies competition the only French was Mae Berenice Meite. I seriously don’t understand why this girl chose figure skating. I’m sorry to be mean but her body shape doesn’t fit this sport. She is more masculin than most of the men skaters. I’d love to see a photo about her and Florent Amodio together. I bet she is at least twice as big as Amodio. In her free program there is not even an attempt to look like a woman. Masculin music, messed up moves. She can’t change her body shape but at least she could work on her moves because they are not only masculin but cubbish and ugly. And it’s a pity because her jumps and spins are quite good.

All in all, the French federation should consider some issues because this was far the less successful home-organized GP for them. This was again a competition when I started to consider if it’s actually worth to watch figure skating competitions. The rules are changing in such a bad direction and even if there are some really beautiful and enjoyable program, they don’t get high enough marks. Seriously, I think nowadays it’s better to watch shows where skaters are free to do anything, enjoy themselves and entertain the crowd. This is the time to treat myself with some of my favourite programs from the past. Let’s do so together, watch Four season in Lambiel version and also remember the “golden age” of Brian Joubert:


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Plushenko is leading after the SP

At Volvo Open Cup Evgeni Plushenko is confidently leading after the short program. This is his first competition after a serious injury and operation and the first step towards Sochi Olympics. The second skater is almost 10 points behind Plushenko. Though, the list of executed elements is not too impressive.

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Triple toe is the easiest triple jump. In the future he’ll need a quad toeloop. According to scores, the triple axel is perfectly done and the combination is also okay but should be improved to triple-triple combination. He can lead the competition due to the program component scores. Plushenko is highly outstanding in program components this time and also got the highest level for almost every element, except one spin. This seems to be a good direction because usually his spins weren’t difficult enough. I hope some videos will be available soon. Keep tuned, I’ll update this post as soon as I find a video.

Other results available here.

UPDATE

The choreography is still old-fashioned: all the jumps are done at the beginning of the program, without any trasitions.


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TV schedule and online broadcasting for NHK Trophy

According to European time, we can watch NHK Trophy on Eurosport from tomorrow morning.

8 november, Friday

  •  8:30 – 9:45 Men SP LIVE 
  • 9:45-10:45 Pairs SP on Eurosport
  • 10:45-11:15 Men SP on Eurosport
  • 11:15-12:50 Ladies SP LIVE on Eurosport
  • 16:00-17:00 Ladies SP on Eurosport2
  • 17:00-18:00 Men SP on Eurosport2

9 november, Saturday

  • 8:00-9:45 Men LP LIVE on Eurosport
  • 10:00-10:30 Pairs LP on Eurosport
  • 10:30-11:15 MEN LP on Eurosport
  • 11:15-13:15 Ladies LP LIVE on Eurosport
  • 13:15-14:30 Men LP on Eurosport
  • 19:00-20:00 Men LP on Eurosport

10 november, Sunday

  • 9:30-11:30 Gala on Eurosport

EuroSport can be watched online here and here.

EuroSport2 is available here and here.

*All times are according to Central-European time.

**EuroSport schedule can be changed (they do it quite often)


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European Championship 2014 Budapest?

In the past months it was very annoying that there weren’t any official news about Europeans. No official website, no ticket info. Tickets should’ve been on sale for several months, not just know. Well, not even know.

So far, only those could buy their ticket who made a pre-reservation which wasn’t advertised before. Those people could pre-reserve who were very persistant and sent emails to the Hungarian skating union and kept on asking them about the ticket sales. Then, they were added to a pre-reserved list.

At least, the website is available from today: http://www.efsc2014.com/ Here, a lot of information provided about figure skating history which is not really relevant for the actual situation. These kind of information should belong to wikipedia.

Ticket sale will be opened for everyone from Saturday (09. 11. 2013) on ticketpro. Kind of very weird that ticket sale starts almost in the same time for European Championship 2014 and 2015.


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Mao’s second GP and Plushenko came back again

This will be an interesting weekend with two competitions in the same time. One of them is the Japanese GP event, NHK Trophy, the other is a smaller competition, Volvo Open Cup in Riga (Latvia) but with an extraordinary skater: Evgeni Plushenko.

Evgeni Plushenko hopes to return to competitive figure skating after a serious operation. As he missed last season, he got only one GP invitation (Rostelecom Cup, Moscow) but he needs to achieve the minimum required scores for European Championship and of course, for his big dream, for the Olympic Games in his home country. The minimum requirements shouldn’t be a problem for him but it’s still a big question how good shape he is in. By the end of this weekend, we’ll see, keep tuned, I won’t miss this important information🙂 Actually I’m a bit sceptic, but I also know that Plushenko is able to surprise everyone.

NHK Trophy is a more important competition as it’s the 4th in the GP series. In men’s field Adam Rippon (USA) has the chance to qualify for the Final, as he was 2nd in his previous GP. Daisuke Takahashi also have mathematical chance if he could win this time. In trainings he managed to do perfect quads which is a good sign for the future. It will be the first GP for Javier Fernandez. I have big expectations towards his after he won Europeans last season and also got a bronze medal at Worlds.

Ladies’ event will be very interesting as well. Mao Asada, Akiko Suzuki and Elena Radionova will compete here in the same event. Also Alena Leonova will turn up here and she is a big question as well. A young Japanese talent will also introduce herself in the senior field: Satoko Miyahara. Her free program is just amazing, she performed it in some shows. Her music is “Poeta”, the same Poeta which is well-known since Stéphane Lambiel skated to it. After the shows, Lambiel also worked with Satoko, so I expect something totally amazing, even though I know that Satoko doesn’t have the best jumping technic. Her jumps are very small usually. I expect a big battle between Mao and Akiko. They were first and second at their previous GPs. Mao practiced the triple axel, she’ll definetly try it again, hopefully with success.

Stay tuned for the latest news!


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Cup of China – Long program review

For single skaters this was a day for breaking down under pressure or something. For pairs and ice dancers the order changed as it was Expected. Final result available here.

Nathalie Pechalat & Fabian Bourzat(FRA) were standing in second place after the short but with their amazing free dance, they could win. Their theme is “Le petit prince et sa rose”. Strange to say that it’s their theme but it is. The music actually has no connection to The little prince but they want to tell the story of it. What an innovation! They want to tell a story, entertain the audience, not only fulfill the requirements of level 4 elements. They also changed coach during summer. Their new coach is Igor Shpilband, the former coach of Virtue/Moir and Davis/White. I would say that I could see the improvement especially in lifts, they had good speed through the whole program and were very close to each other in the twizzles. Probably they needed the change, there are political reasons as well but I still admire them for their personality and unique interpretation, not for technique. Nathalie’s costume is simple but beautiful. Their free dance is definetly the top moment of the day.

Ladies long program

I was thinking if Adelina Sotnikova(RUS) or Carolina Kostner(ITA) would win this competition but non of them. Actually all the ladies presented disappointing performances except Anna Pogorilaya(RUS) who was 3rd in the short. In my opinion she wasn’t particulary impressiv but because of the others’ mistakes, she could win. She wasn’t perfect but way much better than Adelina or Carolina this time. I’m especially worried for Carolina because she not only made mistakes but both of her programs are boring and I can’t see anything special their. She is one of the skaters who has a kind of “olympic curse”. I’m afraid it’s happening again. Adelina simply couldn’t skated her best but I see the potential in her program. Maybe this is not the time for her to show her best. She must be on top for Russian nationals and Europeans, then maybe for the Olympic Games.

The interesting thing is that all the girls seemed to be in bad shape. I mean really bad shape, some of them could bearly finish their program. The British Eurosport commentator said that it’s too warm in the icerink and there isn’t enough oxygen. This could be a key. Comment below if you know anything about this.
I’m already worried about European Championship which will be held in a smaller stadium in Budapest(Hungary) than it should be. I guess the circumstances won’t be better there.

Men long program

The final order didn’t changed. Han Yan (CHN) won, Maxim Kovtun (RUS) came second and Takahiko Kozuka (JPN) is the third. All the long programs were much weaker than the shorts. Lack of energy and personality. Maybe really the heating was the key. Despite some mistakes, Han Yan and Maxim Kovtun showed solid long programs which is promising for the future. As I already mentioned several times, I’m not satisfied with the way as men’s figure skating improved but these two guys pointed towards a much better direction than Patrick Chan or Yuzuru Hanyu. I especially liked Maxim Kovtun’s long program. It reminded me to my first figure skating coach, whom I won’t name here, was skating to this music long-long time ago. Well, compared to that natural disaster, Maxim Kovtun is the ultimate champion😀

I’m still disappointed for Denis Ten (KAZ) and Florent Amodio (FRA). It seems like Denis cannot find himself and he also complained about back pain. That could affect his training, he also withdrawn from Skate America two weeks ago, this explains a lot about his bad shape. But what about Florent?

Stéphane Lambiel made an amazing short for Florent Amodio but without the jumps, programs doesn’t worth enough. I also have serious problems with the long program. Florent should have paid more attention to Stéphane, even if they were working only on his short together. He teaches not only a series of moves to a piece of music but a philosophy, how to make your own skating and live it as a lifestyle. In Florent’s long I don’t understand the concept, I don’t see what he wants to present…maybe nothing or he doesn’t know either. The choreography is simply lame. Even if he could do the jumps better, it’s still lame. I can’t see any potential in it, probably he should retake his previous one from last season. Florent left his coach, Nikolai Morozov this summer. That could affect his jumping technic. I hope he will find back to himself, at least for short programs because it would be a shame to waste a program created by Stéphane Lambiel, he should shine with it.


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Cup of China – Short program review

The third event in the senior GP series out of 6. Newcomers or already known names? Let’s start!

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Women’s short program

Currently Adelina Sotnikova(RUS) is the leader right in front of Carolina Kostner(ITA). Sotnikova performed an almost perfect program with triple lutz+triple loop combination and got level 4 for all the elements. Her program has very high technical difficulty and interpreting Carmen very well. I already mentioned this program in a previous post as one of the best examples of icy-Carmens.

Everybody expects a lot from Carolina Kostner, as she was world champion in 2012 and five-time European champion. I loved her programs in the past two seasons but this time I found her boring again. She also kind of cursed in Olympic seasons. She was expected to reach a big result in 2006 and 2010 but she made big mistakes both time. I’m waiting to see her free program as well, but her short is not convincing at all. Even though she fell in the triple toeloop+triple toeloop combination, she still got overscored generous scores for her program. Even if her program is boring, she will definetly get good marks for it as she is already a well-known name in the sport.

Men’s short program

In past couple of years I didn’t like watching men’s competition. I think men’s skating went in a very bad direction but this time, finally it was pleasure to watch it again. At least I saw 2 extremly stunning performance out of 9 and 2 other which were impressive despite some jumping mistakes. Han Yan(CHN) leading the competition with an amazing score 90,14 which is persumably and unbeatable score. He did perfect quad toeloop and triple axel, all spins got level 4 and a step sequence level 3. It was just flawless. I’m looking forward his long program. I really hope it will be as flawless as his short and won’t break under the pressure.

The sencond is young Russian guy, Maxim Kovtun. His main trademark were the difficult jumps. He did quad salchow+triple toeloop as his combination, quad toeloop as his solo jump and of course a triple axel. It was easy like a piece of cake…at least for him. Though his spins were less impressive but they were ok. There is a place for him to improve. He made a surprising mistake in his step sequence. The outside edge was a bit too deep and he fell. What a pity for him. Anyway he wouldn’t be able to beat Han Yan this time becaouse Maxim’s spins didn’t get the highest levels. If Maxim can keep this shape for Russian nationals, it will be very interesting to see what will happen between him and Plushenko. Maybe we also have to count with Sergei Voronov who has just changed coaching team. Russian men’s field seemed to be weak and now it turns out the Plushenko might have choosen a bad time for coming back?

I expected much more from Florent Amodio and Denis Ten. They earned only 5th and 4th place. Both of the fell and Denis also missed his combination jump. What a shame for them! This is not a good sign for their olympic season. Despite their mistakes in jumps, their programs are still amazing and other competitors must pay attention to them. If they get themselves together regarding jumps, they can reach anything.


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Skate Canada highlights

Skate Canada finished last weekend. All results available here.

The most enhancing performance were shown by the 15 years old Julia Lipnitskaia. She performed two perfect programs, though she was only the second after the short program. With her free program she convinced the judges as well and won the competition with 198,23 overall score. The extraordinary flexibility is still her trademark. She also executed perfect triple lutz + triple toeloop combinations both in the short and free program.

After the competition, at the gala she also performed a new program with new elements which show her flexibility even more.

If she keep performing like this, she can have a chance to get a spot in the Russian olympic team.

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