13 - 16 November 1997
Laetitia Huber pulled off a surprise vistory beating both World Champion Tara Lipinski and World Bronze medallist Vanessa Gusmeroli. She skated a clean short and in the long she was fast and dynamic. She landed five triples in the long. Said Hubert, "It's encouraging, I'm working really hard now mentally. This year we're showing that the old girls are still in it." (Huber is 23.)
Competing with a head cold, Tara Lipinski also landed five triple in the long, but she doubled a triple Lutz, and singled the second jump in her planned triple loop - triple loop copmbination. Gusmeroli landed four triples, and fell on triple loop. Lu Chen still has not regained her form of old, and without the full range of triple she once possesed could only manage a fourth place finish.
Alexei Yagudin began his long program by landing triple Axel on two feet, but then went on to land six triple and a quad toe loop. He completed quad toe, triple Axel - triple toe, double Lutz, triple flip - triple toe, triple Salchow and triple loop.
After placing fourth in the short, Philippe Candeloro came back in the long skating his Napoleon program for the last time in competition. Despite a few problems he showed that he is on the way back after last year's season beset by injury. He landed triple Axel - triple toe, triple Lutz, triple loop, and triple toe. A solo triple flip was not clean, he nearly fell on triple Axel, and touched a hand down on triple Salchow. Despite these problems, it was an improvement over Nation's Cup and an encouraging program for his season.
Igor Pashcevitch landed eight triples, but two of these were of poor quality, and he did not have a triple - triple combination. He landed triple Axel - double toe, a double Lutz into triple toe sequence, and triple Salchow, flip, toe loop, and loop. A solo triple Axel and a solo triple Lutz were both done poorly with shaky landings.
Eldredge won the short program on a 5-2 split panel, landing triple Axel - triple toe, and triple Lutz; but had problems in the long. He singled his opening triple Axel, then tried another and singled it again. He landed triple Salchow - double toe, triple Lutz - triple toe, and triple loop for a total of four triples. He also landed a double Axel and doubled a planned closing triple Salchow. Speaking about the result, Eldredge's coach Richard Callaghan said, "It was a combination of pain and just missing training time between events." (Eldredge suffered a dislocated shoulder at Skate America.). Earlier Eldredge had said, "I'm only at 75% of where I would like to be." Despite the poor result, Eldredge has sufficient points to guarantee making the series final.
Zhengxin Guoattempted two quad jumps. He fell on the first and doubled the second. Michael Hopfes pulled out after injuring his foot during practice the morning of the long program.
Bereznaia and Shiharulidze earned an important victory by beating the current World Champions. They are looking more like medal candidates at Nagano as the season progresses. They landed triple toes, a fine triple twist, throw triple loop and throw triple Salchow and double Axels, all skated will brilliant style.
Woetzel and Steuer had a less difficult program landing triple toes, triple twist, and double axels. Woetzel touched down on throw triple toe and the second throw was only a throw double Axel.
The Chinese team of Shen and Zhao skated with strength and power, especially the throws, but remain weak in presentation.
Ina and Dungjen had a few problems at this competition. In the short program, Ina fell on triple toe loop. In the long program they landed throw triple Salchow and throw triple loop, triple twist and double flip - double toe. Ina again fell on triple toe, and their final side-by-side jump was only single Axel.
Grishuk and Platov skated a quick impressive free dance with good expression. Despite a fall by Platov they received marks of 5.8 and 5.9, with 7 first place ordinals. Their free dance is entitled "Memorial" . "This is a memorial tribute for Sarajevo," said Grishuk afterwards. "It is to the memory of others - athletes and coaches," added Platov.
Anissina and Peizerat placed second, but earned two first place ordinals for their Romeo and Juliet free dance. This is not a good sign for Punsalan and Swallow who would like to move up a spot this year and will have to bypass Anissina and Peizerat or Moniotte and Lavanchy to do it.
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