by Tatjana Flade
(on personal best) It’s a great way to end the season. I’m really happy with it. Experience was important this year. Every competition from the very beginning to worlds to World Team Trophy, I’ve gotten better. It’s just experience on the senior level that’s helped me get my season’s best at almost every competition.
(on a year out from 2014 Olympics) I need to work on choreography and have more intricate programs. I also need to work on doing the same thing at every competition with less up and downs. Just ups – good performances for next year.
(on the free skate) I’m ecstatic. I’m tired. It’s been a long season. But season’s best at the last competition of the year, I can’t be happier. Even with the hair mishap, it was a fun program for me more than anything else.
(on triple-triple going into 2014 Olympic season) I have no excuses on the triple-triple, it needs to be there.
(on World Team Trophy captain) I was so honored to be elected team captain of this team, which includes a lot of people I really grew up with, with the exception of Gracie because she’s new on the scene. It’s one big family. To be here at the end of the season, having fun and competing well is a great experience. To be team captain, I was very honored.
(on U.S. ladies on world scene) We’re here and we’re ready to fight. We’ve been missing that for a couple of season. Sochi is anyone’s game but we are in the mix and that’s what I’m proud to say.
Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir
(on free skate) Castelli – It was a great program. It’s our first time putting out the quad Salchow. I went for it, it’s been good in practice. We are happy with how we skated overall.
(on postseason) Shnapir – We are going to take a couple weeks to relax. We will reconvene, get back into it and get our programs in May. It’s a quick turnaround. We’re ready for it though.
(on World Team Trophy) Castelli – The week has been great. I never expected it to be this fun. It’s such an awesome team experience. To support everyone in the competition, it was great to support our teammates and help rally them to skate great. It’s a fun way to end the season.
Shnapir – This is a unique experience competing as a team. It’s good for all of us and a great opportunity to do our programs one more time and have fun. I think we are all really enjoying ourselves.
Ashley Wagner, Team Captain
I couldn’t be more proud of Team USA. Everyone went out and skated with their hearts and really pulled it together during a difficult time. It’s not easy to compete at the end of the season and a few weeks after Worlds. But here we are and everyone skated so well. I’m very proud.
(12 April 2013) Team USA cruised to the gold on the final day of the ISU World Team Trophy in Figure Skating 2013 Saturday in Tokyo, Japan. The Americans won comfortably with 57 points ahead of Team Canada (51 points) and Team Japan (39 points). It was the second victory at the event for Team USA. They had won the inaugural World Team Trophy in 2009. Team Japan won the second edition in 2012.
The World Team Trophy was again a popular event with the Yoyogi National Stadium filled to its capacity of 8 500 people every day. Although many skaters were tired from the season, quite a few achieved a new seasons best score and finished the pre-Olympic year on a high note. Team France received the “Team Spirit Award”.
Volosozhar & Trankov take Pairs
World Champions Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov won the Pairs event with almost 20 points to spare. As expected, they were Russia’s top scoring team members. It was special to them to perform their program to “Violin Muse” in Tokyo as it is dedicated to the earthquake and tsunami disaster in 2011. The Russians opened with their big triple twist but then Volosozhar crashed on the side by side triple Salchow. The team recovered to nail the triple toe-double toe combination as well as a high throw triple loop and Salchow. They picked up a level four for four elements, but the somewhat shaky last hand-to-hip lift garnered only a level one. The European Champions collected 136.06 points which added up to 210.47 points overall. “It was so hard to push through, but we are happy to finish our season with good emotions”, Tatiana commented. “We were very tired and it was a long season for us, because we started early with the first competition. Skating today was hard, because our single skater (Konstantin Menshov) had a bad injury and withdrew and we lost our chances to be on the podium. We tried to find some motivation for skating and we tried to skate for the audience”, Trankov explained.
Duhamel & Radford completed a triple twist and strong throws, lifts and spins in their routine to “Angel”, but Duhamel fell on the side by side triple Lutz (under-rotated) and later singled the Salchow-toe combo. The Canadians remained in second place at 191.15 points. "There was some mistakes, but the way that we skated, the way we felt in the middle of the program, we were both very aware and relaxed at the same time. I think we both had a lot of energy at the end and combine that feeling with a clean skate and I think that would be what we’re aiming for next year”, Radford noted.
Cheng Peng & Hao Zhang of China pulled up one spot to fourth with 174.40 points. Their Flamenco program was highlighted by a quadruple twist and big throw triple loop, but Peng missed the double Axel. The Chinese pair first was ranked fifth but the result was changed. The Technical Panel changed the original call of the pair combination spin from no level to level three after a careful review.
Vanessa James & Morgan Cipres of France made no major error but some elements in their Pearl Harbour free program were shaky and they dropped to fourth (174.31 points). Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir (USA) finished fifth. They attempted a throw quadruple Salchow but she fell (172.30 points). “It’s our first time putting out the quad Salchow. I went for it, it’s been good in practice. We are happy with how we skated overall”, Castelli pointed out.
Akiko Suzuki wins Ladies event
Akiko Suzuki of Japan won the Ladies event like she had last year while USA’s Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold finished second and third.
Suzuki was second in the short. One more time she excited the crowd with her beautiful program to “L’Oiseau”. It was a gutsy performance, because she had to fight for almost every jump, but she hung on to them. The program featured a triple flip-double toe-double loop, a double Axel-triple toe, five other triples and level-four footwork and spins. Suzuki picked up a seasons best score of 133.02 points and racked up 199.58 points overall. ”I was happy I was able to skate like this at the end of the season. This performance really came from my heart only. Because I was skating this program for the last time, I didn’t care if I would faint in the choreo-step or not, but I just put all my energy into the program”, the 2012 World bronze medalist said. ”This season had a lot of ups and downs and it was a learning experience. I wasn’t sure if I continue until Sochi, but because of how this season went I decided to continue”, she revealed.
Ashley Wagner turned in a clean peformance to ”Bacchanale” from ”Samson and Dalilah” but didn’t go for a triple-triple or double Axel-triple toe combo. She landed six triple jumps and achieved a seasons best like Suzuki with 128.83 points. Overall she scored 188.60 points. Wagner didn’t let herself distract even by a hairpin coming off. “I’m ecstatic. I’m tired. It’s been a long season. But season’s best at the last competition of the year, I can’t be happier. Even with the hair mishap, it was a fun program for me more than anything else”, she said. “I have no excuses on the triple-triple, it needs to be there”, she added.
Gold had a triple Lutz-triple toe and a double Axel-triple toe in her “Life is Beautiful” program. Her only error came when she doubled the last jump, a Salchow. Gold earned 127.05 points, a seasons best, and had 188.03 points overall. “It’s a great way to end the season. I’m really happy with it. Experience was important this year. Every competition from the very beginning to worlds to World Team Trophy, I’ve gotten better. It’s just experience on the senior level that’s helped me get my season’s best at almost every competition”, the teenager shared.
Adelina Sotnikova of Russia underrotated the triple Lutz-triple toe and the double Axel-triple toe combination and fell on a triple flip to drop from first to fourth at 183.10 points. “I wasn’t nervous, I was confident and absolutely calm. Apparently something happened to me. I need to find out what was wrong”, the 16-year-old commented. “I am not pleased with this performance. It wasn’t my worst performance, but I could have done a lot better in the free skating.”
Mao Asada remained in fifth place (177.36 points). She doubled her planned triple Axel and stumbled out of it and also under-rotated the triple flip-triple loop combination, the triple Salchow and the second triple flip.
China’s Zijun Li had a much stronger performance than in the short program. She reeled off five triples, only the triple loop was under-rotated. Li moved up from 9th to 6th (171.50 points).
Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada placed 7th. She produced four triple jumps and two level-four spins, but took a hard fall on the double Axel-triple toe. “I was really happy with how my skate went. Just knowing how well this season went and to end it this way I’m really happy with it. I lost a little bit confidence going into that jump (double Axel-triple toe), and I think with that I didn’t get the right take off and it just doesn’t end well.” The Canadian Champion enjoyed the team event. “I liked it a lot. It feels good knowing that you are not out there by yourself. You have a big team behind you and we’re always acting goofy and having fun. It takes a lot of the pressure off the competition and makes it a lot more enjoyable.”
Mae Berenice Meite of France slipped from 6th to 8th. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva wasn’t able to pull up from 10th place. Gabrielle Daleman (Canada) and Lenaelle Gilleron-Gorry (France) finished 11th and 12th.
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