22 - 24 April 2016
Team North America Triumphs in First Team Challenge Cup
Team North America increased it's lead on both Team Europe and Team Asia in the final Ladies and Men's sections of the competition, finishing with 892.42 points. Team Europe scored a total of 848.06 points, while Team Asia earned 820.22 points.
Jason Brown returned to competition with an outstanding free skate that earned 181.50 points without including a quad jump. He scored 11.42 points behind Shoma Uno who again landed a quad flip as well as a clean solo quad toe loop and a second poorly landed quad toe loop in combination with a single toe loop. Mikhail Kolyada was the highest scoring man for Team Europe with 165.48 points.
Adam Rippon was the second highest scoring man for Team North America. Nam Nguyen was third among the North American men. While waiting for marks he held up sign inviting Polina Edmunds to his prom. Several minutes later, a tweet from Edmunds was shown on the arena video board accepting.
Michael Brezina was the second highest scoring man for Team Europe. He had a strong skate that was much cleaner than his short program, with an error on one of two triple Axels. Boyang Jin was the second highest scoring man for Asia, despite missing six of his eight jump elements.
Ashley Wagner was the highest scoring lady for Team North America with 143.20 points. Wagner shaker both the short program and the long with her right thigh fully wrapped. Her long was well skated with only a two footed triple Salchow and an under-rotated triple toe loop (in combination with triple flip). Gracie Gold scored 142.00 points as the second highest scoring North American lady. Though not perfect, with an error on landing triple loop, It was her best skate since U.S. Nationals in January.
Evgenia Medvedeva was the highest scoring lady with 151.56 points. She skated a strong clean program with excellent performance quality. She looked to be as on top of her game as she was at the recent World Championships. Elena Radionova was the second highest scoring European with 133.31 points. Two of her jumps were a little off, with a solo triple loop being under-rotated. It was a much cleaner performance than her short program, which was sell presented (though with choreography a bit too frantic for our taste).
The two highest scoring ladies for Team Asia were Satoko Miyahara at 145.02 points and Elizaveta Tursynbaeva with 123.61 points.
Estimated Attendance: 5000
Pairs and Dancers Give Team North America Lead in Team Challenge Cup
At the end of the afternoon session of pairs and dance groups Team North America took the lead with 259.04 points. Nearly 20 points back Team Europe ended the session with 239.42 points followed by Team Asia with 201.96 points. Team North America dominated with both the top scoring dance couple of Kaitlyn WEAVER & Andrew POJE with 111.56 points and the top scoring pair couple Meagan DUHAMEL & Eric RADFORD with 147.48 points. Each team received prize money of $10,000 for their achievement.
Weaver & Poje said they found their top scoring performance here particularly satisfying after their disappointing fifth place finish at the recent World Championships. The couple skated with power and passion.
Duhamel & Radford gave an excellent performance with a successful throw quad Salchow, though their performance was not quite at the level of their Worlds triumph. The quad Salchow was incorrectly called a throw triple at first, but was corrected shortly after the end of the event.
Team Asia sits in a deep hole, that will require all the skill that their singles skaters can muster to overtake Team North America. The Asian countries generally lag the rest of the world in the dance discipline, and the team does not have the benefit of the best Chinese pair teams at this competition. Team Europe was also disadvantaged by the lack of Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron, the World dance champions, who are not competing due to a minor injury since worlds.
Estimated Attendance: 5400
Pairs Group 1
Pairs Group 2
Dance Group 1
Dance Group 2
Points in bold count towards team totals.
Saturday, 23 April 2016
The ladies, men, pairs and dancers will skate their long programs today, beginning with the pairs and dance in the afternoon and the ladies and men in the evening. Team results will determined by the aggregate score of all competitors on each team, but with the lowest dance, pairs, ladies and men's score dropped.
Start orders were chosen by the team captains, but the order the team captains chose was by random draw for each group. Thus, for each group the accountant did a random draw by team. If Europe was randomly drawn first, then Christopher Dean selected the start order for the team's skater. If Asia was randomly drawn next, Shizuka Arawaka selected from the two reaming start positions. The team North America skater would then start in the remaining start position.
Afternoon Start Orders
Pairs Group 1
Pairs Group 2
Dance Group 1
Dance Group 2
Evening Start Orders
Men Group 1
Ladies Group 1
Ladies Group 2
Men Group 2
Men's Group 3
Jason Brown (NA, USA),
Mikhail Kolyada (E, RUS) and Shoma Uno (A, JPN)
Ladies Group 3
Evgenia Medvedeva (E, RUS), Satoko Miyahara (A, JPN)
and Ashley Wagner (NA, USA)
Friday, 22 April 2016
The inaugural Team Challenge Cup, sponsored by title sponsor Kose cosmetics, which is an ISU-sanctioned three-day event that brings together 42 of the top figure skaters in the world competing in a continental team competition began today at the Spokane Arena in Spokane, WA.
Unlike the World Team Trophy held in Japan in odd numbered years, which is organized by teams from the top skating countries, the Team Challenge Cup is organized by continents, consisting of team North America, team Europe and team Asia. This format allows skaters from countries that are not strong enough to field a team in the World Team Trophy an opportunity to compete in a team event.
Each team consists of three ladies, three men, two pairs teams and two ice dance teams. The teams are led by a team captain who will not compete in the event, but will be involved in selecting skaters and determining team strategy. Shizuka Arakawa lead team Asia, Christopher Dean leads team Europe and Kristi Yamaguchi leads team North America.
On this opening day, the 18 singles skaters compete head to head in a Short Program team event. The lineup for today consisted of:
In this section of the competition, the skaters were divided into groups of three. Within each group the skater in first place earned 12 points for their team, the skater in second place earned ten points for their team and the skater in third place earned eight points for their team. The aggregate of points from all the skaters determined the team result. The skaters placed as follows in their groups.
Men, Group 1
Men, Group 2
Men, Group 3
Ladies, Group 1
Ladies, Group 2
Ladies, Group 3
The team point totals were 64 for Team Asia, 62 for team North America and 54 points for team Europe. Team Asia placed first in all three men's groups while Team North America won two of the ladies groups. The third ladies group was won by Team Europe. Team Europe was tanked by poor performances by Elena Radionova, Sergei Voronov and Michal Brezina.
Gracie Gold missed the triple-triple combination in her group 1 skate, doubling the intended triple Lutz. This error cost her one place in that group, and was the deciding error from Team North America.
After the day's competition was completed, Shizuka Arakawa, team captain for Team Asia, said, "Today each skater did a really great job, especially Shoma Uno getting 105 points. Iím very proud of every skater on the team because they gave high quality and showed great skills." Uno landed a quad flip, the first time that jump has been successfully executed in ISU competition.
Shoma Uno had the highest score among the men and Evgenia Medvedeva among the ladies. Medvedeva earned a seasons best 77.56 points for her Short Program score. The two skaters each won $5,000 for their effort, while Team Asia won $60,000 for their victory in the Team Challenge singles competition.
Estimated Attendance: 2900