This report was prepared from ISU press releases.
|Republic of South Africa||31.5||21||21|
The first World Synchronized Skating Championships began April 7th at the
Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis, Minnesota, beginning with the Short Program. A total of 21
teams representing 17 nations took to the ice.
Sweden 1, the strong favorite heading into the World Championships, lived up to their reputation by skating a fast paced clean program that received high marks across the board. The three time ISU World Challenge Cup champions from Gothenborg, Sweden, received technical marks from 5.6-5.8 and presentation marks from 5.7-5.9. The 15-time Swedish
national champions were pleased and look to claim the first World title with a strong free skate on Saturday. "I'm really satisfied with their skate tonight," said head coach Andrea Dohany. "Our goal was to win this competition and I am confident all our hard work will payoff."
In second place after the Short Program is Canada 1, silver medalists to Sweden 1 at the 1999 ISU World Challenge Cup. Skating to an instrumental version of "Let it Be", the four-time Canadian champions from Toronto are also strong contenders for the podium. "I was really pleased with the performance tonight," said head coach Cathy Dalton. "The team had some
nerves prior to their performance but they did great for their first World Championships."
Rounding out the top-three teams is Finland 1 from Helsinki. The 2000 Finish champions placed fifth at the 1999 World Challenge Cup, which previously served as the top annual synchronized skating event.
The first World Synchronized Skating Championships concluded on Saturday
night with the free skate. It was a historic moment for synchronized skating at the
Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as the team Sweden 1 was crowned with the first
World Championship title.
Sweden 1 continued their streak of success by winning the gold medal and added their fourth consecutive major title after winning the previous three ISU World Challenge Cup titles. Sweden 1 of Gothenborg, Sweden, rebounded after a tough afternoon practice session to skate a clean performance to the music from the "Napoleon" soundtrack. Showcasing intricate
footwork and innovative transitions, the 15-time Swedish national champions received technical and presentation marks ranging from 5.7-5.9.
"It is really great," said head coach Andrea Dohany. "It is difficult when you are the top team and you have all the pressure on you. I am very proud of all the skaters and am proud that we were the best."
Although they showcased a clean and fast-paced program, Canada 1 of Toronto was unable to overtake Sweden and settled for the silver medal. Skating last among the final group of five, Canada 1 performed to the soundtrack 'Mulan" and proved why they will be a team to contend with in the future.
"I don't think we could have done any better," said head coach Cathy Dalton. "We are very happy with our skate and we have to just go back home and figure out what we need to do to get that gold medal."
Finland 1 from Helsinki claimed the bronze medal, skating to music from Andrew Lloyd Weber's "Sunset Boulevard". The 2000 Finnish champions improved two positions on their fifth place finish at the 1999 World Challenge Cup.
Finland 2, who placed third in the 1999 ISU World Challenge Cup, skated to the soundtrack from "Interview with the Vampire" to finish fourth. The Finnish silver medalists from Helsinki will now prepare to compete on home soil in 2001.
Reigning U.S. champions USA 1 maintained their position following the Free Skate to finish the competition in fifth place. Featuring music from the original score "Fosse", the team maintained their World standing by matching their finish at the 1999 ISU World Challenge Cup.
"I was absolutely happy with tonight's performance," said head coach Lynn Benson. "We are happy to be among the top five teams in the world. This event is a landmark as the first World Championships but we now need to look at getting to the next level by increasing the entire level of skating and increase the number of nations competing."
Based on the final standings of the 2000 World Championships, the top five nations - Sweden, Canada, Finland, USA and Germany - have qualified to send two entries in the 2001 World Synchronized Skating Championships to be held in Helsinki, Finland, April 5-8, 2001.
Return to Title Page