The event led off with Alexei Yagudin, who was also the first of four men to attempt quads in their programs. His was the only one that missed, popping the jump to a double. He also put a hand down on triple Axel and stepped out of triple Salchow. By the end of the program he was spent, but he had completed enough and had a sufficiently respectable presentation to "Carmen" that he was able to move up one spot, to fifth. In the process he passed by Dmitry Dmitrenko, who dropped to sixth.
Next up was Ilia Kulik who landed a solo quat toe-loop and triple Axel - Triple toe, but also popped triple Lutz and doubled a triple flip. His program includes nice elements but is weak on connecting moves.
Kulik was followed by Dmitrenko who missed his opening triple Axel and then proceeded to land mostly double jumps. His program is totally bizare. To me he looks like a lunatic scarecrow. If anyone knows what the heck this is about please e-mail me.
Then we had Elvis. Stojko is clearly the premiere jumper of his time, but his presentation and choreography in this program is aweful. He landed quad toe- triple toe - a first in international competition - plus triple Axel - triple toe and six other triples. His spins were fast and well centered and there was no question once it was over that based on technical skill he deserved to win. Oddly enough, however, he also received high second marks, and a 6.0/5.9 from the Canadian judge. These marks from the Canadian judge were totally inappropriate, with two skaters who could potentially beat him left to skate and only one mark left open, and with his falling on triple Axel and nearly sitting down on a triple loop. Even worse were all the second marks from the panel. His program consisted of two difficult combinations, crossovers jump, crossovers jump, fast spin, done. It has no connecting moves and is devoid of interesting gestures or positions. ... But that's just my opinion.
It fell to Todd Eldredge to follow Stojko, and it was a tough act to follow, at least technically, and with the crowd still in a frenzy from Stojko's performance. He landed triple Axel - double toe, triple toe - double toe, and a second triple Axel among his triples, and his presentation was head over heels superior to all the men in the group. He did not attempt a quad, although he had landed quad toe - double toe in practice earlier in the week. At the start of the program he appeared to have resigned himself to not being able to take first and seemed intent on skating clean and placing as strong a second as possible to position himself as best possible going into worlds.
Closing the event was Alexei Urmanov who landed the third quad of the night, a solo quad toe-loop. He also landed triple Axel - double toe and a second triple Axel among his jumps. He skated well tehnically but we found his program boring. Nevertheless, it was enough to gert the job done and he ended up taking third.
Elvis Stojko took the lead in the short program with strong jumps, fast spins, and pretentious connecting moves. He landed triple Axel - double toe and triple Lutz. He was closely challenged by Alxei Urmanov who landed the same jumps and also skated a fast clan program with a strong presentation.
Todd Eldredge landed the only triple-triple of the night with triple Axel - triple toe, but he stepped out of and then fell on triple Lutz. His program was otherwise clean with decent presentation, but did not quite have the energy level of either Stojko or Urmanov.
Ilia Kulik also landed triple Axel - double toe and triple Lutz and skated with good speed and expression, but an error in the combination spin cost him.
At the bottom of the pack, CD-ROM boy (Dmitry Dmitrenko) skated his techno-punk program with only one error, a step out of triple Lutz; while Alexei Yagudin had a difficult night, stepping out of triple Axel, two footing the subsequent triple toe-loop attempt, and landing only a double Lutz for the solo jump.
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