2002 Olympic Winter Games
Skating in the first warmup, Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze skated their routine to near perfection. All their elements were cleanly skated, from their side-by-side triple toe loops, throw triple loop and excellent double twist at the opening to their precisely executed spins and step sequences at the end. Their presentation was refined and romantic with none of the "lets do the elements and get it over with" that lesser pairs take. There marks were mostly 5.8, high enough to reflect the quality of the skating but with enough room for one or two more teams if needed later in the skating order.
One of those two teams were Shen & Zhao who skated second in the second warmup. They landed a great throw triple loop, side-by-side triple toe loops and an excellent throw triple loop. Their back inside death spiral was executed in the chest down position and the entry position was hideous. Their other pair elements were well executed but were not quite at the level of their two main competitors and their presentation while of top quality lacked the finesse of both the Russian and Canadian teams. They were placed a unanimous third by the panel.
Shen & Zhao were followed by Canadians Sale & Pelletier. The Canadians had some rough moment at Canadian Nationals which resulted in a nasty scene between the skaters and it has been reported that there has been tension between them since, carried here into the practices. None of that was evident in the skating of the program.
The team opened with a nice throw triple loop, side by side triple toe loops and a nice triple twist. The remaining elements were all well execute except for a small stumble or mis-step by Pelletier in their circular step sequence. At the end of the program the team collapsed entering their closing pose, and after wallowing on the ice for a few moments Pelletier picked up his partner and with enthusiasm struck the pose correctly. Some, including Sale, have speculated that this was the difference between first and second place, but that is unlikely the case. A fall outside a required element is not a deduction and in a closing pose it is generally ignored by the judges. In fact, when it it clear that skaters are at the end of the program and about to enter the closing pose with all the elements complete, many judges look down and start entering their marks paying only marginal attention to the pose.
More likely the difference, with the Canadians getting two first place marks and seven second place marks, was the small glitch in the step sequence (which is one to two tenths deduction), and a slight superiority in the execution of the required elements in favor of the Russians. In the second mark the Canadians were placed equal to or above the Russians by eight of the nine judges, but in the short program it is the clean execution of the elements that generally decides the contest and on that count the Russians carried the day.
Americans Kyoko Ina & John Zimmerman skated first in the third warmup, following an ice cut. Their performance had no major errors but a few minor issues. Their double twist was good and their triple toe loops were clean, but Zimmerman had to fight for the landing edge. Throw triple loop was well done and the remaining elements were clean. Their straight line step sequence was too slow as were some other sections of the routine but the parts were executed with power. With marks ranging from fourth through sixth they placed fifth, behind Tatiana Totmianina & Maxim Marinin of Russia.
Totmianina & Marinin had a decent skate but many thought they were overmarked. Their triple toe loops were clean and their throw triple loop was very well done, but they catch on the double twist was weak and it looked like their was a chest bump. Their overhead lift included a one arm set down but no changes in position and their side-by-side spin was weak with some positions not held all that well. The judges, however, did not see it that way and they placed fourth with five judges placing them fourth and the remainder placing them fifth.
The second U.S. team of Tiffany Scott & Philip Dulebohn did not have a good skate. On opening triple toe loops Scott fell and on throw triple Salchow she slid off the landing edge. Their double twist had a late catch and their death spiral was executed in the less difficult chest down position. Their remaining elements were cleanly executed, but their three errors in the "meat and potatoes" of the program pushed them down into an eleventh place finish.
I wish I could explain the results of the pairs free skate to you, but I can't, other than there is no God in heaven. Canadians Jame Sale & David Pelletier skated a nearly flawless but were placed second behind Elena Berezhnaya & Anton Sikharulidze in a five to four decision.
Skating second in the last warmup, Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze got off to a shaky start making three small errors in the first four elements. They opened with triple toe loops which were cleanly landed. Then, on a double Axel - double toe loop sequence Sikharulidze dragged the toe on the double Axel and stepped out of the landing. On triple twist they had a late catch and on throw triple Salchow Berezhnaya landed roughly on the toe. The remainder of the program was cleanly skated, however their side-by-side spin, which previously in the season was a three position combination spin, merely consisted of a flying camel spin. They skated with good speed and emotion, but left the door open for the Canadians to take the gold medal.
Sale & Pelletier skated immediately after the Russians. In the warmup there had been a collision involving Sale and the Russian team which knocked the breath out of Sale. As they took the ice, Sale looked composed and ready to perform. Following Canadian Nationals Sale & Pelletier decided to abandon this year' free skate program and use their "Love Story" routine from last season.
The team opened with clean triple toe loops, followed by a lasso lift with a one arm air position. Next came a clean, though not outstanding triple twist and then a good throw triple Salchow. With the successful completion of moves into a double Axel - double toe loop sequence one got the sense this was going to be a clean, gold medal performance.
The remainder of the program was clean and well skated and as they hit their closing pose it seemed inconceivable that this would not be the gold medal, with many expecting sixes in the second mark. When the first marks came up, besting the Russians', it looked like the Canadians had indeed won, but the second marks where not as expected and the bubble as burst. On a five-four decision, based on the second mark, Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze were given the gold.
Usually in these close decision one can find at least some glimmer of an explanation why the judges have made the unpopular decision, but that is hopeless here. The programs were of nearly identical difficulty and both were skated extremely well, but the Canadians were unambiguously cleaner and stronger.
Last to skate in the last warmup were the Chinese team of Xue Shen & Hongbo Zhao. Their program was well skated but did not reach the level of the top two teams either technically or in presentation. For their opening element they attempted a throw quad Salchow which Shen appeared to land, but leaning too far into the circle she lost the landing edge and slid to the ice. On a double Axel - triple toe loop sequence Zhao had a poor landing edge and put a foot down, and on triple twist the catch was poor, not up to their usual standards. The remainder of the program was clean with good expression, and the panel placed them a unanimous third.
Fourth and fifth place were two places that were also closely contested in the free skate. Skating first in the fourth of five warmups, Kyoko Ina & John Zimmerman gave one of the best performances of this season with only two minor errors at the start of the program. After landing triple toe loops, their triple twist had no catch and on a double Axel - double toe loop sequence Ina had a reach for the ice and hand down. The remainder of the program was clean and very well skated with good speed and expression and going into the final warmup they were the leaders.
In the final warmup group Tatiana Totmianina & Maxim Marinin were first to skate. They opened with clean triple Salchows followed by triple twist, which had a late catch. Throw triple loop was clean but on a triple toe loop - double toe loop combination both reached for the ice. Their death spiral was a simple forward inside with an ugly entry and their side-by-side spin was a simple flying camel spin. Despite their errors and the simpler program they were placed fourth, ahead of the American team, on a five-four decision. It is interesting to note that it was the French Judge, Marie Reine Le Gougne, was the swing judge in placing the Russian team ahead of the Canadian team and the second Russian team ahead of the American team. In addition, she also sided with the third Russian team over the Polish team in the six-three decision for sixth and seventh place.
The second American team of Tiffany Scott & Philip Dulebohn did not have a good skate again, with the problems centering on the jumps and throws, which Scott has appeared to lost. On triple toe loops both skaters did doubles and there were falls on both throws, triple toe loop and triple Salchow. On a double Axel - double toe loop sequence Dulebohn singled the Axel and she stepped out of a double. Their lifts, spins and connecting moves were skated capably with decent speed but with so many serious errors they dropped from eleventh in the short program to thirteenth.
Referee : Ronald Pfenning
Marina Sanaia (RUS)
Asst. Ref.: Alexander Lakernik
|1||Elena Berezhnaya & Anton Sikharulidze||RUS||1||1||1||1||1||2||1||2||1||38||338|
|2||Jamie Sale & David Pelletier||CAN||2||2||2||2||2||1||2||1||2||36||328|
|3||Xue Shen & Hongbo Zhao||CHN||3||3||3||3||3||3||3||3||3||34||306|
|4||Tatiana Totmianina & Maxim Marinin||RUS||4||4||4||5||4||5||4||5||6||32||278|
|5||Kyoko Ina & John Zimmerman||USA||5||6||5||6||5||4||5||4||5||30||270|
|6||Maria Petrova & Alexei Tikhonov||RUS||6||5||6||4||6||6||6||6||4||28||262|
|7||Katerina Berankova & Otto Dlabola||CZE||7||7||10||7||7||8||10||7||9||26||216|
|8||Dorota Zagorska & Mariusz Siudek||POL||9||9||8||8||9||7||7||11||7||24||210|
|9||Dan Zhang & Hao Zhang||CHN||10||8||7||10||8||10||9||8||8||22||204|
|10||Qing Pang & Jian Tong||CHN||8||10||9||9||10||9||8||9||10||20||196|
|11||Tiffany Scott & Philip Dulebohn||USA||12||14||13||14||14||11||12||12||12||18||132|
|12||Mariana Kautz & Norman Jeschke||GER||13||12||11||16||15||13||16||13||11||16||120|
|13||Jacinthe Lariviere & Lenny Faustino||CAN||15||11||14||13||13||15||11||15||13||12||119|
|14||Anabelle Langlois & Patrice Archetto||CAN||16||13||15||11||16||12||14||10||14||12||118|
|15||Tatiana Chuvaeva & Dmitri Palamarchuk||UKR||14||15||12||15||12||14||13||14||15||12||112|
|16||Aliona Savchenko & Stanislav Morozov||UKR||11||16||16||12||11||15||15||16||16||8||103|
|17||Olga Bestandigova & Jozef Bestandig||SVK||17||17||18||17||17||19||17||17||18||6||46|
|18||Natalia Ponomareva & Evgeni Sviridov||UZB||18||18||17||18||19||17||19||19||20||4||30|
|19||Michela Cobisi & Ruben de Pra||ITA||19||19||19||19||18||18||18||18||17||2||30|
|20||Maria Krasiltseva & Artem Znachkov||ARM||20||20||20||20||20||20||20||20||19||0||2|
|1||Elena Berezhnaya & Anton Sikharulidze||RUS||1||1||2||1||1||2||1||2||2||38||334|
|2||Jamie Sale & David Pelletier||CAN||2||2||1||2||2||1||2||1||1||36||332|
|3||Xue Shen & Hongbo Zhao||CHN||3||3||3||3||3||3||3||3||3||34||306|
|4||Tatiana Totmianina & Maxim Marinin||RUS||4||5||5||4||4||7||4||5||4||32||276|
|5||Kyoko Ina & John Zimmerman||USA||6||4||4||5||5||4||5||4||5||30||276|
|6||Maria Petrova & Alexei Tikhonov||RUS||5||7||7||6||6||5||6||6||7||28||250|
|7||Dorota Zagorska & Mariusz Siudek||POL||7||6||6||7||7||6||7||7||6||26||242|
|8||Katerina Berankova & Otto Dlabola||CZE||9||8||8||9||8||8||8||8||8||24||212|
|9||Qing Pang & Jian Tong||CHN||8||9||9||8||10||10||9||9||9||22||198|
|10||Jacinthe Lariviere & Lenny Faustino||CAN||10||10||12||10||9||9||10||11||12||20||174|
|11||Anabelle Langlois & Patrice Archetto||CAN||12||11||10||11||11||11||11||10||11||18||164|
|12||Dan Zhang & Hao Zhang||CHN||11||13||13||12||12||12||12||12||13||16||140|
|13||Tiffany Scott & Philip Dulebohn||USA||13||12||11||13||14||13||15||13||10||14||132|
|14||Aliona Savchenko & Stanislav Morozov||UKR||14||15||14||14||13||14||14||14||15||12||106|
|15||Mariana Kautz & Norman Jeschke||GER||15||14||15||15||15||15||13||15||14||10||98|
|16||Tatiana Chuvaeva & Dmitri Palamarchuk||UKR||16||16||16||16||16||16||16||16||16||8||72|
|17||Olga Bestandigova & Jozef Bestandig||SVK||18||17||17||17||17||18||17||18||17||6||48|
|18||Natalia Ponomareva & Evgeni Sviridov||UZB||17||18||18||18||18||17||19||17||19||4||38|
|19||Michela Cobisi & Ruben de Pra||ITA||19||19||19||19||19||19||18||19||18||2||22|
|20||Maria Krasiltseva & Artem Znachkov||ARM||20||20||20||20||20||20||20||20||20||0||0|
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