2011 Skate Canada

Ladies Event


Alexandra Stevenson

Place Skater Country SP FS
1 Elizaveta Tukuamisheva RUS 1 2
2 Akiko Suzuki JPN 4 1
3 Ashley Wagner USA 2 3
4 Alena Leonova RUS 7 4
5 Mirai Nagasu USA 5 5
6 Amelie Lacoste CAN 6 6
7 Cynthia Phaneuf CAN 8 7
8 Sarah Hecken GER 10 8
9 Adriana Desanctis CAN 9 9
10 Rachael Flatt USA 3 10

Short Program

Planned Program Content

Starting Order - Short Program

Warmup Group 1

1. Adriana Desanctis, CAN
2. Elizaveta Tukuamisheva, RUS
3. Sarah Hecken, GER
4. Ashley Wagner, USA
5. Amelie Lacoste, CAN

Warmup Group 2

6. Cynthia Phaneuf, CAN
7. Rachael Flatt, USA
8. Mirai Nagasu, USA
9. Alena Leonova, RUS
10. Akiko Suzuki, JPN

Start Time: 14:05


Short Program Placements
Place Skater Country
1 Elizaveta Tukuamisheva RUS
2 Ashley Wagner USA
3 Rachael Flatt USA
4 Akiko Suzuki JPN
5 Mirai Nagasu USA
6 Amelie Lacoste CAN
7 Alena Leonova RUS
8 Cynthia Phaneuf CAN
9 Adriana Desanctis CAN
10 Sarah Hecken GER

Elizaveta Tukuamisheva

Skate Canada, the oldest of the six events which now form the Grand Prix Series, got underway Friday with the Ladies Short Program. The first Skate Canada was held in Calgary, Alberta, in 1973. Now those were the days!!!!!!!!! Lynn Nightgale, Canada, won the Ladies event with Anett Poetzsch of East Germany second, and Wendy Burge, USA, third. The flamboyant Toller Cranston, won the mens event with his great rival and complete opposite, Ron Shaver, second. Japanís Minoru Sanu was third. Irina Moiseeva and Andrei Minenkov of the Soviet Union won the dance, with Colleen OíConnor and Jim Millns, USA, second and Janet Thompson and Warren Maxwell, GB, third. There were no pairs.

1.Score 59.57 (33.95+25.62) Elizaveta Tuktanisheva, a 14-year old from Glazov, who, for two years at their invitation, took a 27-hour train ride away from home twice a month to St. Petersburg to train with Alexei Mishin and Alla Piatova, is the Russian national junior champion who gained silver in the World Junior Championships this year. She has got a medal in the Russian national senior championships for the past three seasons but was too young for senior international events. Although she is now eligible for Senior Grand Prix events, she will only be eligible for the Senior World Championship in the 2013 season, when the event will be in London, Ontario.

Mishin, who has guided many Olympic champions, including the 2006 gold (and 2002 and 2010 silver) medalist Evgeni Plushenko, calls her "the main hope for Russian gold in the Sochi Olympics" which will take place in 2014. She has never been to North America before but said she liked Canada although she couldnít come up with a reason for that answer. Because of her lack of international experience, she had to skate second of the ten entries from countries and set a standard the rest could not match.

Performing in a high necked black outfit with chiffon sleeves but opaque gloves and a slit opening down her back, to a Tango by Astor Piazzolla, she soared through a +1.40 triple Lutz to triple toe combination which earned her 11.50 points. Her triple loop earned an extra 0.30 and the following double Axel +1.07 over its base value. Her final change foot combination spin was Level 4 and +0.50. Her flying sit gained an extra +0.21 and the circular steps were Level 3 with +0.21. Her weakest element was her layback spin which was only Level 2 +0.17. Canadian journalists tried to get her to answer some questions but without much success.

2.54.50 (30.02+24.48) Ashley Wagner, USA, 20, is used to traveling the world. Even before skating took over her life, she traveled because she grew up in a military family. Her father is a retired Army lieutenant colonel and she was born in Heidelberg, Germany. She moved seven times as a child. This year change of location involved going from the east coast of the US to train with John Nicks.

Skating to Pollock by Jeff Beal, she began with a triple flip to triple toe loop which earned an extra +1.20 but her triple Lutz got an "e" for wrong edge take-off. Her double Axel earned +0.36 over its base. Two of her four spins were Level 4 with the layback and the straight line steps. All four of these elements got good GoEs. I was very satisfied with that program," said Wagner, 20, who was sixth at the 2011 U.S. nationals. "It was a solid showing. I stood up on everything, which was my main goal. I would have preferred that the Lutz had not been such a death-defying act on the ice but I stood up and that's really all that counts in the long run. I think it's a great start to my Grand Prix season and, hopefully, it's only up from here."

3.Score 54.23 (29.14+25.09) Rachael Flatt, 19, moved from Colorado to California this season to start college. She was the US champion in the Olympic season and was 7th in the Olympics. She has also been runner-up for the US title three times, in 2008, 2009 and 2011. In her three appearances in the world championships she has finished 5th, 9th & 12th. In Moscow she was criticized for not withdrawing due to injury and allowing the reserve to take part in the event.

Skating to the finale of East of Eden by Lee Holdridge, she flew very energetically around the rink seeming to enjoy being in front of the crowd. Her opening triple flip to double toe earned +0.50 over its base value, the triple Lutz got only an extra +0.10, and her flying camel was Level 3 with +0.43. The layback spin was only Level 2 with nothing over the base value. Her double Axel got a minuscule extra +0.07. However, her Level 3 straight line steps earned an extra +0.71 and the final change foot combination spin received an additional +0.43.

Flatt said, "I havenít started out this well at a Grand Prix in a while. Iím very pleased." She has a very complicated schedule as a freshman at Stanford University. "I donít get very much sleep, but Iím very organized." While she is here she has to take a test in vector calculus. They have an honor system. You just have to find a Proctor. She is studying bio-engineering. "We donít do much biology this year. Itís mostly chemistry," she the budding Ms. Einstein.

4.Score52.82 (26.14+26.68) Long time competitor, Akiko Suzuki, Japan, 26, was the ranking woman, so she skated last. In the 2010 season, she was a surprise second in nationals and was sent to the Olympics where she finished 8th. In the World championships three weeks later, she finished 11th. But, last season, she was only 4th nationally and was not a part of the Japanese team which skated at Worlds.

She told Japanese journalists that after the Olympics she lost motivation to skate. However, she claims she has now refound her desire and drive in the sport. Skating to Hungarian Rhapsody played by the Hungarian violinist, Edvin Marton, she opened with a combination of two triple toe loops. "I did only triple toe loop to single loop but Iím not too disappointed because this is the first time that I have tried this combination in a competition. The following triple Lutz received an "e" for wrong edge takeoff, but two of her spins were the maximum Level 4 and the other two elements which are given a level, her straight line steps and the layback spin earned Level 3.

5.Score 52.73 (52.73+27.61 -1) Mirai Nagasu, USA, 18, who won the US senior title in 2008, before she was old enough to go to Worlds. Her subsequent growth stymied her skating development. She fought back and placed fourth in the Olympics and 7th at Worlds. But last season, she was only third in nationals and was not sent to Worlds. This summer she won the Nebelhorn Trophy.

She performed to Danzarin by Tango Lorca, dressed in a rich red, with a red hair attachment to match. She opened her routine with a good +0.70 triple loop but then fell on her triple Lutz which received an arrow. She recovered well and her double Axel got an extra +0.43. Her layback spin, as usual, was an excellent Level 4 with +1.07. Her flying camel was Level 4 and +0.71. Her straight line steps were Level 3 with +0.50. She closed with her combination spin which earned a full point over its Level 4 base.

She said she had to not fuss so much over the mistakes. "I have learned in the past year that skating is what I do, not what I am."

6.Score 50.60 (26.71+24.89 -1.0) Amelie LaCoste, who turns 23 on December 17, has competed in the Canadian championships four times, placing eighth, third, fifth and third. She finished 16th in the world championship in April this year. Skating to Satin Doll by Duke Ellington, she began with a +0.56 and a +0.90 triple loop to double loop, but she fell on her triple Lutz which was saddled with a double arrow, and down-graded. She explained, "I rushed the triple Lutz. Thatís why I missed it. And I only got Level 2 on my layback spin. I couldnít get the speed to make it a Level 3. But this is a start and Iím looking forward to the long program (on Saturday)."

7.Score 49.75 (23.86+25.89) Alena Leonova, who is from St. Petersburg and will turn 21 on November 23, has been the runner-up in the Russian championship for the past two years. In 2009, she took the world junior title and was 7th in the world senior championship in her debut. In the Olympics, she was a very credible 9th but 13th a few weeks later in Torino in the Worlds. In Moscow, earlier this year, she placed 4th. But this performance was no where near that caliber.

She currently lists Nikolai Morosov and Alla Piatova as her coaches, and has spent some time in Hackensack, NJ. She skated to Sirens by Harry Gregson-Williams and part of the soundtrack of the Pirates of the Caribbean, dressed in a strange outfit, obviously meant to be what the latest female pirates are wearing!

Leonova opened with a combination of two triple toe loops but her weight went forward and she had to put a hand on the ice to keep from falling on the second jump. Her triple flip was flawed and got -0.70 off the base, and she singled her double Axel. Her layback spin and straight line steps received Level 3 but her flying sit and change foot combination spins were only Level 2. triple flip double Axel layback spin straight line steps flying sit spin and finished with her combination spin. She was 9th in the Olympics and 5th in the European and 4th in the world championships this past year.

8.Score 48.70 (23.36+25.34) Cynthia Phaneuf, the 23-year-old who won the Canadian title back in 2004 and earned it back again last season, skated first of the second (and last) group of five to three pieces of music, Unbreak my Heart; Borda en Ora and Afternoon at Satieís by Jesse Cook. If she is anything, it is persistent. When she first won senior nationals, she was not sent to Worlds Seniors. She went to World Juniors instead. Then the following year when she lost her senior title, she was on the world team and finished 20th. But then came injury and she did not return to Worlds until 2009, when she finished 15th. But in 2010 she rose to the occasion, taking 5th place in Vancouver and 12th place at worlds a short time later. In the worlds earlier this year, she finished 13th.

This season, she made a tentative start, opening her routine in Mississauga with a +0.64 double Axel. But her Lutz, meant to be tripled and a combination, became a single. She added the second jump to her next element, the triple toe. The following layback spin was only Level 2, and the flying sit Level 3. Her straight line steps were also Level 3 but the ending change foot combination spin gained Level 4. She said, "Losing points here and there makes a big difference at the end. Iím very disappointed with the Lutz. But I did the rest of the jumps and Iím looking forward to the Free."

9.Score 47.14(26.18+20.96) Adriana DeSanctis from Canada, 23, who was born in Philadelphia, and subsequently left New Jersey for Canada where her father was pursuing a business opportunity, has placed 10th , 6th and 5th in the past three Canadian championships. She has already had international experience this season, finished 14th in the Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany. She earned the maximum Level 4 for her combination and the flying camel spin, and Level 3 for the layback and straight line steps.

Skating to Alfred Neumanís Street Scene, in a pretty pink sleeveless creation with her black hair bouncing in a pony tail, DeSanctis had a hard landing on her first element, a triple Lutz. Her body swung forward and she was forced to put her hand on the ice. She couldnít get airborne for the second jump so she wisely added a double toe to her second jump, the triple flip, which received +0.20 over its base value.

10.Score 44.50 (22.78+21.72) Sarah Hecken, who is from Mannheim in Germany, is 18 and has won the German national championship three times in the past four years. She was 18th in the Olympic Games and 11th in both the European and World championships earlier this year. She skated to Malaguena by Ernesto Lecusona, dress in a black and red sleeveless outfit. She opened with a combination of two triple toe loops a triple flip layback spin double Axel flying camel spin straight line step sequence ending with a change foot combination spin


Free Skating

Planned Program Content

Starting Order - Free Skating

Warmup Group 1

1. Sarah Hecken, GER
2. Adriana Desanctis, CAN
3. Cynthia Phaneuf, CAN
4. Alena Leonova, RUS
5. Amelie Lacoste, CAN

Warmup Group 2

6. Mirai Nagasu, USA
7. Akiko Suzuki, JPN
8. Rachael Flatt, USA
9. Ashley Wagner, USA
10. Elizaveta Tukuamisheva, RUS

Start Time: 14:15


Free Skating Placements
Place Skater Country
1 Akiko Suzuki JPN
2 Elizaveta Tukuamisheva RUS
3 Ashley Wagner USA
4 Alena Leonova RUS
5 Mirai Nagasu USA
6 Amelie Lacoste CAN
7 Cynthia Phaneuf CAN
8 Sarah Hecken GER
9 Adriana Desanctis CAN
10 Rachael Flatt USA


Russian Wunderkid Wins but Outshone in FS by Japanese on Comeback Trail

Wagner earns bronze; Nagasu has Meltdown and Flatt gives worst performance of career

1.Overall 177.38; 2 FS 117.81(64.21+53.60) Tuktamisheva presented her four minute ten second routine to music she described merely as a Latin Selection, dressed in red with a V back and a large red rose in her hair. None of her 12 elements were given a negative. She opened the routine spectacularly with triple Lutz to triple toe loop which, with +1.40 GoE, earned her total of 11.50 points. Then a triple Lutz with a similar good GoE added another 7.40 points. A triple flip earned +0.40 over its base value and a double Axel to double toe received an extra 0.29.

Her circular steps were Level 3 +0.50 and she received 6.41 points for a triple loop set at the point where the ten percent bonus clicks in. After the choreographed spiral, she presented a Level 4 + 0.43 flying sit spin and a Level 3 +0.36 combination spin. A three-jump combination of triple Salchow to double toe to double loop received half a point extra and the timing bonus. She concluded with a +0.86 double Axel but her flying camel spin which was only a Level 1.

At 14, Tuktamisheva may be the youngest ever to win a Grand Prix event, but she is not the youngest female to win Skate Canada, which was the earliest of what would become Grand Prix events. The honor of being the youngest to win Skate Canada belongs to Tracey Wainman who won in 1981 when she was 13. Asked through an interpreter about stepping up from junior, Tuktamisheva said, "I try not to think of the importance of the competition. I'm trying not to show everything that is inside. Even if I'm nervous, I try to hide it. I try to approach everything calmly. There is pressure but I try not to pay attention to that too much. I just try to do my job."

2.Overall 172.26; 1 FS 119.44 (63.84+55.60) Suzuki repeated last seasonís FS set to Johann Straussí Die Fledermaus and gave a joyous showing, with a few errors but a lot of sophistication. She is coached by Hiroshi Nagakubo and Yoriko Naruse in Nagoya and they seem to have given her new inspiration after her disappointment last season of placing only fourth nationally and being left off the world team. Through an interpreter, she said, "I am trying to improve step by step." She opened her routine with a +1.10 triple Lutz. The following jump combinaton was only a +0.05 single Axel to triple toe and her triple loop was flawed and lost 0.70 off its base value. But then two spins earned the maximum Level 4 with positive GoEs of 0.71 and 0.36. Her choreographed spirals received +0.90 over their base value.

At the point where the bonus marks click in she soared through a + 0.60 triple loop to double toe loop to double loop. However, after a triple Lutz she was only able to add on a single toe. Her triple flip earned an extra +0.70 but a triple Salchow received only the base value. Her straight line steps were Level 4 with +1.40 and she delighted the audience with her final Level 4 flying camel combination spin.

3.Overall 165.48; 3 FS 110.98 (56.50+55.48 -1.0) Wagner, who skated in a black creation with material stretching over one shoulder, skated to pieces from the movie Black Swan by Clint Mansell which uses the traditional well known Tchaikovski ballet score. She started with a +0.90 triple flip to double toe and a +0.43 double Axel to double toe. Then she made one of her only two errors. She executed a triple Lutz which received an "e" and later fell on this same jump which also got an "e". She did successfully complete a triple Salchow, triple loop and a second triple flip along with three Level 4 spins and Level 3 straight line steps. She was smiling afterwards. "I was so happy with what I put out. I was very satisfied, with the exception my Lutz." The Lutz was a problem because she has been suffering from tendinitis which has been affecting her toe picking but everything else was beautifully choreographed and executed.

She is now coached by John Nicks in California. Her only world championship appearance was in 2008 when she was 16th and she was sixth at the 2011 U.S. nationals. But, this showing clearly demonstrated she is in the mix for the national title.

4.Overall 152.22; 4 FS 102.47 (50.35+52.12) Leonova, who appeared in a black outfit, skated to two pieces, Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber and Requiem for a Tower by Clint Mansell. She began with a +1.20 combination of two triple toe loops. But her triple Loop was saddled with an arrow and her triple Lutz with an "e" for wrong edge take-off. She executed a good triple flip to double toe although a second flip was punished with an arrow for slight under-rotation. The last jump on her triple Salchow to two double toes got an arrow. Two of her spins were Level 3 but the third one and the steps were Level 2.

5.Overall 151.72; 5 FS 98.99 (50.07+48.92) Nagasu performed to music by Khatchaturin including the Adagio from Spartacus and Phrygia from the Ballet Suite No.2, and Variations of Aegina and Bacchanalla from the Ballet Suite No.1 in a powder blue outfit which stretched over one shoulder. It is lovely music and she showed of perfectly when she won the Nebelhorn Trophy just over a month ago. This was a far inferior version with six moves getting negative GoEs. She just didnít appear "over her legs". She admitted, "Iím very disappointed. My goal was to make the Grand Prix Final and now that doesnít look likely. I have to adjust my goals to doing well at nationals." Her coach, Frank Carroll, was disappointed.

6.Overall 146.40;7 FS 95.80 (43.22+52.58) LaCoste performed to Donít Cry for Me, Argentina by Andrew Lloyd Webber performed by Pierre Porte. She wore a light green outfit. "I'm disappointed," she admitted, because I missed three big jumps (doubling her second jump, a Lutz, singling a flip mid-program and doubling her last jump, a salchow)." Finishing ahead of Phaneuf, who was 13th in the world championships earlier this year when LaCoste was 16th, was seen as evidence that she is making progress, by Nathalie Martin and Sylvie Fullum who train her in Quebec City. LaCoste said, "I'm usually doing at least five triples in my program. I wasn't my best but it was a good experience and it's just the start of the season."

7.Overall 140.70; 7 FS 92.00 (42.48+50.52 -1) Phaneuf chose to interprete Rachmaninovís Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini beginning well with a +0.70 triple Lutz. But she doubled her first loop meant to be a three jump combination, gained only Level 1 for her layback spin and doubled her Salchow. Later she had a bad fall on a second attempt at the triple loop which was saddled with an arrow for under-rotation. Phaneuf, who is trained by Annie Barabe and Sophie Richard, said, "I wanted to go out there and land the triple Lutz and I was able to do it so easily. Then I thought about not making any mistakes, but I just didn't attack enough. I wasn't putting too much pressure on myself coming here because I had a hip injury".

8.Overall 130.71; 8 FS 86.21 (43.48+42.73) Hecken performed in a sleeveless, royal blue outfit with green skirt creation to Chopinís Valse No.10 and Piano Fantasy by William Joseph. She is trained by Peter Sczypa in Mannheim. She didnít fall but her Level moves were three 2s with a 3 for the final combination spin.

9.Overall 129.48; 9 FS 82.34 (42.03+41.31 -1) DeSanctis, skated to two of Astor Piazzollaís most famous tangos, Libertango and Adios Noninos in a royal blue outfit with silver, falling on a triple flip and singling a Lutz and an Axel. The American-born, now Canadian trains with Robert Tebby in Barrie, Ontario.

10.Overall 128.22;10 FS 73.99 (29.33+46.66 -2) Flatt gave what has to be the worst showing of her career. She interpreted Igor Stravinskiís music for the ballet, The Firebird, in a beautiful bright red creation with matching bands around the wrists, trims but all possibility of selling the choreography was lost as she missed element after element. Her initial move, a triple loop received a slight under-rotation arrow. Then she put her hand down on her triple Lutz and doubled her flip. Her change foot camel earned Level 3 but the flying combination spin was only Level 1.

Her only good jump was her second triple loop to double toe timed for when the bonus marks click in. She fell on the following triple Salchow, which got an arrow. Even a double Salchow had -0.13 removed from its base value. She also fell on her last jump, a double Axel, which was also short on rotation.

The Stanford freshman, who is now coached by Justin Dillon and Lynn Smith, was the 2010 US champion. But she lost that title last season and was highly criticized for not revealing she was competing in the world championships with an injury which resulted in her placing only 12th. In Mississauga she was lying 3rd after the SP, but her FS was 8.35 marks lower than the 9th placed competitor. Her elements score was 12.70 lower that the next-to-last competitor. The judges were less severe when presenting their component marks, but these were still only 8th best.

Flatt was forthright about her disappointment. "That performance can be attributed to not being quite trained yet and not having that confidence in my training and my long so far. I need to trust my training a bit more and rely on my experience more. I am a seasoned competitor. That, unfortunately, didn't show in my skating here. I'll learn from it and move on. We all have tough performances, and that was pretty tough. I'll be better."

But her incredibly packed schedule, which, she says gives her little time to sleep, may just be too much.


2011 Skate Canada Ladies Medalists

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