|Alexei Yagudin||Timothy Goebel||Emanuel Sandhu|
Notes after the short program:
Alexei Yagudin gave a strong performance to win the short program with unanimous first place ordinals. In the process he landed the first quad-triple combination in a short program. In addition to quad toe loop - triple toe loop he landed triple Axel and a triple flutz. His three spins were well done but the strength of the program was the jumps. He seemed better able to handle the altitude her than he did last year, but he was still a little sluggish on his two footwork sequences. Afterwards he said., "I am just a person who cannot skate in the mountains. I had all the different stuff in the beginning of the short. When I made them, I thought I ust want to finish the program."
Second in the short program was Timothy Goebel who land quad Salchow, triple Axel - triple toe loop and double Axel. Although he has landed quad-triple combinations in the free skate, he chose not to attempt that in the short program. He said, "With the changes in coaching and skating, I wanted to keep the elements the same as a comfort factor ... I wanted something to stay the same." The three combination spins were relatively simple. The choreography for the first third of the program was pretty lame and in general the presentation suffered from awkward arms and a total lack of grace. He received five second place marks, a third and a fourth with his second place marks going down 1 to 2 tenths.
Emanuel Sandhu placed third in the short, skating an ambitious but stupid looking program. He stepped out of an opening quad toe loop and then landed triple Axel - triple toe loop with a poor landing edge. He also completed double Axel and three simple spins. Although the choreography itself was unimpressive, Sandhu showed a maturity on the ice that has been lacking in his International outings prior to this. He said, " I have a whole new perspective on skating. I do what I do because I love it. I have a fresh outlook." It showed on the ice. Now if only he had a better looking program.
Todd Eldredge, attempting a comeback in ISU competition this season, skated first in the short program and ended up placing fifth. He attempted a difficult program with a quad-double combination and triple Axel. He fell on the opening quad toe loop and fell again on the subsequent triple Axel. The only jump he landed was triple Lutz. He attacked the program and skated with decent speed but it was a disappointing result. Disappointment was followed by injury the day following the short program. In a practice session German skater Silvio Smalun fell in a jump just as Eldredge was skating backwards nearby in a line of footwork. Eldredge crashed backwards over Smalun hurting his back. He lay on the ice briefly and then attempted to continue with his practice. He tried a few more jumps, landing a quad toe loop in great pain. He then left the ice and received medical attention. After some uncertainty he was ultimately able to skate in the long program.
The third American man competing here, Trifun Zivanovic, who skated last in the first warm-up. He two footed and stepped out of an opening quad toe loop. He then landed a wild triple Axel - double toe loop combination and a double Axel. His straight line footwork sequence was weak and roughly executed and the closing combination spin was simple and slow. His stamina seemed lacking and the program was boring and skated to background music. He received ordinals of seventh through tenth for an eight place result.
Notes after the free skating:
The Men's free skating was a wild ride the closing day of this Skate America.
Skating first in the second warm up, Timothy Goebel skated a technically magnificent program landing a total of 9 quad and triple jumps. He opened with a triple flutz, then landed quad Salchow - triple toe loop, triple Axel - double toe loop, quad toe loop, triple Axel, quad Salchow, triple Flip, and triple Salchow. His spins, however, merely met requirements and were nothing special. Unlike the short program where little improvement in presentation compared to last year was seen, in the long program a distinct step forward was in evidence, though he still has a long way to go. His presentation marks were still one to three tenths lower than his technical merit marks, however, and deservedly so. In the end, he was placed by four of the seven judges to score an upset victory over Alexei Yagudin.
Second to skate in the last group was injured Todd Eldredge. He did not attempt a quad and opened instead with triple loop - triple toe loop, stepping out o the loop. The subsequently also stepped out of triple Axel. He then went on to land four triples including a triple Axel - double toe loop combination. Despite some dead spots and a sparseness of steps in the middle section it was a very dramatic presentation with three of the judges marking him slightly up in the second mark. In a group of this strength, a program with only four triples would normally not hold up for a medal, but in this case it did with all but one of the following four skaters, Yagudin, falling on their swords, giving Eldredge the bronze medal.
Following the short program Yagudin had said, "I am a little afraid to skate the free program. It's not 2:40. it's 4:30." In the free skate his fears became a reality. He made the error of watching Goebel skate and apparently it unnerved him. His program was a disaster. He attempted quad toe loop twice in a row and doubled it twice. He then put a hand down on triple Axel. He landed triple flip - triple toe loop and then triple Axel with a reach for the ice. He also completed double loop, triple toe loop, and a double Lutz for a total of five triples. It was a dramatic passionate program but had too many errors. On the strength of the second mark three judges still placed him first but that seemed a bit generous compared to the content in Goebel's program. In the Kiss-and-Cry area he knew he was toast. He sat therer holding his head in his hands with a look of disbelief and dispair on his face and after the reading of only the first marks he returned back-stage.
Emanual Sandhu, who had a chance for a medal, was one of the four skaters who choked to allow Eldredge the bronze medal. He fell on quad toe loop, sliding into the boards, and then on triple Axel. He went on to land five triple jumps, including a triple loop - triple toe loop, but also singled another Axel and stepped out of a triple toe loop. His program had mediocre expression with only a few sparks and was mostly uninspiring. He dropped to fourth in the long and fourth overall.
Trifun Zivanovic gave one of the more mature performances of his career but difficulties with his jumps prevented him from gaining ground and he remained eighth in the long and eighth overall. He landed an opening triple Axel - double toe loop combination, though it was a bit of a squeaker. He subsequently landed triple toe loop and double Axel but his remaining three jumps were all doubles. He completed a huge death drop but overall his spins lacked variety or difficulty. His program was vampire themed but lacked the cliches that such programs frequently fall into. It was well presented with decent speed and it is unfortunate his jumps deserted him today. With a little over two months before U.S. Nationals to continue to work on it, this has the potential to become a fine program.
Medalists Timothy Goebel and Todd Eldredge
(Alexei Yagudin did not attend the photo session.)
Return to title page