Men's Report Pairs Report
The Dance, Ladies and Pairs finals were held this evening. Denkova & Staviski looked none the worse for today's accident and handily won the free dance and the event. Among the ladies, Miki Ando skated strongly while Mao Asada faded Ando moved into the Gold medal position, while Asada dropped to third, and Meissner claimed the silver medal. Pairs was a lackluster event, devoid of inspiration. Siudek & Siudek won the free skate, with one of their best performances in quite a while, and moved up to take the silver medal, while Inoue & Baldwin held on for the silver and Nam & Leftheris won the bronze.
Going through photos two days ago, and then watching for it today, I noticed something I never paid much attention too. In their throws, Nam & Leftheris hold onto each other for a full 3/4 rotations of Nam. Most of the other teams let go after 1/4 rotation by the lady, and a few hold on for 1/2 rotation, but Nam & Leftheris are joined together for 3/4 rotation. How does she ever get the throw done like that?
In practice today, dancers Kerr & Kerr collided with Denkova & Staviski while the latter were going through their run-through. Denkova was cut in the leg and taken to the hospital. They have not yet officially withdrawn. At this point it appears they will probably skate, but time will tell.
Evan Lysacek struggled in practice, but when it counted, he came through with a strong performance to win the Free Skate and move up to second place overall. It was sloppy for some of the jumps, but he got the job done. The grunge look, however, does not work for me, and it would be nice if the costume had a little bit more color.
Nobunari Oda, held on to win the Men's event, and at the awards he literally was trembling with the thrill of being the gold medalist. Unlike some others here, the Japanese singles skaters (men and women) are all prepared for serious competition. But while some skaters are turning in personal bests, or close to it, others look like the skating dead. Perhaps most disappointing is Katy Taylor, who scored less than 16 technical element points in the Ladies Short Program. Less than 16! Some say, it is early in the season, with Worlds five months away, but for the US skaters, Sectionals are in three weeks, and Nationals in three months. And less than16 points! For a Senior program!
In the Ladies event, Mao Asada holds the lead, while in dance Denova & Staviski continue to cruise on towards an easy victory.
Yet another ill-conceived, arbitrary change is perpetrated by the ISU this season! No longer are the printed sheets, start orders, results, etc. printed on the familiar pink, blue, green and yellow paper. It's all white now. Outrageous! How will I ever find what I am looking for if I don't have the familiar color code to guide me through the pile of papers that are my notes. Oh, the humanity! Will the outrages never end!
Arena is fairly decent, older and not up-scale, but adequate for the needs of the competition. It would be nice if there were people here to watch. The competition is pretty thin, which is going to make the home team look pretty good, even with the first string not here. Attendance at the compulsory dance looked to be about 400. Later in the evening there appeared to be about 1000 for the Men's and Pairs Short Programs.
Inoue & Baldwin have the same problem as last year, respectable technical element scores but significantly lower Program Component scores. Seems like Nam & Leftheris are developing in the same mold. Lysacek's Short Program left me cold. I hope it is just an early work in progress, because at this point it doesn't seem to suite him.
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