Men's Report Pairs Report
Last day. Dance final and then the Ladies final go off this afternoon, followed by the Exhibition in the evening. Rain has let up and its a nice fall day to enjoy the Pennsylvania country side.
Practice is on the ice now, with about 100 people in the arena.
Comparing my PC marks from yesterday with the protocols I notice there are a few judges now who are really moving their marks around. Maybe a third of the judges on a panel here, and only 4 years to get this far. Maybe another 8 years and they have it made!
Belbin & Agosto take the Free Dance to win the dance event. No changes in the overall placements for the top teams. About 2000 in the audience today.
And finally, in the Ladies Free Skate Meissner wins the gold. Ando won the Free Skate and placed second overall, holding off Zhang for the silver. Zhang placed third in the long and third overall with a program that was a mix of strengths and weaknesses, but marks her as a force for the future. Looks like part of the audience was lost after the dance, maybe 1800 in the arena. It is expected the exhibition will be better attended.
And then I may be wrong (about attendance for the exhibition), 13 minutes to go and about 800 people in the seats. Ultimately about 1000-1200 made it to the exhibition.
Today's schedule made for a late day, with out of towners having to make it back to Philadelphia to get home tonight or early in the morning. It may not be such a great idea to end so late in a city with no nearby airport. Perhaps the schedule should be backed up 2 hours on Sunday. This is the plan for Skate Canada. We will see how it works out there.
Another rainy day in Reading. Men's practice is on the ice. Competition starts later this afternoon (2 PM local), with four events on the schedule, the OD, Pairs Free Skate, Ladies Short Program and Men's Free Skate. Maybe 300 on hand watching the practice. Looking out over the "crowd" one wonders, where are all the kids who used to scream for their fav's and swarm for autographs? Replaced now by gray hair.
In the OD Belbin & Agosto held first and have a five point lead, while Davis & White move up one spot to fourth place after the OD. The French couple held second place, and the Italians third. Approx. 2200 in the audience so far for today.
In the Pairs event Dube & Davison won the Free Skate to best Pang & Tong in both event segments and win the event.
Caroline Zhang had an outstanding skate, but it was Kimmie Meissner who took the Ladies Short Program, followed by Miki Ando in second (by 0.1 point). Emily Hughes is currently in fourth.
In the Men's final, Evan Lysacek won the Free Skate but could not make up all the ground he lost in the Short Program and placed second behind Daisuke Takahashi. The bronze medal was won by Patrick Chan. One could not help but notice, so I mention it here, that Lysacek seemed to be in an extremely unpleasant mood during the award ceremony and did not look at Takahashi or shake his hand on the podium.
Not a very inspiring lineup here. Far more riveting watching the internet to see if my house burns down at Lake Arrowhead. Only the Ladies event captures one's imagination and offers real competition.
A new schedule is in play this season, and for the better. A day has been shaved off, with competition starting on Friday evening, and ending on Sunday. The competition today begins at 6 PM, allowing working people to get to the events. In addition to saving money, perhaps this schedule will help put people in the seats. Practice ended at 3 PM, for which there looked to be 200 people in the arena.
Not an easy place to get to, Reading, PA. Particularly from the west coast. 13 1/2 hours door to door to get to my hotel! The main hotel was overbooked by 65 rooms (33% of capacity) and they started throwing people out yesterday. A lot of unhappy people have ended up in surrounding towns.
Competition begins with the Austrian Waltz. Ten couples are entered. Then we have seven pairs skating their short programs. The evening ends with the Men's Short Program. Twelve men are entered. Start orders can be found on the event report pages.
About 1200-1500 on hand for the CD. Tanith Belbin & Benjamin Agosto get an easy lead. Nathalie Pechalat & Fabian Bourzat skated well to take second. Third through fifth ended closely spaced and in the race for the bronze. A distinct drop in quality after that.
Dube & Davison edge out Pang & Tong in the Pair's Short. Pang & Tong were ahead in Program Components and in GoE points, but fell short in Base Value. They received level 1 on their triple twist, circular step sequence and pair combination spin..
To the surprise of fans who have been trained in recent years to limit photography to cameras with lenses of 200 mm focal length or less (USFSA policy) arena management here has been making photo-fans put away their cameras. The arena seems to consider anything other than a point-and-shoot a professional camera, and are not allowing fans with SLRs to take photos!
Daisuke Takahashi opened up a 13 point lead over Evan Lysacek in the Men's Short Program. Lysacek fell on an opening quad attempt, which was not even close to being landed and was downgraded.. Takahashi scored ahead on Program Component points, GoE points, and in Base Value
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