2011 Skate America

Men's Event


Final Standings
Place Skater Country SP FS
1 Michael Brezina CZE 1 3
2 Kevin van der Perren BEL 4 1
3 Takahiko Kozuka JPN 2 2
4 Richard Dornbush USA 5 6
5 Denis Ten KAZ 6 7
6 Daisuke Murakami JPN 3 9
7 Douglas Razzano USA 9 5
8 Samuel Contesti ITA 10 4
9 Florent Amodio FRA 8 8
10 Armin Mahbanoozadeh USA 7 10

Short Program

Planned Program Content


Starting Order - Short Program

Warmup Group 1

  1. Douglas Razzano, USA
  2. Daisuke Murakami, JPN
  3. Denis Ten, KAZ
  4. Armin Mahbanoozadeh, USA
  5. Richard Dornbush, USA

Warmup Group 2

  1. Florent Amodio, FRA
  2. Kevin van der Perren, BEL
  3. Samuel Contesti, ITA
  4. Michael Brezina, CZE
  5. Takahiko Kozuka, JPN

Start Time: 19:00


Short Program Placements
Place Skater Country
1 Michael Brezina CZE
2 Takahiko Kozuka JPN
3 Daisuke Murakami JPN
4 Kevin van der Perren BEL
5 Richard Dornbush USA
6 Denis Ten KAZ
7 Armin Mahbanoozadeh USA
8 Florent Amodio FRA
9 Douglas Razzano USA
10 Samuel Contesti ITA



Czech Michal Brezina took a 8.39 point lead in the Short Program with a meticulous well skated performance.  的 just want to say that I知 happy that I知 done," he said, " and that I知 done clean. It was a good skate today and I知 really happy about it.

A quad toe loop - triple toe loop combination was listed in the planned content, but Brezina executed a triple flip - triple toe loop instead.  He explained, "We decided to go for a triple-triple and a triple Lutz right before I skated because my coaches were watching the competition. They decided we would go for a clean skate for the beginning of the season. I did a quad in my first short program of the season at Nebelhorn. There is no question that the quad isn稚 going to be in the short program. My coaches decided we would go competition to competition. There is nothing that will hold for the entire season. I知 really good with that. I like the way they decided that.

Changing the element required changing the setup in the program and he explained, 的t痴 just a different jump. The only problem was that I was kind of scared if I would fit with the curve there because the rink is not so wide. It was the only thing that was scary because I almost hit the board in practice when I was going for the triple flip. It痴 actually not so hard. Going from quad into triple is easier than going from triple into quad. It wasn稚 that much of a problem .  

Brezina's elements were by far his greater strength, scoring five points higher in TES than in components, which were in the mid-sevens.  All his elements were scored positive, though four judges went to -1 on his combination spin.  Two, however, went to +2, so go figure.

Second in the Short Program was Takahiko Kazuka who skated a lively expressive program with enthusiasm.  His spins were called level 3 and four and were marks highly by the judges, but all three jump elements were scored negative.  He was one of two skaters who attempted a quad, with his quad toe loop called under-rotated.  With a fall on that element, all the judges went to -3 in the GoE.  的 felt like I was going into the jump a little left and I couldn稚 correct so that made the jump shaky,  he said. 的 was nervous because this was the first competition of the season and I hadn稚 competed in a long time,  he admitted, but it did not shoe in his performance which received component marks in the mid-sevens, with one judge going into the mid eights.

Kozuka's teammate, Daisuke Murakami scored just 0.02 points behind Kozuka and currently leis in third place. He was the only skater to successfully complete a quad in the Short Program landing a clean quad Salchow - double toe loop.  的n the early part of the season, I wasn稚 planning on a quad in my short program," he said, " but my coach Frank Carroll and I decided to put the quad. Today, I知 really happy that we made that decision for the season and I hope to start building up as the season goes along and putting a quad-triple in the short program.   ... 典here was no question about it for the this competition. I didn稚 have any plans of taking it out. I知 definitely going to go for one more quad tomorrow, he added.

Murakami also landed a clean triple Axel.  On triple Flip six judges went to -1 but two also went to +1.  His component marks averaged un the low sixes.

Kevin van der Perrin and Richard Dornbush round out the four skaters essentially tied for second place, with 0.06 points separating them.  Van der Perrin skated a cleaner program, but was slower overall and was slow in his spins, though he got the level 3s and 4s he was working for.  Dornbush on the other hand skated with speed with good expression, but triple Axel was under-rotated and he had an edge call on triple flip.

Said Dornbush, 溺y triple Axel was a downgrade so I was disappointed in that. I think that痴 only about the third time I have ever been downgraded on a jump. Other than that, I thought the program was great and I was really happy with it. I think I got plus GOEs on everything else, except maybe the flip that looks a little low. It was nice to skate well in front of a home crowd, that felt good. As for the Axel, 的 definitely skimmed that one. It wasn稚 one of my best but they are the caller so it痴 up to them to decide if a jump is rotated or not. I was happy when I got into the air and was rotating it. The fact that I came down short is too bad.

The skaters in second through fifth place are essentially tied with 70.03 to 70.69 points. With such a small spread in points between them larges changes in placemnt will be possible in the Free Skate.  


Free Skating

Planned Program Content


Starting Order - Free Skating

Warmup Group 1

  1. Samuel Contesti, ITA
  2. Douglas Razzano, USA
  3. Florent Amodio, FRA
  4. Armin Mahbanoozadeh, USA
  5. Denis Ten, KAZ

Warmup Group 2

  1. Richard Dornbush, USA
  2. Kevin van der Perren, BEL
  3. Daisuke Murakami, JPN
  4. Takahiko Kozuka, JPN
  5. Michael Brezina, CZE

Start Time: 11:39


Free Skating Placements
Place Skater Country
1 Kevin van der Perren BEL
2 Takahiko Kozuka JPN
3 Michael Brezina CZE
4 Samuel Contesti ITA
5 Douglas Razzano USA
6 Richard Dornbush USA
7 Denis Ten KAZ
8 Florent Amodio FRA
9 Daisuke Murakami JPN
10 Armin Mahbanoozadeh USA



The men shuffled the deck pretty good in the Free Skate.  Not as thoroughly as the Ladies event, but pretty good.  Michael Brezina won the event, despite a inconsistent performance that put him third in the Free Skate.  His victory came courtesy of a big lead in the Short Program and the second highest component scores in the Free Skate

的 didn稚 do what I wanted to do," he said, "but as I said earlier in the interview, I知 happy with the place, I知 not happy with the way I skated, so that痴 something I want to work on for the next competition. On the next competition, I just want to prove to my coach that the quad will be in the program no matter what because again today was their decision to go without. For the next competition I just really want to prove them that the jump will be there even if they say no.

Three jump elements were scored negative, including a fall on triple Lutz, and he did not attempt a quad.  鏑ike yesterday, they were watching the competition. I was skating last and they saw everyone. They wanted to go for safe. I actually was kind of mad when they told me I couldn稚 go for it because I was ready," he said.  "I知 not happy with the end of the program because I changed the beginning so I couldn稚 do the jumps that I usually do at the end. The preparation for the jumps wasn稚 there. I think that痴 why I missed it. I definitely want to prove for the next competition that I知 going to go for the quad even if my coaches are not ready. For next competition, I want to work on that and prove that my free skate is set up like this and it will be like this. He added, "Yeah. I felt good. The beginning of the program was fine. I did a perfect triple Axel and even the combination was fine. I知 pretty sure that if I went for a quad, it would be OK but at the end, I think because the preparation was different, that was the biggest problem and didn稚 do the jumps as I知 used to.

Asked if considered ignoring his coaches' instructions to not attempt the quad he said, "I respect my coaches. They always know what痴 best for me. I tried that once. It didn稚 work out. So I知 always listening to what they say. I don稚 want to fight with them at the end. ... 的知 really happy with the place. It痴 my first gold medal at the Grand Prix. I think after last season when I couldn稚 compete, it痴 a good start. I知 really happy, that痴 for sure.

Brezina is back after an injury and surgery last season.  On the effect that had on him he said, "After my surgery, it messes up your head. When you have an injury at the beginning of the season that you have been preparing for the whole summer and everything works well. Then you池e told you need surgery otherwise you can稚 skate the whole season, that was something I was scared about. But then I got to our Olympic physiotherapist. He helped me a lot and I think that痴 why I did so well at Worlds.

Kevin van der Perren won the Free Skate to move up to second overall with nearly clean jumps and a repsectable, if somewhat sluggish performance.  He landed an excellent opening quad toe loop that recieve GoEs of 1s and 2s.  But on the subsequent element he stepped out of a triple Axel.  The remainder of his jumps were clean and he landed an impressive triple-triple-triple combination (3S+3T+3T).  By the end of the program, however, he was running our of strength and his last two spins were in slow motion.  Both of these were scored slightly negative, though they both were called level 3.

On his opening jump elements he said, "Most important for me at the competition is to do the quad and the axel. This season the only thing I知 really focused about is Europeans. I知 happy of how I skated, I知 happy of how it came out even if I would have been fifth or sixth, I still would have been happy.

Van der Perren is nearly 30 years of age and said he plans to retire at the end of this season.  "I had a long think about it after Worlds if I was going to skate or not [this season]," he said.  "In the end, I decided yes. I知 not bothering anybody in my country. I still love the sport. But this is definitely going to be the end. I知 going to be 30 years old and for a solo skater, that is late to still be competitive. I知 just taking it now step by step. If I知 in good shape, I will go. If not, I will not risk it. My first two competitions this season went well."

Tahahiko Kozuka got stung by one of the quirks of the scoring system, by placing second in both the short and the long, but placing third overall.  Formerly, when the short had half the importance of the long he would have placed second, but in the current system the short and long have equal importance which can lead to results such as this.

About his performance, in which he fell twice and had five jump elements scored negative,  he said, "About my performance today, of course I made mistakes on the jumps but more than that, I was happy I was able to get level four on my steps and my choreography score was quite high. Today I really wanted to show I was having fun performing to the music that I love. This was what I really wanted to show here and I think I was successful with that. I did feel bad about the jumps but overall I think I did what I could and I feel pretty satisfied.   Despite the falls, he had the highest component scores for the Free Skate.

American Ricky Dornbush was the best placing man with a fifth place finishing the short and sixth place finish in the long resulting in a fourth place finish overall.  In this he was helped by Daisuke Murakami who fell from third in the short to tenth in the long, and Samuel Contesti who though fourth in the long was tenth in the short.

Dornbush landed an opening quad toe loop that was scored slightly negative, with GoEs ranging from -1 to +1. Four other jump elements were also scored negative, including a fall on triple loop, a popped Axel and an edge call on triple flip.  His performance was a well executed character driven routine to "A Fist Full of Dollars" and received the third highest component scores.

About his quad he said, "That was definitely the best part of the program. After that I made a lot of little mistakes that I regret but it was the first competition of the season and it was good to get my feet under me and get the quad out there. I just need to work on the rest of the program. I think that痴 probably the hardest part about doing the quad in the long program. You have to be able to do the entire program, not just that one element.

典he main difficulty so far has been the rest of the program after the quad," he said. "After I landed the quad, I put so much pressure on myself to do the rest of the jumps. I just let the program get away from me a little bit. And regarding his triple Axel that was scored with GoEs of -2, with one -3, he said. "I think on the triple Axel, I was trying so hard to get it to my normal rotations since it was downgraded yesterday so I think I over-rotated it today and landed on the inside edge. That痴 something I値l definitely want to work on when I get back home.

Armin Mahbanoozadeh also attempted a quad which was under-rotated and on which he fell.  Douglas Razzano did not attempt a quad in the Free Skate. Mahbanoozaeh placed  last in the long and fell to last in the final standings.  Razzano moved up from ninth in the short to fifth in the long to finish seventh overall. 

Razzano was skating on his birthday and related that "I was so pleased with it [his free skate]. And to do it on my birthday just made it ten times better. Especially after a disappointing short yesterday.   This was his first Grand Prix assignment, as a replacement for Evan Lysacek who pulled out of the Grand Prix series before the start of the competition.  On is Grand Prix experience he said, "I loved it. I致e been waiting for this since I was little and to finally be here on my birthday, it痴 just been wonderful. ... 的 did two clean longs this week. I just knew I was very prepared for this.  


2011 Skate America Men's Medalists


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