Friday, 26 March 2010

Magic of the Men

So...we have a new mens world champion! I'm going to forget about the OD for a bit and instead talk about the mens because it was eventful!

The Highs

Adam Rippon - Can you believe he is the FIFTH ranked American man? Apart from a bobble on the landing of the first triple axel, Adam put down such a good performance. I'd never really been sure about this long program music but thought he pulled it off really nicely last night. To finish sixth in his World debut is very impressive.

Kevin VDP - I was sending Kevin good vibes before he started; it was probably his last ever competitive performance and I really wanted him to go out with a bang. Seemed to work; that quad-triple-triple was astonishing. Is that the highest ever tariff combination? The look of joy at the end of his program was just so adorable to see!

Adrian Schultheiss - He never really gets mentioned as part of the twenty-fourteenies but I think that might change after that performance. The Eurosport commentators said that his program "really suited him" but is that a good thing when you're portraying a mental patient, complete with screams and a straitjacket? Anyway, it was stellar.

Daisuke Takahashi - The gold was his to lose, after some disappointing skates in the final group, and so you have to really respect him for trying a quad flip, and landing it; he really didn't need to take that risk. It might have been downgraded, but the rest of the performance was perfect, and so much fun! He absolutely deserved that gold medal, and I'm so glad he managed to get his head together!.

Brian Joubert - So Brian's skate could have come in the misses - after all, he fell on a triple lutz and had some very questionable jumps landings. However, landing a quad and a quad-double in the same program after his terrible Olympics is something he should be so proud of; I was afraid of a Verner-esque meltdown. But he managed to podium, for the fifth year in a row, which is some record and he'll probably surpass that, given that he's said he'll stay on until 2012 Worlds in Nice.

Patrick Chan - So, it wasn't perfect, and I'll be honest, I'm not a Chan fan. But he got the silver medal, so good on him.

Michal Brezina - One of my favourite performances of the night. His jumps are absolutely out of this world, the speed on the landing and height and flow...incredible! He's also been really consistant this season, which hopefully will continue. In a couple of seasons, once he gets better performance skills, spins and maybe choreo, he'll be unstoppable.

The Misses

Jeremy Abbott - I feel pretty harsh putting Jeremy in the misses, to be honest. In his post-skate interview, he said he was proud of his performance because he didn't pop a single jump and fought until the end of the program. He also ended up 5th, which is a great improvement on his two elevenths. But he did fall twice, which was a real shame, especially as he was completely screwed over with the points for his exquisite short program.

Denis Ten - I didn't see Ten, the Eurosport broadcast missed him off, but it seems he didn't do so great; his country now only have one spot for 2011 Worlds. But he's got a long career ahead of him, so it shouldn't faze him too much.

Takahiko Kozuka - I absolutely adore him, and his jump problems broke my heart, because he's such a talent...but again, he's young.

Nobunari Oda - Because we didn't even get to see him! Too sad - I bet he'll be making some big changes before the start of next season.

And that's the mens event; congratulations to Takahashi, Chan and Joubert! Some of the judging though was very questionable for this event, I thought; leave your comments on that below!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Day Two of Worlds

The pairs event is just starting, so thought I'd comment on the mens event.

Firstly, has there ever been such a deep competition at a post-Olympic Worlds? Jeremy Abbott managed to get his act together and skate a fantastic short program (the Eurosport commentators adored it, and rightly so!) but is down in sixth, showing just how great this competition is, even without Lysacek, Weir, Lambiel or Plushenko.

Speaking of getting your act together, I have two words; Brian Joubert. To come back and skate like that after the agony of bombing in Vancouver was just amazing - he also got the highest technical score of the night with his quad-triple combo. His fist-pumping after his jumps and roaring at the end shows how much that must have meant to him, and even a Joubert hater couldn't fail to have enjoyed that.

I've always maintained that the pattern when you have three skaters in an event will be that two will nail their program, and one will meltdown, and this event managed to prove this right. Jeremy Abbott and Adam Rippon both skated great, whilst Ryan Bradley had such a heartbreaking short (though not unexpected, given his injury issues). In the same way, Daisuke Takahashi and Takahiko Kozuka skated fantastically, whilst Nobunari Oda's meltdown (he popped every jump) means he doesn't even qualify for the long! Who'd have thought? Ice is slippery, after all.

So questions for the long prgram; how much will the top ten move around? Can any of the twenty-fourteenies sneak up in the rankings - after all, Brezina, Ten and Rippon all seem to want to make 2010 their year, judging by their skates! Can Joubert pull out a clean long program? Who'll be the next World Gold medalist?

I can't wait for tomorrow: comments on the event below!

Day One of Worlds

So the pairs short program and the ice dance compulsories happened last night;




Can Pang and Tong take the title, or will Kavaguti and Smirnov's "Blue Danube" end their gold medal dreams?
Will Maria Mukhortova/Maxim Trankov EVER look happy?
Can Jessica Dube actually land a sbs triple salchow?
Can Savchenko and Szolkowy hang onto that precarious bronze medal position?
Will the American pairs come out and nail their free skates as well as they did their short programs?




Have Faiella and Scali made it a race for fourth, and not bronze, with their lead?
Can the Kerrs/Pechalat & Bourzat/Khoklova & Novitski move around their placings?
Does anyone have nicer costumes than the North American teams?
Will these be the last compulsories ever?
Can Davis and White take that World title?

Monday, 22 March 2010

Ready for Worlds

Worlds starts tomorrow and, as with all post-Olympic Worlds there is a real chance for some skaters who are usually low down in the top ten to potentially gain a medal. Here's my preview.


Notable Absences: Evan Lysacek, Johnny Weir, Evgeni Plushenko, Tomas Verner, Stephane Lambiel
Potential Medal Hopes: Nobunari Oda, Daisuke Takahashi, Takahiko Kozuka, Brian Joubert (though, as someone noted on Twitter, it depends which Joubert shows up!), Jeremy Abbott (same situation as Joubert), Patrick Chan
2014 Kids to Watch: Adam Rippon, Michal Brezina, Denis Ten, Florent Amodio

Notable Absences: Joannie Rochette
Potential Medal Hopes: Yu-na Kim, Mao Asada, Miki Ando, Mirai Nagasu, Rachael Flatt, Akiko Suzuki
2014 Kids to Watch: Ksenia Makarova, Mirai Nagasu


Notable Absences:
Shen/Zhao, Volosozhar/Morosov
Potential Medal Hopes: Pang/Tong, Zhang/Zhang, Mukhortova/Trankov, Savchenko/Szolkowy, Kavaguti/Smirnov
2014 Kids to Watch: Denney/Barrett


Notable Absences: Domnina/Shabalin, Belbin/Agosto, Delobel/Schoenfelder
Potential Medal Hopes: Virtue/Moir, Davis/White, Faiella/Scali, Pechalat/Bourzat
2014 Kids to Watch: Cappellini/Lanotte

Agree/disagree? Comment below!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

No more Weir

Despite his promises of being in Torino, Johnny Weir joins his teammates Lysacek and Belbin/Agosto in skipping Worlds. Not really a suprise, judging by how many TV appearances and interviews he's been doing; no time for training when you've got Oscar parties to go to. Adam Rippon takes his place - who else is excited to see the Rippon Lutz once more this season?