Friday, March 27, 2009

Not-so-Quick Notes from Worlds Day 3: Lysacek Shines On

I haven’t seen much of the OD highlights yet—particularly the top two—but I did see Davis/White and Virtue/Moir’s respective dances (both of which used the Charleston; I hadn’t seen V/M’s OD before and didn’t realize the similarity). I was glad to see D/W close the gap between them even more—not just because I’m rooting for them for bronze, but because V/M just seemed to lack some fluidity. As for D/W, I hold my breath every time recalling the time earlier this season that Charlie turned stumbling into a hat-trick… but (whew) they did fine.

I was, however, fortunate enough to catch the majority of the men’s finals… where…

-- A Kazakhstanian star was born by the name of 16 year old Denis Ten (17th in the SP and a stunning 6th in the FS, resulting in 8th place overall)

-- Yannick Ponsero, my bronze medal pick, showed me why I’m not a gambler: he skated miserably, making noticeable mistakes throughout and finishing 16th. Easily his worst showing of the season.

-- Speaking of worst showings: aw, Jeremeeee… I read that his 11th place finish was the worst Worlds finish by a current US champion since World War II. Ouch. Just goes to show how unpredictable this sport can be.

-- Kevin VanDerPerren, at age 26, skates with all the earmarks of someone who is just hanging in there for one more Olympics. (He finished 14th; his best finish ever was 6th, two years ago.)

--Some indication of just how strong the FS was at the top of the heap last night: Nobunari Oda skated pretty clean from what I recall, and got a rousing ovation … but actually placed lower in the FS (8th) than he did in the short!

-- Samuel Contesti (Frenchman skating for Italy; 2nd in Euros this year and 5th here at Worlds)… where have you been all our lives?? Terrific stuff out there.

-- Big props to Tomas Verner, who finally did his Tango routine some justice, even if he dropped off in the last part of the program and resorted to doubling some triples. He may have finished just off the podium, but considering what happened with his FS last year at Worlds (and what seemed to haunt him throughout this season), it was a most impressive way to finish.

-- However, the biggest props for finishing well after a sub-par season have to go to Evan Lysacek. Way to get it done—quad free and spot-on with everything, resulting in the first US win in mens’ singles since Eldredge won it in 1996—some 13 (gasp!) years ago.

-- Memo to Patrick Chan and Brian Joubert: both of you had your side to the ongoing quads-vs-no-quads-just-triples+artistry debate earlier this week, and guess what? As has happened many times before, it came down to who could skate cleanly before it came down to anything else, and neither of you pulled out your best work (though Chan admittedly came a bit closer).
Patrick, you’re still quite young, and you still had a breathtakingly good season. Learn and move on, and you’ll be fine. Yeah, I sided with you on that whole debate, but we’ll get into that another time.

And Brian… I think instant karma called, and left about 4 messages on your voicemail. Or was it only 3….?

Sorry—couldn’t resist that one. "We all shine on..."

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