Thursday, May 27, 2010

2009 Trophee Eric Bompard Revisited, Part 2

In doing these Closer Looks at the past season’s events, I’m hoping to take one part of each event and study the judges’marks closer to look for downgrades, edge calls, levels of difficulty, etc. This time around, I went right to the ladies’ free skate. But before we get to that—just a few notes about the ice dance:

+ There was quite a bit of shifting in placement between the different parts of competition, at least as far as the non-podium finishers go… in fact, Navarro/Bommentre managed to outskate Samuelson/Bates in the OD when Bates faltered on his twizzle sequence. (Sam/Bates finished ahead of N/B overall—by 8 points or so.)

+ And there was quite a bit of costume changing between TEB and the second half of the season-- particularly for Emily Samuelson, who was sporting “Daisy Duke” shorts for the OD back in October but eventually changed to her red, short-sleeved number with the big cut-out on the back. (This of course left Sinead Kerr with sole Daisy Dukes honors for the remainder of the season.) Samuelson was also in her lavender outfit for the FD; she went to a gold dress by the end of the season (not sure if Bates had to change his costume as well). And Tessa Virtue was still twirling her long, heavy-looking black skirt in the flamenco OD (she eventually went with the slightly shorter red one, as seen in Vancouver).

+ It’s also worth noting that the lifts undertaken by the Kerrs seemed to draw bigger responses in Paris than the ones by Virtue/Moir (including the awesome inverted one near the end of the OD). Could it have been a bit of European influence…?

And as for the LADIES:
Do you remember the lineup? It was highlighted by the unusual, early-season meeting of Kim Yu-Na and Mao Asada, which in fact overshadowed any other competitors. Yukari Nakano was there… Carolina Kostner… Kiira Korpi… Elene Gedevanishvili… any memories triggering? Any at all?

Take heart; you’re not the only one. Save for a triple flip that she opted to skate right through, Yu-Na was stunningly sharp and clean when competing in Paris last October. In contrast, however, were her competitors:

+ Asada, who went only one-for-three with clean triple axels in Paris and ended up falling on, of all things, a double axel
+ Nakano, who had problems with her free skate
+ Korpi, who only attempted TWO triples and neither was clean
+ Kostner, who had hands down on two triples, fell on a downgraded triple lutz, doubled another, and did a waxel that wasn’t even enough of an effort to call a waxel (how about a Wa-??)
+ Gedevanishvili, who proved she’d be a fairly formidable competitor if she could only jumpstart her content… a triple lutz, subpar 3T/3T, two triple salchows (falling on one), and spins, steps and spirals that all hover around “level 2” just aren’t quite enough.

Anyway, throw in four lesser-known skaters, including the USA’s Alexe Gilles and Caroline Zhang (neither of whom skated clean in the FS, though Gilles managed the 4th best SP of the event, and pulled down “level 4”’s on all her free skate spins as well)…

And not only do you see why Yu-Na won, and won BIG… she looked positively unstoppable in Paris. The fact that there wasn’t much “traffic” probably helped. I mean, how else could one omit an entire jumping pass from the program and still pull in a score well over 200 points?

Sorry if I’ve featured this one before, but for the
Clip of the Day here is Yu-Na’s exhibition skate to Rhianna’s “Don’t Stop the Music” from the TEB Gala. Quite fun!

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