Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rostelecom 2009 Revisited: Men & Pairs

One of the funny things I’m finding as I do these “rerun recaps” is that I don’t have to worry about repeating myself as much as I thought I did… especially with these initial GP events, they whooshed by so quickly I barely had time to say much of anything before it was time to preview the next event! So as I look back at the Men and Pairs event that took place in late October of last year, let’s see who I DID mention compared to who I think is worthy of mentioning now, in retrospect…

Men I mentioned THEN: Plushenko, Kozuka, Weir (finished 1st, 2nd, and 4th respectively)

Men I’d prefer to mention NOW: Artem Borodulin (3rd), Adrian Schultheiss (6th), Florent Amodio (9th)

Amodio (France) because… he seemed to really get discovered at Skate America a few weeks later with the same programs, so what was the problem here? A doubled axel and a botched 3/3 combo in the short… as well as a problematic FS with only one clean triple in five attempts (the clean was a loop).

Schultheiss (Sweden) because… I should have had my eye on someone who had previously skated to the kind of music he’s skated to, no matter how well he finished. I think I’ve said this once before but it bears repeating: Of all the elite-level skaters using music with an obscenity in the title (his FS includes Prodigy’s Smack My B*tch Up), he’s most definitely my favorite!

Borodulin (Russia) because… if Weir had edged him out for bronze in this event, I might have had to wish someone pull his pink corset laces on the SP costume a little too tight the next time. I took a close look at the SP detailed scores for both guys… here’s what I came up with:

WEIR: edge warning on flip, got negative GOEs on all three jumps, but all spins & steps were level 3s and 4s and got positive GOEs. Average around 7.1 on components.

BORODULIN: edge call on flip, but no negative GOEs on other 2 jumps. Rest were 3s and 4s; only negative GOE came from a spin at end. Average 6.5 on components. Johnny essentially scored higher because of better component scores—3.3 higher, while Artem’s tech score was 2.8 over Johnny’s.

Unfortunately, Borodulin was the guy whose skate blade broke while doing his SP at Worlds this past March, forcing his withdrawal. (He was 13th at the Olympics.)


Pairs I mentioned THEN: Pang/Tong; McLaughlin/Brubaker

Pairs I’d prefer to mention NOW: Brodeur/Mattatall, Bazarova/Larionov

Brodeur/Mattatall (Canada) because… while they had a pretty dreadful SP in Russia, they kind of redeemed themselves with a charming FS to Singin’ in the Rain. Cute number with a rare nice & low death spiral to boot!

Bazarova/Larionov (Russia) because… while they could use more speed and she seems to need more strength on her landings, this was a really nice effort… they finished behind McBru, but I tend to think they could’ve won bronze without much argument.

Here is their FS as the clip of the day… judge for yourself!

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