Saturday, April 30, 2011

Worlds 2011 Ladies Final McNotes (longer version)

OK, I guess it’s time for me to explain Meh for those of you who were baffled by my earlier post… or have been miles away from any skating coverage today.

Which requires another listing of the top finishers…

1) Ando (130.21/195.79)

She won, and she won fair and square. She won because she went out and did what she was capable of, which in her case is quite a lot. She’s not my favorite skater, but she’s very good, very consistent, and earned a great honor at a time when Japan could certainly use a lift—no matter how incidental.

2) Kim (128.59/194.50)

As tight as it was between she and Ando, she really needed to do all her elements for her artistic superiority to give her the win. But she popped the back end of a 3Sal combo, and then popped a triple flip. Game over.

3) Kostner (124.93/184.68)

She got her 3Flip back just in time to land one when she needed it most. That, along with 4 other triples (but still no lutz), coupled with one of her nicest long programs to date, equaled bronze for Kostner—the third world medal of her career.

4) Leonova (124.17/183.92)

Less than a point from the bronze was the redhead from Russia, slicking back most of the Annie-esque do today and nailing 6 triples in by far her best free skate of the season. Coming into today literally tied in the points with Kostner, Leonova out-elemented her by about 2 points… but Koster out-componented her by about 3 points. I know I just invented a couple of words there, but the 3-4-5 situation here left me rather frustrated…

5) Czisny (120.78/182.25)

See, it’s like this (at least on paper): Czisny fell on her first 3lutz, and although she skated the rest of her program with nary a hitch (and even got credit for the fallen lutz being fully rotated), it ultimately made the difference (to the judges at least) between 3rd and 5th. Me? I don’t think it should have been so close to begin with, simply because I think Czisny’s spins, technique and component skills exceed those of Leonova and Kostner. But it is what it is.

6) Asada (114.13/158.66)

Knock-knock. Who’s there? Triple axel. Triple axel who? Exactly. (Triple axel skulks away into the fog.)

That’s my way of saying Asada’s “signature jump” still isn’t back in all its glory. Throw in a few other errors, and you get a 6th place finish for the former world champ.

7) Makarova (105.60/167.22)

Yes, she fell (hard!) on a 3Lo, but that wasn’t the problem as much as it was a lack of technical difficulty compared to her peers. The last to skate, her finish compounded the frustration that seemed to be felt by the mostly-Russian audience when Leonova was bumped off the podium, resulting in one of the most subdued-sounding post-event crowds I’ve ever heard. Or not heard, in this case.

The rest of these skaters I’m listing scores only, for I haven’t seen their performances yet in their entirety…

8) Murakami (105.60/167.22)

9) Korpi (109.71/164.80)

10) Gedevanishvili (104.63/156.24)

11) Hecken (103.10/155.83)

12) Flatt (97.39/154.61)

…Except for this one. I saw the whole thing, unfortunately, and heard too how Flatt indicated after the free skate that her “leg pain” (which apparently kept her 3lutz at bay in the SP) was actually a tibia stress fracture that was officially discovered only last Friday.

So I hate to have to throw this out there, especially since I know nothing about the pain of a stress fracture, but… with an injury as seemingly “un-sudden” as that, shouldn’t she have ceded her spot to alternate Mirai Nagasu a few weeks ago?

So there it was. No completely clean performances in the final group (so Alissa, at least you were in good company), several missed opportunities, frustration all around—for me, at least. Which brings me back to… meh.

And then Davis/White won the freakin’ World Gold a few hours later… and the Shib Sibs, the bronze… which changed the meh to my goodness, how awesome is that??

For a little while, anyway.

More on the ice dance finals coming soon!


Anonymous said...

Makarova - the Swedish commentators said that she did a combination too many, and lost a lot of points there. Which would also explain the crowd's confusion.


Kelli Lawrence said...

Yeah, I saw that on the protocols but I didn't want to get into too much protocol stuff until next week. I might compare her scores to Kostner's, as neither one attempted a lutz (though Kostner obviously did many things right in the judges' eyes.)