Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Three More U.S. Medals at JGP Milan; Finlandia Showcases Ice Dance

Yes, the name at the top of the Men’s JGP list is the same as last week… but this time, the location was Milan:

GOLD: Han Yan, CHN
SILVER: Jason Brown, USA
BRONZE: June-Hyoung Lee, KOR

Han Yan—remember that name; he may well become China’s biggest name in singles skating since the Lu Chen days. Save for one fall near the end of his free skate, Brown didn’t any trouble… it’s simply impossible for him to compete with Yan when Brown still skates without a 3axel. Korea’s Lee had a few sloppy moments in his Mozart free skate, but seems fairly promising… USA’s Jay Yostanto wound up 5th.


GOLD: Julia Lipnitskaia, RUS
SILVER: Anna Shershak, RUS
BRONZE: Hannah Miller, USA

Lipnitskaia, who I have previously described as “Gumby-diculous” with regards to her flexibility, remained as limber as ever in claiming her second gold of the series. Miller, skating to “Masquerade Waltz,” didn’t have the best of free skates but hung in for a bronze nonetheless. Her teammate, Courtney Hicks (who won gold a few weeks ago) took two hard falls in the SP, then injured her leg on the opening jump sequence of her FS and withdrew from the event.


GOLD: Stepanova/Bukin, RUS
SILVER: Zenkova/Sinitsin, RUS
BRONZE: Bonocorsi/Mager, USA

Stepanova/Bukin won a second gold for the season with their “Live & Let Die” FD; Bonacorsi/Mager looked strong & elegant using what I like to call a “Popera” (classically sung modern/popular music) piece.


As with the Nepala Memorial last week, only a few “known” skaters were in attendance—in this case, they were mostly ice dancers giving us a peek at their new programs. Reigning OGMs Virtue/Moir turned up, and easily won the event with an FD that feels fresh and inspired at first glance, even though the music (which includes Fred Astaire’s “Funny Face”) is quite retro. Current world bronze medalists The Shibutanis took silver, and appeared to be in fine form… but I have to admit that their “new” program (which includes “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and “Chattanooga Choo Choo”) feels a lot like a sequel to last year’s FD… making me wish they’d gone in a different direction. On the other hand, the new team of Madison Chock/Evan Bates intrigued me right away with a Chopin FD that saunters through a few different tempos… good stuff, even though I was unsure how I’d feel about seeing Evan without Emily (Samuelson). Another notable finish was Douglas Razzano—10th at U.S.Nationals last January—who won the silver medal here in men's singles behind Japan’s Takahito Mura, but ahead of Sweden’s Adrian Schultheiss

Several other senior programs are making pre-GP appearances in these final weeks before Skate America; I hope to recap them plus other “briefs” in skating news next time…

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