Saturday, February 16, 2008

Four Continents Cup

Things wrapped up in South Korea for the Four Continents Cup...some expected results and a few surprises to share with you.

In ladies the clear front runner won easily. Mao Asada posted a score of 193.25, a score of nearly 14 points better than her closest competitor. She received solid GOE scores on all her elements except the lutz which was given a wrong edge takeoff deduction. Both her technical and component scores were leaps ahead of the competetion and without Yu-Na Kim in the competition, it seemed an easy victory for her. Joannie Rochette of Canada punched through to earn the silver medal edging out Miki Ando on the technical score. It appears the reigning World Champion struggled just a touch with her jumps at the beginning of her program. Miki's season has been up and down and hopefully, for her, this is a down before an up in Sweden. Trouble for the U.S. ladies...more on this in another post.

The Ice Dance competition went as expected. Virtue and Moir won, but not easily. The American team of Davis and White pushed them all the way through the competition. Tessa and Scott appear to have an advantage when it comes to the program component score, but Davis and White were about dead even with them technically. These two teams will continue to push one another, probably past 2010 and onward towards 2014. The bronze went to the American team of Navarro and Bommentre who continue to have a ground breaking season. In fact, the Americans were able to go 2-3-4 with Wester and Barantsev placing fourth.

I was slightly shocked to see that Pang and Tong won the pairs competition after the decent sized lead that the Zhangs had opened up after the short program but Pang and Tong were able to put down solid component and technical scores and make up the difference in the free skate. Moving up from fourth to capture the bronze is reigning U.S. bronze medalists Castile and Okolski, however, they still lack side-by-side triple jumps in their free skate. Newly engaged team of Inoue and Baldwin slipped to fourth after struggling with their side-by-side triples and miscue that lead to a poor throw single axel instead of a triple.

In the men's event, Daisuke Takahashi killed it! Now armed with two quads in his free skate, on in combo, and seven triples to boot, I don't know if this guy can be stopped! Besides having a component score that is 4-5 points better than his closest competitior, his technical score was sick, about 20 points better than anyone else! He received positive GOE's on everything except his triple loop and won by over 30 points! Jeffrey Buttle won the silver with what has to be one of his best performances this season despite the fact that he is still struggling a bit with the jumps. He continues to try and reestablish himself as Canada's best (as opposed to Chan who didn't compete here). Evan Lysacek dropped from second after the short to capture the bronze. A fall on the quad and then some lacking technical merit from that point left him with his worst performance of the season...not the direction you wanted to be heading at this critical point in the skating season. Carriere was 4th and Abbott was 5th.

Full results here.


mmmmss said...

I'm still surprised with Takahashi's score for the Free Program, even though scores in the Four Continents are known for being inflated, that was a killer program.

Anonymous said...

That was not Evan's worst skate of the season. He was much more wobblier on his jumps during nationals.

Susan said...

Nice wrap-up of Four Continents. I dream of Mao and Mirai competing head to head one day.

Anonymous said...

Nitpicking - pics are not from 4CC.

Aaron said...

I tend to just pull cool looking pics...I really don't match them to the events.

Anonymous said...

For the other anonymous: That *was* Evan's worst skate of the year, because he only did one combination.

Still, his worst skate of the year, and it was really close to his PB, which he set with a flawless skate at the GPF. I think we can all agree that 4CC had some of the highest inflated scores of the year.

Just on technical content alone, Takahashi will need to bomb to not win Worlds.