This past weekend brought the first major Senior ISU competition of the season. Some surprises here and there and some interesting items to report.
Amongst the men, Nobunari Oda of Japan had a good competitive redebut by winning the men's title. He was able to hold his lead from the short program over the defending champion Michael Brezina of the Czech Republic. Yannick Ponsero of France was a distant third. Surprisingly, Tomas Verner, also of the Czech Republic, reigning European Champion could only muster fourth place...a dissapointing start to his season. Scott Smith and Dennis Phan finished seventh and eigth, respectively.
In Ice Dance, Americans Samuelson and Bates won both the Original and Free Dance and captured their first senior title. The Americans were able to hold off the Israeli team of Zaretski and Zaretski, who lead after the Compolsory Dance but fell behind in later parts of the competition. The Americans also took bronze with Summersett and Gilles. "We skated great," said Samuelson. "We're really happy with how we performed. It was a great senior international debut for us."
No big surprises in Pairs. Savchenko and Szolkowy of Germany posted an easy win over Russians Mukhortova and Trankov. Ukranian's Volosozhar and Morozov, as expected, won the Bronze. Very strong senior debut for American's Denney and Barrett, they finished fourth overall and was actually third in the free skate. Yankowskas and Coughlin were sixth.
Amongst the ladies Alissa Czisny pulled out an impressive win jumpstarting her season. With the withdrawl of Carolina Kostner she seized the opportunity to take her second ISU Senior title. She held off Finnish upstart Laura Lepisto who won the silver and Akiko Suzuki of Japan who took Bronze. Chrissy Hughes of the U.S. in her senior debut finished 13th. After the competition, Alissa spoke with Icenetwork reporters, "I've been working with Linda [Leaver] and Brian [Boitano] on my [jump] technique, and this year it's starting to click. That's one of the things that's making me better plus I'm a little more relaxed in competition."
Apparently there is a team trophy awarded at Nebelhorn and on the strength of Czisny, Samuelson and Bates, as well Summersett and Gilles the American team was able to win that as well!
Full Results can be seen here.