Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cup of Russia Recap

My goodness! Starting with the Ice Dance, what a crazy ride that was! The OD my goodness! I gasped when Charlie missed that first twizzle sequence and my heart sunk. Then when he feel on that second smaller twizzle section I just had to turn it off! I didn't even finish watching the OD! When I returned much later and found they were only in 4th I was slightly relieved. Again the Italians had a prime opprotunity to hit the podium that just didn't pan out. The judges aren't feeling the 'Love Story' program as much as they'd like. Despite the 8th place finish in the OD Davis and White managed to get themselves back on the podium into that third position with a solid free skate that was ranked 2nd best. Had it not been for the horrible OD, they might have gone toe-toe for the title! Shockingly, well not shockingly but unexpectedly Domnina and Shabalin only got the silver after a free dance that was unispired, slow, and only ranked third best on the night. Khoklova and Novitski, who were expected to be the #2 Russian team took the title in a bit of a surprise.

On a side note, I have many issues with the judging system but it has done wonders for Ice Dance, I love hove you never know what will happen and the results aren't predetermined.

No big shocks in the Pairs but how about Kawaguchi and Smirnov becoming the second team to hit the throw quad salchow in competition! I wasn't even expecting it...it just sort of floated out of nowhere and I looked and thought to myself "I think I just saw a quad?" I rewound and thought "I did just see a quad!" Despite winning the free skate they had to settle for the silver. The bronze went to Volosozhar and Morozov who couldn't quite match their silver medal performance from Cup of China...big problems for Stanislav on the side-by-side jumps. Zhang and Zhang took the title after a healthy lead going into the free skate. Gorgeous throw jumps and overall better skating than last season...they appear to be one of the teams to beat this season (as they usually are anyway!). This is the only discipline I managed to correctly predict...drats!

I am now at a loss of words about Kimmie Meissner. After what looked like a decent short program I was shocked to see how low she was ranked. To the element sheet I went and she got little credit for what was considered a double loop and the majority of her footwork and spins were only given level ones. Then that free skate that started strong but faded fast. I just feel bad for her and hope that something can change. Czisny moved up a spot to claim fourth place after an up and down program, but the spins and spiral sequence continue to amaze me. Suguri settled for the bronze despite leading after the short program. I think the nerves crept in a bit but what she did do she did very well. Rachael Flatt simply shined in an amazing performance that, more importantly, had no downgraded jumps. I thought she was great and I think she deserved the win! Poor alas, Carolina Kostner took the title with a better performance than she turned in at Skate Canada but still some issues. However, she creamed Flatt on the component score (and I can't figure out how) and won that way. Sigh....

I was so confused by the men, I just never got my head around it. Adam Rippon had a much better skate here than he did in Everett and finished 5th. He seemed pleased with his effort. Jeremy Abbott pulled up to 4th after a great free skate. Something to note about Abbott...if he has a solid short program, watch out (ala Cup of China) because the judges are loving his programs. He actually finished second in the free to get to fourth. Alban Preaubert did it again as the frenchman earned his second bronze of the series after another fantastic skate. He managed to hold off Abbott. Tomas Verner earned the silver despite winning the free skate. He looked better than he did in China opening his program with a gorgeous quad toe. Joubert took the title despite finishing fourth in the free. He just had a big lead after the short. It's not even that he skated bad he just didn't seem to get the tech credit of the other skaters. This could be a problem for Brian later in the season. If he doesn't turn in a stellar short, he could be in trouble because his free skate lacks staying power (kind of like when Buttle won World's last season...I'm just saying).

You can check out Joubbie's Free right here:

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