With all the hub-bub about Nationals I almost forgot I never posted my final thoughts on Europeans!
So I already reported on Pairs but how interesting things turned out in the other three disciplines.
So in dance, after a crap CD, Domnina and Shabalin pull out citing injury. The French and Italian teams of Carron and Jost and Cappellini and Lanotte hovered down there in 5th and 6th place, no shock there. The other French Team of Pechalat and Bourzat had a solid free dance that really closed the gap between them and the podium. They were extremely close to getting on the podium. The British Team of Kerr and Kerr held on to the bronze. This team seems perpetually stuck with bronze medals this season. Just a little less than a point of ahead of the Brits were the other Italian Team of Faiella and Scali. They held onto the silver despite finishing 4th in the FD. Of course winning was the new power team on the block, Russian's Khoklova and Novitski. They won by a comfortable 10+ point margin and I think are the team to beat in L.A.
The men's final was great! I watched all the top guys on YouTube. Well, things were not so great for Tomas Verner...after a solid short, he feel apart in the free and was unable to defend his title. Alban Preaubert had kind of flat performance and found himself 5th. How about Yannick Ponsero winning the free skate from 9th place to place 4th overall. He was kind of amazing and when this guy puts two programs together, watch out, he'll be a world beater! Kevin Van der Perren, despite the lack of training and not knowing if he could get through his free skate without passing out on the ice turned in a respectable program to find himself with another European Bronze. Ummmmm...Samuel Contesti has vaulted himself into my favorites list! I had so much fun watching him! Nice to see a fresh face at the top and well deserved silver. Of course winning is Joubert, despite some technical miscues (including a fall on Triple Lutz). However, this new Matrix program is heavy on the arm movements and lacks depth. This is a program that many of the best in the world (Chan, Oda, Lysacek, Abbott) could easily beat, as his own countrymen Ponsero did!
Then the ladies. First Kiira Korpi who, God bless her, had that nasty slip right off the top of her program but came back to skate well. Of all the top finishing ladies I enjoyed her program the most and for the love of everything I can't understand how she didn't have the highest component scores. Nice job for Finland, she placed 5th. Russian Alena Leonova skated a program with some gusto and pulled a Ponsero by pulling up from 11th to finish 4th overall. Susana Poykio hit the podium for Finalnd after a performing a 'pretty' program. It lacked some speed and some content but was nice. Carolina Kostner finished second. Her short program did her in, despite winning the free skate, she couldn't make up the point difference to win overall. Laura Lepisto therefore became the first Finnish lady to win the European crown. And what better time to do it than in Helsinki? In fact, it is the strongest Finnish finish (no pun intended) that I can remember in recent history will all three ladies placing in the top 5.
UPDATE: Apparently Carolina is contesting the results of the free skate and the ISU is listening. Was it a sit spin...was it a combination spin? Oy vey!
And here's Samuel Contesti's free because it was so much fun!