The Pairs were first and had the most predictable set of results with Pang and Tong taking their second World Title, Savchenko and Szolkowy pulling in for the Silver, and Kavaguti and Smirnov working out the bronze. I thought the Germans were best on the night but the judges went with the Chinese. Ho hum. Now we get to wait and see who decides to retire...who decides to continue. I'm betting Pang and Tong will call it a day. As far as World berths next season, China and Russia get three, Canada and the U.S. get two, everyone else gets one.
The Men were next and provided the most fireworks. Daisuke Takahashi took this Championships by storm, killing it in both portions of the competition and surprising everyone when he almost completed a Quad Flip! Crazy! Patrick Chan took the Silver with an underwhelming performance, he's very fortunate to have such solid components because that is what kept him afloat. Brian Joubert muscled out a Bronze, having some technical struggles of his own. The surprise of the competition was Michal Brezina who I've called a "Breath of Fresh Air" just skated his heart out to finish fourth. I actually thought he should have been on the podium but I guess it wasn't to be. Jeremy Abbott and Adam Rippon skated fairly well (especially Adam) and earned the U.S. three spots next year. Speaking of those spots, Japan also earned three and Canada eeked out three. France, Italy, and Belgium nabbed two. Everyone else just gets one.
The Ice Dance competition was the closest. As expected, Virtue and Moir and Davis and White did battle...again. This time, Davis and White won the Free Dance but Virtue and Moir had enough lead to hang on to the win and complete a medal set. It's crazy how close these two teams are and how it comes down to the wire every time. Faiella and Scali earned their first World Medal on home ice taking the Bronze in a "feel good" moment. Like Pairs, now we get to wait and see who will and won't retire. As far as berths for next season, U.S. and Canada are in for three with Italy, Israel, Great Britain, France, and Hungary nabbing two.
The ladies competition was blown wide open when Kim Yu-Na finished 7th in the short. It was blown even more open when she made errors in her free skate. The only skater to take advantage was Mao Asada who recaptured the World Title after losing it to Kim last season. Mao did get a downgrade on her second triple axel but she looked far more put together in Torino and skated an amazing free. Despite the problems, Kim Yu-Na still managed to get the silver (actually won the free) and Laura Lepisto took the Bronze with, I'm sorry, a terrible performance. In fact, the ladies event past Asada, had little to hang your hat on. Canada's Cynthia Phaneuf probably had no idea she'd finish 5th! Both American's came undone to finish 7th and 9th...disappointing since Nagasu was the leader after the short program. Berths for next season, only Japan gets three. A smattering of countries including Korea, Finalnd, Canada, Italy, U.S., Russia, and Sweden all get two.
World's kind of ended on an unimpressive note. For me, the real standout star was by far Daisuke Takahashi who was incredible. Still scratching my head about Nobunari Oda's complete implosion and failure to make the free. Sad that the U.S. completely let a great opportunity to earn three women's spots slip away. And so very very thankful for Meryl and Charlie who saved face for the U.S. and kept us from having a medal shut-out.
Lots to digest in the off season. But, 3rd Annual Loop Axels are coming!