Saturday, March 27, 2010

World's Rewind

It was quite a roller coaster ride all the way around.

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!


lachiah said...

I think Pang and Tong will be compelled by the Chinese federation to stay for at least another season. The Zhangs aren't where they need to be artistically and Dong and Wu, who didn't even make the long program, still have a lot of developing to do. Sui and Han were impressive at junior worlds but I don't know if they're ready to go senior just yet.

Savchenko and Szolkowy have already said that they're aiming for Sochi.

jumping clapping man said...

i think pang/tong will pull a shen/zhao, and step back, but not retire, and plan to be in sochi.

someone said once again that they question the worth of worlds in an olympic season. dice-k was the MAIN reason i can't agree with that. he got to have his much deserved moment.

although lepisto was overscored, i'm glad finland got their world medal, and glad kostner didn't get overscored in the FS, as she typically is, and take the bronze. that being said, OF COURSE i wish nagasu had, or even phaneuf. i was so proud of phaneuf!

Meri said...

Aaron - you missed Germany also qualifying two pairs for next year in the pairs...

I think Brian Joubert was an even bigger surprise than Brezina; Michal gave an amazing performance for his Worlds debut, but he has been really solid all year, so it could have been expected. Joubert was written off by everyone after the Olympics, and even he wasn't sure he'd be able to compete again, let alone medal.

To me Sarah Meier missing the free skate was a shock, though she wasn't as bad as Nobu. I hope he won't retire with that as his last performance, it must have been horribly demoralizing.

I agree it was a mostly underwhelming Worlds after the high of the Olympics, with the exception of the men's event which I found much more enjoyable.

Anonymous said...

>Despite the problems, Kim Yu-Na still managed to get the silver (actually won the free)

What do you think about it?
Who did the most terrible performance?

Anonymous said...

The dance scores were much fairer this time around. These two teams were suppose to be this close. Not the BS scores that the Canadians got at the Olympics. What a joke that score was.

Dice-K was most impressive. Chan was underwhelming. His silver was much less deserved compare to last year. What about Kevin P's quad triple triple. I rewinded that part several times. Can't say that about anybody's footwork or spins.

Mirai was most disappointing. Hopefully she recovers at next year's Worlds if she gets on it. I bet USFSA is already looking at the up and coming juniors and hoping someone with steely nerve like Michelle Kwan (except at the Olympics of course). Even Flatt was uncharacteristically bad. So much for you can always count on her being consistent.

Anonymous said...

oh yeah, I forgot to say how about Tara and Johnny's commentaries? They were awesome. Honest and funny. Both seemed to agree that the quads should be given more points. And both also agreed that Joubert should be in front of Chan after the short. I should think they can tell who has a better skate than rest of us since both have great skating credentials (esp Tara being the Olympic Champion). Weir might be sour grape but Tara isn't likely to be biased since she has nothing to gain. I loved the comment that Weir predicted Mao will win over Mirai to Universal Sports' dismay. Puleeze. Everyone who actually pay attention to figure skating knows that. I love it when Johnny call it out instead giving pc comments. How about him calling out the judges punishing Joubert and Abbot's scores for the sp because they did badly at the Olympics? Love the straight talk. Those two were the best and most entertaining part of the World's. So sick and tire of Dick and Peggy's pc answers.