Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ladies Finale in Moscow

First off, that short program was damn unusual. The Russian skaters are skating their butts off this week and wow Alena and Ksenia! Where did that come from...I had written them off long ago and here they were saying yohoo! Alissa getting through a World's SP without major mistake...unusual...lovely...but unusual. On the flip side Rachael doubling a lutz, what? Mao Asada in 7th...huh? About the most unsurprising thing in that short program was Kim Yu-Na winning it even after stepping out of her lutz...hush, I'll leave it alone.

I almost fell asleep through the first 18 skaters, what a snoozefest! About the only performance I really liked out of those first 18 skaters was Mao Asada's. It wasn't perfect but I loved seeing the soft Mao back...good things to come I think for her. And what's up with Rachael? All the singling of jumps, way out of character: "Paging Mirai Nagasu...paging Mirai Nagasu please." Wow. Two-fer for the U.S. again next year.

The final group was interesting if not for the unusual sense of drama that was created by Kim being the slim leader and both Russian ladies in the final group. Miki Ando...she did what she has done all season; she jumps her butt off and figuratively (get it?) says "try to do better..." Well on this night, no one could. And she was crowned World Champion...much to the delight of Japan I'm sure which could really use a Champion right now!

I have to take a moment to talk about Kim Yu-Na's free skate. Seeing it in competition full-out, I wasn't that impressed. It pails in comparison to the magnificent free skates she has had the past three seasons. I don't know if it was that it didn't have enough mileage (that's the risk you run by not competing until World's), that weird middle music where it sounds like someone is moaning (or in fact someone is moaning...), or just that she didn't have the spark she had last season but I found myself half disinterested the whole way through that program. I totally think she deserved the silver cause even on her worst days she's better than most the field but the music and program didn't work for me (loved the choreo to Giselle though!).

As per usual, Carolina finds her way to a bronze medal...I liked that she added the Flip back we just need the Lutz. I also liked that Alissa 2.0 was again present. Remember Alissa 1.0...the one that would fall on a jump and the whole program would go "kaput?" Not Alissa 2.0, after falling on that opening lutz she pulled it together to finish strong. 5th place, not to bad and a big step up from her previous World's appearance. And what about Alena Leonova! I had forgot that she even existed and she shows up in Moscow all bewitched out and hits her programs as if she were channeling Irina Slutskaya (who was clenching fists during her program). It was like the bubbly Alena from 2009 that everyone loved decided to come back back. And how about this, Alena and Ksenia together will earn three Russian spots at next years World's...who saw that coming?!?!


Robin Agnew said...

I loved Alisa's program (but I've loved it all season) - my favorite skate of the evening despite the fall. I don't understand - if Rachel knew she had a stress fracture, why not send Mirai? That was tough to watch.

Aaron said...

It's a great question and one I think Camp Flatt should be very forthcoming about answering.