ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, Day 2
Ice Dancing, Original Dance
The Original Dance of the 2007/08 season is the
Folk/Country Dance. The 13 couples at Four Continents
chose Russian, Greek, Jewish, African Dances, Spanish
Flamenco, Western Hoedown and even an Aboriginal Folk
Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir of Canada strengthened their
overnight lead ahead of the two U.S. couples Meryl
Davis/Charlie White and Kimberly Navarro/Brent Bommentre.
Virtue/Moirs characteristic Russian dance to "Dark Eyes"
was highlighted by a one-armed curve lift, a fluid
circular step sequence and a rotational lift. The
received a level four for all elements except for the
combination spin that was a level three. However, Moir
had three minor wobbles in the program. The 2006 World
Junior Champions still earned a new seasonal best of
66.02 points (34.74 element score/30.28) which added up
to 103.24 points overall. "Tessa and I are very pleased
with the way we skated today. We wanted to go out there
and attack it as much as possible. We felt like we did
that and were hoping to build on our performance of
today for tomorrow", Moir commented. "I think it had more
to do with trying to really go for everything", he said,
referring to his errors, "I went out there with a lot of
energy and some places like my back cross cut or my
twizzle, I didnt really handle the energy as well as I
had hoped, but I think thats a major reason why we are
here at this competition, that we are trying to use it as
a building part for Worlds."
Davis/White had opted for a Russian theme as well, for
"Kalinka". They executed intricate step sequences, a
combination spin and a straight line lift with him
sliding on one knee. Their lifts, the twizzles and their
spin were graded a level four, but the two step sequences
were called a level three by the Technical Panel.
Davis/White picked up 61.93 points (33.01/28.92) and
remained in second place at 99.29 total. "It wasnt
perfect technically. For the footwork sequences we got a
level three, (these are) points that you dont want to
give away", White explained.
Navarro/Bommentre interpreted an unusual African Dance
from Soweto called "Ijuba" that contained a straight line
lift with him skating backwards, a rotational lift and a
solid side by side step sequence. All elements but the
circular steps were awarded a level four. The Americans
scored 56.67 points (31.14/25.53), which was also a
seasons best for them. They defended their third place
with 91.03 points overall. "I felt the expression was
right where we wanted it to be. We changed a lot of stuff
from nationals until now. We switched around the footwork
sequence and we were going out there and trying to make
sure that we really protected our levels. I thought we
did a great job of that", Bommentre told the press.
Jennifer Wester/Daniil Barantsev (USA) put out an
entertaining Western Hoedown to finish in fourth place at
86.39 points. Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje came in fifth
with a Russian Gypsy Dance (85.89 points).
Pairs, Free Skating
Qing Pang/Jian Tong of China overtook their teammates Dan
Zhang/Hao Zhang to claim their third gold medal at the
Four Continents Championships. Brooke Castile/Benjamin
Okolski (USA) earned the bronze.
Zhang/Zhang had drawn to skate first in the final flight.
They had a double Axel-triple toe combination planned as
their first element, but Dan Zhang doubled the second
jump. The team went on to complete a high triple twist,
two Lasso lifts and a throw triple Salchow and loop, but
she also doubled the side by side triple Salchow and
stumbled on the death spiral. The 2006 World silver
medalists seemed a bit slow overall in their routine to
"The Myth". Zhang/Zhang received 111.39 points (54.82
element score/56.57 program component score) and slipped
to second place at 181.84 points. "Todays performance
wasnt good. We had some problems, especially with the
jumps and made several errors. For us it was pretty bad",
Dan Zhang said. "Hopefully well be able to overcome our
problems unit the next competition and that well be able
to skate much better at Worlds. Well work hard and train
all our elements."
Pang/Tong were up next and gave a strong performance to
"Romeo and Juliet" by Nino Rota. The 2006 World Champions
produced a double Axel-double Axel sequence, a triple
twist, a throw triple Salchow and loop as well as
difficult lifts that were graded a level four. Their only
major error came when Pang underrotated and stepped out
of the triple toeloop. The couple scored 119.63 points
(59.62/60.01) which accumulated to a total of 187.33.
Pang/Tong moved up from second to first and took their
third Four Continents title after 2002 and 2004 "We
skated quite well today and had only two smaller errors.
We are getting better and better and hopefully well be
at our best at Worlds", Tong told the post-event press
conference. "These championships are an important test
for our programs. We like to come to Korea and feel
comfortable here. Now we have one month before the World
Championships and we hope that we can prepare well
without any health problems for Worlds. We wish the same
also to the other competitors", he continued.
Castile/Okolskis program to "Sheherazade" featured a
triple twist, a high throw triple Salchow, a double
flip-double toeloop combination and a throw triple loop
as well as two Lasso lift and one hand-to-hip lift.
However, Castile singled the double Axel. The Americans
earned 103.55 points (53.34/50.21) and moved up to third
place to win their first medal at a major international
event, the bronze, with 159.99 points. "We are very
pleased with our placement, not extremely happy with our
skate. We need to skate much better at Worlds and were
going to take the next four weeks to work out some kinks.
Well fight to do well at Worlds this year. Thats our
goal. I pretty much lost my entire summer and early fall.
Just one injury after the other since Worlds. Mainly my
jumps have been affected, and thats what I need to fight
for. In the next few weeks I need really mentally get
myself doing them better", Castile said.
Rena Inoue/John Baldwin (USA) dropped from third to
fourth at 156.00 points. They completed a double
Axel-double toeloop combination, a double twist and a
throw triple loop, but they popped their planned throw
triple Axel. Jessica Miller/Ian Moram (CAN) were fifth
(149.21 points). They went for the throw quadruple
Salchow, but she stumbled out of the landing.
Ladies, Short Program
In what was an interesting Ladies Short Program, Mao
Asada, Miki Ando, both of Japan, and Canadian Joannie
Rochette finished first, second and third, but are
separated by less than one point from each other.
Skating to "Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra" by
Jean-Claude Petit, Asada went for a triple flip-triple
loop combination, but she didnt fully rotate the second
jump, and it was downgraded. The reigning World silver
medalist also stepped out of her triple Lutz, but she
completed strong spins, two of which were graded a level
four. The 17-year-old earned a new seasons best of 60.94
points (31.89 element score/29.05 program component
score). "I landed the triple-triple combination, and I
was so happy about it, because I made this year all the
time mistakes on the combination in competition. I was
very sad about that. I did it last year (in December) at
Japanese Nationals finally, and now Im even happier",
the Japanese said. She added that she didnt expect a
downgrade on the triple loop.
Ando finished just behind at 60.07 points (32.61/27.46)
with a solid performance to "Bacchanale" from "Samson and
Dalilah" by Camille Saint-Saens. She nailed a triple
flip, a double Axel and had, like Asada, a level four for
her flying sit and for the combination spin and a level
three for the combination spin. The reigning World
Champion risked a triple Lutz-triple loop combination,
but again, the second jump was cheated and downgraded.
"Today, before I came here, I had a headache and so I
wasnt at a 100 percent. My head felt somehow heavy and
hot. But I did everything, so Im pleased", Ando
explained. "Ill try the quad (Salchow) in this
competition (in the Free Skating). I have to skate clean
and to enjoy to skate."
Rochette produced a triple Lutz, a double Axel, two
level-four spins and a level-three straight line step
sequence, but the back end of her triple flip-triple
toeloop combination was downgraded as well. The Canadian
was still happy with a new personal best of 60.04 points
(32.92/27.12). "I felt very good tonight. It was the
first time for me to do the triple-triple, and even
though it was downgraded, Im still happy about it", the
Canadian Champion commented. "I also scored for the first
time 60 points in the short program. It was a goal for
me", she added.
Anastasia Gimazetdinova (UZB) came in fourth with a
strong performance that included a triple Lutz-double
toeloop combination, a triple Salchow and a double Axel
(55.49 points). Beatrisa Liang (USA) is currently
standing in fifth place. She hit a triple flip and
adouble Axel, but she fell on the second jump in her
triple Lutz-double toeloop combination (54.05 points). To
the delight of the home crowd, Koreas Na-Young Kim
delivered an excellent short program that contained a
triple Lutz-double toe, a double Axel and a triple flip
as well as three level-four spins to finish sixth at
For full results please see: www.isu.org. The 2008 ISU
Four Continents Championships continue Friday with the
Free Dance and the Mens Free Skating.