ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, Day 3
The 2008 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships
continued Friday in Goyang, the Republic of Korea, with
the Free Dance and the Mens Free Skating.
Ice Dancing, Free Dance
The Ice Dancing event concluded with the Free Dance.
Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir of Canada danced to victory,
Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA) took the silver and the
bronze went to Kimberly Navarro/Brent Bommentre (USA).
All medalists and most of the other teams earned a new
seasonal or personal best today.
Virtue/Moir delivered a strong performance of their dance
to "Umbrellas of Cherbourg", executing a level circular
and serpentine step sequence, a beautiful
curve-rotational lift right on the music, a dance
combination spin and a straight line lift with changes of
position for her. The transitions between the difficult
elements were seamless. The Canadians achieved a new
personal best score of 104.08 points (54.91 element
score/49.17 program component score) and racked up a
total of 207.32 on their way to their first title at Four
Continents. Virtue/Moir had won the bronze medal in 2006
and 2007. "Todays performance was very exciting for us.
The Korean fans were amazing, really into the
performance, which was rewarding for us. For us, it was
our seasons best (in the) three skates that weve had. We
really wanted to come and show the emotional connection
and I hope that made it to the judges and thats where
the points are coming from, but other than I dont think
it really means that much", Moir commented, referring to
Skating to "Eleanors Dream" and "Eleanor Rigby" by the
Beatles, Davis/White produced a straight line-curve lift,
excellent synchronized twizzles, a circular and a side by
side step sequence as well as a straight line lift with
him in a low shoot-the-duck position. The Americans were
awarded a level four for all eight elements and scored
100.16 points (53.99/46.17) which added up to 199.45
Navarro/Bommentre danced to a bluesy song called "Since
Ive been loving you". Their routine included a
rotational lift in which he didnt support his partner
with his hands, a serpentine lift and a reverse
rotational lift. Both the serpentine and the side by side
step sequence were graded a level three by the Technical
Panel. The Americans picked up 89.62 points (48.47/41.15)
and claimed their first medal at a major international
event with 180.65 points. "It feels great to share the
podiums with these two other teams. Theyre awesome, and
it really helps to push us to the next level. In terms of
our growth I think weve done a lot these past three
years to be on the podium with these guys. In some way we
still have kind of to catch up in terms of experience.
Internationally, weve had only two seasons together",
Jennifer Wester/Daniil Barantsev (USA) finished fourth
with a nice interpretation of "Singin in the Rain"
(174.37 points). They just edged out Kaitlyn
Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN) by 0.01 points. The Canadians
were ranked fourth in the Free Dance "Blues for Klook"
but remained fifth overall (174.36 points). Allie
Hann-McCurdy/Michael Coreno (CAN) came in sixth (164.02).
Men, Free Skating
Daisuke Takahashi of Japan won the Mens gold with a new
record score. Canadas Jeffrey Buttle took the silver and
defending Champion Evan Lysacek (USA) settled for the
Takahashi, who had drawn to skate last out of the 21
competitors, delivered a magical performance to Peter
Tchaikovskis powerful "Romeo and Juliet Overture". He
opened the program with a quad toeloop, followed by a
quad toe-double toe seconds afterwards and a beautiful
triple Axel. Never pausing for a moment, he reeled off a
triple Axel-double toe-double loop, a triple flip-triple
toe, triple Salchow and triple Lutz as well as fast spins
and the crowd cheered for his intense footwork and gave
the skater a standing ovation at the end of his
performance. The only glitch was a wobbly triple loop.
Takahashis spins and footwork were all graded a level
three and four. The Japanese earned 175.84 points (93.98
element score/81.86 component score), improving his
previous personal best of 163.49 points and racking up a
total score of 264.41 points. Both the Free Skating and
the total score are new record scores. On his way to his
first Four Continents title Takahashi bested Evgeni
Plushenkos (RUS) Free Skating score of 167.67 and total
score of 264.41, both of which were achieved at the 2006
Olympic Winter Games. "Im so happy to have achieved my
best result. During my performance, I was calm,
everything was smooth - the jumps, the spins, the steps,
and I was careful, focused on each detail", the
21-year-old explained. "I landed two quads for the first
time in an ISU competition, and this is a big improvement
for me. I got a great score, and it gives me confidence
for Worlds", he continued.
Skating to the soundtrack of "Ararat", Buttle landed a
triple Axel-double toe, a triple flip-triple toe, a
triple Lutz-double toe-double loop and a triple Salchow.
The Canadian showed exquisite spins, three of which were
graded a level four, but he fell on a triple Lutz late
into the program, stepped out of a triple loop and
doubled a planned triple Axel. The two-time Four
Continents Champion scored 150.17 points (73.59/77.58),
which was a new seasonal best for him. He pulled up to
second at 234.02 points to win the silver medal like he
had last year. He had won the event in 2002 and in 2004.
"Im pleased with the result today. I wasnt overly
pleased with how I skated, but I think it was a small
improvement over Nationals. As I said earlier this
season, this is really the direction that I want to have.
As long as things are getting better, Im happy with
that", Buttle commented.
Lysacek fell on his opening quad toe but recovered to
nail six triples including a triple Axel and a triple
Lutz-triple toeloop combination. However, the 22-year-old
touched down with his hand on the second triple Axel. He
put a lot of energy in his step sequenes, both of which
were graded a level three. The 2007 Four Continents
Champion received 149.05 points (74.27/75.78) and slipped
from second to third with a total score of 233.11 points.
"I think I had my struggles tonight, but overall it was a
positive experience seeing the enthusiasm of the Korean
audience. I think it was really inspiring for all of us
to skate here including every competitor in the event,
because the audience was so supportive of us", Lysacek
told the press.
Stephen Carriere (USA) came in fourth. He popped his
first triple Axel, but landed another one as well as six
more triples in his routine to "Hollywood Nocturne"
(218.30 points). Jeremy Abbott (USA) nailed his first
ever clean quadruple toeloop in competition and moved up
from ninth to fifth place at 206.40 points. Chengjiang
Lis (CHN) quad toe was shaky, but he had a triple
Axel-triple toe-double loop combination to offer. He
finished sixth (197.98 points).
For full results please see: www.isu.org. The competition
at the 2008 ISU Four Continents Championships concludes
Saturday with the Ladies Free Skating.