Day 1- Results/Full highlights - 2008 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships

Day 1- Results/Full highlights - 2008 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships

Post by Vick444~No Sp.. » Fri, 15 Feb 2008 07:50:42

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ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, Day 1

Ice Dancing, Compulsory Dance
The ice dancers started todays competition with the
Compulsory Dance, the Yankee Polka. Although the Polka is
a bouncy dance, the basic principle of stroking and
effortless flow must be adhered to. The partners must
remain close together to minimize the *** action
generated by the short precise steps and rapid turning
movements. The Yankee Polka was invented by James Sladky,
Judy Schwomeyer and Ron Ludington. It was first performed
in 1969.
Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir of Canada danced to the lead
followed by two U.S. couples, Meryl Davis/Charlie White
and Kimberly Navarro/Brent Bommentre. All three couples
achieved a new seasons best in the Polka.

Virtue/Moir edged out their training mates Davis/White by
less than one point. The Canadians put out a
characteristic and strong Yankee Polka to score a new
seasonal best of 38.22 points (20.07 element score/18.15
program component score). "Its a different feeling. I
suppose we had that a little bit at Nationals", Virtue
commented when asked how it felt to enter this event as
the favourites. "There is always pressure, the teams are
amazing, and we know that we have to skate well and have
to lay down three solid performances. Its certainly not
a comfortable position and we are well aware who is
coming up behind us. Were just trying to do our best and
skate like weve been training."
Davis/White gave a solid performance of the Yankee Polka
as well and also achieved a new seasonal best with 37.36
points (19.48/17.88). "I dont think it was actually our
seasons best. I think we could do a better Polka, but it
felt pretty good", Davis commented. "(We can improve) our
unison and being much more together and I think that we
can make it much more powerful. We want to get as much
experience as we can in the season going into Worlds.
Four Continents is a great place to get out there one
last time before you compete at Worlds", she continued.  
Navarro/Bommentre, who had been working on the Polka with
one of its creators, Ron Ludington, earned 34.36 points
(18.31/16.05) to finish third. "This being the last Polka
of the year, we wanted to do the best Polka ever. It was
a lot better than it was two weeks ago (at Nationals)",
Navarro said. "It will be sad not to do it (the Polka)
again this year. This is the first dance we competed at
Nationals together a couple of seasons ago, so its fun
to do it again as we have some history with it. We got to
work with Ron Ludington (one of the creators of the
dance) on it in Delaware, thats always fun. He has all
sorts of special advice and secret tricks."

Jennifer Wester/Daniil Barantsev (USA) are currently
sitting in fourth at 30.95 points, just 0.01 points ahead
of Canadas Kaitlin Weaver/Andrew Poje (30.94). Allie
Hann-McCurdy/Michael Coreno (CAN) round up the top six
(29.73 points).

Pairs, Short Program
Dan Zhang/Hao Zhang of China grabbed the lead in the
Pairs Short Program with their teammates Qing Pang/Jian
Tong and Rena Inoue/John Baldwin (USA) coming in second
and third.

Skating to "Piano Fantasy", Zhang/Zhang delivered a
flawless program that included a triple twist, a throw
triple loop, a side by side triple Salchow as well as a
difficult lasso lift. The 2006 Olympic silver medalists
were awarded a level four for their pair combination spin
and a level three for their side by side spin and the
death spiral. The Chinese picked up 70.45 points (40.80
element score/29.65 program component score). "Overall we
are quite pleased with todays performance, but we were a
little bit tired. We did a lot of competitions this
season and so we felt tired in the second half of the
program", Dan Zhang told the press. "Tomorrows free
skating will be a challenge for us. As Dan said were a
little tired from our previous competitions plus I also
changed my boots just two weeks ago and Im not yet so
comfortable skating with them", Hao Zhang added.
Pang/Tong opened their romantic routine to "O Doux
Printemps dAutrefois" with a solid side by side triple
toeloop, a triple twist and throw triple loop. Their Axel
Lasso, their death spiral and their side by side spin
were all graded a level four by the Technical Panel. The
reigning World silver medalists scored 67.70 points
(39.21/28.49), slightly improving their previous personal
best. "This was an okay performance. It went rather
smoothly", Tong said. "I had back pain last night after
practice so we didnt come this morning (to practice).
Our goal is to improve with each competition that we are
doing", he explained.
Inoue/Baldwin hit a double Axel, a throw triple loop, a
double twist and a level-four Axel Lasso lift in their
dynamic program to "Beethovens Last Night". However,
their pair combination spin received only a level one.
The current Four Continents bronze medalists scored 57.40
points (31.86/25.54). "I thought we skated really well.
Im very satisfied with our performance. For a couple of
elements we didnt get the level we wanted to get. So
hopefully we can figure it out why it happened and what
we did wrong. Hopefully by tomorrow for the long program
we can fix it", Inoue said. "We just took a break from
competing", Baldwin answered when asked why the couple
sat out the Grand Prix events last fall. "We were still
skating, we were touring from April and we came back home
on January 7 and then just decided to get ready for our
US Nationals, because we miss the feeling of satisfaction
you have after a good performance. We wanted to get ready
and face that challenge."

Brooke Castile/Benjamin Okolski (USA) came in fourth.
They produced a triple twist and a throw triple Salchow,
but she singled the side by side Axel (56.44 points).
Jessica Miller/Ian Moram (CAN) were fifth with 54.88
points. They landed a side by side double Axel, a throw
triple loop and a double twist. Jiaqi Li/Jiankun Xu (CHN)
are sitting in sixth place. They hit a big throw triple
loop, but their triple twist and their side by side
triple toeloops were shaky (53.26 points).

Men, Short Program
Daisuke Takahashi of Japan skated to the lead in what was
an exciting Mens Short Program. Evan Lysacek (USA) and
Canadas Jeffrey Buttle finished second and third. All of
them achieved a new seasonal best score.
Takahashi put out an inspiring performance of his popular
"Swan Lake" hip hop version short program, hitting a
triple flip-triple toeloop combination, an excellent
triple Axel and a triple Lutz out of footwork. The crowd
cheered for his spectacular footwork sequences that were
graded a level four for the circular and a level three
for the straight line. The reigning World silver medalist
also earned a level four for his change foot sit spin and
his combination spin. He racked up a new personal best
score of 88.57 points (48.74/39.83). "Its all about the
audience. They make me go faster, they are e***d and
Im feeding off their energy. The highlight of the
program is the footwork for me, because I feel like a
true dancer when Im doing it. The short program was good
for me. For the free skating, I hope to do two quads",
the 21-year-old said.
Skating to "The Mask of Zorro", Lysacek gave a powerful
performance as well that included a quad-triple toeloop
combination, a triple Axel and a triple Lutz. His fast
paced footwork drew extra applause, and the defending
Four Continents Champion was awarded a level three for
both step sequences. He also had a level four for two of
his spins and scored 84.06 points (46.06/38.00),
surpassing his previous personal best of 81.55 points.
"Ive made a lot of improvements since Nationals.  I went
home and trained in a more relaxed environment. I felt a
lot better tonight and I think I was kind of able to go
on muscle memory and not try to make it happen quite so
much", Lysacek told the press. "At Nationals I knew there
was a lot riding on it and there was a lot of stress on
me, so to be able to come here and just have a more chill
environment is just kind of a pleasure for me."
Buttle landed a triple flip-triple toeloop combination
followed by a strong triple Axel and produced three
level-four spins in his expressive program set to "Adios
Nonino" by Astor Piazzolla. Only his triple Lutz was
wobbly. The two-time Four Continents Champion collected
83.85 points (45.85/38.00). "When I went on the ice I
didnt feel my best, but at home (in practice) sometimes
I dont feel my best either. I went out there, the jumps
felt great, the Lutz was a little shaky. I have no idea
what happened. It went up a little bit weird, and it came
down funny. It was as if Ive never done a triple Lutz
before", the Olympic silver medallist said. He had
switched back to last years Short Program after
struggling with his new program earlier this season. "It
was a tough decision. I didnt want to let go of it and I
still actually do it in exhibitions", he added. "I was
blown away by how receptive the audience was. I was a
little bit tired this evening and my warm up went really
poorly, and the Korean audience was very supportive. Ive
had some great success here in Korea, my first Four
Continents Championships was here and I won them. It was
a huge surprise, maybe thats why my popularity here in
Korea began."

World Junior Champion Stephen Carriere (USA) came in
fourth at 74.08 points. He did a three turn out of his
triple Axel, but landed the triple flip-triple toe
combination and the triple Lutz. Chengjiang Li (CHN)
produced a quad-double toeloop combination and a triple
Axel to finish fifth (72.25 points). Vaughn Chipeur (CAN)
is currently ranked sixth with 70.83 points. He put down
a hand on his triple Axel, but the rest of the
performance went well.

For full results please see: www.isu.org. The 2008 ISU
Four Continents Championships continue Thursday with the
Original Dance, the Pairs Free Skating and the Ladies
Short Program.

http://SportToday.org/,10869,4844-1285...