Figure Skating World's
Posted 22 March 2003 - 02:14 PM
Jeannie, if you see this, I have been trying to PM you. Your mailbox is full! Hoping to see you on Wednesday.
Posted 22 March 2003 - 02:50 PM
Posted 24 March 2003 - 08:54 AM
Here's what I've heard from friends who have attended practices all weekend:
The qualifiers are going on now. Pluschenko and Klimkin are medal faves, with Pluschenko an early favorite for gold. Alexander Abt is injured & has been replaced by young Sergei Timoscheno as the 3rd Russian guy on the team. The two Frenchmen -- Brian Joubert and Stanick Jeanette -- have been wonderful in practices. Takeshi Honda of Japan has been so-so but should still be a medal fave. The great news for USA fans is that Tim "Quad King" Goebel is looking great - much improved since Nationals, where he was 2nd to Michael Weiss...who has skipped the official practices, so nobody nows how he is doing. [The buzz is that he is very confident; so confident that he has apparently rented a huge stretch Hummer limo to take his family to Atlantic City on Thursday night, to celebrate his victory!] The 3rd USA guy, Ryan Janke, is also doing well. One of friends really loved the Canadians Jeff Buttle and, esp., Emanuel Sandhu, butmentioned that Sandhu was having trouble with his triple combos. Another friend told me that the Swiss, Belgian and Georgian guys are doing really well in practices. Of course, it's the competition that counts. We'll see results from the qualifiers soon.
That begins tonight. Everybody is talking about a possible CHINA sweep - all three teams have been blowing the competition in practices with huge throws and perfect side-by-side triples!! The Russians have been a mystery, as they missed most of the practices but someone who saw Totmianina/Marinin (the Grand Prix and Euro championships winners) last night tells me that they were absolutely perfect and skated with the speed of the Chinese & 'prettier lines'. Petrova/Tikhoniv are 'so-so' but the youngest Russian couple Yulia Obertas and ???? could be the wild card. Obertas is teeny-tiny and looks like a ballerina. The two Canadian pairs are good but lack the synchronization of the Russians and Chinese. The Poles - Zagorska/Siudek - have magnificent lifts and the Czechs - Markuntsev/Dlabola - are powerful and have had perfect practices. The three USA teams are relatively young and rough around the edges, compared to others.
This begins tomorrow afternoon with the compulsory dance. The draw for this was between Tango Romantica and Austrian Waltz...the Waltz was selected so, between this phase and the second phase (an Original Dance...to waltzes also) we will be 'waltzed out; at MCI! Those in-the-know seem to believe that the Waltz will favor Canada's long-time-bridesmaids Bourne/Kratz over the Russian teamsm (incl World champs Lobacheva/Averbuch and Grand Prix silver medalists Navka/Kostomarov), as B/K excel in long dep edges over the crisp, quick technique of the Russians. BUT EVERYBODY SEEMS TO BE WAITING TO SEE WHAT THE ANONYMOUS JUDGES DO!!!! My friends who attended practices were especially impressed with the new Italian team (Faiello & ???). The USA has two strong teams, Lang/Tchernichev and Belbin/Agosto, who don't seem to receive the deserved recognition of judges (esp. L/T, though the years). The Bulgarians and Israelis should also be in the hunt for medals.
Ladies don't begin 'til Wednesday morning, with the qualifying rounds. The big mystery is 'Where are the three USA ladies?' as the Kwan-Hughes-Cohen Triumvirate has not shown up for weekend practices. [Cohen arrived in town last night; the other two are due to arrive sometime tomorrow.] These three have a good chance to sweep the podium but, according to practice-observers, it will not be easy, with challenges from Russia's Elena Sokolova (who had near-perfect practices for the past three days, full of 3-3 combos and lots of speed) and, especially, Japan's YOSHIE ONDA...the queen of the practices!! She does every triple, including, 3-axel, although this last one is iffy, usually landed on 2 feet and onten falls. Shizuka Arakawa is another strong japanese lady who will challenge for top-five. Alas, Japan's delicate Fumie Suguri is recovering from injuries and has had poor practices. On the other hand, there is a great chance that we will witness the first Ladies Triple-Axel in Worlds, in 12 years, this week...not from Onda but from Russia's youngest competitor, Lyudmilla Nelidina, who has landed her 3-axel at every single practice! Too bad that's about all that she can do, at this stage. Among the really young ladies, the most impressive are Italy's Carolina Kostner and Slovakia's Suzana Babiakova. Both can easily do a minimum of two 3-3 combos in their long programs.
Posted 24 March 2003 - 10:25 AM
Qualifying Gp B includes Pluschenko and Goebel...but Weiss is in a great spot as one of two men who will head into Tuesday's short programs tied for first place.
Pluschenko skated a magnificent 'Carmen' long program -- chor. by Kirov-Mariinsky's Kirill Simonov! -- to top the second group, so he and Weiss go into the SPs tied in first place. 2. Goebel (USA) 3. Stephane Lambiel (Switz) 4. Sandhu (Can) 5. Buttle (Can). Pluschenko earned a 6.0 in artistry...unheard-of for a qual round!
Qualifying Round counts 20% of overall score but it sets the stage and CAN make the difference, in the end. SPs are 30%. LPs are 50%.
Posted 24 March 2003 - 02:39 PM
I will PM you later when I get home from work and give you my seat location.
Posted 25 March 2003 - 07:58 AM
p.s. - The 'draw' for tonight's short program phase favors Michael Weiss, if all top skaters do well: Weiss skates last among the 30 men who have made it to this round. Judges usually hold back scores a bit, in case the last skater does better than anyone before him. On the other hand, Yevgeni Pluschenko got what some may consider the worst draw in the final group; he skates first.
Posted 25 March 2003 - 02:23 PM
Thank you so much for all your wonderful posts here! Our Canadian paper hasn't had anything yet (other than the latest about the US judge).
Your posts are so informative!
I'm sure I'll learn more from you than listening to the commentators tonight!
And I will still secretly keep my fingers crossed for Emanuel Sandhu. If he could only land two great programs back to back...ah, there's always hope.
Posted 25 March 2003 - 04:34 PM
Your mailbox is full again! They are tiny, aren't they? I tried to send you a PM to let you know that your plan is fine with me. I'll come find you at your seat around noon, so that we can meet, OK?
Posted 25 March 2003 - 04:41 PM
I deleted my PMs without making a note of your seat location! Here is mine in case you make the same boo-boo: for the afternoon, section 419, row B, seat 9. Please come find me around noon!
Alexandra, I apologize for the personal stuff here. I am just concerned because I need to get this message to Jeannie and her box is full. I'm leaving my house before 6 AM tomorrow--early flight!
Posted 26 March 2003 - 06:41 AM
Posting quick reports on what I saw yest'dy, on sep. thread.
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