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Susanne

Europeans 2004

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I realised that once again it is time for Europeans! I have unfortunately no television at home at the moment. So, I haven't had any opportunities to watch the competition. :angry:

However, I saw on the results at the official site that Brian Joubert and Evgeny Plushenko won their qualifying groups respectively. Did anyone see the performance of Joubert? Was it amazing, or did the others simply do poorly?

For those intereste, this is the official site of the competition:

Europeans in Hungary

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Joubert's skate was technically brilliant in parts -- he landed all of his jumps, including some beauties, including a 4T and a 4T/3T combo, and a nice 3A. His spins are fast and well-centered, but they are almost all pretty standard sit-spin variations. His footwork is Morozov, which is starting to get old, and doesn't do much for his circular sequence, but he skated the entire program with energy, concentration, conviction, and good quality throughout.

Plushenko had the worst skate I've seen in three or four years from him. He just didn't have it. He popped his first 3A attempt and tripped and fell when he tried to land it. He popped the next 3A attempt, and then followed with a gorgeous 3A, to which he added a 3T/2L, and another gorgeous 3A solo jump at the end of the program. His opening 4T/3T/2L was landed tightly with a turn out, and I'm not sure all of the jumps were rotated fully. (But he's been getting full credit for that landing since '03 Worlds, so I don't think that alone would have hurt him.) His 3Z was okay, but he fell on a 3F in which he didn't have much speed or flow on the entry. His straightine footwork was brilliant. His spins were not particularly inventive, with loss of speed, travels, and some pretty sloppy positions. The real program was that he improvised much of the latter half of his program to up the technical elements, so that it was a disappointing program with a few jump elements as highlights. I like this program when he skates the choreography.

Although Klimkin fell on a 4T after landing a 4T/3T, and had two flawed attempts at a 3F, the rest of his program was brilliant. He doesn't thrash out back cross-overs to or pumps to gain speed; I was astonished to see that his slow cross-overs were timed perfectly to the rather slow music ("Dr. Diesel"), and yet he flew across the ice. He had choreography, transitions -- including a bent leg spiral that covered half the ice into a 3T -- inventive and unusual spin combinations -- including camels in both directions into a 3S from no speed at all -- footwork, controlled arms movements that came from his back, and carriage. If there was a complete package at Budapest, it was he.

Lambiel had great energy, a lot of pizzazz, and fabulous spins, but he really wasn't listening to the music. There's a slow, plaintive melody in the middle of his program, and he skated through it as if it were last year's Chocolat. I found his program a bit busy for the music, but he's a delightful skater to watch.

Dambier opened with a stupendous 4S and he closed with a wonderful 3T, but in every other jump element, there was at least one issue with the landing. He doesn't take the natural curve of the blade into his movements, but takes a severe angle in, and he had tight landings on too many of his jumps. His spins were rather mediocre and traveled, and he stepped through his footwork instead of gliding through it. He has more dramatic arms than most skaters, and his program was nice to watch, but while he may have landed more triples than Klimkin -- he did not match Klimkin's 4T/3T and 3A/3T, however -- he doesn't have the all-around skills that Klimkin has.

I would have ranked it:

Joubert

Klimkin

Lambiel

Plushenko

Dambier

but I don't get to vote :(

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Thanks for the report, hockeyfan228. I'd heard Plushenko had crashed and burned, but not the gory details. :wink:

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