Posted 14 February 2002 - 11:52 PM
Posted 15 February 2002 - 01:08 AM
In any case, I'm very happy Yagudin won. He is such a complete skater. It wasn't the best he's skated that choreography - his speed, for example, on his spins was slower than his usual. In fact, I think his overall speed throughout wasn't as sharp as usual. But it's such a well-crafted piece of choreography. There are no awkward moments that just use up time. All the linking steps are there.
Same, of course, goes for Pluschenko. Had he not missed that quad in the short program, everything might've been very different indeed. His long program had great speed and what a thrilling personality on the ice! I do wish he'd skated cleanly his best through both his short and long programs - it would've been so exciting to see the results. I think Yagudin's long program would've been skated with loads more oomph too had Pluschenko been a serious threat.
Finally, what a great night for Timothy Goebel! I'm not a great fan of his skating but he probably had the two best skates of his life here at the Olympics and I was thrilled for him. Based on those skates and with a little help from the other guys who didn't have their best night, he deserved the bronze. He's come a good distance in his long program which was interesting and well skated. Hopefully, he'll dedicate himself to ballet and build that upper body.
Posted 15 February 2002 - 08:07 AM
I really liked the opening of the Chinese's program... it got worse towards the end, but I liked his opening choreography.
And one of the Russians, I am blanking out on who it is, did the coolest movements. He sort of 'held on to the air', and used the air to push himself forward and back. It may have been Pleuschenko, I wish I could remember.
If Goebel had better artistry, I think he could go so far. I hate it for him that he skated what seemed to be his absolute best, but it just wasn't good enough.
Posted 15 February 2002 - 08:40 AM
Yagudin - I thought he was brilliant. His jumps were effortless, spins were beautiful, footwork again very complex and fun to watch. Very safe and smart for skipping the 2nd triple axel. He seemed to tire a little near the end and slow down - unsurprising given the number of jumps, altitude etc, etc. I don't think it's his best long program (that ol' movie music again. Tosca's my favourite) and the ending was a bit of an anti-climax but it was still so well choreographed with moments of such beauty. I loved those 2 backward bends onto his hand with the other arm in the air. I wasn't too sure what he was during after though - trying to climb out a cell or trying to hang himself? smile.gif The sword fighting was nice but Phillipe Candeloro from 94 is still a vivid memory. In any case it all fit into the music so well, from the jumps to the transitions in the spins. Anyway I can't think of anyone who deserves this more with 4 6.0s!! First man to get more than 1 6.0 in the Olympics! I was jumping up and down with him! And his tears after were so sweet.
Plushenko - not bad for a brand new program! I think Carmen is perfect for his talents - much better than the mess he used before. The first 3rd seemed a little empty of steps - just one preparation to jump after another. But that triple axel-half loop-triple flip...wow, where did that come from?! Those wierd hand gestures got in the way a bit and it was a little ragged and jarring in some places but it showed off his youth and energy to perfection. He even managed to fit in a little Michael Jackson moonwalking! No one milks the crowd better than Plushenko! So many what ifs - if he wasn't injured, if he'd had more time with the program, if he hadn't missed the quad-triple in the short. I was really gunning for a showdown between the 2 Russians but oh well (2 years ago I was salivating at the thought of a Yagudin-Kulik-Plushenko-Abt match and look what came of that). I'm positive Yahudin and Plushenko will both be back in Turin.
Goebel - I'm so delighted for him. Despite those hunched shoulders his skating was quite lovely to watch. The choreography was light and fun, and his jumps are so effortless. The presentation marks seemed a bit harsh but I think he ended up in the right spot - better jumps than Plushenko but I can't stand the way his arms just hang dead by his sides while he prepares to jump. His spins, footwork and presentation in general is nowhere near the top 2 (yet). I agree what a shame it is that he had the skate of his life and wasn't able to win.
Honda - valiant effort. I never figured him to be in the top 4, much less top 2 after the short. His jumps were integrated so well into the steps, and he skates with such sensitivity and feeling. I think he'll turn out to be one of the best artists in the next few years.
Abt - I am SO sorry that he's retiring this year. You wouldn't believe he's an old man at 25 with a child, surrounded by so many 20 year old kids. I adore his skating and he conveys such a natural joy for it on ice. Again, his choreography was so beautiful and anyone who skates like that to Rachmaninov wins points from me. Robin Cousins had some issues with his shirt but I liked his costume more than anyone elses. I thought both sets of marks should have been higher than they were - they were much too harsh. I don't know what was going on with the Finnish judge who put him in 10th place (or the Australian one for that matter) but again he's probably in the right spot.
Eldredge I only caught a glimpse of but I'm delighted he managed to skate clean after missing the quad. Elvis has never been a favourite - I've really disliked his choices in the last 3 years, so I'm happy he went back to Bruce Lee which was somewhat rousing if a little lacking in interesting choreography.
So I wonder who'll be at the World's at Nagano? Yagudin will probably give it a miss but I hope the rest of them make it.
[ February 15, 2002: Message edited by: sylvia ]
Posted 15 February 2002 - 10:18 AM
I agree - what a splendid finale to the men's competition. Yagudin was the undisputed winner; yes, all 9 judges agreed as to who won the long program (and the overall gold medal)! ha-ha!
TV commentator Scott Hamilton ate crow when Yagudin's marks flashed as unanimously in 1st place for the LP. Remember, Scott was relegating Yagudin to 2nd place in the LP about one minute into the program. Goes to show us that we don't have to take TV commentators' predictions as absolute-truth, eh?
There was more cheering in 'Russia House' last night! Love it!!!
Posted 15 February 2002 - 10:23 AM
It's really nice to see great depth in both the men's and women's programs now. For a time it was an either/or situation but now both fields are jam packed with talented skaters, at least 4 or so of whom could win the competition on a given night. It's great to see such fierce competition.
Posted 15 February 2002 - 01:06 PM
Yagudin skated conservatively, but there's nothing wrong with that, especially with a gold medal on the line.
Todd, I'll miss those beautiful spins.
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