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2003 World: Ice Dance Comp Dance (Waltz); Mens Short P.


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Sorry for lack of detail...getting to my hotel around midnight...then up early for more.


Two qualifying groups skated through this year's compulsory dance, the quick-paced, lovely "Austrian Waltz". What a relaxing afternoon, just sitting back and enjoying the lovely motions and swirling pattern of this dance, performed by each couple!

As expected, Russia's reigning World Champs, Lobacheva/Aberbuch, easily won their qual gp with a dance that was performed with great finesse and -- I could see, being here live, comparing all couples before them -- skating with their feet closest to each other, which is considered extremely difficult. These are the things you don't easily see on TV & what garners higher scores.

Also as expected, Canada's Bourne/Kratz easily won the second group. They skated with the most stunning lean, deep edges, low-bending knees. Feet a bit farther apart than the Russians. Had everyone been skating in one group, I would have given this dance to B/K. THEY WERE ABSOLUTELY STUNNING - PORCELAIN DOLLS IN A MUSIC BOX!!!

So...Gp A -

1. Lobacheva/Averbuch (Rus)

2. Grushina/Goncharov (Ukr) - gentle; elegant in white chiffon - OTHER SUBJECT, UKRAINE...everyone 'booed the infamous Ukrainean dance judge, Yuri Valkov, when he was announced to judge this event...he's the 'tap dancer' from the '98 Olympics...sending signals by tapping his feet

3. Chait/Sakhnovsky (Isr) - not as in-synch but good

4. Lang/Tchernishev (USA 1) - for once, well marked...deserved 4th, among these 4

Gp B -

1. Bourne/Kratz (Can)

2. Denkova/Stavitsky (Bulg) - WOW! WOW! I would have put them in second, above Russians, had all skated together. This is a TRUE ice-dance couple...so elegant & totally in-synch. I can't wait for their unusual OD tomorrow...everyone skates to theme "In a Grand Ballroom" - while everyone else chose the usual Strauss/Lehar, this pair is skating to Baroque ballroom music - Purcell!!! WAIT TIL YOU SEE IT!!!

3. Navka/Kostomarov (Russ) SO DISAPPOINTING TODAY...this is my favorite Russian dance team. She is ballet-thin and GORGEOUS! Both have perfect long lines. But, today, they seemed to be catching up to the music. At one point, she had a slight skid going around a corner...far from judges...wonder if they saw it?

4. Belbin/Agosto (USA) - a GREAT showing for them...even better than Lang/Tchernichev, the USA champs.

MEN's SP -

What a night! Russia's fave, Yevgeni Pluschenko, did not disappoint. He did what he had to do with his Albinoni Adagio sp - a quad-triple combo, a solo triple, then a super-high triple axel...but with an off-balance landing that he fought to save. FABULOUS choreography...flexible 'Biellman spin'...step sequence. Easily the most artistic skater of the night, IMO. 5.8s and 5.9s. Won the SP...easily in 1st place going into finals.

However, the other fellow in 1st pl after qualifiers -- USA's Michel Weiss -- fell on the easiest of his jumps (the solo triple)...after doing a GREAT 4-3 combo...and a soaring 3 axel...he BLOWS the one jump he's done perfectly all his life!!! The entire audience sighed. Now Mike is down to 4th overall but, still, with good chance to medal.

On the other hand, Tim Goebel ('Quad King') of USA rose to 2nd place overall with a FAB new program to Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet - The Pillow Dance music, which is so powerful. The most artistic program to date by Goebel!!! Huge improvements in posture. AND three perfect jump sequences...even cleaner than those of Pluschenko. Yet, Pluschenko remains the top artist and, fairly, was judged slightly above Goebel. But the gold is no longer a 'lock' for Russia.

In 3rd was afantastic Takashi Honda or Japan...putting it together with a clean SP when it mattered the most! Honda will be challenged by Weiss for bronze in tomorrow night's finals (to be telecast live on ABC...check your local schedules...if war preempts the skating, switch to ESPN, which has promised to take-over the ABC coverage at moment's notice!).

4. Weiss

5. Chenjiang Li of China - with the performance of his life!

...then the biggest surprise of the night...

6. unknown Sergei Davydov of Belarus!!! Magnificent young lad, skates 4-3 combo and all else cleanly. Got partial standing ovation. He caould not believe it...making the final group of skaters, to skate on live TV.

The two Frenchmen weren't able to improve much on their bad-luck from the qualifiers.

Canada's Emanuel Sandhu had one error - now in 10th overall, but audience gave him a partial standing ovation for his one-of-a-kind artistry!

3rd American man, Janhke, had two hard falls. Now down in 7th overall; was 3rd before. Still could make top 5 with a great free skate, if others falter.

Other impressive skaters last night: reigning World Jr Champ Stanislav Tomochenko of Russia (12th place into finals); Uzbek Roman Skorniakov (only 17th place but had gt SP);, Georgia's Vachtang Murvanidze (19th place, but 9th best SP), Can Jeff Buttle (9th place but the 6th best SP); and youngest competitor of all men, at 16 -- Czech's Tomas Verner, who is in 21st place...with a perfect free skate and first standing ovation of night!

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Thanks for the update! I did get to see the men skate their short last night on TSN. Elvis Stojko was doing colour commentary which was quite interesting since he was able to add more technical insight than we would normally hear.

Did you think the judging was a little erratic or was it just me?


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I don't pretend to be a skating expert by any means, but I have to say that the marks were very perplexing indeed. For me it was more the range of marks/ordinals that was confusing...I can see that the skaters would be frustrated.

I felt so badly for Michael Weiss...kind of a Bourne and Kraatz thing (the olympics, I believe when they skated so wonderfully only to fall quite awkwardly at the closing pose)...

I agree it was really interesting to hear commentary by Elvis and Tracey Wilson (what a team!)...especially Elvis' comments about artistic impression!

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tutu14 and mom2 - I noticed Elvis down in the TSN booth...which is right beside the ABC booth, with Dick Button. I must say that it is WEIRD to be watching skating without the 'entertainment factor' of Uncle Dick's commentary. Every time I see a badly-positioned spin I glance down to see if he is yaking away with an angry face!!

I am looking forward to seeing a videotape of the various ABC finals, just to see if my thoughts 'agree' with Dick Button & Peggy Fleming's comments!

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I actually prefer Tracy Wilson's commentary to Mr. Buttons...but you can always count on him to talk about those spins!

Elvis actually did a great job the other night..perhaps a new career for him?

Debbie Wilkes (sp?) is doing the commentating for the pairs events...sometimes Barb Underhill has done this too, depends on which Canadian network is broadcasting.

Last night I wasn't able to find skating anywhere...so hopefully it will be on tonight! I'm lucky enough to be able to get the american and canadian versions, which is sometimes a nice treat.

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The skating was on last night but really late. I went to bed around 11:30 and I think there was still an hour to go. Sometimes at competitions you see quite a range of marks or ordinals but it is usually at the lowest pre-competitive levels where you might see great presentation but cheated jumps or clean jumps but slow skating or any other combination you can think of. We saw a pre-preliminary girl (lowest non competitive level) get a 3.7 for presentation when all of the other judges gave her between 1.5 and 1.7. Everyone was shaking their heads. That particular judge was out of whack in every category that weekend......I think maybe she is at worlds this week.:rolleyes:

Looking forward to watching the mens' long tonight....hopefully at an earlier time.


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