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FourContinents '03 - Beijing (all but Europe)


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The ISU's 'Four Continents' championship -- for Olympic-eligible skaters from every place on earth except Europe -- is going on this week, in Beijing. Below is a link to the USFSA's reports on this.


In a nutshell, this has been a rather disappointing championship for the North Am. contingent (USA/Canada/Mex) & spectacular for Asia. CHINA swept the Pairs, with the World Champs earning gold. JAPAN swept the ladies, even without one of their top ladies for Worlds (Yoshie Onda). And it's China-Japan-China in the top three spots, heading into tomorrow's Men's finals. The one bright spot for NAm was in Ice Dancing, where Canada won gold (Bourne/Kratz) and USA took silver & bronze (but a bit of a disappointment for US champs Lang/Tchernichev, falling behind their compatriots, Belbin/Agosto).

So now, with the Euros & Four CC's behind us (almost), we should have a very good idea of the possible placements at Worlds 2003 in Washington, DC...that is, the 'unofficial pre-determined placement' in the minds of some judges. ;)

- Jeannie

Four CC's competition is not shown in Europe. Anybody who has been watching the telecasts in North Am. is welcomed to chime in with reports.

[edited in the hopes of making the link clickable, A.T.]

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Thanks for that info, Susanna. I would not have imagined! Jeez, now I feel truly sorry for American TV-viewers...really shortchanged when it comes to commercial-free Olympic-class skating on the tube. But they get Dick Button's comments. :cool:

The only change from what I wrote above is that, in the Men's finals, Takeshi Honda of Japan rose to first place with an all-time-great performance of three (or was it four?) quads, bumping one of the Chinese men to 2nd. Final standings for the men were Japan-China-China. So it was a great showing for Asia, after all.

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Susanne, here are some infos about the american skaters:

Ladies : Michelle Kwan was not invited by the USFSA as well Sasha Cohen because they qualified for the GP final (by the way, MK choose not go to that one !). Sarah Hughes declined because of a lack of training, and Jennyfer Kirk is injured.

Men : Michael Weiss declined; The explanation of his coach is that "he needs to work on triple axels !


Tim Goebel has been injured almost all the season, his showing at US nationals wasn't very good (missed all of his quads !) and he choose, reasonablely, I think, to stay at home.

The pairs and dance teams went.

Jeannie, we saw the freedance and exhibitions on Eurosport, but a broadcast is scheduled on the french TV for the next week.

Bourne/Kraatz were good, , they 're trying to have a russian look (very dramatic), but I won't tell that they are going to win world. By the way, they got several 6 ( a little generous to my mind). Belbin/Agosto 's Elvis FD is good and fun to watch, but 5'9 are too much. Lang/Tchernychev were disapointing (skated to a song of the Scorpions). Their FD is not very interesting and they were far from flawess.

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A little late, I suppose, but I'll offer my thoughts anyway!

Canada was so VERY proud of Bourne & Kraatz. Unfortunately all I saw of the competition was their free dance...but I enjoyed it very much. I was somewhat disappointed with the placing of the 2nd Canadian team - but since I'm certainly NOT a firgure skater I'll have to defer to the judges, and to those who know more about the whole thing than I do. I wondered if their choice of music was perhaps a factor...it was an original composition, very unusual. Suited their program, but I wonder if it was too much of a stretch??

Canada was also pretty proud of Takeshi Honda, as he has trained here for a number of years. I admit it does look like he has come into his own; we'll just have to wait to see how he fares against a broader field in Worlds. Emanuel Sandhu, former student at the National Ballet School in Toronto, had another one of those performances that I'm sure he'd rather forget all about. Too bad, because he is an enormously talented young man.

I didn't really watch much of the women's performances, so can't comment there...

The pairs were interesting to watch, and the chinese certainly are showing that hard work pays off!

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