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2012 Grand Prix Final - Day 3

by Alexandra Stevenson



SENIOR EVENTS

Ladies

Pl Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Mao ASADA JPN 196.80 1 1
2 Ashley WAGNER USA 181.93 2 4
3 Akiko SUZUKI JPN 180.77 3 3
4 Kiira KORPI FIN 174.94 4 5
5 Elizaveta TUKTAMYSHEVA RUS 173.75 5 2
6 Christina GAO USA 154.54 6 6


Men

Pl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Daisuke TAKAHASHI JPN 269.40 1 3
2 Yuzuru HANYU JPN 264.29 3 2
3 Patrick CHAN CAN 258.66 2 4
4 Javier FERNANDEZ ESP 258.62 5 1
5 Takahiko KOZUKA JPN 253.27 4 5
6 Tatsuki MACHIDA JPN 198.63 6 6


Pairs

Pl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Tatiana VOLOSOZHAR / Maxim TRANKOV RUS 204.55 1 2
2 Vera BAZAROVA / Yuri LARIONOV RUS 201.60 2 1
3 Qing PANG / Jian TONG CHN 192.81 3 3
4 Meagan DUHAMEL / Eric RADFORD CAN 187.09 4 4
5 Kirsten MOORE-TOWERS / Dylan MOSCOVITCH CAN 180.45 5 6
6 Yuko KAVAGUTI / Alexander SMIRNOV RUS 178.72 6 5


Dance

Pl Name Nation Points SD FD
1 Meryl DAVIS / Charlie WHITE USA 183.39 1 1
2 Tessa VIRTUE / Scott MOIR CAN 179.83 2 2
3 Nathalie PECHALAT / Fabian BOURZAT FRA 170.18 3 3
4 Anna CAPPELLINI / Luca LANOTTE ITA 165.64 5 4
5 Ekaterina BOBROVA / Dmitri SOLOVIEV RUS 158.09 4 6
6 Elena ILINYKH / Nikita KATSALAPOV RUS 156.36 6 5


JUNIOR EVENTS

Ladies

Pl Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Elena RADIONOVA RUS 179.40 1 1
2 Hannah MILLER USA 168.41 2 4
3 Anna POGORILAYA RUS 167.40 3 3
4 Angela WANG USA 162.05 4 2
5 Satoko MIYAHARA JPN 157.74 5 5
6 Leah KEISER USA 137.44 6 6


Men

Pl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Maxim KOVTUN RUS 222.31 2 1
2 Joshua FARRIS USA 211.37 1 2
3 Ryuju HINO JPN 198.92 4 3
4 Jason BROWN USA 198.32 3 4
5 Boyang JIN CHN 187.95 6 5
6 Keiji TANAKA JPN 174.55 5 6


Pairs

Pl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Lina FEDOROVA / Maxim MIROSHKIN RUS 161.11 1 1
2 Vasilisa DAVANKOVA / Andrei DEPUTAT RUS 155.96 3 2
3 Maria VIGALOVA / Egor ZAKROEV RUS 153.56 4 3
4 Margaret PURDY / Michael MARINARO CAN 149.94 2 5
5 Xiaoyu YU / Yang JIN CHN 149.20 5 4
6 Brittany JONES / Ian BEHARRY CAN 145.89 6 6


Dance 

Pl Name Nation Points SD FD
1 Alexandra STEPANOVA / Ivan BUKIN RUS 149.57 1 1
2 Gabriella PAPADAKIS / Guillaume CIZERON FRA 139.21 2 2
3 Alexandra ALDRIDGE / Daniel EATON USA 136.19 4 3
4 Anna YANOVSKAYA / Sergey MOZGOV RUS 129.31 3 4
5 Valeria ZENKOVA / Valerie SINITSIN RUS 124.19 6 5
6 Evgenia KOSIGINA / Nikolai MOROSHKIN RUS 120.05 5 6


Junior Ladies Medalists

Hannah Miller, Elena Radionova, Anna Pogorilaya

Junior Pairs Medalists

Vasilisa Davankova & Andrei Deputat
Lina Fedorova & Maxim Miroshkin
Maria Vigalova & Egor Zakroev

Photos © Robin Ritoss


Quotable

Junior Ladies Free Skate

Leah Keiser

“The biggest disappointment about this program (the free skate) was the loop because I just didn’t try it. It’s a good learning experience because this is my first big international competition. It definitely didn’t go the way I wanted to but it gives me a lot to work on for next season and even going into nationals.”

“It’s really great (training with Ashley Wagner). I look up to all the seniors. Every time I watch them, I see there is something I can learn from them. Ashley provides great motivation. She is always working. Her best quality, I mean she has everything, but her components and connection with the audience are things I hope to learn from her.”

Hannah Miller

“I got my personal best (on the free skate) and it’s one of the best skates I could have done. I have been training really long and hard for this. I’m really happy it turned out how I wanted it to. All my spins and jumps were the best they could be.”

“It’s exciting when the last jump is done and knowing you’ve accomplished a great program.”

“It’s super great (to have won the silver medal). It was just my goal to come here and skate my best. That put me in a medal spot so I’m excited.”

Angela Wang

“That’s how I’ve been training so I’m glad I was able to show that today (n the free skate). I felt really calm. I have been working really hard on my artistry for this program and I hope that showed.”

“I learned a lot from this competition because it’s my first major international. I gained a lot of experience. I learned how to stay calm when skating in a really big arena. I definitely need to work on my short program consistency. Taking that same feeling I had today and bringing it to the short.”

Senior Free Dance

Meryl Davis & Charlie White

Davis – “Some days you go out there and the performance comes really easily. Some days you have to fight through it. Today we were proud of the way we fought through it (the free dance)and still put out a great performance. It’s days like that, when it doesn’t come super easily, when you gain the most and learn the most.”

White – “It was a fantastic program. Emotionally, technically, we really put it all out there. Like Meryl said, we both were feeling it out there. It could be any number of things. I’m proud of the way we fought through it. It’s a great step to help us build toward winning Worlds.”

White - “I thought I caught a glimpse of that (President Putin watching). Everyone started applauding and I looked up and was like, ‘Oh, ok.’”

Davis – “Someone told me earlier he was here and I was like, ‘lalalalalala.’ I don’t want to hear about the important people here watching.”

Adds White – “Yeah, we have a lot to worry about. We talked about it before. This is the Olympic setting. It’s great practice. To have the Russian president here, it really sets the tone and helps us build toward that Olympic goal as well.”

White – “It’s something to be proud of (their fourth straight Grand Prix Final title). These are the top skaters in the world. They had to prove themselves at their Grand Prix events and we had to do the same. To be able to win four years in a row, it’s an accomplishment.”

White – “It’s sort of the halfway point of the season. Where we go from here is really where our character is going to show. We’re already thinking ahead.”

From the medalist press conference

Davis – "Charlie and I were really pleased with our performance today. The ice, the atmosphere and the crowd were fantastic. We heard (Russian President) Putin was in the audience which is really exciting. When you hear about important people in the audience, it’s not something you try to focus on before you skate. But afterward we were like, ‘Oh! Putin was in the audience. That’s cool.”

Davis – “In terms of our skate, it was solid. It was one of those skates that nothing really came easily and we had to fight through it. But that’s OK. It’s good to have skates like that. It’s times like that where we feel that we grow the most. We’ll take the feelings and lessons we learned here and build on the rest of the season.”

White – “We talked a little bit about that (the Olympic setting). Just being able to be in the venue and get a feel for it was really helpful. Being able to compete and warm up and get a feel for everything. You can’t help but turn your mind a little bit to the Olympics. It’s everywhere, everyone’s talking about it. Our goal is to come back and win the Olympic gold. This is just a stepping stone. There is a long road to travel before we get here. We’re proud of what we did today, but there are a lot more steps to take before we can think about standing on that top step.”


Russian President Vladimir Putin Drops in on Grand Prix Final

by Alexandra Stevenson

Russian President Vladimir Putin came to Sochi Saturday to officially open the new 30 mile Olympic railroad service between the lower cluster of nine “ice” venues with the Alpine skiing complex of Krasnaya Polyanaup in the mountain 30 miles away.

On the way, he chaired a meeting on the progress of Olympic preparations in Sochi which mostly focused on traffic problems.

The train service will begin regular service next April with a capacity of 8,500 passengers an hour. A parallel motor road will be capable of carrying 11,500 people an hour when completed.

He then paid a visit to the “Iceberg” Skating Palace, in time to watch to watch Meryl Davis & Charlie White win the Free Dance.

White said he knew Putin was in the audience. “I thought I caught a glimpse of him. Everyone started applauding and I looked up and was like, ‘Oh, Ok!’” His partner smiled when asked what she thought of the famous spectator. Davis said, “Someone told me earlier he was here and I was like, ‘lalalalalala.’ I don’t want to hear about the important people here watching. I’m nervous enough without thinking that!”

White explained, “Yeah, we have a lot to worry about beforehand. We talked about it before. This is the Olympic setting. It’s great practice. To have the Russian president here, it really sets the tone and helps us build toward that Olympic goal as well.”

(8 December 2012)  Sochi, Russia.

Davis and White Extend Lead, Win Grand Prix Final Ice Dance Event, Fourth Consecutive Time.

1. Overall 189.39; 1.FD 110.19 (52.56+57.63); Meryl Davis & Charlie White, gave a firecracker performance in the Free Dance of the Grand Prix Final, which, had it been a speed race, it would surely have set a record. The routine, choreographed to music from the show “Notre Dame de Paris”, earned 110.19 points, which increased their slight lead over the Canadian world champions, Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir, who train with them in Canton, Michigan, to 3.56 points. The routine tells the story of Esmeralda and her tragic love for the hunchback.

White said, “It was a fantastic program. Emotionally, technically, we really put it all out there.” His partner agreed. “In terms of our skate, it was solid. It was one of those skates that nothing really came easily and we had to fight through it. But that’s OK. It’s good to have skates like that. It’s times like that where we feel that we grow the most. We’ll take the feelings and lessons we learned here and build on the rest of the season.”

White continued, “We were both were feeling it out there. It could be any number of things. I’m proud of the way we fought through it. It’s a great step to help us build toward winning the world title back. It’s something to be proud of.

“These are the top skaters in the world. They had to prove themselves at their Grand Prix events and we had to do the same. To be able to win four years in a row, it’s an accomplishment. It’s sort of the halfway point of the season. Where we go from here is really where our character is going to show. We’re already thinking ahead.”

This is Davis & White’s fourth straight Grand Prix Final title.

From their opening spin to their closing choreographed lift, they appeared “on”, pushing themselves to the limit. The Technical Panel gave them six of their maximum Level 4s, with only the diagonal and the circular steps getting the lower Level 3. Only one element, the diagonal steps, failed to receive at least one vote from the nine-member judging panel of the maximum Grade of Execution +3. In all, they were showered with thirty +3 Grades of Execution out of a possible 81.

For their components, Davis & White were showered with seven 10s. Their lowest were five 9.25s.

2. Overall 179.83; 2.FD 108.56 (51.70+56.86); Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir, skated immediately before their training mates and presented a very different routine, that brought the level of seduction to a new high on ice. Performing to the music from the well-known opera, Carmen, they changed the tragic story somewhat, and adapted their original interpretation shown while winning Skate Canada. This Carmen in a dark colored dress with a deep neck line, is triumphant at the end, shaming the loser Don Jose, who ends up a broken man.

They earned the same Levels as Davis & White, but “only” 18 +3 Grades of Execution. One thing the two teams did differently was that Davis & White chose to do four “short” lifts whereas Virtue & Moir executed two short and one “long” lift, as they did last season. The two options have the same base value. Virtue & Moir’s components included two 10.0 with a low of one 8.75.

Moir admitted, “I think it was a good performance for this time in the season. We still have to fight for the program. It’s really quite challenging. Our elements were a lot stronger today than they were in both Skate Canada and in the Russian Grand Prix. We like to win and we came here to win, but we came very close. We made major changes in our footwork. We’d like to get Level 4, but the callers are being hard. We need to figure out what we have to do to maximize our points.

Virtue said she tried to put the fact that they were lying second out of her mind. We have to focus on our own job. We can’t think about the scores or what others are doing on the ice, or we’ll get side-tracked. For today, we were focused on our own job, not thinking what others are doing.”

3. Overall 170.18; 3.FD 101.48 (48.78+52.70); Nathalie Pechalat & Fabian Bourzat, the French European champions who train with Anjelika Krylova at the Detroit SC in Bloomfield Hills, had the same levels as the top two couples, and they received five +3 GoEs, for their routine to a medley by the Rolling Stones, including, “You”, “Angie”, “Symphony for the Devil” and “Start Me Up”.

She said, “I think we had a good performance. It was very clean. After our first Grand Prix, (in Shanghai, China, which they won), we changed the lifts and transitions. It’s always like that, making changes through the season, to get higher levels or better GoEs. We like the music and we felt the audience did to. We heard some clapping along with us. Maybe because they are Russian, the audiences here clap more than they do in Beijing or Paris. We are always trying to do something different.

4. Overall 165.64; 4.FD 99.53 (50.21+49.32); Anna Capellini & Luca Lanotte, from Italy, who also train partly in the United States with Igor Shpilband in Novi, also did a program to music from the Bizet’s opera, Carmen. Cappellini said, “I guess it was probably the cleanest skate we’ve had but I’m not sure sure if it was the strongest. Drama is what we feel we’re good at, so we are using our strength and portray that story. All that matters is that we are going out and skating clean.

Her partner explained, “I think our Carmen is more modern than Tessa and Scott’s version. Meryl and Charlie are super strong, but Tessa & Scott have the chemistry.”

5. Overall 158.09; 6.FD 91.86 (44.83+49.03 -2); Ekaterina Bobrova & Dmitri Soloviev, Russians who train with Alexander Zhulin in Moscow, skated to “Man with a Harmonica” and “Tosca”, interpreting a complex story in which she tries to rescue him for drugs and then ends up on the street herself and he has to pull himself together to rescue her! The Russians gained the same Level 4’s as those above them but, in addition to having Level 3 for their Circular Steps, their Diagonal Steps were only Level 2 with -0.43 taken off the base value.

Soloviev also had fall and was just furious about it. “Maybe I wanted to express my emotions a little bit too much and was going a bit too strong. It was a really stupid fall, out of nothing. I never, ever fall down, even in practice and now this! Really stupid! I hit my back and it still hurts but it’s more mental pain than physical right now. Probably, I just lost concentration for a few seconds.” They actually got a deduction of two points. The second was for “interruption in excess” because he was just so devastated, he didn’t get right up and back into the program.

Bobrova said, “Our coaches are very supportive and we were all very disappointed, because everyone says they love this routine and we wanted to skate our best.” They received Level 4 for five elements. The circular and diagonal steps were Level 2, and the spin, Level 3.

6. Overall 156.36; 5.FD 92.80 (43.50+49.30); Elena Ilinykh & Nikita Katsalapov, Russians who train with Nikolai Morosov, interpreted music from “The Ghost”. They were very disappointed because they won the bronze in the European championships last January, and felt they should have placed higher in this event.

She said, “Yesterday, the low score was unexpected. It was our best performance of the season.” He added, “Today, we had some mistakes in the elements. We will have another chance to skate on this Olympic ice, because our Russian championships will be here.”

Russian Dominates Junior Ladies.  Three Americans Get Experience of their Young Lives.

The standings overall of the six Junior Ladies remained the same after the Free Skate as they had been in the Short Program, although two of the Americans reversed their placings in the Free Skate. Angela Wang was judged the second best free skater and Hannah Miller was fourth best, but each stayed in their original second (Miller) and fourth (Wang) place.

1. Overall 179.40; 1.FS 118.50 (64.65+53.85); The winner, Russian Elena Radionova, again gave a technically brilliant showing, that would do well in senior competition. Dressed in a black cat suit, she skated to "And Finally I Love You" and "Country of Deaf", beginning with a triple Lutz to triple toe loop which earned + 0.80 over its base value. It was a performance which would have done well in a senior competition.

The short blonde, who wore her long hair pulled back into a platted ponytail, opened with a triple Lutz to triple toe loop which earned +0.80 over its base value of 10.10 points. However, both triple flips received an “e” for wrong edge takeoff. The first, done alone, got -0.20 removed from its base value. The second, combined with a single loop to triple Salchow, lost -0.30. Her first spin, a change foot combination, was Level 4 with +0.40.

At the halfway point where the 10% bonus marks click in, she pulled off a second triple Lutz (+0.30); two separate double Axels, both worth an extra +0.29; and a +0.80 triple loop to double toe loop. She concluded with a +0.57 Level 3 flying change foot combination spin; Level 4, +1.20, straight line steps and a +1.36, Level 4 layback spin which received six +3 GoEs and three +2s. Her components went from a high of three 7.5s from one judge down to four 6.0s for “Transitions”.

Radionova said, “I think each athlete has the same dream, to win the Olympic gold. Since I will not be 15 till January 6, I will not be eligible for these Olympics, but I hope to compete in future Games. I’m looking forward to watching all the senior skaters. I love how they hold themselves on the ice, the way they glide. I know that what I do on the ice still looks like a kid skating. I want to skate as effortlessly as do the senior girls.” Maybe she’ll end up as a song-writer. She revealed, “When I do my homework, I try to sing along and I often make up a few lines and end up with verses.”

Radionova made her international debut last season, winning the Novice Triglav Trophy in Slovenia. This was her first season in international junior competition and she won gold in her JrGPs in Courchevel, France, and in Linz, Austria. She was third in the last Russian Junior championship. In Sochi, her winning margin was 10.99 points.

2. Overall 168.41; 4.FS 109.23 (56.16+53.07); Hannah Miller, held onto second place by 1.01 points. Skating to “The Storm” by Balazs Havasi, Miller, who was competing in only her fourth international event, opened with a +0.10 triple loop to double loop. That was followed by a triple flip to double toe loop to double loop which earned its base value of 8.40 points. But the triple Lutz, which came next, was saddled with an “e” for wrong edge take-off and she lost -0.70. Her extremely well done steps were only Level 2 but earned a +3 (the maximum GoE) and five +2s, which meant 0.86 was added to the base value for that Level of 2.60. Her layback spin earned the maximum Level 4 with +1.0.

Her triple flip to double Axel sequence was set at the halfway point and earned a total of 7.97 points. That was followed by a +0.20 triple loop. However, the triple Salchow which followed was saddles with an arrow for slight under-rotation and had a half point removed from its base value. She concluded with two Level 4 spins surrounding a +0.14 double Axel. The flying camel received +0.50, and the change foot combination got +0.86. Her component marks ranged from one 5.50 for Transitions up to three 7.50s given by one judge.

Miller said, “I tried really hard. I wanted to skate from the heart. I had a lot of emotions today and I wanted to express what I felt. Now I’ll watch the seniors. I watch how they express themselves. Their jumps are so fluid. Beforehand, I go through my program and walk through the jumps. I also like to warm up to my favorite music.”

3. Overall 167.40; 3.FS 109.46 (59.36+50.10); Anna Pogorilaya, showed she is not only developing her skill levels, she is learning to think on her feet, overcoming an early mistake. “It was funny that I gained more confidence after I nearly fell on the double Axel (her first jump). The problem was, I hesitated going into it. It was meant to be a double Axel to triple toe loop to double toe loop.” But it became a standalone bad double Axel, and she lost a full point from that jump’s base value of 3.30.

But she made a good decision to add one of the missing jumps, a double toe loop, as the third jump on her next element, which was meant as a repeat of the same two first jumps, double Axel to triple toe loop.

She also made a second change. “I had to switch my planned triple Lutz to double toe loop, and do a triple toe loop as the second jump. I had to because otherwise my technical marks would have gone right down. I had nothing to lose. I’m very glad I overcame my fear and showed everything I could. In both programs, I achieved a season’s best. I have grown up. I’m not afraid anymore, and my legs are not trembling. I even forgot about the gloomy bad weather.” (Although, there was sun throughout the event, the climate is sub-tropical and they seem to suffer from late afternoon storms.)

Her other jumps, executed in the second half, were a +0.60 second triple Lutz, a +0.40 triple Sachow, a triple flip, which had an “e” and got -0.50 removed from its base value, and a +0.20 triple loop. Her first spin was a Level 3, base value flying sit, but the other two were Level 4, with the change foot combination receiving +0.57 over its base value, and her final element, a layback, earning an extra 1.0. The routine was set to music from Gounod’s “Faust”. Her components ranged from four 7.00s down to one 5.50.

4. Overall 162.05; 2.FS 118.50 (64.65+53.85); Angela Wang, who is referred to as an “ice butterfly” because of her colorful costumes, and airy jumps, performed to “Ladies in Lavender” by Nigel Hess. If she was disappointed that the second place in the Free Skate didn’t advance her overall standing, she didn’t let others know about it. “What I definitely need to work on is my Short Program consistency, taking the same feeling I had today.

“I felt really good. That’s how I’ve been training, so I’m really glad I was able to show that today. I felt really calm out there today. I’ve been working real hard on my artistry for this program. I hope that showed. I learned a lot from this competition. It’s my first major international. I gained a lot of experience and I hope I can use that for the Nationals.” (She has already competed at national senior level, finishing eighth earlier this year in San Jose.) “I definitely need to work on my Short Program consistency, taking that same feeling I had today in the long and bringing it to the Short.”

Wang began with a very impressive triple Lutz to triple toe loop to double toe loop which earned a total of 12.50 points. The following triple flip received a total of 6.00 points, the triple loop to double toe loop got 6.90 and her triple toe loop to double Axel sequence received 6.12. Her Level 4 layback spin received an extra +0.79 over its base value of 2.70. That took her to the half way stage.

With the bonus marks clicking in, she executed a triple Lutz accumulating 7.30. Her Level 4 change foot combination spin received a total of four points. Her straight line steps gained an extra +0.64. Then came a +0.29 double Axel, and her only negative. Her triple Salchow was saddled with an arrow for slight under-rotation. She brought the routine to an applause-gaining end with a Level 3, +0.14 GoE flying camel spin.

Her components ranged from three 7.25s down to five 6.00s. The reason she did not advance from fourth, was that her Free Skate total was only 1.43 ahead of Pogorilaya, and 1.66 ahead of Miller. After the Short Program, Wang had been 8.02 points behind Miller, and 6.78 behind Pogorilaya. 

5. Overall 157.74; 5.FS 108.14 (58.32+49.82); Satoko Miyahara, who is the twice Japanese Junior champion, performed to “The Adagio” from Romeo & Juliet. She received positive Grades of Execution for all but two elements: the initial move of triple Lutz to triple toe loop received an arrow for slight under-rotation of the Lutz, which resulted in the removal of -0.30 from its base value of 8.30 points; and her eighth element, a double Axel to triple toe loop sequence which received an arrow on the second jump and lost -0.14 from its base value.

In addition, she accomplished a triple flip (+0.60), a triple loop (+0.10), a base value double Axel, a triple Lutz to two double toe loops (executed as the 9th of the 11 moves, which earned +0.10) and a +0.30 triple Salchow. Her first spin was a +0.36, Level 3 change foot combination. Later she did two Level 4 spins, with the layback receiving an extra +0.64, and the flying sit earning +0.43 over its base value. Her steps were +0.64 and Level 3.

She said, “In the Short Program, I was very nervous. Then, in the Free Program, I managed to put my emotions under control. My fighting spirit actually overcame the tensions I had beforehand. It’s the Grand Prix Final and I’m privileged to take part in this event and it’s the Olympic venue so I wanted to perform the best I can. I pretended it was practice in order to not get nervous. I think one of the best elements in my today’s performance was the opening triple-triple.) Her components ranged from five 5.50s up to a 7.00.

6. Overall 137.44; 6.FS 90.21 (46.21+44.00); Leah Keiser, who trains alongside U.S. champion Ashley Wagner with veteran coach, John Nicks, opened her Free routine, set to music from Glazunov’s “The Seasons”, with a good triple Lutz but the triple toe loop with which it was combined received a double arrow for under-rotation and she was forced to put her hand on the ice to keep from falling. Nevertheless, she banked 5.50 points.

That was followed by a double Axel to triple toe loop, which earned +0.20 over its base value of 7.40, and a Level 4 flying sit spin which was awarded +0.14 on top of its base value of 3.00.

Then came what she described as, “The biggest disappointment for me in this program is the loop.” She singled the jump, earning +0.49 instead of the hoped for base value of 5.10 or better. But she treated that as a learning experience. Keiser sprung back with another Level 4 spin, this one a change foot which earned +0.14 over its base value, and a triple Lutz, which was set at the halfway point and earned a total of 7 points.

The next move was planned as a double Axel to double toe loop to double loop but the third jump became a single. Nevertheless, she banked a total of 5.61 points. Then came a triple flip, which was saddled with an “e” for wrong edge take-off, and a triple Salchow, which got an arrow for slight under-rotation. She concluded with Level 2, +0.07 straight line steps and a Level 3, +0.64 layback spin. Her components ranged from lows of five 5.00s up to two 6.50s.

“The program definitely did not go the way I wanted it to, but it lets me know all the things to work on for nationals, and for next season.”

She says she learned a lot from watching Wagner, her training mate, compete. “She is always in contact with the audience and there is always something I can learn from her every day. And she is always working.”

Junior Pairs a Reflection of the Seniors, with Three Russian Qualifiers, two Canadian and a Chinese Pair

1. Overall 161.11; 1.SP 54.37 (28.86+25.51); 1.FS 106.74 (52.28+54.46); Line Fedorova & Maxim Miroshkin are trained in Moscow alongside the twice world championship runnersup and winners of the Senior GPF, Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov with coach Vladislav Zhovnirski, who won the 1996 world junior title with partner, Viktoria Maxiuta.

Fedorova, who was coming up to her 15th birthday on December 30, and Miroshkin, 18, qualified by taking second place in the JrGP in Linz, Austria (behind Jones & Beharry) and winning the Chemnitz, Germany JrGP. That meant they were the second qualifiers and skated their light-hearted “Singing in the Rain” Short Program, fifth of the six pairs.

Dressed in a multi-colored yellow, green and blue outfits, they began with a Level 4 double twist which earned four of the maximum +3 Grades of Execution, with the other five judges punching in +2. Their throw triple Salchow was good and they also received Level 4 for their lift and straight line steps. Their solo jump was double Axel and, like their senior training mates, their back outside death spiral only Level 1. Their final move, the change foot combination spin was penalized with -0.39 off the Level 3 base value because she exited early.

He said, “It was the best performance this season, but we still think we can improve.” Because they were in the lead, they performed their Free Skate, which was a tango, last. Fedorova said, “We were a bit nervous because just before we went out on the ice, we could tell our season’s best was much lower than the scores needed for gold here. But, of course, when we saw our score after we’d skated, we were delighted.”

This time they opened with a triple twist which gained Level 3 with SEVEN of the maximum +3 GoEs, and two +2s. Their throw triple loop gained +1.20 over its base value but their side-by-side double Axels lost a marginal -0.07 from its base value. After a Level 2 forward inside death spiral which was rewarded with +0.70 Goe, they did a -0.04 double flip to double toe loop combination. Their throw triple Salchow wobbled a bit on the landing and lost -0.70, but two lifts and two spins received the top Level 4 with the full base value or better.

Fedorova said, about the ice facilities, “The ice is great and the overall impression is very positive, but when they switched all the lights on initially in the arena it was almost blinding (which is what television demands). We are getting used to it.” The competitors stays outside the cluster of nine arena and there were some horrendous traffic jams because there is only one entrance because of the security particularly become some of the venues are not completed and the “roadways” are presently just muddy ground. “We’ve been caught in some long traffic jams,” she said, although they have been getting police escorts to keep that to a minimum.

2. Overall 155.96; 3.SP 51.34 (27.52+23.82); 2.FS 104.62 (52.96+51.66); Vasilisa Davankova, 14, & Andrei Deputat, who will turn 20 on December 20, teamed up in 2011 and are the Russian Junior champions, who won the World Junior championship bronze medals earlier this year. He is from Ukraine and traveled to Moscow to look for a partner. She is from Moscow, and followed her younger brother to the skating rink. He has since forsaken his figure blades for hockey.

They are coached by Sergei Dobroskokov and Sergei Rosliakov. They were the fifth pair to qualify, having earned silver in Lake Placid JrGP and bronze in the Croatia Cup in Zagreb and so performed their Short Program, set to “The Godfather”, second up. They opened +0.21 double Axels, a +0.70 throw triple Salchow, and a Level 2, +0.30 double twist. But they lost a sliver, -0.07, on their Group 4, Level 4 lift. Their back outside death spiral was Level 3 with +0.70; their flying change foot combination spin was Level 4 with +0.29 and they finished with Level 2 steps which also earned +0.29. Their elements score was second best but they were given third place just 0.49 behind the Canadians, Purdy & Marinaro, who they overtook after the Free Skate.

They opened their routine, set to “Once Upon a Time in Mexico”, with +0.60 triple toe loop to double toe loop jump combinations which earned an extra +0.60. Their triple twist was Level 1 with +0.80 and their throw triple loop earned a full point over its base value. Their throw triple flip gained an extra +0.80, and their Level 3 back outside death spiral and they choreographed sequence both received an extra +0.70. Then came their only negative GoE, a minimal -0.07 on their double Axels. Their Axel lift was only Level 1 but their Group 3 lift earned Level 4 and they finished with a Level 3 pair combination spin. Davankova joked, “We used our magic even far away from Hogwarts, and performed well. We were nervous about the opening jump combination, and later the double Axel and the lift, but finally we were able to do everything we planned. Deputat added, “Of course we are glad! Such a big score! It’s our record. Certainly we were nervous. We improved our technical score from 46 to more than 50! It puts us in good stead for the upcoming Russian nationals (which will also be held in Sochi).

3. Overall 153.56; 4.SP 50.76 (26.83+23.93); 3.FS 102.80 (53.22+49.58); Maria Vigalova, 13, & Egor Zakroev, who will turn 19 on December 31, are from Perm in the Ural mountains. They qualified by taking bronze in Linz, Austria and silver in Chemnitz, Germany. They performed their Short Program to “Capone” by Ronan Hardiman, opening with a Level 3 double twist and base value side-by-side double Axels. They also did a Level 3, +0.20 back outside death spiral.

He explained, “We had mistakes and these mistakes were really ridiculous. We didn’t do them at the practice sessions. It’s been jitters that played a dirty trick on us. But the first part of the program was really nice. We did a good throw (+0.60 triple Salchow) and spin (Level 4 but with a very small negative, -0.09). We had hoped to qualify for the Final, but, nevertheless, it was a surprise. We are physically prepared to compete but we are still very nervous. We train at the Neftyanik Sports Palace in Perm. There are wonderful training conditions there and good coaches. We’ve invited Olga Volozhinskaia from the United States to come work with us and she did both our Short and Free programs.”

Their Free Skate was set to “Symphony on a Battle Lost by Benny Richter and Marc Terenzi,” and they opened with a +1.0 Level 3 triple twist. He said, “Improving our Personal Best is great but there were some issues. We want to get Level 4 in the twist. We did not have enough speed in our (Level 3 forward inside) death spiral. We did not hold it long enough to get the top Level. However, we avoided making major mistakes.

They said they supported all the competitors. “It was a shame we did not have a competitor in the mens event but a chance to see such skaters like Patrick Chan and Daisuke Takahashi is worth a lot!

4. Overall 149.94; 2.SP 51.83 (26.26+25.57); 5.FS 98.11 (47.77+52.34 -2); Margaret Purdy, 17, & Michael Marinaro, 20, the 2010 Canadian Junior champions, who are trained by Scott Rachuk & Alison Purkiss, came in as the top qualifiers, having won gold in Lake Placid and in the Zagreb JrGP events. That meant they skated the Short Program, sixth and last. Performing to Puccini’s aria, “O My Beloved Father” with her in a pink dress, they earned second place. They made a tentative start, opening with a Level 2 double twist, getting -0.93 removed from the base value for side-by-side double Axels, and receiving only the “basic” level for their back outside death spiral. However their Group 4 lift received the maximum Level 4 with +0.36; their throw triple Salchow earned an extra +0.40; and their steps and combination spin were both Level 4 with +0.30 and +0.50 respectively. They had only the fifth highest element score but they earned the highest components score.

In the Free, which was set to “The Artist” by Ludovic Bource, they began with a Level 1, -0.30 GoE triple twist. Their triple toes got one arrow for slight under-rotation after she fell and he messed up what was meant to be a combination with a double toe loop. She also fell on her double Axel, their third element. But, after those errors at the beginning, they got back on track and everything else earned positive GoEs, starting with a +0.60, Level 3 for their forward inside death spiral; a +0.86, Level 4 change foot combination spin; a +0.80 Level 4 Axel lasso lift; a +0.40 throw triple loop; a +0.60 choreographed sequence; a Group 3 +0.57 Level 4 press lift; a +0.80 throw triple Salchow; and a Level 4, +0.50 pair combination spin.

He said of their 98.11 score, “We were trying to break 100 today, but we didn’t get that done. But we did a lot of good things today.” She added, “We started off rough, but in the end we pulled it together. We did some good throws and lifts.”

5. Overall 149.20; 5.SP 50.34 (27.83+22.51); 4.FS 98.86 (53.09+45.77); Xiaoyu Yu, 16, from Harbin & Yang Jin, 18, from Beijing, qualified by coming 4th in Linz, Austria and 2nd in Zagreb. Their choreography was done by Marina Zoueva, who set their Short Program to an unknown violin concerto, and their Free Skate to “Die Fledermaus”.

They opened their Short Program with +0.43 double Axels, and received positive scores for all but their final move, the Level 4 spin which was penalized with a slight -0.21. Their double twist and their lift also received the maximum Level 4 with +0.30 and +0.14 GoEs. Their back outside death spiral was a +0.10, Level 3. Their very good throw triple Salchow, gained +1.30.

They began their Free Skate with a sequence of two double Axels, which earned +0.14 over the base value. Their second element, triples toes, lost -0.70. Then came a +0.20, Level 3 back outside death spiral; a Level 4, -0.09 flying change foot combination spin; the choreographed sequence; a Level 2, +0.70 triple twist; a +0.90 throw triple loop; a+1.30 throw triple Salchow; a Level 4, +0.70 Lasso lift; a -0.50 Group 4 Level 3 lift and, to finish, a Level 3, +0.70 pair combination spin.

6. Overall 145.89; 6.SP 48.11 (24.23+24.88 -1); 6.FS 97.78 (48.29+49.49); Brittany Jones & Ian Beharry only teamed up in April. Jones is a 16-year old who was born in Toronto; Beharry is 21 and was born in Scarborough. They train with Kirsty Sargeant-Wirz. Their SP was set to “Bombay Dreams” by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and their Free Skate to music from Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” from the Winter and Summer movements.

They were the third qualifiers for Sochi, having taken gold in the JrGP in Linz, Austria, and placing third in the Blue Swords event in Chemnitz in Germany. With his former partner, Katherine Bobak, he was the Canadian Junior champion and they won silver in the 2011 Jr. GPFinal in Quebec City. Jones said, “We both had strong careers with other partners so it was easy to adapt.”

Beharry said after the Short Program, “I think that other than the obvious problem in the program (she fell on an under-rotated double Axel), everything else, we skated well. The lift (Group 4, +0.43 GoE, Level 4) was smooth. The throw (+0.90 triple Salchow) was good.” Their double twist earned Level 2 with +0.30. Their combination spin was +0.43 Level 4. “It’s great to be in Sochi. We are very impressed by how big the venue is and how nice everything looks here.”

In the Free Skate they had only one minus (-1.40) which came on their first of 11 moves, the Level 1 triple twist. For their side-by-side triple toes, they earned +0.20, as did their throw triple loop. Their throw triple Salchow received +0.50 over its base value, and they finished with a Level 4 pair combination spin which gained an extra +0.36. He said, “I think overall, it’s pretty good. We landed everything we wanted to. There were a few shaky things but overall it was a clean skate.” She said what they need to work on now is getting their Levels higher, particular the back inside death spiral which was only Level 1.

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