FS Skater 1 Rudy Galindo (USA) 2 Dan Hollander (USA) 3 Zhengxin Guo (CHN) 4 Dmitry Dmitrenko (UKR) 5 Cornel Gheorghe (ROM) 6 Neil Wilson (GBR) 7 Michael Shmerkin (ISR) 8 Yuri Litvinov (KZK) 9 Robert Grzegorczyk (POL) 10 Alexander Mourashko (BLR) 11 Patrick Meier (SWI) 12 Markus Leminen (FIN) 13 Ivan Dinev (BUL) 14 Kyu-Hyun Lee (ROK) 15 Zoltan Koszegi (HUN) 16 Stephen Carr (AUS) 17 Jordi Pedro Roya (SPN)
Definitely the more difficult of the two groups. Galindo won easily with a clean program that was well presented. He wisely decided to use triple axel - double toe, instead of the triple toe, to help insure a clean program and make a strong impression on the judges. He received the only marks in the 5.8 range, and the only marks today that were competitive for a top five finish. In skating well today he cleared the first hurdle to be taken seriously in the coming days.
Hollander got the hard part done, landing his triple axel, and triple axel - double loop, but made two errors near the end of the program popping a triple loop, and a cartwheel sit. With two clean programs he looks competitive for a decent finish in the top 10.
Zhengxin Guo had a good start and landed quad toe - double toe, but ran out of gas by 2:50 and did nothing to speak of for the last two minutes.
Also worth a mention in this group is Wilson who skated a beautiful program, if a little weak on difficulty.
Shmerkin had a tough day. Skating first, he missed his triple axel, and was marked a little low, ending up seventh.
FS Skater 1 Takeshi Honda (JPN) 2 Sebastian Britten (CAN) 3 Michael Tyllesen (DEN) 4 Andrei Vlachtchenko (GER) 5 Thierry Cerez (FRA) 6 Fabrizio Garattoni (ITA) 7 Szabolcs Vidrai (HUN) 8 Marcus Christensen (CAN) 9 Margus Hernits (EST) 10 Patrick Schmit (LUX) 11 Florian Tuma (AUT) 12 Radek Horak (CZE) 13 Robert Kazimir (SVK) 14 Jan Cejvan (SLO) 15 Ricardo Olavarrieta (MEX) 16 Robert Ward (SAF) 17 Aramayis Grigorian (ARM)
The only skater to write home about in this group was the winner, Honda; a young skater with strength and speed, and a wild triple axel - triple toe. Otherwise, this was a pretty dreary group, except for Garattoni who is a wild-man, but extremely entertaining.
SP FS Skater 1. 2 1 Todd Eldredge (USA) 2. 1 2 Ilia Kulik (RUS) 3. 4 4 Rudy Galindo (USA) 4. 7 3 Elvis Stojko (CAN) 5. 3 5 Alexei Urmanov (RUS) 6. 8 6 Viacheslav Zagorodniuk (UKR) 7. 6 9 Eric Millot (FRA) 8. 11 8 Andrei Vlachtchenko (GER) 9. 16 7 Philippe Candeloro (FRA) 10. 13 10 Daniel Hollander (USA) 11. 12 11 Michael Shmerkin (ISR) 12. 15 12 Thierry Cerez (FRA) 13. 14 13 Takeshi Honda (JPN) 14. 10 15 Cornel Gheorghe (ROM) 15. 5 18 Steven Cousins (GBR) 16. 9 19 Dmitry Dmitrenko (UKR) 17. 20 14 Sebastien Britten (CAN) 18. 18 16 Szabolcs Vidrai (HUN) 19. 17 17 Michael Tyllesen (DEN) 20. 22 20 Neil Wilson (GBR) 21. 23 21 Patrick Schmit (LUX) 22. 21 22 Fabrizio Garattoni (ITA) 23. 19 23 Robert Grzegorczyk (POL) 24. 24 24 Alexnder Mourashko (BLR) Final not reached: 25. 25 - Patrick Meier (SWI) 26. 26 - Zhengxin Guo (CHN) 27. 27 - Marcus Christensen (CAN) 28. 28 - Margus Hernits (EST) 29. 29 - Yuri Litvinov (KZK) Retired: Florian Tuma (AUT)
Notes after the short program:
While the top five ended up in the top five nearly as expected, the order of finish in the short program included many surprises. One of two skaters to land triple axel - triple toe, Ilia Kulik - skating second - trounced the competition in the short program. His program was fast, strong, and effortless looking. Also landing triple axel - triple toe was Todd Eldredge, who's upbeat short program was clean and strong, and presented with energy and enthusiasm. Urmanov skated a clean program with triple axel - double toe and triple lutz. His program was clean and well done, but the presentation a little flat.
Galindo landed triple axel - double toe and triple Lutz in a clean and elegant program that received the only standing ovation of the event. He is in the remarkable position now of being poised to take a medal in this event, his first time at Worlds as a singles skater.
Hollander ended up a respectable 13th considering he had two errors, a turn in the middle of his triple axel - double loop, and stepping out of triple Luzt. He has the potential to move up in the long program, and if he skates his best could still move up into the top ten.
The greatest surprise of the day, however, was the 7th place result from Elvis Stojko. He did a face plant on the triple axel of his combination and never got to put in the second jump. Add to that dreadful choreography and a lackluster presentation, and he was lucky to be placed as high as he did. It is virtualy impossible for him to medal this year, and he will have to struggle to even make the top five. This seems to be another example of a skater who spent to much time this year touring and not enough preparing for competition, and is now paying for that decision.
Notes after the long program:
A night of thrills and spills in the long program. Skating in the third of four warmup groups, Stojko gave a strong performance including a quad toe - double toe, triple axel - triple toe, triple axel, and three other triples, and for a time it looked like he might slip in for a medal - but it was not to be. A far better program than his short, the long program still showed choreographic weaknesses. It was not well balanced, and lacked sufficient connecting moves. In the end he was passed up by two skaters in the long to finish fourth overall. Through it all, however, he showed determination and carried himself like a champion.
The final warm up group included four thrilling performances. Galindo, skating first, did a wonderful job with seven triple jumps and a clean performance - skating perhaps a bit more slowly than his victory at Nationals. He placed fourth in the long to take the bronze medal - a result no one could have predicted a year ago, not even Rudy. Truely a vindication for a talent that so many ignored, and even maligned, over the years.
Following Galindo was Urmanov who landed five triples but stepped out of triple flip and fell in what was to be a triple loop and a jump sequence. In a group where any error was enough to push a skater out of contention, these three errors landed Urmanov in fifth place for the long and fifth place overall.
Two skaters later came Eldredge. He landed seven triple jumps, and was the only skater to land two triple-triples. His program was the best balanced of the group and included the greatest variety of connecting moves. We would take minor issue with the second marks, which were quite high, and feel the program is still artistically weak. None the less, the program was unquestionably well presented, and there was no doubt in our minds it was the best one put on the ice tonight. In describing his preparations since Nationals, Eldredge said "After the Nationals I took some time and didn't do some things I had planned ... so I could prepare for this. ... (jokingly) I really have to thank Rudy for beating me at Nationals."
Following a dismal performance by Cousins, came Kulik, the last man to skate. He landed seven triples including triple axel - triple toe, and another triple axel. His technical content was close to Eldredge's and artistically it was the program that we preferred. By placing second in the long he took the silver - capping a 15 month rise from World Junior Champion in December '94 to World silver medalist here.
Hollander turned in a fine performance for the first four minutes, but again ran into trouble near the end. He stepped out of triple axel in triple axel - double loop, and put his hand down on his final jump, triple loop. Still, for his first shot a worlds, his tenth place finish was a fine accomplishement, with better to come in the future we expect.
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