Thursday, 25 October 2012

2012 Skate America Ladies

So the Grand-Prix kicked off with a pretty decent event, with a few great surprises and some not so nice but somewhat foreseeable results.

1. Ashley Wagner(USA) 60.61+127.76=188.37

Yay for Ashley being the only prediction I got right! Still I thought her short program to "The Red Violin" was very nice with good drawn out movement and transitions throughout. I also loved the fire through the step sequence. She was given some lucky breaks, for example her triple loop in the short and the triple loop-double axel sequence in the long received some questionable G.O.E. I'm still not a fan of her long but it works and has potential. Overall she's put herself in a good position for the GPF and has kept her confidence from last year. Things are finally looking up for Ashley. 

2. Christina Gao(USA) 56.63+117.62=174.25

Wow....where did this come from? I have always liked Christina (mainly for her triple flip) but I could also see exactly why she was never a factor in major competitions and now she's won a silver! Everything about her skating has improved from her ice coverage and interpretation to her double axel and spin positions. She had the only clean short program and included a really good triple toe-triple toe combination. I would have liked to have seen more attack and fire in her long program but I like the new music cut and the redone choreography. I'd also like to see her do her triple flip-triple toe again at the tropheé bompard. I have no clue what Nikki Slater was talking about when he said she had low jumps. Anyway two clean skates and honestly I felt, although it was no great scandal, she would have won if I had been marking it. Good job Christina!

If there is a wow for her it's a sarcastic and deflated wow. Once again she continued to both thrill and torture me. Her short program started with a fantastic triple-triple(toe-toe) which covered so much ice.....and then popped the flip. I actually quite like her short program and her confidence in the steps, also her I-spin position is much better. In the long she landed a completely clean lutz-toe triple-triple with no edge call, a really good triple flip. She then had a few stutters on her other jumps, fell on the flip and unknowingly did a fourth combination completely eliminating the value of that jumping pass. That long of hers isn't as bad as last year but it's not going to take her very far unless she really nails it and no one else does, then again the relatively large score for quite a lacking skate show the judges appreciate her skating qualities and if she skates well she'll be duly rewarded. Once again left disappointed as she claims yet another bronze.

Valentina Marchei of Italy delivered a two good programs with no major deductions but not much spark either, she seems to be on the up and up though and finished 4th. Haruka Imai from Japan faltered in the short but skated pretty well in the long to finish 5th overall. Mae Berenice Meite of France also skate well showing much better connection to the music then she has before and finished 6th after what must have been a disappointing long program. Russia's Alena Leonova, the reigning world silver medalist had a nightmare in the short program finishing ninth but did well enough in the long to finish 7th overall but now has no chance of qualifying for the Grand-Prix Final. Finishing 8th, 9th and 10th were Viktoria Helgesson(Sweden), Rachael Flatt(USA) and Sarah Heckon(Germany) respectively 

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