Friday, October 29, 2010

NHK Trophy - Men's Freeskate

 After having to miss the men's short program intially, I was really excited to see how the freeskate panned out. I'm happy to say, they certainly didn't disappoint.

 Jeremy Ten (Canada): Opening triple axel was a little wonky, but he squeezed it out. Triple lutz-triple toe was alright. Following triple flip maybe two footed?Triple axel-double toe was fair, but he keeps have slightly scratchy landings on the jumps, even though the rotations look good. The music was lovely and his basics really are nice. Good footwork, but then popped his triple loop into a single loop-double toe combination. Second triple lutz was fine, but the double axel after it was scratchy, weird. His spin positions are pretty good, and his triple salchow near the end was good. Overall, a pretty decent skate. Jeremy could definitely smoothen out his jump landings a bit, but his skating is growing on me. 61.20 TE 60.80 PCS = 122.00 FS ; Total 176.48 

Kevin Van Der Perren (Belgium): Good quad toe, although he pitched forward a bit on the landing. Triple axel, maybe two-footed?  Triple flip-triple toe-triple toe; Good! I can't remember him pulling that off the last couple of years, so good for him.  Footwork was okay, just nothing special. Cool hydroblade move into a triple salchow. Handdown on the triple loop and a triple lutz that appeared to be two-footed. Second triple flip seemed a little wonky to me. Again, boring footwork, but a nice double axel-double axel sequence at the end of the program. Good way to start out the season for him! 74.26 TE 59.84 PCS = 134.10 FS ; Total 189.41

Adrian Schultheiss (Sweden): Triple flip-double toe was fine, as well as his triple axel-double toe. Double axel fine, but the following spin was rather slow. Nice triple loop and triple salchow. A second double axel and triple flip were solid, but then Adrian fell on his triple lutz. Good overall all, but not particularly inspiring. 57.81 TE 62.42 PCS - 1.00 Deduction = 199.23 FS ; Total 181.47

Takahito Mura (Japan): Quad toe was good, but he pitched forward on the landing a bit. Turnout and second foot down on the first triple axel.. Triple flip was rough, with a single loop tacked to the end of it. Triple lutz-double toe was fine. Pretty footwork and very nice triple axel-double toe. Triple loop was also good, but the following triple salchow was a little rough, likely because of the lack of speed in the entry. Underrotated triple lutz, but again, nice footwork with an interesting stop in it. Nice program overall, and I'm liking his style. 69.03 TE 59.62 PCS = 128.65 FS ; Total 191.85

Jialiang Wu (China): Nice triple axel-triple toe and triple salchow. Lovely spread eagle into a good triple axel. Fantastic triple lutz and his footwork was wonderful. I really like this music choice for Jialiang, it's very pretty and seems to be complimentary to his style. Triple lutz-double toe, okay. Popped his first attempt at a triple loop into a single, but his second attempt was fine, but the double toe he added to it was downgraded. Good triple flip and the second set of footwork was really nice also. Most of the spins were lovely too. Very nice program, and I do believe this is love at first skate sight for me! I think all of the elements are there, though some think he just needs better choreography. 66.72 TE 58.80 PCS = 125.52 FS ; Total 189.58

Ross Miner (United States): Triple axel was held onto. Triple lutz-double toe was okay, and the  triple flip-double toe seemed okay to me as well (though the flip got an edge call* and deduction). Triple loop was fine, and the walley transition to the triple lutz was lovely, as was his spread eagle. Underrotated triple salchow with a handdown as well. Nice triple flip to rebound, but then Ross stumbled out of a double axel. Overall, he was okay, but again, nothing particularly stands out. He comes across a little bit Jeremy Abbott lite to me, personally, but it was only his first senior Grand Prix. 59.41 TE 62.28 PCS = 121.77 FS ; Total 186.62

Denis Ten (Kazakstan): A nightmare of a skate. Only two clean jumps. Enough said. Hopefully Denis will do better at his next event - he does seem to have potential, even if it wasn't clearly shown here. 45.16 TE 60.78 PCS = 102.94 FS ; Total 171.68
Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan): Opened with an absolutely gorgeous quad toe. Triple axel wonky, but held onto.Triple flip landed somehow, despite a lack of speed going into it. Nice spin following it. Great Ina Bauer transition into a triple lutz-double toe. Triple axel-triple toe was good, but the following triple lutz was a bit rough and triple loop attempt was popped into a single. Both footwork sequences were fine, but not the standout elements for him. Good triple salchow and spin to finish up. Very nice senior international debut! Overall I think that one of Yuzuru's greatest assets is his determination to land the jumps as cleanly as possible . He also has a nice style, but then again, being a Johnny Weir fan, I'd be inclined to appreciate it. Definitely a guy to keep an eye on. 72.57 TE 65.74 PCS = 138.41 FS ; Total 207.72

Florent Amodio (France): Beautiful triple axel to open, then follows up with a great triple axel- tano double toe. Interesting footwork. Great flying sit spin too. My mother is falling in love with this program already... all of the Michael Jackson movements and music are winning her over. Triple salchow-triple toe was really good. Good triple lutz, and I thought the triple flip was good, but it got the wrong edge call*. Triple lutz-double toe, maybe underrotated? (It wasn't marked UR in the protocols though.) Singled his double axel. Holy cow... crotch grab and cute footwork. Great spins to finish. Fantastic skate! Florent really looked like he had fun during that program, and I certainly had fun watching it. He even brought some of the program to the Kiss and Cry. 73.74 TE 70.02 PCS = 143.76 FS ; Total 213.77

Shawn Sawyer (Canada): Two footed and underrotated triple axel to start. Fall on a triple flip, and then a landed, but wonky triple lutz.  Nice split jump into a triple salchow, unfortunately the latter seemed kind of off to me.  Ridiculously good spiral; Shawn puts most of the current ladies skaters to shame. The transitions in this program as a whole are really nice, and I love that it's an Alice in Wonderland program, without it going too zany. He held onto the triple loop, and the second triple flip was nice, but singled the loop in the middle of the combination. He did manage a triple loop on the very end of the combo though. Double axel was fine, and his back bended, crouching spread eagle is really fantastic (it is definitely something you have to see to understand).  Great footwork, and double axel-double toe was fine. Overall, spins, footwork, transitions - all wonderful. It's just the darned jumps that trip him up. Lovely program though, I hope we get to see it skated cleanly by the season end! The music and character of it are just great; Shawn even motioned as if he were the Mad Hatter adjusting his hat in the Kiss and Cry. 57.45 TE 67.20 PCS = 123.65 FS ; Total 193.80

Jeremy Abbott (United States): Solid opening with a good triple lutz and triple flip. Fantastic triple axel-triple toe, and the first footwork sequence is quite charming. Great double axel. Jeremy's facial expressions are really nice to see in this program. Popped his intended triple axel into a single, and the following triple loop seemed rather crooked to me, but somehow he cranked out a double toe and double loop on the end.Triple lutz-double toe, the former of which was two-footed and underrotated. Lovely triple salchow with a flourish after landing. Good footwork to finish. Very character driven program, and it was beautiful overall. 67.15 TE 76.42 PCS = 143.57 FS ; Total 218.19
Daisuke Takahashi (Japan): Daisuke opened with a pretty nice quad toe, following it up with a fabulous triple axel. The triple loop was kinda tight, but he held it. Excellent footwork, and it definitely has the character of the music. I really love his interpretation.  Good triple flip-double toe, though again, they edge called the flip*. Triple axel-double toe combo was great, and the spin afterwards was pretty. Fine triple lutz, but popped his triple salchow into a single afterwards. Triple lutz-double toe start fine, but he fell on the tail end of the combination. Again,  really great footwork, which is often considered one of his signatures. Overall, lovely, sexy program, but Daisuke is definitely capable of better. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this program develops over the season. 74.17 TE 83.58 PCS = 156.75 FS ; Total 234.79

All in all, the men definitely brought it to the table at NHK. Most only had small errors, and their programs were, for the most part, not impacted very much by their mistakes. The freeskate definitely gives me a lot of hope for the men this season in general. I'm extremely excited to see how it unfolds.

I also was pretty satisfied with the overall results. Some do question why Daisuke got such high component scores in comparison to Jeremy, but I do find it fair. While I really enjoyed Jeremy's program, Daisuke just seemed to perform more I think, in spite of the fall. But either way, they're both really excellent skaters and I hope they both continue to develop even further.

*There were 5 wrong edge calls in the men's competition, and I'm not sure about all of them, but I'm pretty certain that at least 2 of called jumps actually were on the correct edges (Takahashi's and Hanyu's, each on a triple flip.), so unless I am mistaken, I'm not sure how accurate the callers were on the other edge and underrotation calls either.

ISU Results page for the Men's Free

Men's Overall Results

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