Saturday, November 27, 2010

Trophee Eric Bompard: Men's Short

 Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone! I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday and made the most of it! I had a nice Thanksgiving with my family, and mostly just relaxed with them and went out for dinner. But onto the skating... this wasn't really the most spectacular men's short but it wasn't bad either. Let's get started!

Zoltan Kelemen (Romania): Double axel was just okay, and then a fall on the back half of a triple lutz-triple toe (likely downgraded or at least marked underrotated). The camel change camel spin was okayish, not really great speed but the position wasn't bad. Nice triple flip for his last jumping pass, then some decent footwork. Flying sit spin was okay, but the combo spin... meh. Overall Zoltan didn't really leave much of an impression on me, but it is nice seeing a skater from Romania (I can't remember any others). 28.32 TE 25.70 PCS -1.00 Deduction = 53.02 Total (10th)

Chafik Besseghier (France): Pretty decent speed across the ice. Really nice quad toe-triple toe combination, as well as a pretty good triple axel, though it looked a little weird to me in the air, but was landed nicely. I liked the twizzle transition, it was pretty cool. Flying camel was okay, but slow at the end. Slow combo spin after that, with not so great positions. Footwork and sit change sit were both alright. Surprisingly good performance for someone that's never competed at this level internationally. It seems that alot of skating fans, including myself, have never even heard of him! That said, while pretty impressive technically (at least on jumps), his spins and performance quality are still lacking. It also wouldn't hurt to change that costume... very 80's skating! :P
40.59 TE 29.74 PCS = 70.33 Total (4th)

Peter Liebers (Germany): Started off with a triple lutz-triple toe combination; the lutz looked easy, but he had to fight for the toe. Alright triple axel and then a flying camel with a donut position that made it rather slow. An okay Sit change sit with a hopover to change feet, followed by a walley into a triple flip that was really nice, except the unfortunate clear outside edge. I like this music, though Peter isn't selling it that well here. Pretty nice footwork, seemed to have good difficulty, to me at least. good combo spin until near the end, where is slowed. Better than I've seen him skate most of the time, so good for him. Hopefully the freeskate will go just as well. 36.24 TE 30.29 PCS = 66.53 Total (6th)

Anton Kovalevski (Ukraine): Opened with a triple axel that he put his hand down on, and looked at least a little underrotated. Decent recovery with a triple lutz-triple toe, though the latter was wonky. Hard fall on an underrotated triple loop. Flying camel spin, really sloppy. Actually, most of what Anton has done in this program has been sloppy to some extent. Footwork that wasn't particularly well done, but it probably got a decent level on it. Slow combo spin, but the sit change sit after was better. I really question this choice of music not just for him, but in general. He did at least attempt to interpret it though. 28.69 TE 28.10 PCS -1.00 Deduction = 55.79 PCS (9th)

Nan Song (China): Triple lutz-triple toe with a big space in between the jumps, but he eeked it out. Poor flying camel, but decent skating skills. Very nice triple flip, and the sit change sit was definitely better than the prior spin. Footwork was okay, but 'm not getting any kind of interpretation from this program at all. Finished with a combo spin that was alright. Jumps were pretty much there, but there's no zest to this program. 33.83 TE 29.05 = 62.88 Total (8th)

Florent Amodio (France): Beautiful triple axel at the beginning of the program, as well as good speed/basic skills. His triple lutz-triple toe was also nice, and an easy (but wrong edged) triple flip. Flying camel spin was okay, and I really liked the first variation where his torso is twisted upwards. Selling the footwork sequence, which was on the good side. Nice, fast sit change sit in his combo spin, though the solo sit change sit was slower.  Really good performance today; my only issue was the wrong edge on the flip, and Florent could probably sell it even more, particularly in the first half of the program. He kissed a little flower girl on the cheek while still on the ice... how cute. =) 39.52 TE 36.10 PCs = 75.62 Total (2nd)

Kevin Reynolds (Canada): Quad salchow-triple toe; the salchow looked like it may have been underrotated to my eye. Nice triple axel, but then a crash on the quad toe. Flying spin that had a really nice quality in the air and was okay for the rest of it. Slow sit change sit that got even slower at the end. Okay footwork, but not a whole lot of performance to it or this program in general. Ending spin was kinda good. All in all... Kevin needs all his jumps to really contend. Apart from that, not a lot about his skating really stands out to me artistically or technically. He looked confused at his scores - I'm thinking that they downgraded both quads or something. 35.02 TE 32.11 PCS -1.00 Deduction = 66.13 Total (7th)

Brandon Mroz (United States): Held onto the quad toe-triple toe, though both looked like they might be a bit underrotated. His triple axel was alright, but then the heel of his free foot hit the ice and he stumbled a bit. That was pretty weird. Slow camel change camel, but then a big triple lutz. Slow flying spin, and okay footwork. Combo spin at the end wasn't great, but it got better in the last parts of it. Brandon doesn't really do much for me artistically (or technically really), but it does seem like he is trying to be more expressive, at least in his face, and I appreciate the effort. 40.53 TE 31.93 PCS = 72.46 Total (3rd)

Takahiko Kozuka (Japan): Opening triple lutz-triple toe was a bit cautious, but fine. He held onto the triple axel, but the following flying sit was nice. Again, his skating skills are ridiculously good, and I love how he moves his body - it reminds me of how Lambiel moves, in a way. Nice triple flip for his last jump. Slow camel change camel, but the positions were okay. Really nice footwork, with fun crowd play thing at the end of the rink. An alright combo spin to end. Not Takahiko's best skate, but he got the job done, and most of the elements were good. I think his expression was a little better here than it has been previously; he did mention to the press that one of his goals this season was to improve on that aspect of his skating. 40.35 TE 37.29 PCS* = 77.64 Total (1st)

*So glad to see that Takahiko's components were scored higher here than they usually are!

Brian Joubert (France): Quad toe attempt, two-footed and badly underrotated. For some reason he tacked a single toe loop onto it. Fallout on the triple axel after that. Flying upright spin was alright, and I think it was different at Cup of China; maybe going for a higher level here? Good triple lutz and surprisingly good speed on the cannonball variation of his combo spin! Footwork was alright, much less frivolous movements than usual for him. Sit change sit at the end of the program got really slow at the end. Poor Brian. It seems like his quad has abandoned him the last couple of competitions, and I'm really surprised that he isn't even managed to rotate it. Artistically, he does the choreography in the program (obviously), but it doesn't really seem to mean anything; he isn't bringing any life to it. I might like it better if Brian put the zest he has occasionally had into this program.  30.84 TE 36.11 PCS = 66.95 Total (5th)

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