Monday, January 30, 2012

US Nationals: Men's free

Jeremy Abbott won the US Nationals with a 183.35 free skate. He brought back to competition his quad toe, perfectly executed, then two triple axels (one in combo with a double toe), a triple flip, two triple lutzes. He made mistakes just on his triple loop, not perfectly landed, and o the salchow that was doubled.

Adam Rippon had no quad in his program, that was not free of mistakes, but managed a second place finish with two triple axels, his wonderful tano lutzes, and a triple flip-triple toe combo in the second half of the program. 157.93

Ross Miner won the bronze medal after finishing fourth in the short. His only mistake was a fall on his second triple axel, but, apart from that, the program was clean and well executed, He nailed a triple lutz-triple toe, triple flip, triple loop, triple salchow-double toe-double toe and a double axel. 151.42

Sunday, January 29, 2012

US Nationals: Ladies free

Ashley Wagner won the US Nationals for the first time in her career scoring a brilliant 123.96 in the free. Third after short program, she held on to anything, she did a triple flip-double toe-double toe, double axel-triple toe, triple lutz (wrong edge), triple loop, single salchow, triple loop-double toe and a final triple flip.

Alissa Czisny earned the silver medal with 116.86. Her skate was not the best of hers, she had troubles landing both of her lutzes (one was down graded and she fell on that), she turned into a double an intended double axel-triple toe, her entry edge on the flip was wrong, but she had two strong triple loops (one in combo with a double toe-double loop).

Agnes Zawadzki paid the pressure of the first place finish in the short and ranked seventh in the free, but still was able to finish on the podium. She opened with a beautiful double axel-triple toe, but then troubles started to come, she struggled on the landing of almost all of her jumps, including two falls on triple lutz and triple salchow (107.86)

Caroline Zhang came back strong after few seasons of struggle. She was not perfect, but she fought for her third place in the free that assured her the fourth place overall. (113.01)

Mirai Nagasu had an off competition, she placed seventh with two falls in her free and some really temptative jumps (104.97).

US Nationals; Free Dance

Meryl Davis and Charlie White won their fourth national title with, again, an almost perfect program. They received level fours for all the elements, with all high goes, just the circular step sequence was a level three. They scored 114.65, getting a full 10.00 for interpretation.

The Shibutanis placed second with a 106.23 free dance. They received level four for all the lifts, spin and step sequence, a level three for twizzles and midline steps. They also got a point deduction for an extended lift.

Hubbell/Donohue assured their third position with a 94.04 performance. They got level four for twizzles, spin, all the lifts and levels three and two for step sequences.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Carolina Kostner free skate at Euros

European Championships: ladies free

1.Kostner: triple loop, triple flip, double axel, double axel-double toe, triple toe-double toe, triple salchow, triple salchow-double toe-single toe. 120.33

2.Korpi: triple toe-triple toe, triple salchow hand down, double flip, triple loop-double toe-double loop, triple salchow-double toe, triple loop but that won't count because she repeated too many triples (two toes and salchows), double axel. 105.14

3.Gedevanishvili: triple lutz-double toe very high, two footed triple lutz, double axel-double toe-double toe, triple salchow, double axel held on, triple toe-double toe, triple toe. 108.79

4.Korobeynikova: triple flip-triple toe, triple lutz she has a beautiful flow, triple flip, double axel-triple toe, triple loop, triple salchow-double toe-double toe, double axel. 114.72

5.V. Helgesson: triple toe-double toe-double loop, triple toe, triple loop, triple flip, double axel-double toe, triple loop-double axel. triple salchow. Very good program. 105.14

6.Makarova: triple flip under rotated, triple toe-triple toe, triple loop, triple loop-double toe-single loop, triple salchow-double toe, double axel, double axel. 102.04

7.Leonova: triple toe turn-triple toe, triple loop, triple lutz fall, triple flip-double toe, triple salchow-double toe-double loop, triple flip, single axel. It looks like her letf knee is hurting. The panel is giving few under rotated jumps. 104.28

8.Marchei: triple lutz fall, triple flip, triple salchow turn-double toe, triple lutz-double toe, triple toe step out and fall, double axel, triple salchow. 93.32

European Champioships: Men's free

1.Plushenko: quad toe, triple axel, triple loop, triple axel-triple toe, triple lutz-double toe-double loop, triple lutz, triple salchow-double axel with a little struggle but still ok, very passionate footwork, double axel. Just amazing. 176.52

2.Gachinski: quad toe-double toe-double loop, quad toe, triple axel, triple axel-double toe, triple lutz, triple salchow, triple loop step out, two double axels in sequence. 161.47

3.Amodio: double salchow (that was meant to be a quad), triple axel-double toe hand up, triple axel, triple lutz-double toe-double toe hand up, triple salchow-double toe, triple lutz, triple flip wrong edge, single axel. 155.70

4.Brezina: triple axel, fall on quad toe, double salchow (that was meant to be another quad), triple axel-triple toe very well done, triple flip-triple toe, triple loop, triple lutz, double salchow then single axel-double toe. 153.17

5.Verner: fall on quad toe, triple lutz, single axel, triple axel, triple loop, triple flip wrong edge-triple toe step out, triple flip, triple salchow-double toe-single loop. 144.22

6.Fernandez: quad toe with a little turn at the end, gorgeous quad salchow, axel not even a single, with no value, single axel-double toe, triple lutz-single toe, triple salchow, triple flip step out-double toe-double loop, triple loop with a struggled landing. Anything seems very difficult today for him. 142.15

7.Samuel Contesti. triple axel, triple flip, triple lutz fall (he stepped out and put both hands down), triple axel-double toe-double toe, triple loop, double axel in the middle of footwork, triple salchow-triple toe two footed and under rotated, triple toe-double axel. 145.46

8.Brian Joubert had a good free skate but some troubles with his unitard that broke in the middle of the program . He did a quad toe, triple axel, triple flip very high, he tried a second quad toe, stepped out and was unable to put the combo there, triple salchow, triple lutz-single toe-double salchow (he turned a step out into a single loop), triple loop step out, triple flip. 139.91

Kevin Van Der Perren withdrew due toe injury just after the warm up.

US Nationals: Men's short

Jeremy Abbot won the short program at US Nationals scoring 90.23. He went for a cautious short landing all of his triples flip-toe combo, axel and lutz. Jeremy is trying to add the quad in his programs but preferred to go safe for the short. That strategy worked so far, he has an eight points lead thanks to his amazing skating quality. 

Second after the short, Adam Rippon scored 82.94. He nailed the same jumps of Jeremy, but lost some points on the components.

And so did Armin Mahbanoozadeh in third with 80.66 points

US Championships: short dance

Meryl Davis and Charlie White performed an almost perfect short dance scoring the ever best 76.89. The couple made some adjustments to their program, earning all levels four except for a rumba sequence of level three.

The Shibutanis performed really well too gaining all levels four for their short dance. They scored their personal best on 72.61.

Hubbel Donohue are currently in third with 57.56 points

Friday, January 27, 2012

US Nationals: Ladies short

Agnes Zawadzki is leading the ladies short at US Nationals scoring 66.24. She nailed the triple toe-triple toe combo, her triple lutz and double axel.

Alissa Czisny, the defending champion, is recovering from an injury. She performed her La Vie en Rose short with triple lutz-double toe combo, triple loop and singled the axel. However, her amazing artistic skills and spins she got the second place with 63.14

Ashley Wagner is rocking her skating this season: here she sits in third with 63.03. She did a triple flip-double toe combo, triple loop and double axel.

Caroline Zhang is in fourth with 60.18 and a attempted, yet under rotated triple loop-triple loop combo.

Mirai Nagasu, one of the favourites heading into Nationals, is currently in fifth with 59.02. She completed the triple lutz-double toe combo and double axel, but struggled on the landing of her opening triple loop.

Carolina Kostner short program at Europeans

European Championships: ladies short

1.Kostner: 3toe-3toe, 3loop, flying camel spin, 2axel, layback, circular steps, a little mistake on the combo spin. 63.22

2.Korpi: 3toe-3toe, 3loop, flying sit spin, 2axel, layback, straight footwork, combo spin. She looked absolutely divine! It is so nice that she regrouped after the fall season. 61.80. maybe she under rotated her loop 61.80

3.Makarova: 3toe-3toe with a not flawless landing, 3loop, 2axel, level one flying sit spin, combo spin, straight footwork,  layback. Good job! 57.55

4.Gedevanishvili: 3lutz-2toe very high, 3salchow, flying sit spin a little high position, 2axel, straight line footwork, layback, combo spin. What a delight! Good job Brian Orser! 57.14

5.V. Helgesson: 3toe-2toe (she tried a triple triple in the warm up), triple loop, layback with a unusual edge change at the end, straight footwork, 2axel, combo spin. 55.68 good components score

6.Leonova: 3toe-3toe two footed, 3flip, 2axel, layback, straight footwork, flying sit spin, combo spin. 54.50

7.Marchei: 3lutz-2toe, 3salchow, combo spin, 2axel, layback spin, straight footwork, flying sit spin. It is really nice seeing such clean performances 53.52

8.Silete: the swan lake is a leit motive this year. 3toe-3toe well done, 3loop, flying camel, 2axel, layback spin, footwork and combo spin. Very well done for her! 52.75

9.J. Helgesson: 3lutz very good, 3salchow-double toe hand up, flying camel spin, straight footwork, 2axel, layback, combo spin.
She seems to have a lot of fun skating. 52.32

10.Glebova: 3lutz wrong edge, 3toe-3toe, 2axel, layback not high level, circular steps, flying sit spin, combo spin. She is very improved from last year, very solid performance. 52.32

11.Meite: 3toe-3toe a little sloppy on the second jump, 3 lutz, 2axel, combo spin, straight footwork, good flying camel, layback. 49.86

12.Korobeynikova: 3flip-3toe fall, 3loop fall, flying sit spin, double axel, not effortless, very nice lay back, footwork, combo spin. She is very elegant and has long beautiful lines but emotional today. 49.41

1.Kostner 63.22
2.Korpi 61.80
3.Makarova 57.55
4.Gedevanishvili 57.14
5.Helgesson 55.68
6.Leonova 54.50

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Campionati Europei: Corto maschile

Gachinski si e' espresso al massimo delle sue potenzialita' e occupa la prima posizione con 0.09 punti di vantaggio sul suo connazionale Plushenko. Perfetti i salti quadruplo toeloop-triplo toeloop, triplo axel, triplo lutz. (84.80)

Plushenko ha eseguito un programma pulito, ma non molto difficile tecnicamente rispetto al suo solito. (84.71) Ha eseguito una buona combinazione triplo lutz-triplo toeloop, un ottimo triplo axel e un triplo loop. Ha ricevuto anche degli ottimi components, il valore piu' basso e' stato attribuito alle transition che sono state valutate 7.86.

Tomas Verner ha aperto con un quadruplo toeloop atterrato su due piedi, ma poi si e' ripreso portando a termine un ottimo triplo axel e una combinazione triplo lutz-triplo toeloop. (81.14)

Fernandez e' l'atleta per il quale si nutre maggior aspettativa in questo europeo. Non si e' espresso al massimo in questo segmento di gara. Ha aperto il programma con un meraviglioso quadruplo toeloop ma poi e' stato impreciso nell'atterrare il triplo lutz a cui comunque ha saputo attaccare il triplo toeloop in combinazione e ha atterrato male il triplo axel. (80.11)

Amodio ha presentato il suo nuovo programma corto alla scena internazionale ottenendo il suo season best di 78.48. Unica imperfezione della sua performance e' stato uno step out sul quadruplo salchow, poi ha eseguito un buon triplo lutz-triplo toeloop e un ottimo triplo axel.

Brezina ha eseguito un programma non perfetto, ottimo il triplo axel, arriva molto vicino alla balaustra nella combinazione triplo flip-triplo toeloop e commette step out. (76.13)

Joubert si e' presentato decisamente sottotono, ha ottenuto il dodicesimo punteggio tecnico della gara a causa di una caduta sul quadruplo toeloop, uno step out sul triplo axel. E' riuscito ad eseguire in maniera pulita solo il triplo lutz, che ha lasciato senza combinazione. (67.92)

1.Gachinski 84.80
2.Plushenko 84.71
3.Verner 81.14
4.Fernandez 80.11
5.Amodio 78.48
6.Brezina 76.13

European Championships: Men's short

Gachinski performed the short program at his best. He nailed all the technical difficulties planned: gorgeous quad toe-triple toe, triple axel, triple lutz. He won the short in a virtual tie with Plushenko. (84.80)

Plushenko went for a cautious and clean short program. (84.71) He decided to put apart the quad today, but performed very well his triple lutz-triple toe combo, a huge triple axel, and a triple loop. He received good components too, the lower voice was as usual transitions that scored 7.86.

Tomas Verner tried the quad toe, he two-footed it but then went clean on his other jumps: good triple axel and triple lutz-triple toe combo. He scored 81.14

Fernandez was the real expectation of this championships. He had a rollercaster short nailing a beautiful quad toe, a riple lutz-turn triple toe and a very uneasy triple axel. His components were a little bit lower than Plushenko's. (80.11)

Amodio showed his new short program on the international stage scoring his season best 78.48. His only mistake was a step out on the quad salchow, but then did triple lutz-double toe combo and a good triple axel.

Brezina scored 76.13. His triple axel was very well done, but then he stepped out on his triple flip-triple toe combo that was very near to the board and fell on his quad salchow.

Joubert did not performed well in his short program scoring the 12th techical mark of the competition. He fell on the quad toe, missing the combination, stepped out on the triple axel and finally did well on the triple lutz. (67.92)

1.Gachinski 84.80
2.Plushenko 84.71
3.Verner 81.14
4.Fernandez 80.11
5.Amodio 78.48
6.Brezina 76.13

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

European Championships: short dance

Bobrova/Soloviev of Russia took the first place in the short dance collecting 65.06 points. Their technical elements were good, twizzles level four, lift level four and step sequence level three.

Pechalat Bourzat are in a surprising second place after the short. (64.89) They have beaten the Russian team on the components score, but technically they were lower getting a level two and three for the rumba sequence, a level two for the no-touch step sequence and level four for the lift and twizzles.

Another surprise was the third place of the Russian couple Riazanova/Tkachenko who gained 61.34 with some levels four on twizzles, lift and a rumba sequence (the other one was a level three) and the step sequence was a level three too.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

European Champioships: Korobeynikova at preliminary round

Polina Korobeynikova qualified for European Championships with a wonderful free skate (109.73).
Her technical content was really high including a triple flip-triple toe combo, a triple lutz, a triple flip, a double axel-triple toe combo, a triple salchow-double toe-double toe combo, a triple loop and a final double axel. With such a score she gives herself a chance of a podium finish at the final.

Monday, January 23, 2012

European Championships: Plushenko at preliminary round

Plushenko made his return on the international stage at the preliminary round of European Championships. He won the qualifying round with no problems,fourty points above the second Zoltan Kelemev. He collected 157.52 points with a very good free skate. He did a quad toe (even if he struggled a little bit with it), a triple axel, a triple loop, a triple axel-double toe combo, a triple lutz-double toe-double loop combo, another triple lutz, a sequence af a double salchow-double axel and a final double axel. He was not given the full credit for his spins: the flying sit was a level three, but the camel spin and the combo spin received just a level one. His program components were high, above the eight points except for transitions that earne 7.5 points.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Canadian Championships: Men's free

Patrick Chan performed a stunning free skate and won the Canadian Championships with a total score of 302.14. Ha nailed all of his jumps: quad toe-double toe combo (his only little mistake as he was planned to do a quad-triple combo), quad toe, triple axel, triple lutz-single loop-triple salchow combo, triple loop, triple flip-triple toe combo, a beautiful triple lutz taken from a very difficult transition, and a final double axel. He received very high goes and components score all 9.5 or more.

Kevin Reynold took the silver medal with an ambitious yet struggled skate (158.63). He attempted three different quads: he nailed the salchow and toeloop but under rotated his loop. He did also a good triple axel, a very difficult combo triple flip-triple toe-triple loop, followed by a double axel-triple toe combo (under rotated the toe), a triple lutz, a triple salchow-triple loop combo.

Jeremy Ten had not the best skate tonight, but he managed to get a third place finish (136.69). He fell on his opening triple axel, then did some nice jumps such as a triple lutz-triple toe combo, a triple toeloop, a triple loop-double toe combo, triple lutz-single toe combo, a double axel a triple salchow with some problems and finally he fell on his triple flip.

Canadian Championships: Dance Results

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won the Canadian Championships with a fabulous free dance scored 111.61. After the struggle of the short dance, the Olympic champions did not make a mistake and earned a level four for the curved lift (that was changed after the grand prix final: in the early season Scott used to lift Tessa staying on one foot, now he takes the spread eagle position), twizzles, spin, and combo lift, and a level three for step sequences and the rotational lift. Tessa and Scott had decided to change some parts that were considered too static and now the program seems even more detailed and beautifully on the music.

Weaver/Poje made a real step forward this season and might give us some thrilling performances at worlds. They scored 106.26, six points above their season best, and collected a series of level four on twizzles, spin and any of their lifts (they received a level three on steps).

Gilles/Poirier also had a good skate, winning the bronze medal at their debut competition. They were given level four on any of their elements except steps, but they left some points on the artistic mark.

Canadian Championships: Pairs' free

Duhamel/Radford performed an outstanding free and won with a 129.19 points performance. They did a triple twist, a triple lutz-double toe-double toe side by side, triple salchow side by side, triple salchow thrown and triple flip thrown. Anything looked clean and sharp, and they have been rewarded with a very high components score of 62.35

Dube/Wolfe did a good skate earning 110.95 points. The two first elements were quite shaky (they were a triple twist and a doubled salchow side by side), but then gave their best to a sequence of double axels, a triple loop thrown, and a struggled triple lutz thrown (which they completed).

Lawrence-Swiegers had a strong free skate (110.29). They completed a good triple twist, triple toe side by side, had some problems on the double axels sequence (the second one was under-rotated), they fought for completing the triple loop thrown and the lift of group five, then regrouped on the triple lutz thrown.

Canadian Championships: Ladies' free skate

Amelie Lacoste won the Canadian Championship with a 107.08 free skate. Amelie had a nice skating completing a opening triple loop, a triple salchow-double toe combo, triple loop-double loop-double loop combo, triple salchow and double axel but struggled with the toe-pick jumps and singled both flip and lutz attempted in her program.

Cynthia Phaneuf won the free skate and managed a second place finish overall (108.28). She had a very strong program: nailed the triple loop, triple lutz, triple loop-double toe, double salchow, then she fell on the double axel, her simplest jump, completed triple toe and triple toe- double toe combo. Once again she was rewarded as the best artistic skater of the competition.

Firts after short program, Katleyn Osmond gained the bronze medal with a 98.53 free skate. Some technical mistakes and her lack of artistry (due to her young age and the comparison with the maturity of Lacoste and Phaneuf) caused her a third place finish. She nailed the triple flip-double toe, triple toe-double toe and double axel-double toe-double loop combos, a nice triple flip and toe loop, but struggled on the landing of her triple salchow and fell on double axel.

Canadian Championships: Men's short

Patrick Chan performed a stunning short program gaining a monstrous score of 101.33. He nailed perfectly anything, the quad toe-triple toe combo, the triple axel and triple lutz. All level four except for the combo spin that earned a level three. So Patrick Chan is showing once more that he really improves as the season goes on.

Kevin Reinolds had a clean skate too (80.81). He did quad salchow-triple toe combo, triple axel and triple lutz.

Jeremy Ten placed third with a 70.81 short program. He fell on the opening triple axel, then completed his other elements clean: triple lutz-triple toe combination and triple loop.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Nazionali Canadesi: programma corto donne

Kaetlyn Osmond ha eseguito un bel programma realizzando 56.94 punti e guidando la classifica dopo il corto. Ha aperto il programma con un ottimo doppio axel, poi una combinazione triplo toe-triplo toe, unico triplo-triplo della competizione, e un triplo flip. Ha ricevuto goe tutti positivi per gli elementi tecnici tranne che per la trottola saltata di livello tre.

In seconda posizione, Amelie Lacoste si e' espressa in un corto non perfetto, ma con grande maturita' artistica ed espressiva. Ha aperto il programma con il doppio axel, poi e' caduta sul triplo lutz che le e' stato anche degradato. La sua combinazione e' stata triplo loop-doppio loop. (52.43)

Alexandra Najarro si e' assicurata la terza posizione dopo il programma corto ottenendo 52.34 punti Ha eseguito una combo triplo flip-doppio toe loop, poi un triplo lutz faticoso e un doppio axel pulito.

Cynthia Phaneuf si trova in quarta posizione (49.66). Ha eseguito un solido doppio axel, ma poi ha lottato per tenere in piedi il triplo lutz ed e' caduta sul triplo loop, non riuscendo dunque a completare la combinazione. Tuttavia ha ricevuto il milgior punteggio artistico della competizione.

Nazionali Canadesi: programma corto coppie

Duhamel/Radford (60.95) si sono posizionati primi dopo il corto. Hanno eseguito un meraviglioso triplo twist ma hanno avuto dei problemi su un sollevamento e sul triplo flip lanciato che, nonostante un'uscita difficile, sono riusciti a salvare.

Dube/Wolfe seguono immediatamente Duhamel/Radford con uno short da 60.65 punti. Hanno completato un triplo salchow side by side triplo flip lanciatoe un triplo.

Moore-Towers/Moscovich hanno ricevuto un punteggio di 60.26. I loro elementi tecnici sono stati un buon triplo twist e un triplo toe loop side by side caduto invece il triplo loop lanciato.

Nazionali Canadesi: short dance

Virtue/Moir e Weaver/Poje hanno un distacco di soli 0.14 punti dopo la short dance.
Virtue/Moir sono i favoriti per la medaglia d'oro, ma uno step out di Tessa nei twizzle e' costato alla coppia tre o piu' punti. (68.41)

Weaver/Poje si sono esibiti al meglio e hanno ottenuto 68.27 punti. Hanno ricevuto un livello quattro per i twizzle e per lo straight line lift, livello tre e due per le sequenze di rumba e ancora livello tre per i passi in cerchio.

La nuova coppia formata da Piper/Gilles ha debuttato in occasione di questi campionati nazionali ottenendo una terza posizione (62.78). Hanno ricevuto un ottimo punteggio tecnico (comparabile a quello di Weaver/Poje e superiore a quello di Virtue/Moir) ma hanno perso alcuni punti nei components.  

Canadian Championships: Short Dance

Virtue/Moir and Weaver/Poje are in a virtual tie after the short dance.
Virtue/Moir are the favourite to win this competition, but a Tessa's step out on the twizzles cost them about three or more points. (68.41)

Weaver/Poje skated their best earning 68.27. They received level four for twizzles and the straight line lift, level three and two on the rumba sequences and a level three also for the circular steps.

The newly formed Piper/Gilles dance team debuted with a third place finish short (62.78). They received a very good technical score (comparable to Weaver/Poje and superior to Virtue/Moir) but lost some points on the components

Friday, January 20, 2012

Canadian Championships: Pairs' short

Duhamel/Radford (60.95) placed first in the short. They performed a gorgeous triple twist but had some problems on a lift and on the triple flip thrown, but fought for it and nailed it.

Dube/Wolfe are just behind Duhamel/Radford with a 60.65 performance. They did a triple salchow side by side triple flip thrown and a triple twist.

Moore-Towers/Moscovich received 60.26. They executed a nice triple twist and triple toe loop side by side but fell on the thrown triple loop.

Canadian Championships: Ladies' short

Kaetlyn Osmond performed a beautiful short program scoring 56.94 and leading after the first segment of the competition. She opened with a stunning double axel, then a triple toe-triple toe combination. She received positive credit for all her technical elements except for a level three flying sit spin.

In second position, Amelie Lacoste executed a not perfect yet classy and artistic short. She opened with the double axel, then she fell on her triple lutz and got downgraded for it. Her combination was a triple loop-double loop. (52.43)

Alexandra Najarro assured a third spot going into the free with a 52.34 points short program. She did a triple flip-double toe combo, then a tight triple lutz and a clean double axel.

Cynthia Phaneuf is currently in a disappointing fourth place (49.66). She did a sold double axel, but then she fought for a triple lutz hand down and fell on the triple loop without doing any combination. Anyway, she scored the best program components of the night.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

European Championships: Ice Dance Preview

Pechalat/Bourzat from France are the favourite to win gold at 2012 European championship. The reigning European champion assured a bronze medal at Grand Prix final this fall, getting the highest score among all of the European dance teams.

Pechalat/Bourzat free dance at grand prix final

Two Russian teams battle for a medal in Sheffield: Bobrova/Soloviev and Ilinykh/Katslapov.
Bobrova/Soloviev had a terrific fall season winning at Cup of China and gaining a spot into the final. They were also crowned Russian Champions over the young couple Ilinykh/Katslapov coached by Morozov.

Bobrova/Soloviev free dance at grand prix final
Ilinykh/Katslapov free dance at Trophee Eric Bompard

Also coached by Morozov, Cappellini/Lanotte of Italy improved their skating abilities this season placing third at both Skate Canada and Trophee Eric Bompard with a suggestive free.

Cappellini/Lanotte free dance at Trophee Eric Bompard

Podium picks
Gold: Pechalat/Bourzat
Silver: Bobrova/Soloviev
Bronze: Cappellini/Lanotte

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Elizaveta Tuktamisheva vince le Olimpiadi della gioventu'

Elisaveta Tuktamisheva vince la competizione femminile con 173.10. Elisaveta e' stata sommariamente pulita, ma e' caduta sul triplo flip, non uno dei suoi salti migliori. Ha realizzato triplo lutz-triplo toe, un altro triplo lutz, axel singolo-triplo toe, triplo loop, triplo salchow-triplo toeloop e un doppio axel. Ha ricevuto anche dei components discreti (54.80) ottenendo persino un 7.04 per gli skating skills.

Adelina Sotnikova non ha brillato nel libero, in cui si e' piazzata terza, ma e' riuscita lo stesso a ottenere la medaglia d'argento grazie al suo solido short (159.08 in totale). L'atleta russa ha ritrovato la combinazione triplo lutz-triplo loop, ma il filo d'entrata era sbagliato ed il loop era leggermente sottoruotato. Gli altri suoi salti sono stati: triplo flip, doppio axel-doppio toe, flip semplice, triplo salchow-doppio toe, loop semplice e doppio axel.

Li Zijun ha ottenuto la medaglia di bronzo con 157.70. Ha eseguito triplo flip-doppio toe, doppio axel-triplo toe-doppio toe (combinazione riproposta in piu' occasioni dall'atleta cinese e molto solida), triplo lutz, triplo salchow-doppio toeloop, triplo flip, triplo lutz e doppio axel. Di grande effetto la sua layback finale, di livello quattro e premiata dai giudici con +1 di goe.  

Yanovskaya/Mozgov vincono la competizione di danza alle Olimpiadi della gioventu'

I russi Yanovskaya/Mozgov vincono la competizione di danza con 146.96. Ricevono tutti livelli quattro a eccezione dei passi in cerchio e della midline (per la quale hanno ricevuto un livello tre)

In seconda posizione ci sono Nazarova/Nikitin (UKR) con 131.78. Ricevono livelli quattro per il sollevamento combinato e per i twizzle, livello tre per la trottola e solo un livello due per le sequenze di passi e il sollevamento in curva.

Simonova/Dragun ottengono la medaglia di bronzo con un totale di 125.22. Ricevono un livello quattro per il sollevamento in curva e per il rotational, twizzle e trottola. Viene loro assegnato un livello due per i passi in cerchio e per lo straight line lift e solo un livello uno per la midline.

Elizaveta Tuktamisheva wins Youth Olympic games

Elisaveta Tuktamisheva wins the ladies' competition with 173.10. Elisaveta was clean overall, but fell on the triple flip, not her favourite jump. She did triple lutz-triple toe, another triple lutz, single axel-triple toe, triple loop, triple salchow-triple toeloop and a double axel. She had quite good components (54.80) earning 7.04 on skating skills.

Adelina Sotnikova had a disappointing free (the third in the ranking) but managed a second finish (159.08). She found back her triple lutz-triple loop, but that was wrong edge and slightly under rotated. Then she did a triple flip, double axel-double toe, single flip, triple salchow-double toe, single loop and double axel.

Li Zijun earned the bronze medal with 157.70. She did triple flip-double toe, double axel-triple toe-double toe (a trademark combination), triple lutz, triple salchow-double toeloop, triple flip, triple lutz and double axel. Amazing the final layback, level four and +1 goe.  

Yanovskaya/Mozgov win the dance competition at Youth Olympic games

The Russians Yanovskaya/Mozgov win the dance competition with 146.96 total score. They received all level four except for the circular steps and the midline steps (for whom they received a level three).
In second place there are Nazarova/Nikitin (UKR) with 131.78. They received level four for the comined lift and for twizzles, level three for the spin and just a level two for the step sequences and curved lift.
Simonova/Dragun earned the bronze medal with a total score of 125.22. They received a level four for the curved lift, twizzles, rotational lift and spin. They got a level two for the circular steps and straight line lift and just a level one on the midline.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Han Yan wins men's competition at Youth Olympics

Han Yan (CHN) wins the men's competition with a total score of 192.45. He did triple flip-triple toe, triple loop, triple lutz, double axel-double toeloop-single loop, another triple flip, a fallen triple lutz, triple salchow and double axel. He also received more than seven points on each of the components.

In second place there is the Japanese Uno Shoma that, after a disappointing short that put him in sixth, found his rythm back in the free earning 167.15. He did a triple lutz, double axel-triple toe (under rotated), triple flip, triple loop, double axel, triple loop-double toe, triple flip-single toe-single toe and a triple salchow.

Feodosi Efremenkov (RUS) gets the bronze medal with 163.46. His program has been damaged by two falls on his opening triple axels (one was meant to be in combo), then the jumps went well with a triple flip, triple lutz-double toe, triple lutz, triple loop, triple salchow and a sequence of two double axels.

Han Yan vince la gara maschile alle Olimpiadi della gioventu'

Han Yan (CHN) vince le Olimpiadi della Gioventu' con un totale di 192.45 punti. I suoi salti sono stati triplo flip-triplo toeloop, triplo loop, triplo lutz, doppio axel-doppio toeloop-loop semplice, triplo flip, triplo lutz caduto, triplo salchow e doppio axel. Buone anche le componenti del programma, tutte oltre il sette.

In seconda posizione c'e' il giapponese Uno Shoma che, dopo un non brillante corto, ha ritrovato confidenza nel libero ottenendo 167.15. Ha eseguito un triplo lutz di apertura, doppio axel-triplo toeloop sottoruotato, triplo flip, triplo loop, doppio axel, triplo loop-doppio toeloop, triplo flip-toeloop semplice-toeloop semplice e un triplo salchow.

Vince la medaglia di bronzo il russo Feodosi Efremenkov con 163.46. Ha eseguito un libero non molto pulito a causa di due cadute sui due tripli axel di apertura (di cui uno doveva essere in combinazione), poi il programma e' stato eseguito correttamente con un triplo flip, triplo lutz-doppio toeloop,triplo lutz, triplo loop triplo salchow e due doppi axel in sequenza.

Yu/Jin win the pairs' competition at Youth Olympic Games

Yu/Jin (CHN) win the Youth Olympic games with 153.82. They do a good triple twist, a sequence of double axels with step out, a good triple toeloop side by side, two Chinese school-like thrown jumps triple loop and triple salchow. They did clean lifts and spins too.

The Russian couple Fedorova/Miroshkin finishes in second place with 134.89. This is a disappointing performance with a not clean triple twist, fall on their double axel side by side and they do just a double flip-single toeloop combo. They do nice triple loop and double salchow thrown, but they receive two points deduction for illegal movements.

The other Russia team Dolidze/Ivanov earn the bronze medal with an easy yet clean free program. They do a double twist, a sequence of double axels, a double lutz side by side, double loop thrown and double flip thrown. They get 112.72 points.

La coppia Yu/Jin vince le Olimpiadi della Gioventu'

Nel programma lungo delle coppie la classifica e' rimasta invariata rispetto allo short.
Vanno a vincere il titolo gli atleti cinesi Yu/Jin con un totale di 153.82. Presentano un buon triplo twist, due doppi axel in sequenza con arrivi imprecisi, un buon triplo toeloop side by side, i lanciati, entrambi ottimi, come solo la scuola cinese riesce ad eseguire, triplo loop e triplo salchow. Puliti anche sollevamenti e salti.

La coppia russa Fedorova/Miroshkin finisce la gara in seconda posizione con 134.89 tra programma corto e libero. La loro e' una prestazione un po' deludente: sporcano il triplo twist, cadono sul doppio axel side by side ed eseguono solo una combinazione doppio flip-toeloop semplice. Buoni i salti lanciati, un triplo loop e un salchow doppio, ma ricevono tre punti di detrazione: uno dovuto alla caduta sul doppio axel, gli altri due attribuiti a movimenti non previsti dal regolamento.

L'altra coppia russa Dolidze/Ivanov guadagna la medaglia di bronzo con un libero non ambizioso ma pulito. Eseguono un doppio twist, una sequenza di due doppi axel, un doppio lutz side by side, i lanciati doppio loop e doppio flip. Ottengono 112.72 punti.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Results of Youth Olympic Games short programs

 Men's Competition

Han Yan leads after short program with 59.65 despite a disappointing execution.He pops the starting triple axel, he failed the triple flip-triple toe combo, he does well the triple lutz. The Chinese skaters is rewarded with the best components score of 34.21.
Feodosi Efremenkov (RUS) is in second place. He falls on his triple axel and misses the entry edge of his triple flip-double toe combo. He gets 54.70.
In third position there is Michael Christian Martinez (PHI) with a nice triple lutz, a mistake on the triple loop (no combination, then) and a good double axel. (54.35)

Pairs' Competition

The same of the men's competition, China leads with Yu/Jin presenting a good double lutz side by side, a thrown triple loop and a double twist. The program is well skated and clean, to deserve 51.79 points.
The Russian team Fedorova/Miroshkin has the same technical content as the Chinese, but they miss the entry edge of the double lutz and gain for that 49.32.
At third place there is another Russian couple Dolidze/Ivanov: double twist, double loop thrown and double lutz side by side (always taken from the wrong edge...). They gain 38.75.

Dance Competition

There is a Russian team Yanovskaya/Mozgov leading the short dance wih 60.19. They gain the best result both technically (33.79) and on artistry (26.40): level 4 for twizzles, for one of the two Rumba's sequences and for rotational lift; for any other elements they receive a level 3.
In second place there is Nazarova Nikitin (UKR) with 57.44. Their technical mark is almost the same of the Russians, while they lose a couple of points on components score.
The other Russian team Simonova/Dragun is in third with 54.11. Level 4 for twizzles, level 3 for rumba's sequences and for the lift, just a level 2 for the circular step sequence.

Ladies' Competition

The ladies' competition has been characterized by the predominance of Russia. Elizaveta Tuktamisheva has won the short with 61.83. She presented a triple salchow-triple toe combination, a triple lutz and a double axel, all well execute. Adelina Sotnikova is in second place with 59.44. She did the easier triple toe-triple toe combo, triple lutz wrong edge and a nice double axel. Zijun Li (CHN) is in third with 50.92. She did triple flip-double toe combo (actually she had proved to know how to do a triple triple, so watch out for the free) a triple lutz wrong edge and a double axel.

Risultato dei programmi corti alle Olimpiadi della Gioventu'

Gara Maschile

Han Yan guida la classifica dopo lo short con 59.65 nonostante una prestazione ben al di sotto delle sue possibilita'. Apre il triplo axel iniziale (lo esegue singolo), non riesce a portare a termine la combinazione triplo flip-triplo toeloop a causa di un'uscita non perfetta dal flip, completa bene il triplo lutz. L'atleta cinese viene premiato con il miglior punteggio artistico della competizione (34.21)
Feodosi Efremenkov (RUS) occupa la seconda posizione. Cade sul triplo axel e sbaglia il filo d'entrata della conbinazione triplo flip-doppio toeloop. Ottiene 54.70.
In terza posizione c'e' Michael Christian Martinez (PHI) con un buon triplo lutz, un errore sul triplo loop (per cui non e' in grado di completare la combinazione), e un buon doppio axel. (54.35)

Gara delle coppie

Come nella gara machile, la Cina domina con la coppia Yu/Jin che presenta un buon doppio lutz side by side, un triplo loop lanciato e un doppio twist. Il programma e' ben pattinato e pulito, da meritare 51.79 punti.
La coppia russa Fedorova/Miroshkin presenta lo stesso contenuto tecnico dei Cinesi, ma sbagliano il filo di entrata del doppio lutz e ottengono per questo 49.32.
Al terzo posto troviamo un'altra coppia russa Dolidze/Ivanov: doppio twist, doppio loop lanciato e doppio lutz side by side (sempre preso dal filo sbagliato...). Ottengono 38.75.

Gara di Danza

A guidare la classifica c'e' la coppia russa Yanovskaya/Mozgov con 60.19. Ottengono il miglior risultato sia a livello tecnico (33.79) che artistico(26.40): livello 4 per twizzles, per una delle due sequenze di rumba e per il rotational lift; per tutti gli altri elementi prendono un livello 3.
In seconda posizione c'e' la coppia ukraina Nazarova Nikitin con 57.44. Il loro punteggio tecnico e' praticamente identico a quello della coppia russa, mentre perdono un paio di punti nelle componenti artistiche del programma.
L'altra coppia russa Simonova/Dragun occupa la terza posizione con 54.11. Livello 4 per i twizzles, livello 3 per le sequenze di rumba e per il sollevamento e solo livello 2 per la sequenza di passi in cerchio.

Gara Femminile

La gara femminile e'stata caratterizzata dalla supremazia della Russia. Occupano rispettivamente primo e secondo posto le pattinatrici Elizaveta Tuktamisheva (61.83) e Adelina Sotnikova (59.44). Elizaveta ha presentato un'ottima combinazione triplo salchow-triplo toeloop, un triplo lutz e doppio axel. La Sotnikova, invece, ha eseguito una piu' semplice combinazione triplo toeloop-triplo toeloop, un triplo lutz preso dal filo sbagliato e il doppio axel. In piu' le e' stato assegnato solo un livello uno nella trottola saltata.
Al terzo posto c'e' l'atleta cinese Zijun Li (50.92). I suoi salti sono stati triplo flip-doppio toeloop, il lutz e' stato sottoruotato e preso dal filo sbagliato, il doppio axel pulito.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

European Championship: Ladies' Preview

In the ladies' field, Carolina Kostner is the favourite for gold. Three times European champion, Carolina started the season in the best way by making it to the podium each time she attended a competition (she won Cup of China and Grand Prix final). The italian skater has not a very high technical content because of an injury that forced her not to practice the most difficult jumps last season. Carolina might introduce some technical difficulties during European Championships. That could give her a higher technical score or could make pressure on her program, too.

Carolina Kostner gpf short program

Russia is sending three skaters to European Championships: Alena Leonova, Ksenia Makarova and Polina Korobeynikova. The first two can battle for medal.
Alena Leonova started her season brilliantly, by qualifying for Grand Prix final and winning the bronze there. She earned a third place at national championships too, because of the strenght of the younger Russian skaters, unable to compete to an international senior event yet.
It seemed like Ksenia Makarova had regained a sort of form after the disappointing beginning of season. The Russian athlete placed second at nationals' short program, but she did not repeat in the free where she under-rotated a lot of jumps, finishing fourth. Ksenia could do well at European Championships, especially in the short, but not easily in the free that had been criticized for structure and coreography.

Alena Leonova gpf free skate
Ksenia Makarova national championship free skate

Kiira Korpi (FIN), winner of the bronze medal at European Championships in 2011, is recovering from a september injury. Kiira is one of the best artistic European athletes (the choice of her free on “I've got rythm”, she really seems to come from the twenties), but she had always been inconsistent on her jumps.

Kiira Korpi national championships free skate

The biggest surprise can come from Elene Gedevanishvili from Georgia. Elene had not have her chance to prove herself on international field, but having changed her coach (now she is training with Brian Orser), it seems that she had found a new style, a new charactere that could help her in Europe.

Elene Gedevanishvili NHK free skate

Podium Picks:
Gold: Carolina Kostner
Silver: Alena Leonova
Bronze: Elene Gedevanishvili

Campionati Europei: Previsioni per la gara femminile

Nella gara femminile, Carolina Kostner si presenta come la grande favorita per l'oro. Tre volte campionessa europea, Carolina si e' distinta a inizio stagione salendo sul podio ad ogni competizione cui abbia partecipato (ha vinto la Cup of China e la finale di Grand Prix). La pattinatrice italiana, per ora, non ha presentato un contenuto tecnico pari alle sue potenzialita' (e a quelle di molte atlete in gara) a causa di un infortunio che le ha impedito di allenare i salti piu' difficili durante la scorsa stagione. Carolina potrebbe in occasione degli europei reinserire qualche difficolta' in piu' rispetto a inizio stagione, il che potrebbe sia aumentare il livello della sua prestazione in caso di successo, sia compromettere la pulizia generale del programma.

La Russia presenta tre atlete ai campionati: Alena Leonova, Ksenia Makarova e Polina Korobeynikova. Di queste, le prime due potrebbero aspirare a medaglia.
Alena Leonova ha iniziato brillantemente la sua stagione qualificandosi per la finale di grand prix dove ha vinto la medaglia di bronzo. Ha ottenuto un terzo posto anche ai campionati nazionali russi, in cui pero' la concorrenza con le giovani pattinatrici, ancora junior a livello internazionale, e' fittissima.
Sembrava quasi che Ksenia Makarova avesse recuperato la forma fisica dopo il deludente inizio di stagione. Infatti, l'atleta russa ha esordito ai campionati nazionali con un brillante secondo posto, tuttavia si e' persa nel libero, ha sottoruotato la maggior parte dei salti presentati, sintomo di una condizione fisica non ottimale riuscendo ad ottenere una quarta posizione. Ksenia potrebbe comunque ben figurare ai campionati europei, specialmente nel programma corto, con piu' difficolta' in quello lungo che, inoltre, e' stato aspramente criticato per costruzione e coreografia.

Alena Leonova gpf free skate
Ksenia Makarova national championship free skate

Kiira Korpi (FIN), vincitrice della medaglia di bronzo agli europei di Berna 2011, si sta riprendendo da un infortunio contratto in settembre. Kiira e' una delle migliori atlete europee a livello artistico (particolarmente interessante la scelta del suo libero su “I've got rythm” in cui Kiira sembra direttamente calata dagli anni '20), ma e' sempre stata piuttosto incostante nel presentare i suoi salti.

Kiira Korpi national championships free skate

La sorpresa maggiore di questi campionati sara' a mio avviso la georgiana Elene Gedevanishvili. Elene non ha avuto ancora occasione di sfondare a livello internazionale, ma cambiato lo staff tecnico (ora si allena con Brian Orser), sembra che quest'anno abbia acquisito un nuovo stile che potrebbe essere vincente in Europa.

Elene Gedevanishvili NHK free skate

Previsioni per il podio:
Oro: Carolina Kostner
Argento: Alena Leonova
Bronzo: Elene Gedevanishvili

European Championship: Pair's Preview

Moving to the pairs competition, battle for gold will be between Savchenko Szolkovy (GER) and Volosozhar/Trankov (RUS) (the other elite's pair from Russia Kavaguti/Smirnov have withdrawn due to injury). The German and the Russian couple faced early this season in the grand prix final won by Savchenko/Szolkowy for two points. Because of the technical ability of both, it is really hard to foresee who is going to win. Although, the fact that Savchenko/Szolkowy is a couple since many years, while Volosozhar/Trankov started to compete together last season, could help the German team to win their fifth European Championship.

Aiming for a third place finish, there are two couples: Bazarova/Larionov (RUS) and Berton/Hotarek (ITA). Bazarova/Larionov are a truly talented pair who gained bronze medal at European Championships last year. Their trademarks are lifts and throw jumps (even for the extreme light of Vera Bazarova) but they had often struggled with their side by side jumps.

Bazarova/Larionov national championship free skate

Berton/Hotarek are a newly formed couple (they did their debut at worlds 2010 in Torino0 but they have already took the scene in major competitions. For the first time in their career and in Italian figure skating history, they earned the bronze medal at Cup of Russia, just after savchenko/Szolkovy and Kavaguti/Smirnov. Their technical content is full of valuable elements, such as spins, steps and side by side triple toeloop. What could hurt them in this competition is the lack of triple twist, element they are working on.

Berton Hotarek national championship free skate

Podium picks:
Gold: Savchenko/Szolkowy
Silver: Volosozhar/Trankov
Bronze: Bazarova/Larionov 

Campionati Europei: Previsioni per le coppie

Per quanto riguarda le coppie di artistico, la lotta per l'oro coinvolgera' la coppia tedesca Savchenko/Szolkovy e quella russa Volosozhar/Trankov (l'altra coppia d'elite russa formata da Kavaguti/Smirnov si e' ritirata per colpa di un'appendicite contratta da Alexander). Le coppie tedesca e russa in questa stagione hanno gareggiato l'una contro l'altra solo in occasione della finale di grand prix, vinta da Savchenko/Szolkovy per un paio di punti. Essendo entrambe molto ferrate sugli elementi tecnici, e' difficile poter stabilire chi la spuntera' agli europei. Anche dal punto di vista artistico le due coppie rivali, sebbene diverse per stile, si eguagliano nei punteggi. Tutto dipendera' dall'esecuzione e dalla capacita' di portare a casa un programma pulito.

Savchenko/Szolkovy gpf free skate

A combattere per il terzo posto c'e' un'altra coppia russa Bazarova/Larionov e i campioni italiani Berton/Hotarek. Bazarova/Larionov sono una coppia di grande talento che l'anno scorso ha conquistato il terzo posto agli europei di Berna. Gioco forza degli atleti russi sono sollevamenti e lanciati (anche perche' Vera Bazarova e' leggerissima), tuttavia dimostrano spesso incertezze sui salti side by side.

Bazarova/Larionov national championship free skate

Berton/Hotarek sono una coppia di recente formazione (il loro debutto a livello internazionale e' stato in occasione dei mondiali di Torino 2010) ma che gia' si e' fatta notare in piu' competizioni. Per la prima volta nella loro carriera e nella storia del pattinaggio di coppia italiano sono saliti sul podio alla Cup of Russia, preceduti da Savchenko/Szolkovy e Kavaguti/Smirnov. Hanno nel loro repertorio tecnico elementi di assoluto valore, come trottole, passi e il triplo toeloop side by side. In questa competizione potrebbe sentirsi la mancanza del triplo twist sui cui, pero', i pattinatori italiani stanno lavorando.

Berton Hotarek national championship free skate

Previsioni per il podio:
Oro: Savchenko/Szolkovy
Argento: Volosozhar/Trankov
Bronzo: Bazarova/Larionov (con un grande in bocca al lupo per la coppia italiana...)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Pang Tong back to competition

The Chinese Winter Games took place these days after four years. In figure skating the most intresting presence was the one of Pang Tong, 2010 world champions and silver olympic medalists, who came back to competition after a stop of few months. They won the competition over Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang, who suffered for an elbow injury, despite some mistakes on the side by side jumps (Pang fell on her triple toe and singled an axel) and one on a lift. Although coreography and interpretation are just amazing, especially in their new free on sherazade music. We are surely looking to seeing how they do improve going to 2012 world championships.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Pang Tong di nuovo in gara

Si sono disputati in questi giorni i giochi nazionali invernali per la Cina, manifestazione che si tiene ogni quattro anni. Nel pattinaggio artistico la presenza piu' significativa e' offerta dalla coppia Pang Tong campioni mondiali 2010 e vice-campioni olimpici in carica. La coppia cinese, dopo i mondiali tenutisi a Mosca lo scorso aprile, aveva annunciato di voler prendere un periodo di pausa a inizio stagione. Pang Tong sono riusciti a imporsi nella competizione sui campioni uscenti Dan Zhang e Hao Zhang, penalizzati da un recente infortunio, nonostante un free con qualche sbavatura di troppo. Imprecisi entrambi gli elementi side by side (di cui il toeloop caduto) e completamente sbagliata una presa di un lift. Tuttavia entrambi i programmi sono brillantemente coreografati, in modo particolare il libero sulle note di sherazade, e l'interpretazione e' cresciuta. Di certo la loro presenza non passera' inosservata ai campionati mondiali che si disputeranno a Nizza a fine marzo.

Friday, January 6, 2012

European Championship: Men's Preview

In these times men's figure skating competitions are the most challenging and full of true talents. Even in European championship there are a lot of complete athletes, really good at technical elements and at artistic qualities. The biggest surprise of these championships is going to be the return at the competitive world of Eugeni Plushenko after a stop due to injuries and an isu disqualification in 2010. Plushenko made his season debut during the Russian National championship. He won with his new programs almost cleanly performed and with most attention to coreography and transitions than he did in the past.
Plushenko at Russian Nationals

Plushenko will need to attend a preliminary round for qualify for euros.
We expect something special also from Artur Gachinski of Russia, the younger copycat of Plushenko, unexpected winner of the bronze medal at worlds 2011. Gachinski did not compete well at the beginning of the season, although his almost perfect tecnique on jumps could assure him a podium finish.
Gachinski at Russian Nationals

Moving to the Czech Republic, two great athletes can fight for a medal: Michal Brezina and Tomas Verner.
Brezina had been one of the most consistent european skaters in the early season. After winning Skate America, Brezina attended other two Grand Prix competitions, he secured a spot for the final where he did not his best, though. He had to deal with an injury next year that took him away from competitions for few months. This injury might still influence him, expecially on his quad salchow, jump that caused him the injury.
Brezina at Skate America

Tomas Verner is a very talented yet unconsistent skater. Tomas had a quite disappointing beginning of season. Actually it seems like he had regained a sort of form during national championship where he won over Brezina.
Verner at 3 nationals

The Frech athletes are in a similar condition. Amodio, the reigning European champion, did not have success in the Grand Prix circuit. What's more, he got a back injury during the national championship in the free skating.
Amodio at Nationals

Brian Joubert, instead, despite some phisical troubles early this season, he competed clean and strong at nationals. Actually he really has to count on his jumping skills if he wants to medal at Euros, because of his lack on artistry.
Joubert at Nationals

Take an eye out for Samuel Contesti (ITA) who really struggled in his short programs but was always able to skate a clean free.
Contesti at NHK

The most surprising skater of this season Javier Fernandez (ESP) is the favourite for the gold medal. His recent choaching change to Brian Orser caused him to gain technical confidence (his quads toeloop and salchow planned in his free program are just incredible) and artistry. He placed second at Skate Canada and Rostelecom Cup and third at Grand Prix Final showing himself as the most promising European skater of the year.
Fernandez at Grand Prix Final

Podium picks
Gold: Javier Fernandez (ESP)
Silver: Plushenko (RUS)
Bronze: Brezina (CZ)