Monday, February 20, 2012

Challenge Cup 2012 Schedule

This year Hauge will host the Challenge Cup from 8th to 11th March.
Here is the schedule of the senior competition:

9th March
16.15-19.00 Men short program
19.26-23.00 Ladies short program

10th March
14.15-15.45 Men free skating
18.00-22.10 Ladies Free skating

Here are the entries

Official Site

Friday, February 17, 2012

Is Mao really back?

Liebestraum is one of my favourite program from Mao Asada. When I saw its debut at Japan Open 2010, I thought that would have been her masterpiece, despite all the technical imperfections of the competition. A beautiful and lyrical Mao was back after some seasons of strong Tarasova's choreographies. Everytime I watch this program, I can't stop myself from goosebumps when the music starts and she moves with it. But something didn't happen as I was expected. Mao started one of the worst season of her life, saying that her jumping disease was due to a back to basis strategy. 

This late season seems to be a rebirth of the Japanese champion, although there is still something not working.
Some days ago Asada won her second consecutive silver medal at Four Continents Championships. Last year gold was taken by Miki Ando, now the reigning champion is an emerging Ashley Wagner. Well, I looked back at 2011 competition, as I remember Mao did quite well there, and I got really surprised by seeing how she was better scored in 2011 than in 2012. Last year she got 132,89 against 124,37 this year. Then I tried to compare her protocols to understand what was missing last week.

4CC 2011
4CC 2012
4,71 (under-rotated)
5,5 (wrong edge take off)
5,3 (struggled landing, negative goe)
4,5 (level 4)
4,5 (level 4)
7,03 (under-rotated triple toe)
8,84 (under-rotated final double loop)
4,02 (two footed, negative goe)
1.46 (doubled salchow)
2,96 (level 3)
2.93 (level 4)
4,3 (level 3)
4,3 (level 3)
4,57 (level 4)
3,71 (level 4)
Total score

This overview of her free skating score shows that Mao lost the majority of points on triple axel and general grade of execution. So, the matter is: does she really need to take that triple axel? Is it worth the effort of landing it?

Monday, February 13, 2012

4CC: Free Dance

Virtue/Moir did an almost perfect program. They got 111,24 and won. They earned a level four for all their elements except the circular step and received very positive goes.

Davis/White skated their program very fast to Fledermaus scoring 107.25, getting a very low technical score (low considering their usual) giving up the first place to their team-mates. They lost points (and got level three instead of four) on spin, circular steps, twizzles and midline step sequence.

Weaver/Poje did an intense and passionate free to "Je suis malade". They scored 99.03

Shibutani/Shibutani performed a very fast and funny free, so fast that alex was breathing very deeply at the end of the program.They scored 94.91

Sunday, February 12, 2012

4CC: Pairs free

Sui/Han were expected to do two quads in their acrobatic routine, and they nailed that. They did their throw quad salchow two footed but perfectly rotated, triple toe-double toe-double toe sbs, quad twist. What a beginning! Double axel sbs. Giant throw triple flip. Lovely routine, they are surely a couple to watch in the future. 135.08

Denney/Coughlin did a clean program with triple twist, throw triple loop, triple toe sbs, single axel-double toe sbs, throw triple lutz. 122.07

Marley /Brubaker started with a fallen triple toe sbs, a nice triple twist, step out on double axel sbs, throw triple lutz, throw triple salchow at the end.116.46

Duhamel/Radford did a nice triple twist, struggled a little bit on their difficult triple flip-double toe-double toe combo, fell on triple salchow sbs, throw triple loop and throw triple flip with hand down. 114.24

Takahashi/Tran triple twist, fall on triple salchow sbs, they both popped the triple flip sbs, throw triple salchow with a very struggled landing, as well as the throw triple toe. 109.57

Evora/Ladwig did triple twist, two-footed, triple toe sbs, fall on the throw triple lutz, single axel-double axel sequence. Their lifts are so lovely. Throw triple loop. 107.24

4CC: ladies free

Ashley Wagner won the 4CC with a brilliant skate to The Swan Lake. She did six triples with smart and ease to put herself above the two time world champion Mao Asada. 128.34 for her.

Mao Asada made a good free hitting six triples as well. She tried to put the triple axel, but that was under rotated and two footed. Then she did triple flip-double loop, triple lutz, double axel-triple toe, triple flip-double loop-double loop, she doubled a salchow and did a triple loop. 124.37

The pride of US continues with a brilliant performance by Caroline Zhang who secured herself the third place with 117.44. She did well all of her jumps: triple flip-double toe, triple lutz, double axel, triple loop, triple flip-double toe-double loop, triple loop-double toe and double axel. Her final layback spin got the highest score possible, receiving level four and +3 goe from all the judges.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

4CC: ladies short

Mao Asada, with a new costume, took back her triple axel, but did not complete that clean. She two-footed it, yet other jumps were well done: triple flip-double loop and triple loop. She scored 64,25, just 0,04 under her season best.
Mao Asada's sp video

Ashley Wagner went for triple flip-triple toe for the first time this season. The triple toe seemed two footed a little bit. Then she did a nice triple loop and double axel. 64.07

Kanako Murakami nailed her triple toe triple toe combo, triple flip and double axel, despite her illness. 63.45

Caroline Zhang is proving she is back with a triple loop-triple loop combo (falling out of the second jump though), a nice triple flip and double axel. 58.74

Kenix Zhang did a clean triple toe-triple toe combo, then fell on triple lutz, completed well the double axel 54.07

Agnes Zawadzki fell on her opening triple toe meant to be in combo with another triple toe, but recovered in a triple lutz-double toe and double axel. 52,86

Amelie Lacoste opened with a solid double axel, the had troubles with the lutz singling it. She completed her jumping with a triple loop-double loop combo. 51,72

Cynthia Phaneuf continues her struggle with a disaster short: she fell on both double axel and triple lutz, then managed a triple loop-double toe combo. 50.76

Patrick Chan 4CC sp

4CC: Men short program

Patrick Chan took a solid lead after short program scoring 87.95. He struggled on the landing of the quad toe, yet did not fell, then did the triple axel and a triple lutz-triple toe combo. His other elements were all level four except the level three combo spin.

Surprisingly, Takahito Mura, the third Japanese man, took the second place nailing all his jumps: quad toe-triple toe combo, triple axel and triple lutz. He scored 83.44

Daisuke Takahashi is currently in third place because of a fall in his opening quad toe. After that he nailed the triple axel and triple lutz-triple toe. 82.59