Monday, January 28, 2013

Kostner conquers Zagreb, Russian wonders don't disappoint expectations

In the ladies competition Carolina claimed her fifth European title. The level of the competition was probably the highest in few years, thanks to the attendance of the two young Russian skaters Tuktamisheva and Sotnikova who both gained a medal at their first appearance on the continental stage.
Carolina Kostner won the gold by almost a point ahead of Sotnikova after ranking second in the short program. I can’t really deny being a fan of her skating but objectively she deserved to be the champion in Zagreb as she was by far the best components-wise skater of the competition. I thought she was actually underscored in pcs in the short program (getting around 31) where, fall apart, everything was pretty spectacular and beautifully presented.  
In the free skate Carolina displayed such a high level of maturity, experience and commitment to her program like never before. She creates a special atmosphere and connects very deeply to music hitting every single note with different nuances. The first part of the program lack a little bit of transitions as she sets for her more difficult jumps such as the triple lutz (that was truly perfect), which she hadn’t performed in two years and was brought back into her competitive repertoire this season, and the triple flip but then the program gets fuller of elements and movements as the music grows. Despite her mistakes on salchows she didn’t give up the performance until the very end of the program that was highlighted by an almost 6 points step sequence, and for me she deserved every single point she was given.
Urmanov’s take on Kostner’s components: "She is very loved by the audience. It is always very pleasant to watch her [skating]. Let's cheer for her because she is a worthy skater, on a highest level, such skater you should just watch and enjoy the skating...
Pay attention on the creativeness of her steps sequence, it is very unusual...
Such a...
complicated music, Bolero, it is very hard to perform to it, and only skaters like Carolina Kostner can fully interpret its character.
(to other commentator's remarks about very high scores she always gets) You know, I was lucky to work with Carolina once for some time and I can say that she is a skater with the highest level skills, and of course the score for the components which she gets is absolutely justified. I think she shows us the different, new, modern figure skating. And it wins over the judges, wins over the public." (from
Absolute Skating facebook page)
Carolina is also known for incredible practice sessions. In the morning of her free skate she landed several jumps including a breathtaking triple flip-triple toe and triple lutz-triple toe.

Both Adelina Sotnikova and Elizaveta Tuktamisheva proved to be amazing competitors who will bring some stunning results to Russian figure skating.
Adelina had a wonderful short program where she did everything she could and got into first place after that segment. With this being her first important international competition and skating second to last in the free skate, I was amazingly surprised as she didn’t let the pressure compromise her program. After the short program she was immensely joyous about her result and gave everything of herself during the free skate being rewarded a 63.99 for the components score. She did very well technically landing six of the seven planned triples, but as she popped a flip and got wrong edge call and an under rotation call on her triple lutz-triple toe combo that for this reason received a goe almost as she had fallen, she wasn’t able to get the title for a point and gained silver.
Elizaveta Tuktamisheva probably lost the gold medal in the short program when she doubled her triple lutz and had some turns on the landing of her double axel. She was instead perfect in the free skate but not enough for getting into first.
She landed seven amazing jumps (triple lutz-triple toe, triple flip, triple lutz, triple loop, triple salchow-double toe-double loop, double axel-triple toe, double axel) getting 70 points for her technical elements and a standing ovation from the crowd.
Valentina Marchei couldn't hold her third place position of the short program, but proved to be a real competitor landing a double toe-triple toe for the first time in her career.


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