Cup of China – Pairs and Men

I’ll have to keep this brief because I’m supposed to be doing a whole bunch of other things right now.


My darling baby Chinese pair won silver! They suffered from a couple of falls on their jumps but from the replay, I’m pretty sure they did a clean throw quad salchow – it was less than an inch away from being two footed but I think they did it – and a gorgeous throw triple flip. They had the highest TES score of the competition.  A good start for last year’s junior World champions. While Sui and Han got the highest TES scores, Pang and Tong got the highest PCS despite a fall from Pang on the opening double axel and she didn’t do the second 2A. They remain lyrical and lovely to watch but they’ll need clean programs if they want to reclaim the World title. This is just a guess but Savchenko and Szolkowy are hungry after their Olympic and World upset. I think that they’ll want that World title back and I’ve heard that they want to go to Sochi. Yankowskas and Coughlin delivered a lovely performance to Ave Maria although I felt that the bronze should’ve gone to the baby Russians (Iliushchekina and Maisuradze) who have endeared themselves to me by snatching the gold at Skate Canada which saved me from complete defeat from my predictions. Their LP showed some improvement from last week and I’m glad.

So, now that Pang and Tong have secured another victory, they are assured a spot in the Grand Prix Final in Beijing. The baby Russians will likely get a spot but we’ll have to wait until the other competitions to confirm that.


Gold: Pang & Tong (GPF bound)
Sui & Han
Yankowskas & Coughlin


One of my friends likes to point out that P-overinflated score Chan’s scores were pretty much equal to that of Takahiko Kozuka’s a few years ago. And then the Olympics were in Canada and PChiddy started getting ridiculously high scores for shitty skates and Takahiko, being the #3 Japanese man, had to settle with lower scores. However, let it be known that unlike Chan and his Skate Canada gold, Takahiko deserved to win gold this week. The thing about Takahiko is that unlike Daisuke, he’s not flamboyant and unlike Oda, he had trouble with his quads so he would often screw up in his LP. However, this kid has lovely edges and this LP just flowed seamlessly from one element to another. It was gorgeous. Congratulations Takahiko! I will make sure that I won’t write you off again as I did this time.

As for the others… Brandon Mroz surprised everyone by winning the silver, beating Tomas Verner and kicking Brian Joubert off the podium. The kid has lovely jumps – he is so straight and fast in the air – but his other elements are so s l o w… He is also guilty of random superfluous arm movements despite his lovely lines.

As for Tomas and Brian… all I can say is that their LPs confused me. Tomas skated relatively well in his standards to a Michael Jackson medley but I think I was highly confused at the ticking that was supposed to be his music for about a quarter of his program. I also don’t quite know how a shiny blue shirt and glove is supposed to represent MJ. Can a MJ fan enlighten me? I hope that perhaps Tomas can rework his routine to put a little more pizazz to it. Getting rid of the random ticking might be nice too. The program looks as if he’s taken the sparkle quality and vocals from his MJ EX and used it as his LP.

Brian Joubert – I was surprised there was no hip thrusts or crotch grabs but I guess their absence was suitable for a program to Beethoven’s ninth. Joubert stated that he wasn’t used to this program and he certainly dis look like a fish out of water. I’m glad he’s trying to reinvent himself and skate to programs that would prove that he’s not all jumps and actually has some skating skills but somehow it was just weird watching him skate to the 9th symphony. Maybe that’s why he wasn’t on the podium.


Gold: Takahiko Kozuka
Silver: Brandon Mroz
Bronze: Tomas Verner

~The Rinkside Cafe


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