I apologize for the lack of posts during the World competition, I’ve been horrendously busy in the past few days of my life with long overdue appointments with friends. I’m going to have to do some vigorous catching up and I’ll write a bit more later on.
So the most recent developments in the World scene include dethronements of two Olympic champions (well, three actually since one is a team of two): Yuna Kim and Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir. One dethronement was a little unexpected than the other. I’m pretty sure you can guess which is which. So let’s start with the ladies. I’m going to write about ice dance in another post.
After the SP, Yuna Kim was leading Miki Ando by a margin of 0.33 – all from the PCS mark. Here were their programs:
As much as I have a lot of issues with Morozov’s choreography I admit that Miki’s program was well skated and might have deserved a higher mark for interpretation. Sadly enough, I found Yuna’s “Giselle” program a bit boring compared to her other programs so I would’ve put her choreography and interpretation marks a tad lower. And a lower score for performance and execution, she did miss her first combination jump after all. Feel free to disagree but I thought Miki deserved to be the leader after the SP.
Speaking of leaders, Chairman Mao underrotated and two-footed her triple axel. I’m a bit surprised at her PCS though, her skating skills and transitions are as good as ever but she was still 7th after the SP.
The surprise skater in 3rd place was Ksenia Makarova. The girl was on… and being Russian didn’t hurt her either.
Before I end the bit about the SP, I’ll give a special mention to my favourite of the season Kanako Murakami. She didn’t skate with the same cuteness and energy at the beginning of the season but that smile on her face at the end of the program said it all. 8th place overall at her first Worlds is not shabby at all and she should be proud of herself. Although she doesn’t exude as much cuteness, I would hope that this marks the beginning of Kanako as a more mature and polished skater. I can’t wait to see her next season!
So the LP came and went and that was when the dethroning happened.
Yuna singled her toeloop after her first salchow and did the worst thing you could do under the new scoring system: she popped a jump – her flip, which she was having issues with at the beginning of the season last year. I actually liked the music for this program and overall, it was a lot more pleasant to watch than her short. I hope that she uses it again next season should she decide to compete.
Miki brought it in the long and skated it with only 1 mistake – a step out on a double toe combination. I think despite her lack of musicality and icky choreography, this World championship win should be considered the best moment of her career. She hadn’t been top Japanese lady for a while (and even when she won Nationals this year, people still picked Mao over Miki to win. She stuck with harsh and undeserved attacks from the media after her disastrous results at Torino, didn’t make it to the podium in Vancouver but stuck it out and won.
We should also mention that Miki has improved quite a bit in terms of presentation (her sit spin is actually a sit spin!), consistency and extension since her 2007 World championship win.
I’m sure there are people out there who aren’t great fans of Miki but I feel that she deserves quite a bit of admiration for her tenacity and the speed and strength that she exudes on the ice. Her stroking at Worlds was, admittedly, a thing of beauty.
I think I’ll end here on a high note. There’s a lot more catching up to do before I can make more comments on what transpired at Worlds so I thank you for your patience.
~The Rinkside Cafe