NHK Trophy 2011: Ladies’ Freeskate

Mao-chan!!! Liebestraume is such a lovely program and it definitely matches her desire for a boyfriend. Such an easy 2A at the beginning. I almost thought it was a double. Lovely 3Lp-2Lp combination. She’s so relaxed and graceful and has great flow in this program. THIS is the Mao that everyone wanted to see. She makes everything look so easy. I think the young Russian divas need to look out now, Mao-chan is back and she’s not giving up on the Olympic title without a good fight. I’ve really never seen her skate so well. She might actually be able to make up the difference between herself and Akiko if Akiko screws up. A 2-footed 3Lp but what a lovely ending. It’s wonderful to see her smiling at the end of her program. It’s been a while since it’s happened. 125.77 – great score!

Alena Leonova’s on the ice. Nice 3T-3T. Hesitated a bit on the 3Lp and 2-footed it. Clean 3Lz, but she has such a precarious position in the air. I wonder if she’ll be clean all the way through th eprogram. This choreography is very Nikolai Morozov, with that pause in the middle. Doubled a flip and had a shaky landing on the 3S. This performance feels very empty compared to the lovely expression and grace that Mao exhibited. Singled her axel but nice position in her sit spin. And… it’s Requium for a Dream again. This piece of music is starting to get old. Dear Alena, your arms are not sticks and you are not a windmill. Waving them around frantically looks like you’re having a fit on ice. She didn’t quite commit to this program as she should’ve. With such driving music, you need to commit, commit, commit. She should be able to podium with that performance. A bronze if Akiko does well, though I think Mao might actually win the gold here. Yay for proving me wrong!!!

I love this program. Go Akiko! A big 3Lz to start. Lovely 2A-3T, she just skates with such an assurance and confidence this season. It’s so alluring and it makes her even nicer to watch. Lovely spins. Ouch, popped her loop but added a 2Lp-2Lp. That could have cost her the title. Oh Akiko… she’s losing it, she just popped a lutz but good recovery with a 3F. Wonderful 3S-2T. Let’s see if she can get another level 4 on this footwork. Don’t lose your confidence Akiko! That wasn’t her best performance but she can still improve. At least this is happening at the beginning of the season. Her PCS may hold her over Alena. *crosses fingers* Whoa… she’s beaten Mao a fraction of a point! Well, I’m glad for Akiko… and my predictions are right for once! Wow. What a competition


Gold: Akiko Suzuki
Silver: Mao Asada
Bronze: Alena Leonova

What did you think of the competition?

~The Rinkside Cafe


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rino
    Nov 12, 2011 @ 11:21:24

    Mao’s first jump was double axel not triple axel, but I’m so happy to see her sincere smile again! She said to Mr.Sato, “If I tried triple axel…” at her kiss &cry. I expect it at the next competition. I love both Mao’s LP and Akiko’s LP of this season!


  2. andanta
    Nov 12, 2011 @ 21:13:39

    I think the audience thought they saw a 3A too. (I was too nervous to see clearly.) They were thrilled like hell. They say she did an amazing 3A during warm-up.
    Personally, I wanted Akiko to win. But it would look better if she didn’t single two jumps.


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