Debrief: Cup of China 2015

boyang jin

Well… most of my predictions went out the window last weekend. But what can I say? Ice is slippery and besides, at least we got a lot of great skating from it! Here are some highlights and some random comments here and there on the Cup of China. Feel free to jump in and add your own thoughts in the comments!



The triple-triple might be missing here but Zijun Li’s SP has some gorgeous choreography. It expresses the warmness and softness of the music well and has some really lovely transitions into the jumps. I also adore the dress.

I thank the Skate Gods (or maybe just Tamara Moskvina) for having them skate this LP again this season. With a throw quad salchow and a throw quad loop. Praise be.

I put this here purely because of how my girl Sui sold this program. Love her this season.


Part of me thinks that Karen Chen won’t survive puberty but then another part of me hopes very hard that it’s not true. I hate the music choice and this choreography is average but like the British Eurosport commentators said, you just want to cheer for this girl.


  • I still can’t get over the fact that an 18 year-old did a quad lutz-triple toe like it was nothing.
  • Still, I find Boyang Jin to be a very different skater in the LP. In the SP, he can show off his performance and his step sequences were actually half decent compared to the average male skater. In the LP though, I felt like I was watching a program in sections of jumps and not jumps with the not jumps being really uncontrolled, slow and pretty sloppy. Nonetheless, youth is on his side so he has time to work on this.
  • I’m happy that Javier Fernandez has grown from a skater that had some jumping ability to one that has a developed a strong control over his edges and can jump after a lovely transition. (I loved that spread eagle into a 3Lp+2T in his LP.) What I’m a little hesitant to praise is how he looks like he’s being styled after Patrick Chan. You saw the magic when Fernandez was100% behind his SP last season and I don’t quite get that feeling with either of his programs this season.
  • No windmills on the podium. That is a victory by itself.


  • I’m happy for Mao for making a strong comeback! She put down one solid skate and needs to find her focus in her LP but I think she’s in a good place for the start of the season. My only concern is how she will fare, especially in the SP with contenders like Evgenia Medeveda who backloads their programs.
  • Also, my favourite part of both of Mao’s programs are her step sequences. Best in the business and absolutely divinely intricate and mesmerizing.
  • Elena, Elena, Elena… what am I supposed to do. I think Elena is struggling to adjust her technique with her longer limbs this season, which I am perfectly fine with. So far, puberty’s changes don’t seem insurmountable. But that’s really not what bugs me. What bugs me is how Elena gets stuck with these terrible campy programs and yet, I find myself behind her 100% despite the fact that her LP is a mess of “My Heart Will Go On” with awkward repeats and dialogue. This girl can sell a program. And I hate myself for buying it.
  • Rika Hongo was in the zone this weekend. You could see her relax and attack at the right moments in her programs to land most of her jumps. An unexpected surprise for silver and she deserved it.


  • I adore Kavaguti and Smirnov’s LP but I take issue with their SP. The choreography has the potential to look stunning but I feel as if someone is pranking me by putting this program on mute and putting a random soft rock song as the audio.
  • Sui & Han finished second here and although I’m really sad, I thought that the results were justified. Their jumps were not as strong and they weren’t in sync in the LP but even with a less than perfect performance, I can feel that this LP has the potential to make me cry. The only other pairs program to have ever done that is Xue Shen & Hongbo Zhao’s Turandot.
  • I have trouble believing that Xiaoyu Yu & Yang Jin are a Chinese pair. Their lines and sharp precision remind me of a classic Russian pair and their programs feel very French (read: artsy). I love them though and I hope they keep on growing.
  • I am absolutely in love with all of the young Chinese pairs teams coming up the pipes. Chinese pairs is seriously growing to more than just teams with huge tricks – they’re really starting to develop the full package.

Ice Dance

  • How did this discipline go from my favourite to the one I dread the most? (And how did the discipline I dreaded the most – pairs – become my favourite? The world works in strange ways…)
  • Cappellini & Lanotte seems to have found their World Champion charm this season with their FD though the ending devolves into something with too much of a circus feel for my taste. Technically, I don’t feel as if I’ve seen any marked improvement from last season but they are definitely skating with programs that fit them better.
  • I discovered something. I actually like the first half of Chock & Bates’ FD but the second half feels like a play where the actors are high school students who are even less talented than your average high school drama nerd.
  • Ilinykh & Zhiganshin’s SD is a monstrosity. What is with that music change???
  • While Sinitsina & Katsalapov have gelled, I feel as if Ilinykh & Zhiganshin have not continued this process this season. It’s very clear that Elena is a lot more skilled within the partnership and it’s frustrating because she has some of the best edges in the field and skates with great speed and power.
  • I also take issue with all the posing that goes on in Ilinykh & Zhiganshin’s programs. I’m not sure if they can maintain their edge against Sinitsina & Katsalapov this season…

What did you think of the Cup of China competition? And the quad lutz+triple toe??? Let me know in the comments!

~Rinkside Cafe

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Craig
    Nov 09, 2015 @ 23:40:16

    I found Jin’s skate to be a lot like 15 year old Liza’s: skate over here, jump, skate over there, jump, repeat. She took about two years to grow out of that, I wonder if he does the same.


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