Wednesday, March 10

Host Nation Skaters Advancing to Finals: A History

My last post made me curious to look up the history of the major events where the host nation did not qualify a skater or team into the final phase of the competition, but were allowed to compete based on then-ISU rules.

2007: World Junior Championships, Oberstdorf, GER
Brigitte Blickling finishes 28th in the short program, is allowed to skate the long program, which she places 23rd, and ends up 24th overall, passing original free skate qualifier Katherine Hadford of Hungary.

2008: European Championships, Zagreb, CRO
Josip Gluhak finishes 28th in the short program, 24th in the long program, and 24th overall, passing original free skate qualifier Ruben Blommaert of Belgium.
Maria Dikanovic finishes 40th of 40 in the short program, 25th in the long program and overall.

2008: World Junior Championships, Sofia, BUL
Pavel Petrov Savinov finishes 46th of 47 in the short program, and 25th in the long program and overall.
Manuela Stanukova finishes 43rd in the short program, and 25th in the long program and overall.
Ina Demireva/Juri Kurakin finish 27th in both the compulsory and original dances, and 24th in the free dance to finish 24th overall.

2009: World Junior Championships, Sofia, BUL
Pavel Petrov Savinov finishes 37th in the short program, and 25th in the long program and overall.
Stefanie Pechlaner finishes 44th in the short program, 24th in the long program, and 25th overall.
Lora Semova/Dimitar Lichev finish 29th in both the compulsory and original dances, and 25th in the free dance and overall.

These are just a few examples from the last few seasons. As you see, most of the time the original qualifying 24 skaters or teams remained as the top 24, but a few times the host-country skater snuck in to move up a placement. Fair or unfair? Since it isn't really affecting ISU World Standings, most people would think, "who cares?" I was just always intrigued that a skater could leap-frog over many other skaters for the purpose of the ISU's official final standings.

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