Friday, November 19

Cup of Russia Mens Short Program

This is the only competition segment that I will be able to watch live today, so here are my quick thoughts about the skating and results.

Tretiakov (10th)- I remember more-or-less enjoying him last season, but he started off the day with jumps that looked like they were all just slightly under-rotated and finished the rotation on his toe pick. Maybe I'm wrong, though. Anyways, the program was just blah and I found his skating to be a bit clunky.

Menshov (7th)- His first Grand Prix at 27 years old, and he will be 28 by the time the season is over. Good for him! His triple Axel has very little preparation but it was gorgeous and the quad toe loop in combination was also effortless. Too bad about the doubled loop, but the whole first half looked slightly rushed to me. What's the deal with him actually having some nice choreography rather than relying on flashy arm movements? More on that later.. but I enjoyed him.

Kovalevski (11th)- Still has problems with the triple Axel. The triple toe on the latter half of his combo wasn't all the way around so he came down on two feet and stepped out. I found the music to be extremely weird, but I liked the program itself-- particularly the footwork and some of the transitional choreography in the second half.

Machida (12th)- What a mess here. The first six elements (yes, six out of seven) all had their issues. Triple Axel with a fall right in front of the judges, a triple flip/triple toe loop where the second jump came down awkwardly after 2 1/2 rotations, the triple Lutz had a hand down, camel positions throughout his spins that were poor at best, and all spins traveled a bit. He ended the program with the footwork, which was good, but the rest was just not very good. I much prefer his free skate.

Hanyu (6th)- All of the jump elements were completed, but the flip took off on the outside edge. I'm still a bit bothered by the looseness in his body throughout the stroking and non-element choreography (personal preference I suppose), but it works well for the spins. All three spin elements aside from the last sit/change/sit were well-centered. This program obviously didn't have the impact that it did at NHK, but I still liked it. Now, about that free skate of his...

Fernandez (8th)- Right into character, as always. Axel was done but not as perfect as it usually is (and such little step up into it makes it even more impressive). Flip out of steps was rushed and he leaned and had to step out. Spins all on the slow side and if there's one position I hate more than anything, it's not the Emanuel butt in the air spin. It's the slightly bent back cross-foot spin that looks like the skater can't go down into a sit spin yet. I hate it! Footwork is a lot of fun and has a lot of stopping for choreography, and I think that's the way to mask his lack of difficulty compared to the top men. The stop and go made it slow-ish, too. Morozov looked thrilled with this-- I know Javier was injured after Skate Canada so maybe they are both happy he got through it pretty well.

Gachinski (4th)- Blah. I'm trying to like him, but I really do have strong opinions about his skating for some reason. A LOT of Mishin's students seem to try to be emulating Plushenko's total command of the ice and some of his other movements (hand and arm flair on jump landings), but it's a completely different effect when you have someone like Artur trying it all while not really making eye contact with anything but the ice surface. It just looks forced rather than him really having that intensity, if that makes sense. His combo spin had a layback position at the end that was only one rotation, so that part shouldn't get credit. I don't remember if he had another upright position earlier in the spin. He landed some nice jumps, but I'm still not impressed. I guess the judges were, with a 6.89 for skating skills, a 6.75 for choreography, and a 6.71 for interpretation. Oh well. Much prefer Menshov.

Preaubert (5th)- Next to no notes for him. The song in the first half will probably drive me absolutely insane by the end of the year, but he's seriously so consistent with his jumps. The only real issue in the program was his final flying upright spin. First, I hate that this is even an option. The only skaters who use it are the ones that know they can't achieve a good camel and back camel position. Anyways, his spin traveled wildly and the positions weren't great.

Contesti (9th)- I'll probably also get tired of his hamming it up along the barriers before the program starts. But that's his personality. Doubled the Lutz in the combo, triple flip had a really short run-out and he stepped out but tried to cover it with choreography. The footwork moved slowly and the spins are on the average side in both speed and positions. I like Samuel, but his skating only shines with the perfect vehicle (2009 programs, for example). I don't think this program will ever achieve much.

Verner (3rd)- Another short set of notes, but that's probably because I actually liked his program. He goes slowww into his triple Axel, but it seems to be working. He never lets go of the character throughout the program, and while I think he can take that extra step and include more transitions and difficulty (especially into the first half), this was enjoyable. I thought his components marks were pretty spot on.

Abbott (2nd)- I've already written enough about my dislike for this program, but seriously if he'd change the costume (that makes him look fat, for real), remove some of the hand movements in the beginning, and loosen up a bit, I might find myself really enjoying it. Jumps were all on today with nice landing positions, and his sit/change/sit definitely had the required revolutions this time around. But just when you think it's going to be great, his flying upright (again, hate them) had ugly positions and he was fighting to get the revolutions at the end so much that he came to a complete stop. Bleh. I'm surprised he bested Verner by 2 points on the TES AND on the choreography/interpretation components.

Chan (1st)-Quad toe/triple toe was easy. Geez. Triple Axel with another fall-- what's up with that this year? Best spins of the competition by a mile- he has a strong camel position which apparently is so rare these days in mens skating. Camel/change/camel did, however, have a weird exit where he seemed to get a little stuck on his toe pick. It didn't really affect anything, though. Not the flashiness I would expect from him, but I knew it would go into first. Everything besides the fall on the Axel was honestly much better than everyone else. I'm glad to see this panel agreed with me that his interpretation isn't as strong as his choreography (even if they had it just 0.14 lower).


Anonymous said...

IA with many of your points, Tony.

I thought JA was enjoyable today. I hope he'll change the costume next time he skates, because... yeah, there's better costumes in the world. What if he can't afford a new one?

I thought Chan's 4T+3T looked great! Like he's been landing it for years :))

I never get his 'interpretation', but he has impressive skating skills for sure. Plus speed.

Overall, I think the scoring today made much more sense, compared to the last Skate Chanada. I'm not left with a feeling that someone's brutally robbed. But that can change tomorrow.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

urg come on maybe you should stop commenting about russian or euros skater, u just hate them like every american how thinks they can talk about FS but u don't understand nothing or do you just stay in the 80's, shut up and move one for once

Anonymous said...

Hi, Tony~

Just watched the Russian broadcast version of Abbott's SP at CoR someone has already posted on YouTube.

When everyone is talking about your costume and not your skating -- you have a problem. Yes, the Russian commenters brought up Abbott's skating outfit.

Evidently, per my somewhat rusty interpretation of Russian commenters, Abbott was marked down for 3L and got +GOE for 3A?

Spins have changed again -- okay, I was hoping for change from the NHK version, but can't say I like this version of spins much better.

Did the spins in the ATSS version not meet the spin rules? I liked those spins and wonder why Abbott changed them.

Hard to believe, but I'm pining for the ATSS (All That Skate Summer) version of this program -- it's spins and simpler, stronger arms throughout.

Sigh, Teresa

Anonymous said...

Good post Tony, I agree with almost everything.

BTW I suppose Javier and Morozov were happy because Javier landed for the first time a 3-3 different to 3toe-3toe, and that, with just 2 days of full practices before CoR, is impressive

Anonymous said...

It's clear that Chan has emerged as the favorite for the WC. Lucky for him the new rules allows for rotated 3As w/ falls to count for more points than before. Chan isn't known for consisten 3As and this season especially it's become more evident.

He's treading into Lambiel-land if this continues. But if Chan can keep winning even with only rotated 3As while doing quads/ quad combos then maybe Lambiel should consider coming back to competitions.

Anonymous said...

Actually enjoyed Gachinski and Hanyu best out of the men, but Abbott and Verner are awfully fun. It's a shame, because I wish I could like Chan - he does have beautiful skating skills - but every time he opens his mouth he comes up with something else arrogant, hateful, or just generally douchey and all I want is for him to fall and have it actually be counted against him.

Anonymous said...

Tony, about Abbott's flying upright spin in SP (that you hated so much;)
It wasn't that bad!
If I see it right
(scroll down for the protocols)

it's level 3 and received a tiny yet positive GOE.

It's more than what he got for his FCSp2 in NHK. I see it as a progress! :))

Tony said...

Anonymous2:45- You know, I think I'm pretty generous with my thoughts and I try to always find the positives about skaters, but as far as your post: Are YOU serious? Let's see, I talk about how I really liked Menshov just lines above talking about Gachinski; I picked Ksenia Makarova's short as my favorite ladies short program this year; and I had a relatively unknown pair in Stolbova/Klimov as my runners-up for favorite pairs free skate. Maybe you only read what you want to and missed ALL of that. That doesn't even mention any other Europeans that I really enjoy.

And for what it's worth-- Butyrskaya is my favorite skater of all-time. Does that silence a bit with your whole conspiracy? Hope so.

Moving on...

Teresa- I thought the arms were just as silly in the ATS show and I became worried about whether I'd like it or not at that very moment. The competition costume just adds to all of that. But enough talk about that, it's been discussed elsewhere on the site. I'm not sure what's up with the spins or why he's changing them around, but I wish NO one would do the flying upright.

Anonymous4:57- Good point. I never thought of that!

Anonymous7:03- There's two +1's, a -1, a -2, and the rest zeroes. I'm not going to attempt to re-watch anything until IceNetwork puts their archives up (because I'll rush through everything otherwise!), but a zero was probably acceptable if everything leading up to the dead stop was good. I probably would have gone with -1, but when I re-watch everything I'll let you know for sure. :-)

Tony said...

K. I lied. I watched Jeremy's short over again and I think the +1 and even 0's were all REALLY generous. One of my personal problems with the flying upright spins is that many of them seem to start in a high-type sit spin and then as the skater rises, it creates enough momentum to do the upright. I don't particularly like that. Second, Jeremy's spin traveled the entire time and when he tried to do a variation at the end, he lost all the speed and basically stumbled over his skate at the end because of having no momentum.

I'm a mean judge I suppose, but I'd agree with the sole -2.

Anonymous said...

Great that you watched Jeremy's short again, Tony. it's a lovely program, isn't it? ;)

IA that traveling and speed are issues in JA's flying upright spin, but I like it for its creativity.

He'll improve. I really support him trying smth different.

Well, maybe the panel was a bit generous on that particular spin, but I don't think JA is overmarked in SP.
Chan and Gachinski are, IMO. Although I do think Chan should be 1st (just not 4 points ahead of Abbott).

ichimiki said...


I love your site, It is a pleasure to visit.

I have added your site to my site.

Please link my site to your site.

Thank you!