National Championships Galore
Kiira Korpi continued her successful season, winning the ladies competition by nearly fifty.. yes, fifty points over Beata Papp. Cecilia Torn won the bronze medal. Laura Lepisto is still out with injury. Long-time mens champion and Olympic participant Ari-Pekka Nurmenkari fell to third this year, behind Bela Papp and Valtter Virtanen.
I'm loving Korpi once again this year. Here's her winning free skate:
Brian Joubert finally pulled it together and won the title over Florent Amodio, who had extreme troubles in his short program. Alban Preaubert was third. All three men will go to Europeans, and the top two will likely go to Worlds. There was a tight battle between the top three in the ladies competition, with Yretha Silete winning gold over Lenaelle Gilleron-Gorry by just over a point. Right behind was Mae-Bernice Meite. Meite will go to Europeans, and Silete is the likely entry for Junior Worlds. I really liked Gilleron-Gorry at the JGP Courchevel that began the season, so I'm thrilled with her result.
Here is Joubert's free skate (Yagudin 2001 short program costume resemblance, anyone?):
No surprises here as Carolina Kostner and Valentina Marchei went 1-2 in the ladies competition, both will go to Europeans and surely Worlds. Italy has a third spot for Europeans, which will likely? go to bronze medalist Amelia Schwienbacher. Samuel Contesti and Paolo Bacchini were the top two in mens, while both Faiella/Scali and Cappellini/Lanotte withdrew from the ice dance competition.
With Sonia Lafuente withdrawn from the ladies event, you'd think this would be a pretty boring competition as a whole, right? However, Javier Raya was able to best Javier Fernandez for the title by just over a point. Fernandez is still recovering from injury, but Raya is still a very decent skater. Spain has two spots for Europeans and just one spot for Worlds. Here is Raya's winning free skate:
Grand Prix 2011/2012
Back to 'normal' next season, with the order being USA, Canada, China, Japan, France, and Russia. This year, things were switched up (I assume) to give skaters chances to compete in events closest to home without having to compete two weeks in a row. I felt bad for coaches like Tom Zakrajsek, who was at all six events.