Thursday, December 23

Catching Up on the Last Week

National Championships Galore

Finnish Nationals
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:

French Nationals
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?):

Italian Nationals
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.

Spanish Nationals
With Sonia Lafuente withdrawn from the ladies event, you'd think this would be a pretty boring competition as a whole, right?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.


Meri said...

Lepistö has announced that she won't going to Euros, either - I really hope she will at least be able to go to Worlds. This also means that the Finnish ladies likely won't be able to keep three spots for 2012, even with Korpi in good form.

Tony said...

They could take a gamble and only send Korpi to Euros-- a top two placement would mean that Finland would have three entries in 2012. However, I'm sure they want to give the younger girls some experience and they are fine with the possibility of dropping to two entries next season.

Meri said...

I forgot to add this to my previous post - there's a better quality video of Joubert's LP from French nationals (, if anyone wants to take a look.

Miranda said...



Anonymous said...

Tony, Meri - thanks for the videos! I've been really curious to see this.

I don't know, but I think it looks as if Joubert feels more comfortable with the music than before? The last time I saw the program it lacked... cohesiveness?

I do wonder about the quad - in the video that Meri provided the link for - I heard the commentators talking about it, but, alas, my French is almost non-existant. Was it intentional to leave it out?


jennyzm said...

wow. Joubert & Beethoven's Ninth Symphony? While it was nice to see him attempt something that wasn't movie music, I must say that in the many times I've performed that piece, I've never once visualized anyone skating to it.

Anonymous said...

Joubert, I believe, stated that his quad hadn't been going that well, so he made the decision to only do a triple this time.

Meri said...

LRK, yes, it was intentional, and one can only hope that's a one-time thing. My French is about as good as yours, but apparently the quad hadn't been going well in practice and there was something about the rink size, or shape; have you seen the SP? Basically it looked like he ran out of room to land it properly.

I agree with your assessment of the performance, he seemed much more comfortable with the music than earlier in the season, which hopefully bodes well for future events.

Anonymous said...

Meri - I hadn't seen the SP, but I have now; the last time I looked I couldn't find any video of it, this time I found this:

Is there a better? Anyway, I could see what you meant about running out of room - it really looked a bit risky for a moment there. Apart from that, though, I'm glad to see he looks far more confident - this gives me hope for the Euros.:)