Thursday, April 28

2011 Worlds - Mens Wrap-Up

I decided to go the Twitter route for quick comments throughout the mens long program, and thanks to everyone that joined in and shared their own thoughts!

I'll start by saying this: if you didn't get to see the skating live, you might want to spare yourself the confusion and frustration by just watching the top two men, who were absolutely wonderful.

Patrick Chan definitely deserved his gold medal, landing two quads. His only mistake came on his triple Axel, which he stepped out of. The performance wasn't as solid as the short program, but it was still enough to give him the title by over 22 points. Crazy!

Takahiko Kozuka, who already skated his long program in the preliminary round on Monday, delivered a flawless performance including a fully-rotated quad toe loop. He gave Chan a bit of a run for his money in the free skate, besting him on the technical mark. It was enough to pull him up from 6th to the silver medal.

Artur Gachinski was the surprise bronze medalist to just about everyone except maybe himself and coach Alexei Mishin. He delivered an energetic free skate with solid technical content, including another quad toe/triple toe, just as he did in the short program.

And then the weird happened.

Michal Brezina landed two gorgeous quads only to later fall on both a triple flip and a triple Lutz. Still, he was able to move up to 4th place for the second straight year.

2010 World Champion Daisuke Takahashi had boot problems in the opening seconds of his free skate, and it unfortunately caused him to turn his planned quad toe loop into a single. A full restart was not allowed, so he kept the jumping pass, earning 0.16 points. Later, he had trouble with a triple Axel and fell on a triple Salchow. It was a mad rush to get his boot fixed in time before being disqualified (shades of Tonya Harding in 1994), and both he and his coach seemed satisfied with the effort he put out under the circumstances. There wasn't much he could do, unfortunately.

Nobunari Oda would be the bronze medalist if he'd learn to count. Seriously. I'm so frustrated that for the second time at a World Championship, he is off the podium because he does too many jumps. He lost 13.86 points when he repeated a triple toe loop for the third time, dropping him down to 6th place.

Even more odd.. Florent Amodio closed the show with his modern One Republic/Black Eyed Peas/Michael Jackson number, and his exhibition version, full with vocals, played through the arena. It's unclear whether it was intentional or an error on the part of the music operator, (he said afterwards that it was his decision) but he received no music violation which makes me believe it was the latter. Still, a crazy way to end an already bizarre day. He ended up in seventh place.

Brian Joubert had a great free skate but his short program issues (not doing a combination when he had the chance) kept him down in eighth place. This is only the second time since 2004 that he is not on the podium. The last time it happened was also in Moscow, in 2005.

The American men finished 9th, 11th, and 13th, with Richard Dornbush leading the way. Respectable placements, and about as much as you could ask for from all three.


Anonymous said...

Nice to have you back to analyze the events - very helpful for understanding the scoring.

Glad Kozuka skated so well. So frustrated for Oda because he skated well too - I guess he's one of those skaters who are too in the moment to think about the scoring. It was an evening of bizarre moments for sure.

Anonymous said...

Tony, I wonder if Oda did a quad? I've been thinking about what may have happened, and can't for the life of me recall if he did or not. Thinking about it all, I was struck with a theory - what if he had intended to do a quad toe, didn't and subsequently forgot to re-arrange the rest of his program accordingly? It would be an explanation, at least? (By the way, I'm not one of those people who consider "explanation" and "excuse" to be synonymous words.) It's a pity, though, isn't it? Sigh.


Tony said...

It's no question he wanted to do a 4T/3T(/3R maybe) at the beginning. But my issue is that if you do a 3T/3T, a light should come on and say, hey, no more triple toes! But merely a few seconds later, he did another one. Sometimes you have to change things around, he obviously never skates with those things in mind.

Anonymous said...

Ah... I see; thank you for explaining it to me - I can only suppose he is very absent-minded (as am I, so I'm not trying to "knock" him), and completely caught up in the moment of what he is doing - but even so, this was an especially bad mistake to make, I agree...


Anonymous said...

Tony welcome back!
I think Gachinski did only 4T not 4T/3T combo at his FS.
However, men's event was the most exciting in this WC for sure.