Golden Skate: 12/14/03

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Golden Skate: 12/14/03

Post by Admin on Wed Jun 04, 2008 12:35 am

2003-04 Grand Prix Final of Figure Skating


December 14, 2003
Article © Golden Skate

The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final was held at the World Arena in Colorado Springs, Col., December 12-14, 2003. The event featured the top six qualifiers (in each discipline) from the six Grand Prix of Figure Skating series which began in October.

Japan's Fumie Suguri seized the gold medal in the ladies event with a total of 182.08 points. USA's Sasha Cohen had to settle for silver with 177.48 points, while Shizuka Arakawa of Japan fought for and won the bronze (167.57points).

In the short program, Suguri landed a triple Lutz-double toeloop combination, a triple flip, a double Axel, and completed nice spins in her smooth performance to Paint it Black by the Rolling Stones. The two-time World bronze medalist received 32.10 points in the element score and 29.92 for program components (62.02 total segment score).

"After NHK, I practiced for more details and tonight it was exactly what I have been training for," a happy Suguri said. "This event also will prepare me for Nationals and this experience is one small step in getting me ready."

Cohen had to overcome a fall on the triple Lutz early into her routine, but she pulled herself together and hit a triple flip as well as a double Axel. The 19-year-old impressed the crowd with her flexibility in her spirals and spins. She interpreted her Spanish Malaguena program very well, scoring the highest program component score of the ladies (32.60 points), but her element score was lower at 28.20 points. With an total segment score of 60.80 points, Cohen was in second place.

"Looking at the positives, I was able to refocus really quickly and get my confidence back for the flip. Going into the Lutz, my timing was a little bit off and I'll work on that and get ready for tomorrow night," Cohen commented.

Elena Liashenko of the Ukraine was a close third with 60.54 points. Her elegant performance to Otonal by Raoul di Blasio included a triple Lutz-double toeloop combination, a triple flip, and a double Axel, but she looked somewhat slow in her spiral sequence.

"I didn't want to relax, but remain focused on each element," the 27-year-old explained." I had some problems in practice, it wasn't going too well. But it worked out just fine in competition. I was very concentrated. Maybe I didn't skate with too many emotions, but I was focused."

Japan's Yoshie Onda was in fourth place, while her teammate, Shizuka Arakawa, hit a triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination but doubled the flip to finish fifth. Julia Sebestyen of Hungary doubled her Lutz in the combination and finished sixth.

In the long program, Suguri skated last to Symphony No. 40 by W. A. Mozart which featured a triple Lutz-double toeloop combination, a triple flip-double toeloop combination, as well as three more triple jumps and a double Axel out of a spiral. The two-time Four Continents champion only two-footed an underrotated loop, but her spins were fast and included nice positions. The 22-year-old earned 120.06 points for this performance (57.18/62.88 ), defending her lead.

"There were a few mistakes, so it wasn't perfect," Suguri said. "But it was a good step towards the next competition which is Nationals. This will be a hard competition, and I can't lose there. I wanted to gain confidence in this event."

Cohen had a good start into her Swan Lake program, landing a triple Lutz, triple flip-double toeloop, and a triple Salchow and showing excellent spins. However, the the defending Grand Prix champion lost steam towards the end, falling on the triple toeloop and her second flip. With a segment score of 116.68 (52.44/64.24), the 2003 US bronze medalist remained in second place.

Cohen commented: "It (the fall on the triple toeloop) was a surprise because I landed but I just slipped off the blade. The toe has been easy for me and I don't remember the last time I missed a toe, even in practice. It was definitely a shock. I have a lot of work to do when I get home and train."

Arakawa, who stood in fifth after the short srogram, skated a solid long program to Violin Fantasy on the opera Turandot by Giacomo Puccini. The two-time Four Continents silver medalist produced five good triple jumps, but her triple toeloop wasn't clean. The 21-year-old received 114.23 points for her program (54.43/58.80) and pulled up to third place.

Liashenko popped her Lutz and put down her hand on the triple Salchow, slipping to fourth place overall. Onda, who celebrated her 21st birthday today, fell on the triple flip and finished fifth. Julia Sebestyen of Hungary beat Onda in the free skate, but remained in sixth place.

Ice Dance
Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov of Russia danced to the gold in with a total score of 175.91 points. Bulgaria's Albena Denkova and Maxim Staviski captured the silver medal with 163.30 points, while USA's Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto won bronze with 161.25 points.

Navka and Kostomarov lead the Original Dance (OD) with a sensual Blues and funky Rock'n'Roll routine. The European bronze medalists executed a difficult side-by-side footwork line (mostly on one foot) and two rotational lifts. They received 22.00 points in the element score and 43.18 points for program components. Their overall segment score was 65.18 points.

"It was very hard," Kostomarov commented. "I thought, I couldn't do it, but the music was pushing us. We are very well prepared and in full force, so we skated well. However, we did the last step sequence, the diagonal, really with the last strength we had left."

Belbin and Agosto danced a technically difficult routine to Jitterbug, Blues and Swing that featured intricate footwork and a dance spin with changes of position. The audience cheered for the couple during the footwork sections and gasped when the skaters came dangerously close to each other during a twizzle series. The Skate America Champions moved into second place with a segment score of 59.81 points (20.30/39.51).

"It felt great. The audience really helped us right from the start. A lot of things were stronger than we have competed them all season, " Agosto said. "Our goal here was to show our enthusiasm and love for the sport and to show that we are riding a wave of momentum that will hopefully carry us up and up," Belbin continued.

Denkova and Staviski were close behind the Americans with 58.26 points (18.20/40.06). The Blues part of their dance was highlighted by an interesting spin as well as a lift in a spread eagle position. The Swing part contained a demanding side-by-side footwork line with twizzles in two directions.

"I think it was a good performance, normal for us," Staviski commented. "We changed our side-by-side footwork to make it more evident that it has a higher level. We wanted to make it more difficult. I think all our elements are difficult, but we just cleaned them up a bit."

The Ukrainian husband-and-wife team Elena Grushina and Ruslan Goncharov placed fourth by the thinnest of margin with 58.24 points for their OD to Swing and Blues. Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder of France were fifth.

Navka and Kostomarov delivered an entertaining routine to Pink Panther and Austin Powers that underlined their smoothness and lines. The Russian Champions executed strong twizzles and lifts, but they slowed down in their final footwork sequence. They scored 110.73 points for their program (43.40/67.33) and were the clear winners with 175.91 points.

"We heard our teammates shouting, and their support helped us," Navka commented. "I didn't think about the fact that we had a comfortable lead going into the Free Dance. I'm just competing against myself and not thinking about the marks. My goal is always to improve on the previous performance. We can skate much better, but here are different conditions. Of course, this win gives us confidence. It's always nice to be first, and especially with a big lead."

Denkova and Staviski danced to Georg Händel's Suite No 4 in D minor. Their classical dance included difficult lifts and spins, as well as strong transition moves. However, Staviski stumbled on a twizzle. The Bulgarians, who stood in third place following the OD, received 105.04 points for their performance to pull up one spot.

"I didn't expect the mistake on the twizzle. I had trouble with the first one, and then I probably lost my focus. It was a stupid mistake. Usually these twizzles aren't a problem for me. At this point in the program, I didn't feel my legs and arms anymore! The beginning was good, the technique and presentation was right on."

Performing to West Side Story, Belbin and Agosto completed interesting lifts and hard footwork, but they made little errors like two-footing a twizzle and had trouble in the circular step sequence, and they seemed to lack energy. The Four Continents silver medalists were awarded 101.44 points for their FD and ranked fourth in this segment. Overall they still finished third.

"The performance was a little rough tonight," Agosto admitted. It was just one of those programs where things didn't work the way I wanted them to."

Grushina and Goncharov were ranked third in the FD but were in fourth place overall. Delobel and Schoenfelder skated to Merlin and produced a very difficult circular step sequence. They came in fifth ahead of Dubreuil and Lauzon.

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Re: Golden Skate: 12/14/03

Post by pikachu on Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:50 pm

thanks admin. great


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