Day 3

Tuesday, March 28, 2000

Ladies' Short Program Practice

Anna Rechnio looked very strong - great jumps. Landed a 3toe3toe. Sabine Wojtala's jumps also looked good; she gets nice height. Also landed a 3toe3toe. Mojca Kopac looked a little off today, as did Jennifer Robinson, who kept singling or doubling her 3loop. There was also an Oriental girl in this group who couldn't land a jump for the life of her, until the very end, when she landed a 2axel2toe. She had decent presentation and pretty good spirals, though.

Next group: Alisa Drei had a decent practice. Didn't do any jumps in the RT, but later landed a couple 3toe3toes and a 3lutz. Helena Pajovic managed a few 3sals and 3toes. Olga Vassilieva and an unknown-to-me Chinese(?) girl had moderate success with their jumps.

The Americans were also in this group. Wow, did Sarah Hughes cut her hair short - it's shorter than Kwan's now. She landed her 3toe3loop on the first try, but it took her a while to land the 3sal3loop (she kept doing just the salchow). Her other jumps were fine. Michelle Kwan was rock solid on all her jumps and landed 2 out of 3 3toe3toes she tried. I gave her her good-luck messages after practice. Angela Nikodinov was also rock solid; I didn't see her miss anything.

Oh my gosh, Paula and I went to Monaco today and saw some seagull-like birds that made the strangest noises I've ever heard from a bird - it sounded like they were meowing and then laughing! I had my tape recorder with, so we caught it on is so hilarious! (And Monaco is just gorgeous, even though it was cloudy and rainy out today.)

Anyway, back to skating. Saw the American girls practice again this afternoon. Angela looked a little off, but the other two were even more solid than this morning. Gave Sarah her good-luck messages, and Tim was there watching, so I gave him his. Diana Poth wore her famous swimsuit to practice. She actually landed some nice combos, including a 3lutz2toe2loop. Julia Sebestyen had HUGE jumps and almost landed a 3loop3loop. Tatiana Malinina was there (she skipped this morning), but it took her a couple tries to land anything. Elena Liashenko was a no-show here. Vanessa Gusmeroli had a so-so practice.

Men's Short Program

There were some awesome performances tonight as well as some lousy ones. I'll start with the second group, since I missed most of the first group. All six skaters in this group landed a clean 3axel in the warm-up. Roman Skornyakov did what was probably his personal best, landing a 3axel3toe, 3lutz, and 2axel. I felt he was way undermarked. Ben Ferreira landed a 3axel2toe and a 2axel, and just barely hung onto his lutz. Markus Leminen skated pretty well, with a 3lutz, 3axel(hand)2toe, 2axel. I think he just barely made it to the free skate. Konstantin Konstin actually did very well, with a 3axel-step-3toe, 3lutz, and a 2axel with no arms. Maybe he was short of rotations on a spin, though, because he was marked really low. Szabolcs Vidrai had a great warm-up but fell apart when it mattered, doing just a single axel and double lutz. I felt SO bad. Michael Tylleson skated to "George of the Jungle"; I'd never seen this program before, but he really got into it and I liked it. Landed a 3axel1toe, 3flip, and 2axel.

I'm gonna start abbreviating jumps here: a=axel, L=lutz, l=loop, f=flip, s=salchow, and t=toe loop.

Ivan Dinev, with his cool snake program, landed a 3a2t, 3f, and 2a. Restencourt had a huge splat on the quad in the warm-up, so he substituted a 3f in the program, along with a 3a2t and 2a. Tim Goebel was great - he landed the first 3a I've seen him land all week (in combo with 2t), and landed his 4s and a 2a. Good for him. Patrick Meier fell out of his 3a but did a 3L and a 2a. Anthony Liu was ON tonight, with a 4t, 3L3t, and 2a. Dmitrenko fell out of the last part of his 3a3t and 2footed his 3L.

Stannick Jeanette did a beauty of a 3a3t but doubled his 3L. OMG, they showed a replay of his coach's reaction to that mistake (probably shouldn't have), and wow, she was ready to put her fist through a wall. Zhengxin Guo was clean with a 4t, 3a3t, and 2a. Danilchenko landed a 3a2t, 3f, and 2a. Takeshi Honda is just not having a good year, and his bad luck continued tonight. Really slammed into the boards on his 4t attempt, and stepped out of his 3a. Marks in the mid-4s. Stefan Lindemann looked so cute. :) He landed a 3a2t and 2a but stepped out of his 3L, darnit. Andrejs Vlascenko landed a 3a2t, 2L, and 2a, and was short of revolution on a spin.

Five out of six men (not Abt) landed a clean 4t in the warm-up, which was very impressive. Alexander Abt was awesome, landing a 3a3t, 3L, and 2a. A very happy man, he was. Chengjiang Li landed his 4t as close to the boards as you can get without going over them, but it was clean. Fell out of his 3axel, though. Evgeni Plushenko got a partial standing O; he did the 4t, 3a3t, and 2a. Got all 5.7-5.8s for both sets of marks. Elvis Stojko landed an awesome 3a3t but splatted on the 4t. Got fairly high presentation marks, though.

MICHAEL WEISS LANDED A CLEAN QUAD!!! I was SO excited for him - it was a beauty!! Also landed a great 3a3t...then probably got too excited and stepped out of his 2a. I strongly believe he would have beaten Plushenko had he not made that mistake - he got 5.8s and 5.9s for presentation. But still, he's in 3rd place and in excellent position for getting his second World medal.

Alexei Yagudin, the last to skate, totally stole the show. He has a new costume, this one black and silver. He was ON tonight - couldn't have been more perfect. High, clean 4t, 3a3t, and 2a; huge death drop. Crowd was on its feet before the music was over. 5.9s across the board for presentation. Man, was he happy!! :) This should give him a huge confidence boost for Thursday. I want to see him win his third World title...

That's all for today. LONG day tomorrow - pairs practice, ladies qualifying, and pairs' free skate. I better get to bed. :o)

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