Day 6

Friday, March 31, 2000

Ladies' Short Program

Today, I actually sat in my assigned seat for the first time all week...LOL

Marion Krijgsman was the first to skate; she stepped out of or fell on all three of her jumps. Kaja Hanevold is a very elegant and lovely skater, but she missed qualifying for the free by one place. :( She almost landed her lutz (put her hand down), but she doubled her 3sal. Valeria Trifancova had a very nice 2a and 3s2t, but then 2-footed her 3t and had a weird fall on the exit of her combination spin. Siyun Sun was clean with a 2a, 3s2t, and 3t.

I am just thrilled for Shirene Human - she qualified for the free skate!!! I don't know if she's even qualified for the short program ever before. She is a very smooth and stylish skater with a wonderful layback spin. She landed a great 3t2t, 2a, and 2f. I think her music was from Yanni - it was very pretty. Julia Lebedeva skated to "Beatle Juice"; she fell on her lutz and barely hung onto the 3s.

Diana Poth redeemed herself from her disasterous QR and skated a clean short with a 3t3t, 3f, and 2a. Roxana Luca doubled her salchow and had an awful layback spin. Jakupcevic's only clean jump was the 2a. Anna Gimazetdinova had a rough time, doubling both her flip and lutz and falling on the axel. Silvia Fontana's jumps left her today. She doubled the lutz plus fell on it, then doubled her 3t. She got tech. marks in the 3's and presentation marks around 5.0.

Galina Maniachenko fell on her flip but landed her lutz-toe combo. Sabina Wojtala skated very well, landing her lutz and loop. Anna Lundstrom 2-footed her loop. Yoshi Onda was clean with a 3f2t, 3L, and 2a - wow, was she happy! She was jumping up and down. :o)

Vanessa Gusmeroli skated infinitely better than she did in the QR, landing everything and really getting into her program. She has the same short program as last year. Anna Rechnio was a disaster; she fell on her lutz and singled and stepped out of her flip. It's too bad, because the program to "Swing Kids" is really nice. Good footwork. Alisa Drei had a new, very glittery black and gold dress which I liked. She landed a 3t2t (meant to be 3-3), 3loop, and 2a.

Elena Liashenko also had a new dress; blue, pink, and silver with a flesh-colored midriff. She skated clean, although the 2a was a close call. Jennifer Robinson did well, landing her lutz-toe combo and the loop. Marks a little lower than I expected. Zoya Douchine wore a cute little German dress and landed her 3t but stepped out of the 3f and 2a.

Victoria Volchkova's layback has improved. However, she doubled her lutz and was not happy with herself afterwards. Tatiana Malinina was an even bigger disaster than Rechnio. She put her hand down on the 3L2t, fell out of the 3f, and singled her axel. Tech. marks in the 3's - ouch. Angela Nikodinov skated clean and very well. Good for her.

Michelle Kwan was first in the last group (and, by luck of the draw, she is first in the last group for the free skate). I like this program more each time I see it. Her 3L2t and 2a were solid, but she JUST squeaked out the 3f. She did it right in front of me, and I don't know how she landed it. But that close call kept her tech. marks around 5.5/5.6, leaving plenty of room for the others. Julia Sebestyen was next. She had a huge 2a and 3L2t, but doubled her flip. Still, she's in 6th place and will skate in the final group tomorrow.

Mikkeline Kierkgaard fell out of her 3l but landed the 3t2t and 2a. I think I got some cute pictures of her. Irina Slutskaya was clean with a more solid flip than Michelle; I knew she would be put ahead of Kwan, and she was, rightly so.

Sarah Hughes was AWESOME!!! I can't say enough about how great she skated. Solid jumps, beautiful line and extension, fast and centered spins...she was absolutely robbed on her marks. The judges got a huge booing. One judge gave her a 5.0 for technical merit - puh-lease. I thought she should have been ahead of Michelle, as much as I liked Michelle. Oh, well, she's still in 4th place, a good position. And she skates last in the free skate - GO SARAH!!!

Maria Butyrskaya skated clean and deserved the win. Her music is beautiful.

Free Dance

I don't have a whole lot to say here, since there weren't any required jumps or spins that I could take notes on. I went for the last 3 out of 5 groups, starting with Silverstein/Pekarek. I thought both American teams skated really well. I was hoping Lang/Tchernyshev would place in the top six, but I'm really happy that Silverstein/Pekarek placed 12th. The Bulgarians and the 2nd Italian team had to withdraw from the competition due to injury.

The crowd went bonkers, of course, for Marina and Gwendal. I've never seen so many flags in my life! :) They got as many toys and flowers as Michelle Kwan usually gets in the States. I don't think this was their best performance of "Carmina Burana", but they deserved the win. I didn't think they'd get any 6.0s because they were first up in the last group, but I think they did get two of them.

I couldn't be happier with the podium. Fusar-Poli/Margaglio were excellent and it's been amazing to see them improve so much in one year. And I love Drobiazko/Vanagas. I look forward to seeing them improve even more in the next couple years. The Israeli team also had a very cool dance. The only dance that I really didn't like tonight was Semonovich/Kostomarov's - they skated to hip-hop music that didn't seem appropriate for this level of skating.

In the awards ceremony, Maurizio Margaglio took Marina Anissina's hand and went to center ice to bow with her. Then he had to bow with Margarita Drobiazko, too. He's too funny. :o)

Misc.

I gave up on trying to find Anissina/Peizerat and Takeshi Honda to give them their messages, so I left them at the front desk of their hotel this morning. And wouldn't you know, less than five minutes later, I see all three of them...ARGH!! So all the messages have been delivered now, even if a couple were a little late.

For those of you wondering about the camera policy here - the only rule is that you can't use a flash (although I've seen plenty going off). There are zoom cameras everywhere, and they even have little point-and-shoot cameras for sale at the arena! Heck, I've even seen a few people with video cameras....I think I've taken about 28 rolls of film so far. :o)

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