Day 7

Saturday, April 1, 2000

Ladies' Free Skate

With the exception of Kierkgaard, Robinson, and the last group, this event was a splatfest, unfortunately.

Zoya Douchine had a nice skate and landed 4 clean triples. Ivana Jakupcevic had a step-outs and 2-footed landings. Shirene Human landed a 3t, 2a2t, and 2a, but fell on her second 3t. I threw her some flowers and managed not to smack anyone on the head with thime this time. :) Siyin Sun landed two clean triples and had a bad fall on her 2nd 3t. Anna Lundstrom also landed 2 triples and fell, 2-footed, or turned out of 4 others. Silvia Fontana had a rough skate, even though she landed her 3(f)lutz. She doubled most jumps and stepped out of her 2a.

Alisa Drei opted for a solo 3t instead of the 3-3 combo, and doubled the lutz twice. Landed a clean loop and flip and put her hand down on the salchow. Galina Maniachenko doubled and singled a lot and only landed one triple. Tatiana Malinina's ankle injury must still be bothering her, or else she was just nervous, because she had another disasterous skate. Splatted on the opening 3L, pulled off the 3f and 3t, but then fell on the loop and axel and 2-footed her salchow.

Diana Poth had an okay but not great skate, doubling the second part of her 3t3t combo but landing her 3L. She singled her first flip and fell on the second attempt. Anna Rechnio landed three triples but fell on the first 3f and 2a. Yoshi Onda skated very well, and even though her presentation is not yet the greatest, she can certainly land the jumps. Landed 5 triples, put her hand down on one, and fell on another one.

Mikkeline Kierkgaard skated just as well as she had in the qualifying rounds and landed 5 triples. Strong marks, well deserved. She should be very proud of herself. Sabine Wojtala landed only 3 triples and singled the loop twice - they showed her coaches reaction to that which was kinda funny; he mouthed "oh, s***!" LOL Viktoria Volchkova landed 4 triples, fell on her 2nd lutz, singled her axel, and doubled and singled her loop. In my opinion, she was way overmarked.

Angela Nikodinov's first 3L was shaky, so no combo. She went on to land the loop, but 2-footed her 2nd 3L and doubled everything else. Jennifer Robinson had an awesome skate, landing 6 triples, including 2 3lutzes! Top ten finish - good for her. Elena Liashenko landed three triples and a mystery jump which I couldn't see because it was too far over in the corner. :) She doubled her salchow and only got around 2.5 times on the loop.

Michelle Kwan was as flawless as I have seen her since the Olympics, and her clean program was a nice departure from the splatfest that had been going on. She NAILED every jump, including the 3t3t, and I am so happy and excited for her. However, she still needed help from Irina Slutskaya in order to win, and she got it. Irina skated wonderfully, although she didn't try any 3-3s. She doubled her first salchow but redid it as a 3s2l right away. The rest was clean. Technical marks were actually the same or higher than Michelle's, but Michelle had had almost all 5.9s for presentation.

Maria skated well but not her best. She couldn't quite get the last part of the 3t-1/2loop-3sal combo and only got around 2.5 times; and she doubled her solo 3sal. But still, it was a nice program. Vanessa Gusermoli was clean and wonderful and quite happy, as you might imagine. I like that program and would have put her ahead of Maria, since she landed 6 triples to Maria's 5.

Sarah Hughes was incredible and got robbed on her marks again. She landed her 3s3l and fell out of the last part of her 3t3l, and was perfect on everything else. I don't necessarily disagree with the final placement, but I definitely think her marks should have been higher. The crowd did, too, because they booed. But she should be so proud of herself - 7th in the world last year, and now 5th. Hopefully, next year she'll medal. :) I gave her a congratulatory hug afterwards and saw her parents and three of her siblings. She looks so much like her mom! It might be a good thing I talked to her afterwards, because I said "oh, you get to skate in the exhibition tomorrow!", to which she and her coach gave me a confused look and said that no, it was only top 3. It IS top 5, though (there are bulletins posted in the lobby), so I hope they checked that out, LOL!

Misc.

I interviewed Peggy Schwarz and Mirko Mueller tonight. Hopefully, I'll get both the transcript and the audio file up within a week.

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