Saturday, 23/6/2018 | : : UTC-7
Skate Today

Czisny Brings Home the Gold

Alissa Czisny, 22, of Bowling Green, Ohio captured the gold medal at the Nebelhorn Trophy last Saturday with an event total of 151.40 points. It was her second win at the Nebelhorn Trophy as she won the event in 2008 also.

The American Champion took control in the short program where she dazzled the audience with her outstanding spirals and mesmerizing spins. Czisny sparkled on her straight line footwork, which was highlighted by the music from the “Mask of Zorro” (soundtrack) by James Horner.

Her jumps which included a triple flip, a double Axel and a triple Lutz/double toe combination were credited; however, on her triple flip she was saddled with negative GOE’s (Grades of Execution) due to a wrong edge take-off. On the other hand, she was awarded mostly +2 and +3 GOE’s on her level four spins and spiral.

Czisny picked up a segment score of 60.38 points.

The overnight leader struggled with the jumps in her free skate. She under-rotated a triple flip, a triple loop {of a triple loop/double toe combination), and a triple toe. She also singled her Axel and doubled a solo triple loop. Her opening triple Lutz was fully rotated, but she stepped out on the landing.

On the contrary, her final two elements a level four change foot combination spin and a lay back spin earned mostly +3 GOE’s from the judges and huge applause from the audience. Czisny managed to stay in first place overall, but placed sixth in her Dr. Zhivago (soundtrack) free skate worth 91.20 points.

“I came here because I love this competition,” the American stated. “I wanted to get feedback on my programs, so I will take a look at the protocol and see what I have to work on.”

Finland’s Kira Korpi finished 1.39 points behind Czisny – placing second in her short program and fourth in the free skate.

The 2007 European bronze medalist put out a solid short program after missing most of last year’s grand prix season due to illness, but like Czisny she struggled in the free skate.

Korpi featured a triple Lutz/double toe combination followed by a triple loop and a double Axel in her lyrical short program set to the music “Caravan” by Ikuko Kuwai. Outfitted in a gorgeous shade of lime the 21-year-old highlighted her program with two level four spins and a level four spiral.

“This was a good beginning to the season,” Korpi stated. “ I’ve had higher scores but a few of my landings weren’t perfect. I am just happy to be here after having such a difficult season last year.”

In her free program things started to go awry. The Finnish Champion under-rotated her opening triple Lutz and singled a triple Salcow and a planned triple loop. Despite the mistakes, she managed a strong triple Salchow/double toe combination, a triple loop, a double Axel and a double Axel/ double toe/ double toe combination.

“Of course I am disappointed, but I too will take a look at the protocol and I will see where I can improve,” Korpi stated. “My short program was pretty good, but my free skate, not so great.”

Her event total of 150.01 points cinched the silver medal.

“It’s been a great week,” the Finnish Champion added. “I really enjoyed it. I am so happy to have won a medal on my birthday. I think it has been ten years since I was here in Obersdtorf.”

Yan Liu of China was the first to qualify a spot for her home Country at the Olympic Games next February in Vancouver. After placing only fifth in the short program with 48.18 points the25-year-old came roaring back with a stellar free skate placing her first in that segment and third overall. She earned 99.69 points for her free skate and when combined with her short program score her event total of 147.87points was good enough to capture the bronze medal.

Liu’s free skate to “Why are the Flowers So Red” showcased a graceful style and six triple jumps. All were executed cleanly except for the triple flip which took off from the wrong edge. Her technical score of 51.13 points was almost fourteen points ahead of Czisny – who won the event. On the other hand, her component score of 48.56 points ranked only fourth – over five points less than Czisny.

While Liu qualified a spot for China, she will have to meet the requirements of the Chinese Olympic Committee, in order to qualify to skate in her second Olympic Games.

“I just wanted to do what I do in practice,” the Chinese skater said through an interpreter. The audience encouraged me to do much better, and I am happy with the way I skate.”

The actual highlight of the event for me was watching the transformation of 28-year-old Julia Sebestyen. The 2004 European Champion arrived at the event looking fit, trained and younger than ever. The sparkle which has been missing the last several seasons was back. Her jumps were high and there was a spring back in her step.

The Hungarian placed third in the short program with 53.68 points. Her opening triple Lutz/double toe combination was high, but then she doubled the flip and fell. She recovered quickly with a level four combination spin and a double Axel. Her layback spin was called level two but she received level three on her circular steps and final change foot combination spin.

“I just step on the ice and try and do my best,” the Hungarian Champion stated. “It’s harder now, not like when I was 18-years-old.”

In the free skate Sebestyen placed second but finished an overall fourth with 146.76 points. Like Czisny and Korpi she struggled with the jumps. Her opening triple Lutz/double toe was strong, but then doubled most of her jumps. While not a clean program she accomplished her goal of earning Hungary a spot at the 2010 Olympic Games. If the spot is awarded to Sebestyen by the Hungarian Olympic Committee it will be her fourth trip to the Olympic Games.

The remaining Olympic spots went to Austria, Belgium Slovenia and Spain. Georgia has announced they will only fill one of their two Olympic berths. The berth was returned to the Olympic Committee and that spot will be awarded to Israel.

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