Tuesday, 17/7/2018 | : : UTC-7
Skate Today

World Champions Cinch Fourth Nebelhorn Title

Two-time World Champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy soared to their fourth victory at the Nebelhorn Trophy last week in Oberstdorf, Germany.

“Skating at home in Germany is always so special,” Szolkowy told the press. “It was good for the first competition, “ he added about their new short program.

On Thursday the home crowd roared when the German Champs rocked their opening elements – a throw triple flip and a side-by-side triple toe. They were extremely well-done earning high GOE’s (Grade of Execution) for those elements. The program was jam-packed with difficulty which propelled the duo to a new personal best score of 72.80 points.

On Friday things were tougher for the overnight leaders. Savchenko doubled her side-by-side jumps and stepped out of a throw triple flip. They did manage a solid throw triple Salchow, strong spins and two gorgeous lifts to pick up 113.19 points for their free skate.

Their free program music “You’ll Never Walk Alone” performed by Andre Rieu seemed to have clear lyrics at the end. The rules don’t allow audible words. The Germans did not receive a deduction for the music and insisted there are no audible words.

Savchenko and Szolkowy claimed victory with an event total of 185.99 points.

“The Nebelhorn Trophy was a test event for us, but we had in the back of our minds that we have to win here in Germany,” Szolkowy confessed. “We won and we tested (our programs), and now we know what to work on. There were a few crucial points in our program, but I think we can sleep tonight.”

Training mates Tatiana Volosozhar and Stanislav Morosov settled for a distant second with an overall score of 165.75 points.

Morosov fell on their opening side-by-side triple Salchows, but the Ukrainians recovered quickly. They reeled off a huge triple Lutz twist and a throw triple loop that was so powerful it was reminiscent of the top Chinese pair teams. Their straight-line steps and the flying combination spin were awarded level three while the pair combination spin and the overhead lift received a level four.

In their free skate to the soundtrack of “Pearl Harbor” the pair also struggled. They fell on the opening triple toe loops and had a step out on their side-by-side triple Salchow as well. They highlighted their program with stellar throw jumps and difficult lifts. They accumulated a segment score of 106.29 points.

“Some things worked here and some did not,” Morosov stated. “We will now go back on work on these things with our coach and hopefully make things work before our first Grand Prix event.”

The bronze medal went to Canadians Anabelle Langlois and Cody Hay who sparkled in their short program earning them a segment score of 57.48. This is the first competition since Langlois broke her ankle during the summer of 2008. They were extremely pleased with their skate, which was highlighted by side-by-side triple toes, a throw triple Lutz and three level four elements.

The 2008 Canadian Champions placed fifth in the free skate with 98.13 points but managed to stay in third place overall with an overall score of 155.61 points. Langlois fell on their side-by-side triple Salchows and the throw triple Lutz as well. She also singled the back end of a planned triple toe/ triple toe combination.

“We’re just happy to be back competing. It’s been a long road to get here,” Langlois told the press. “The injury is no longer a problem,” she added. And I am not in any pain.”

Americans Brooke Castile and Benjamin Okolski placed third in the free skate but were unable to garner enough points to overtake the Canadians for a medal. They were solid as a rock on their opening triple Salchows, and the throw triple twist that followed was good. They nailed the throw triple Salchow, but later she fell on a double Axel and on a throw triple flip. Their free skate earned 100.25 points.

All four couples represented countries who had previously qualified Olympic spots. The four pair berths awarded in Germany went to Switzerland, Estonia, Poland and Italy.

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