Wednesday, 18/7/2018 | : : UTC-7
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OLYMPICS: RUSSIA, CANADA, CHINA GO 1-2-3- ON FIRST DAY OF TEAM EVENT

Before the Opening Ceremonies for the 2014 Winter Games, the men and pairs competed their Short Programs on Olympic ice at the Team Trophy Event. The Ladies and Ice Dancers will face off on Saturday, February 8 at the Iceberg Palace in Sochi, Russia. The top five teams will compete in the Free Programs to determine the medalists.

The points after the first day are: Russia (19), Canada (17), China (15), Japan (13), France (10) Germany (10), United States (10), Italy (8), Ukraine (5) and Great Britain (3)

#1 TEAM RUSSIA…

Evgeni Plushenko, RUS, captivated the partisan but sparse Russian crowd with difficult jumps and blown kisses. He placed second in the Men’s Short Program behind Japan’s Hanyu.  The four time Olympian, front loaded his Tango program with 4T+3T, 3A, 3Lz, and earned 33.16 points before he even began his spins and step sequence.

“I’m so happy with my performance today,” said Plushenko. “That’s the fourth Olympic Games in my life. After 12 surgeries I can compete, I can skate. It doesn’t matter what kind of result it will be in the end. I’ve already won — for myself. And of course, I’m so happy today it was a good performance for myself.” Plushenko earned 9 points.

Volosozhar + Trankov, RUS, won the Pairs short program with all Level4 for their “high flying” triple twist, step sequence, death spiral, spin, and lift.  In addition, the team cleanly landed the 3T side-by-side jumps and 3Lo Throw. The audience was mesmerized by the 2013 World Champion’s interpretation of the Masquerade Waltz.

“We skated very carefully today. We wanted to show all our emotions and all our strength on the ice and concentrate on completing all our elements”, commented Trankov. The team received 10 points.

The Russian team earned 19 points. Max Trankov summed up the experience, “We are happy to have put Russia in first place in this event for the first time in the Olympic Games”.

#2 CANADA…

Patrick Chan, CAN, skating to music by Rachmaninov, placed third. The Canadian National Champion’s jump passes included a planned 4T+2T, but he doubled the second Toe Loop, a 3Lz and a step out on the3A. His step sequence and two spins were given Level4.

“I think I was a little passive on the landings, just letting it happen as opposed to really sticking them”, commented the three-time World gold medalist. Chan earned 8 points.

In second place, Duhamel + Radford, CAN, landed Level4 for all elements except the Level 3 triple twist. Their 3Lz was the most difficult side-by-side jump attempted in the competition.

The 2013 World bronze medalists skated an elegant routine to a selection written by Radford in tribute to his former coach, Paul Wirtz. The team displayed emotion throughout the program, with Duhamel tearing up at the end.

Radford was pleased with the performance and commented, “That was a program like we did in training.  We just put ourselves in a little bubble.  We had high expectations”. They received 9 points.

The Canadians received 17 points, just 2 behind the leaders

#3 CHINA…

Yan Han, CHN, opened with a nice 3A, followed by the 4T He stepped out of the back end of his 3Lz+3T combination and received a negative GOE. He placed fourth for 7 points.

Peng+Zhang, CHN, skated a clean program to  “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”.  The fairly new team received Level4 for the spin, lift, death spiral, and step sequence.  The triple twist earned a Level 3. The team placed third with 8 points.

The Chinese team scored 15 points.

#4 JAPAN…

Yuzuru Hanyu, JPN, carried his team into fourth place by winning the men’s short program and receiving 10 points. The GPF gold medalist landed a 4T, 3A, and 3Lz+3T combination. Takahashi+Kihara added 3 more points with an 8th place finish.  Japan scored 13 points.

USA…

The USA, favorites to medal at the Trophy Event, finished with 10 points after the first day of competition.

Jeremy Abbott fell on his 4T, and couldn’t complete the planned combination. He attempted to add a 3T to the 3Lz, but only managed a 2T. His melt down continued with a popped single axel. The three jump passes earned him only 12.71 points, which is four points less than the single 4T+3T planned element..  In Abbott’s own words, “It was my Olympic Disaster”.  He placed 7th and received 4 points.

Castelli +Shnapir, US National Champions, couldn’t get their “Black Magic”, to place them higher than fifth.  They earned 6 points.

The Event continues on Saturday with the Short Dance, Ladies Short, and Pairs Free programs. The Team Event will conclude on Sunday with Men’s Free, Ladies Free and Dance Free programs.  Medals will be awarded to the teams with the three highest scores. 

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