Thursday, 21/6/2018 | : : UTC-7
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NEBELHORN TROPHY WINNERS UP TO THE CHALLENGE

The third ISU Challengers Series competition took place in Oberstdorf, Germany.  World Standing Points were awarded.

 

MEN…

Jason Brown (USA) won his first senior international gold medal with “off the wall” free skate component scores -10 points higher than his closest competitor.

 

The Tristan and Isolde program, while marred by four under-rotated jumps–including the 3A twice – showed off his great artistry and musical interpretation.

 

“I like being theatrical, and that’s why my choreographer, Rohene Ward, went in that direction,” quipped Brown.

 

Brown’s trademark mesmerizing spins were Level4. The total was 237.17.

 

Michal Brezina (CZE) skated an element-packed free program to The Marriage of Figaro and won the silver medal.  His opening 3A and combinations (4S+2T and 3A+2T) earned 32.74 points. When fine-tuned, the program will include 3 quads.

 

The two-time European medalist recently switched coaches and returned to Oberstdorf to train, and he feels his performances have improved

 

“My coach asks me to do much more run-throughs than I did before, and I need that,” Brezina said. The total score was 228.48.

 

Konstantin Menshov (RUS) placed 3rd in the free program and won the bronze.  The 31 year-old interpreted the dark, somber violin chords of “Tango in Silencio” with angst, but respect.

 

“The unusual music mirrors the troubled world of today where mankind must and will survive,” reflects Menshov.

 

The 2013/14 European bronze medalist opened with a powerful 4T+3T that scored 14.40 points. He struggled with his Axels and the spins were inconsistent, earning Levels 2, 3, 4. The total score was 211.03.

 

LADIES…

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) placed 2nd in the short, but captured the gold medal with a winning free program.  The 17 year-old completed six triples, including a 3T+3T.  Tuktamysheva interpreted the striking Indian themed music with Level4 spins and step sequence.

 

Last year she took a back seat to the Russian “baby ballerinas”. The Nebelhorn victory gave the 2011 junior World silver medalist reason to make a bold prediction.  “If I keep making progress, I’ll be competitive with the younger ones.”  The total score was 192.65.

 

Alena Leonova (RUS) fell from 1st place in the short to 3rd in the free, but won the silver medal.

 

The opening under-rotated 3F+3T was new.  “My new combination was even a surprise for my coach because I didn’t say I will try it,” commented the 23 year-old.

 

While the Lutz and Axel received negative GOE marks, two spins were Level4. The mature tango skate earned sevens and eights in component scores and a total 186.71.

 

Gracie Gold (USA) placed 2nd in the free program, but settled for bronze due to a 3rd in the short. Selections from Phantom of the Opera, including a vocal to “Wishing You Were Here”, earned her a top component score of 64.49.

 

Gold executed four clean triples and two Level4 spins.

 

“It was my first competition, and I left some points on the table,” offered the 2014 US National champion. The total score was 182.31.

 

PAIRS…

Yuko Kavaguti+Alexander Smirnov (RUS) missed 2013/14 due to his devastating knee injury.  At Nebelhorn, they won the short program by a slight margin. The team then crushed their competitors in the free with a program choreographed for last season by Peter Tchernyshev to Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony.

 

They stumbled on their opening two elements, but Kavaguti’s perfectly landed quad throw Salchow made the competition high light reel. The three lifts earned Level4.

 

“We love the program.  It was planned as our Olympic free skate. Now we can finally show it to the public.” Said Smirnov. The total score was 195.89.

 

Egvenia Tarasova+Vladimir Morozov (RUS) were 2nd across the board and won the silver medal.

 

Skating the free program to Lionel Ritchie’s “Hello”, the first year senior team scored 8.10 points with an opening huge triple twist. They stumbled on the jumps and one lift.

 

The 2013/14 junior World silver medalists are optimistic about the coming season.

 

“We started working with our new coach, Robin Szolkowy, (Olympic and World medalist with Aliona Savchenko), who is a first class specialist.  He already gave us some small corrections,” said Morozov. The total score was 178.98.

 

Alexa Scimeca+Chris Knierim (USA) were 3rd in both the short and free programs and won the bronze medal.

 

The snappy fast moving free program to An American in Paris was sprinkled with choreographed dance moves.

 

The opening high-flying triple twist was followed by a Knierim fall on the 3S and one by Scimeca on the 3-loop throw. The spins and lifts were Level4.

 

Scimeca evaluated the performance. “The mistakes are fixable. Each time we perform, it gets better, so we hope it will be perfect in winter.”

 

The total score was 166.10, higher than the earlier US International Classic in SLC, where they won the gold medal.

 

 

ICE DANCE…

Kaitlyn Weaver+Andrew Poje (CAN) were 1st in the short dance, 2nd in the free program, but won the gold medal by 1.59 points.  The 2014 World silver medalists skated a light, but poised modern interpretation of Vivaldi’s, The Four Seasons. The twizzles and two lifts earned Level4.

 

With Tessa Virtue+Scott Moir on sabbatical for the current season, Weaver and Poje are Canada’s top-ranked team. They have big skates to fill and are gearing up for the challenge.

 

“We are the number one dance team in Canada, and now our time in the limelight has come,” said Poje.  The total score was 165.32.

 

Madison Chock+Evan Bates (USA) took home the silver medal after a 2nd place short dance and a 1st free program.

 

In An American in Paris the couple visits a modern, “City of Lights”. The duo absorbs the French atmosphere as they twizzle, spin and lift their bodies across the ice earning Level4 marks. The team gained a personal best score of 100.93.

 

“Our free dance is very different from previous years.  We’re looking forward to how it progresses during the season.  The total was 163.73.

 

Nelli Zhiganshina+Alexander Gazsi (GER) won the bronze medal.  The free dance takes selections from Swan Lake Reloaded where the music vacillates between a sometimes-distorted Tchaikovsky and Swedish electro pop songs.

 

Stephane Lambiel, world champion from Switzerland, choreographed the program to the Avant-garde street dance production.

“We want to get away from the quirky, funny image that we have and show that we can skate more dynamically”, said Gazsi.

The program placed 4th with two Level4 lifts and one spin.  The remaining elements were Level3.  The total score was 147.10.

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