Retrospective: The 1989 World Championships

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Maofan7, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Away

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    Evelyn Grossmann would go on to win Europeans the following season, and then finished 2nd the season after that. However, she pulled out of 1991 Worlds due to injury and never competed internationally again. I've read that this was due to a whole catalogue of injuries. Does anybody know what the underlying injury problem was? I am also just wondering whether German reunification had anything to do with it, and the dismantling of the East German sporting system?
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
  2. Tony Wheeler

    Tony Wheeler Well-Known Member

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    She actually competed at two Grand Prix/Champions Series events the first year it was turned into a circuit of internationals (1995/1996). She withdrew from the German Championships later that year, though, and I'm guessing finally decided to call it quits. She had been competing at German Nationals every (or almost every) year since 1991 with non-podium finishes.
     
  3. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    I think her inability to come back from injury had everything to do with the end of the GDR, but the elimination of compulsory figures made her standing fall too.
     
  4. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Away

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    Agreed. But, there must also have been some underlying injury problem, as at her best, Grossmann would have easily qualified for Euro's, Worlds, and the Olympics (she was much better than Marina Kielmann, Patricia Neske, and Simone Lang - beating them at 1990 and 1991 Euro's. A greater challenge would have been posed by Tanja Szewczenko from the mid 1990's onwards, and for the 93/94 season, the returning Katarina Witt. But even then, Grossmann was good enough at her best to gain one of the spots). She was a good free skater, as well as being proficient at compulsories. In fact, better, as she would invariably move up after the SP and FS. For example, she finished 14th in the compulsories at 1989 Worlds, and 5th in the FS.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  5. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Away

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    Article by Phil Hersh from the 13th May 1988, which highlights the problems Paris had in securing the 1989 World Championships. Also refers to the then forthcoming ISU vote which ultimately led to the elimination of compulsory figures.
     
  6. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    How did Claudia Leistner get 2nd place in the free skate at the 1989 worlds? Yamaguchi and Trenary at least look like they had a pulse. Claudia had a creaky 3L. Was that all it took? And a panel of mostly European judges? I love her standing at the end of the rink and gyrating to disco while she took a nap-length break, but that would be hard to add that to the base mark. Are there arguments for her ranking her above Jill and Kristi's free skates? And what about Jill versus Kristi? How would you re-rank this?

    FS Ordinals

    1st Midori Ito 伊藤 みどり (JPN) - 1989 World Figure Skating Championships

    2nd Claudia Leistner - 1989 Worlds Long Program

    3rd Jill Trenary - 1989 Worlds Long Program


    4th Kristi Yamaguchi (USA) - 1989 World Figure Skating Championships
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  7. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    Leistner's skating was sort of klunky and that LP was craptastic, but I found her kind of endearing. I was glad for her that she was able to end her amateur career with a silver medal.

    G&G was gorgeous.

    Love Ito. I think her LP music in 89 suited her so much better than her LP music for 91 and 92.
     
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  8. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    Jill made too many jump mistakes in her LP, so it's understandable that Claudia's LP was ranked above Jill's. Kristi was still skating like a kid in 89, was the 2nd-ranked American woman, and she had no international reputation ; The judges wasn't going to put her above the seasoned veteran Leistner, unless Kristi gave a star-making performance, which she definitely didn't.
     
  9. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    Wow ... this is true ... but it brings back such memories of judging that could be completely explained without mentioning much of what happened on the ice..
     
  10. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    No matter how old or veteran Claudia was, the judges had no problem putting the experienced Charlene Wong and Yvonne Gomez where they belonged. The judges were simply cheating for Claudia as the best European. Perhaps some were content with their cheating knowing that she was a sweet girl and good sport who would not overstay one day more than the 1989 worlds.

    Looking over the ordinals for SP and FS your seniority theory does seem to cover the rankings fairly well, but it's hard to validate because most of the women were green that season. Even if they were the superior free skaters--as Kristi was above Claudia and Lebedeva-- the compulsories were important. Naturally the more experienced competitors tended to place higher in figures. It was a natural rhythm ... and one that probably became more pronounced this year since figures were being phased out.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  11. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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  12. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    Jill sure did a lot of single axels. I still vote for her over Leistner. Leistner had nothing.

    Jill

    2F
    3T
    1A+3S (small step out)
    ina bauer+1A
    2F
    3S
    2T
    1A
    1A+0.5L+1S+1S+2L (slight stumble and sequence delivered with low energy and no finesse)


    Claudia
    2A
    3F (fall)
    3T+2T
    2S+2T
    3L (sort of completed on one foot)
    3S
    3T
    split+2T+2T SEQ
    2S (out of energy, barely avoiding lurching)

    Edit made per Orbitz.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2013
  13. mustafinabars

    mustafinabars Member

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    Jill should have been 8th or something at the 89 Worlds. What a weak performance, and what incredibly boring music. What is it, a horse march.
     
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  14. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    Jill's final jump sequence was a 1axel-0.5loop-one foot sal - 1sal - 2loop. It's not possible to do a 0.5L-0.5L-0.5L sequence unless the skater is able to do a change of edge after the landing and jump in both directions.
     
  15. mustafinabars

    mustafinabars Member

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    I would like to see all the performances, but I do find it amazing nobody was deemed good enough to beat Jill and Claudia's skates at those Worlds. Must have been their lead in figures and their strong shorts that guaranteed them medals. I certainly hope the judges didnt place them 2nd or 3rd in the long. Evelyn Grossmann had a much better long than both and I saw hers. Kristi perhaps too although Kristi didnt deserve to be at Worlds that year to begin with.
     
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  16. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    Thomas's 87 World LP was considered a "show-stopper"? Really? Kat won the LP with the performance of her career.


    I keep hearing this argument as to why women generally can't do 2A. But skaters like Mao, Nelidia, and Meissner don't look like they have more upper body strength than most of their peers.
     
  17. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    That would have been a much better combination. ;)
     
  18. mustafinabars

    mustafinabars Member

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    It was a royal crime Tonya was not at Worlds that year, especialy with how she skated at Nationals. Kristi with her figures was never going to be any contender that year, so sending her was pointless. Tonya outskated Kristi at Nationals that year in both figures and free skating and still lost to her; and so far outskated Jill in free skating and still was behind her in both short and long programs, not just figures which was understandable. The kind of heavy internal National politics that poor Tonya had to deal with for many years. Her own problems were not all her own doing as some suggest. She was held back in a huge way by politics from 86-88 too.

    With her strong figures, and great freeskating Tonya would have won a medal that year, and could have even possibly challenged for the gold. What a waste and foolish move by the USFSA.
     
  19. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    Yes, they were 2nd and 3rd. Yamaguchi deserved second (she received fourth). Trenary probably deserved third, but I am confident she beat Leistner. It's ridiculous to compare those two and just count up the jumps in Leistner's favor. Leistner is like beef jerky doing triples.
     
  20. mustafinabars

    mustafinabars Member

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    Well Jill is generally more a quality skater than Claudia I agree. However Jill's free program that year was the most boring thing she ever did with horrible music. So that along with Claudia doing more triples and making less mistakes, I would put Claudia ahead of the two. I still think both were overmarked though.
     
  21. Erin

    Erin Well-Known Member

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    I haven't seen this competition in a while and it's shocking how bad the judging used to be, particularly in ladies, where judges seemed to let the figures placements influence the SP and FP placements (for example, the judging of Midori Ito at the 88 Olympics). I'm having great difficulty finding a non-reputation based reason for why Yamaguchi's free program was placed less than second. On Leistner vs. Trenary, they were both dreadful and probably should have been behind Evelyn Grossman, but between the two of them, I'd probably give it to Trenary just because she should have been miles ahead on the second mark.

    The SP judging was also pretty bad. I think I would have had Yamaguchi winning the SP and I've always been fairly meh on her skating overall. But that was a program well-suited for her at that stage in her career, presented well with lovely arms, good spins and the most difficult combination in the competition. This was the first time I've ever seen Ito's SP from this competition and even thought I am a huge fan of Midori, I have to agree with Toller Cranston's commentary that the judges were clearly in her corner to give her the win in the SP...because even though I know that none of them would have realistically gone for Yamaguchi, Trenary really should have beaten Ito in the SP. Ito gave up her big advantage on the jumps by inexplicably only doing a double toe-triple toe combination and while that was still more difficult and better quality than Trenary's combination, the only other element I'd give Ito in a head to head comparison is the double axel. Ito's spiral sequence particularly stood out as not being well done (wobbly, poor positions) and her program was a very poor choice for her. The 6.0s on the technical mark were pretty outrageous. Although at least in that case, it did lead to the right overall result - if Trenary had beaten Ito in the SP and the FP had the same rankings, then Leistner would have ended up as World champ :scream:
     
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  22. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    Ito always did that combination in her SPs (not 3t-3t, which she did in the LP, or the 3t-2t which most ladies did if they were able to do a 3t in combination), so I don't know how you can say she gave up her advantage. I don't agree that either Yamaguchi (too raw, and tiny jumps) or Trenary (weak jumper) should have placed higher than Ito in the SP. The quality of jumps cannot be compared. Ito's only real weakness was the spiral sequence, and it was not given a lot of weight under the 6.0 (and it has disappeared from the COP now). I don't think there was a conspiracy to give Ito the gold; she just skated lights out in that competition, and had a respectable figures portion that year.
     
  23. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    Funny that you put Meissner in the same bracket as Midori Ito, when it came to 3A. In my book, Meissner did not land a 3A in a competition; the judges ratified it to either say another US lady landed it, or to just give her full credit for trying, even though she was at least 0.5 rotation shy.

    I don't remember what Nelidina looked like, but Ito had a very compact body, and all of her jumps had a lot of power. IMO both she and Tonya were exceptional athletes.
     
  24. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

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    It says on Wikipedia in the entries for both Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler, that they were 7th at the 1988 Worlds and 14th at the 1989 Worlds. I looked it up since I thought they had placed lower in '89.
     
  25. kosjenka

    kosjenka Well-Known Member

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    I am still surprised to find out that Kristi Yamaguchi was pairs skater as well.
    Guess I am not a great skating chronicle :p
     
  26. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Leistner actually lost 2nd place to Trenary in the SP only on a 5-4 split. Had she gotten 1 more judge over Jill in the short she would have won the World title even with that scary bad LP. Claudia actually beat Jill on elements scores in the short program, even with the same jumps, but lost to her on the presentation. One judge gave Claudia 5.8 for elements and 5.6 for presentation. Had that judge just dropped to a 5.7 for presentation rather than to a 5.6 Claudia would in fact have been 2nd in the SP and won the World title, which is a scary thought, but something few people know.

    IMO Midori definitely deserved to win the short. Her program was kind of blah but the short is about elements. A double toe-triple toe is still much harder than a triple toe-double toe that Leistner, Trenary, and Lebedeva all did. Ito had not only the best jumps and the strongest spins of all the top skaters that night, and her weak spiral sequence was more than compensated for. Claudia had a wonky landing on her double axel and a wonky ending. Jill has mediocre quality jumps even when landed which is what held her back even when she was doing as hard or harder jumps than most of the other top skaters in the Thomas-Witt era, although this was one of her best short programs. Neither Claudia or Jill had spins nearly as strong as Ito's program. I think Lebedeva was almost unfairly marked. Her technical elements were excellent that night and the 2nd best after Ito, but the program was a huge bore on the other hand. 5th place in the short for Yamaguchi was about right even with her triple lutz combo. She had strong and consistent (albeit not yet spectacular or very big, or with much flow) jumps, but also a ton of holes in her skating at that point, and did not even deserve to be at Worlds over Tonya Harding in the first place.
     
  27. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

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    That is the most horrifying thing I've ever read on this or any other sports board. It would have taken away Midori's only world title and irreparably damaged the sport forever.
     
  28. Erin

    Erin Well-Known Member

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    Ito didn't always do that combination - for 1984 through 1988 Worlds (and possibly earlier), she always had a triple loop in her combination in the short, either double loop-triple loop or triple loop-double toe, depending on what the required double jump was in the SP. Since there was no required jump in 1989, she could have done either of these (or a triple lutz-double toe for that matter, but not triple toe-triple toe, which wasn't allowed in the SP until 1997). Overall, I just thought she looked tentative and uncomfortable during that SP whereas Jill and Kristi skated with more confidence and command of the ice. Midori didn't have any of the spark that she showed in the FP. I don't think there was a conspiracy, just that the judges did seem fairly favourably disposed towards her.

    Those Wikipedia entries are incorrect - this one has the correct standings:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1989_World_Figure_Skating_Championships

    They were 7th both years, but the field in 1989 was much weaker, so a 7th was much more disappointing in 1989. Of the 6 teams ahead of B&E in 1988, 4 had retired and Selezneva & Makarov were also not at Worlds (injured?). So to finish 7th again meant that they had lost ground to 5 teams. It probably hurt even more that Landry & Johnston had won the silver medal given that they had finished behind Brasseur & Eisler at Canadians two months earlier. Given all of that, it's not unreasonable that Brasseur & Eisler could have expected a podium finish with a good skate, so 7th place (out of 11th teams) was really a disaster.
     
  29. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Didnt Landry & Johnston skate poorly at the Canadians that year though? I dont think the result there neccessarily proved Brasseur & Eisler were the better team. Although given the field that year even a then immature Brasseur & Eisler definitely had a shot at the silver or bronze with a good competition.
     
  30. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    I think if that happened it would have been horrifying, but Leistner winning wasn't what that SP scoring was indicating. The judges knew what they were doing. They were trying to help Ito by cheating for Leistner in the SP. They were not trying to set Leistner up to win. You can see that for the FS Leistner was overscored, but I think all the judges knew Ito would win.