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  1. #1
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    watching old tapes:) today: 1998 worlds ladies free skate

    I love this competition (except from the lame swedish commentator on my tape lol) and I've always been quite puzzled about the outcome. I really, really wanted a medal for Anna Rechnio, but she herself made sure she wouldn't get one. I also really wanted a medal for Latitia Hubert...but again, no...

    I do not question Kwan being the winner, she skated very wel (though not her bestl, and as a non-Kwan fan, I was surprised I actually enjoyed her free skate very much. Her speed was great, she seemed fresh and light. In the latter years, she bored me so much, not so here.

    I also have to say, I loved Slutskayas Russian dance. even though she was still a little girl here, and skated more mature programs later, I always preferred the little girl. this was full of spark and joy, her later Carmen and Tosca and the likes all appeared the same to me, I never felt like they really showed her personality.
    in Minneapolis, she tried to skate a really difficult program, and almost everything suceeded. She fell on the flip, but her energy made sure she didn't ruin the program. She also tried a 3t3t very late in the program, and landed it almost clean. her speed going into the combo was amazing. so, the fact that she was on the podium, was in my opinion correct.

    I wonder....what would Rechnio and Hubert have had to do, to win a medal? would it have been enough, even if they skated perfectly clean?
    Both girls short programs were so fab, I loved the energy of Rechnio's Gone with the wind (and I hated all the others GWTW) and Hubert's Piano was so sophisticated and really showcased her special style. the way she used her arms, the way she highlighted the music...and the 2a to finish, in the last second. wow! I still get goosebumbs watching it.

    but back to the free! both Hubert and Rechnio skated relatively well, I thought Huberts program as a concept was a little better, she really felt it, and it was again original and very Latitia. She made some mistakes, so did Rechnio, who fell on a 3t, and stepped out of the 3l. Latitia tried the 3t3t very late in the program, and almost made it. would she have been on the podium had she stood on her feet on that combo?

    I thought Butyrskayas program was good, but not fab, she skated it much better at Euros. she also fell in her steps. If everyone was clean, I would have the standing
    1.Kwan
    2.Slutskaya
    3.Hubert
    4.Rechnio
    5.Butyrskaya

    but would the judges? I doubt it....

    I know there was qualifying too, but after the short p, it was clear the free skate would decide the outcome.

    Here's the overall standing, with placements in qualifying, short and free:

    1. Kwan 1 1 1
    2. Slutskaya 2 4 2
    3. Butyrskaya 1 5 3
    4. Hubert 8 3 4
    5. Rechnio 2 2 5

    Other highlights on my tape was a shaky, but so charming Marie Pierre Leray, Energy-bomb Joanne Carter (miss her still!), up-and-coming Diana Poth, Sokolova and her tap-toe program, she did some great combos, 3s3t f.i., Yulia Lavrenchuk, with the stroking from hell (love her still!), Vanessa Gusmeroli landing one triple, Tatiana Malinina bombing to Alladin, and Yulia Vorobieva, bless her, who pre-rotated everything, but still had one of the best scratch spins ever! I do had a soft spot for her!

  2. #2
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    I always thought this was one of the more post-olympic worlds by memory.

    no Lipinski, no Bobek, no Lulu, no back-flip Bonaly.

    I always thought this was the weakest of Kwan's 'Lyra' performances but she still deserved to easily win.

    I remember Bute and Slute being subpar in this competition. I was also disappointed that Szewczenko didn't cap off her exciting year [minus her disappointing withdrawal in Nagano] with a better performance.

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    It was too bad Tara didn't compete. She had said in an interview a few weeks earlier on the Today Show that she really wanted to do the 3ltz-3lp at that competition. Kwan was subpar here, so Tara would have probably won her 2nd World title had she shown up.

    Rechnio's SP was the highlight. I would have put that program above Kwan's. Too bad she couldn't keep it up in the LP to make the podium. Her 3flip was gigantic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmallFairy View Post
    I wonder....what would Rechnio and Hubert have had to do, to win a medal? would it have been enough, even if they skated perfectly clean?
    Rechnio would have been able to medal through the back door had she been clean. She was never going to be placed in the top 3 in the LP even if she was clean. Irina and Maria skated well enough in the LP even with one major splat each that she had no chance of beating either. However since Hubert didnt skate great a clean Rechnio would have been placed 4th in the LP and won the bronze since she was 2nd in the short to Maria's 5th.

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    It was too bad Tara didn't compete. She had said in an interview a few weeks earlier on the Today Show that she really wanted to do the 3ltz-3lp at that competition. Kwan was subpar here, so Tara would have probably won her 2nd World title had she shown up.
    Maybe or maybe Tara would have skated even worse than Kwan did. Anyway, when has Tara ever been capable of consistently landing a Triple flutz/triple loop in competition? Had she ever even attempted it?
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

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    Watching that TODAY's interview, I got the impression that Tara wanted to debut the 3ltz-3lp combo at Worlds, and she sounded very excited about it. It would have been neat to see her go for it, which she most likely would have.

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    Anna Rechnio just had to beat Hubert on the Free to win a medal.....Which SHOULD have happened. Hubert had an extra triple, but Rechnio had way more speed, attack, energy, height on her jumps. Hubert was defeated before she stepped on the ice and was so feckin slowwwwwwwwww.

    Slutskaya and particularly Butyrskaya were frankly blessed to be 4th and 5th after the short...both should have been behind Malinina and Liashenko at least and therefore out of contention.

    In summary, Rechnio was robbed....and then again in 1999!

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    I remember being surprised how much less explosive and fast than usual Hubert was in the 98 Worlds LP. I was wondering how it would be watching Rechnio and Hubert flying across the ice back to back and trying to compare, but Hubert did not look like her usual self that night.

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    I always thought Hubert would have made the podium had she just stayed up on the triple/triple at the end of the program. That was a gutsy move.

    Quote Originally Posted by poths View Post
    Anna Rechnio just had to beat Hubert on the Free to win a medal.....Which SHOULD have happened. Hubert had an extra triple, but Rechnio had way more speed, attack, energy, height on her jumps. Hubert was defeated before she stepped on the ice and was so feckin slowwwwwwwwww.
    Hubert/Rechnio was one of those situations where you can make an argument either way. I would have went for Hubert becuase she packed more difficulty into the end of the program (triple flip, triple/triple attempt, 2 axel to end the program) and her program was more interesting stylistically. Rechnio's program was a somewhat generic tango program that started to run out of steam and was rather empty in the last minute. It was just two slow spins followed by some posing to end the program. All the best stuff was in the first half and the jumps degraded as the program went on as well. I thought the speed was comparable between the two, they both had good flying spins but weak combo spins, and Hubert had the superior footwork sequence. Rechnio also had a flutz that almost rivaled Bobek's.

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    I had always assumed that Tara retired immediately after the Olympics from a nagging hip injury. So, she actually was planning on going to '98 Worlds? Does anyone recall how close to Worlds she made the decision to not compete??

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    i don't know how close the decision--but tara's hip injury didn't show up until 1999/2000 and then taras fans used it for her excuse for not competing till this day.

    tara quit due to she wanted to-keep family together, more money in pros at that time. all of the above--hip injury--never show came up until 1999 when she finally had-than she stated i was hurt back when.
    which is part of the reason her edges wasn't clean and triples ur;s
    but figure skating community want's to make tara jumps sound great all togther good-which they wasn't.

    tara should have stayed in-would have she yes-if they rigged the 2010 world free program for yu-na-they would have rigged the 1998 worlds for tara like they rigged the all of the olympics.
    if they want you up there --and the federation wants up there-they will lie, cheat to keep you and and to deny the existence of any kind of wrongdoing on the federations, isu, ioc's part.
    see--olympic gymnastic taking award bronze medal(yes they might have broken the rules-however there were other olympic displines that broke the rules but they didn't take away their medal due to what --Past 8 year mark--yet they did for CHINESE__want to know why i think there isn't some kind of r/politics going on. yes--they did mark out CODE OF ETHICS in communication-so no code of ethics --means NO FAIR PLAY_-- in my way of thinking--forever denial

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by query5 View Post
    i don't know how close the decision--but tara's hip injury didn't show up until 1999/2000 and then taras fans used it for her excuse for not competing till this day.
    According to the fluff piece shown during US Nats in 2003, Tara had the injury before Nagano. It's mentioned starting at the 2:55 mark.

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    Rechnio had amazing raw power, but also a lot of "rawness" in the skating. I really thought she was going to polish up and be a significant contender in the '98-99 season after seeing her at Worlds. Her practices were amazing. (Rechnio, Ruh, and Kwan are the three skaters I remember continually watching in the ladies practices.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmallFairy View Post
    I also have to say, I loved Slutskayas Russian dance. even though she was still a little girl here, and skated more mature programs later, I always preferred the little girl. this was full of spark and joy, her later Carmen and Tosca and the likes all appeared the same to me, I never felt like they really showed her personality.
    Yes, in those early days Slutskaya was so full of charm! Later she made the mistake to skate to dramatic programmes that just did not fit his sparkling personality and that is why they were not so successful, IMO.

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    This is the only Worlds I attended but I really enjoyed it. However the way I saw it Kwan deserved the title. Her SP was wonderful at that event.

    Rechnio was great in the SP but I wouldn't have placed her above Kwan in that section.

    I got the feeling that the Russians were kind of held up in the SP because they both stuffed up.

    As for Tara, I was glad she wasn't there because she had annoyed me so much from the Olympics. But the impression that both myself and the person I went with got was that no-one cared much that she wasn't there either.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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    The most beautiful program of this event was (and the German TV commentator said the same in his commentary ) Butryskaya's LP...until the fall on the footwork But until that moment, it was stunning...there was a maturity, sophistication and aura in that program that to me, until this day, remains unmatched. I'm so glad that Maria resurrected herself next year to win the title by the skating the same program perfectly.



    Quote Originally Posted by poths View Post
    In summary, Rechnio was robbed....and then again in 1999!

    Sorry, poths, but I don't agree with you. I'm giving you 1999 but in 1998, Rechnio was not robbed She deserved to be behind Hubert, Butyrskaya and Slutskaya in the LP anyway.

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    I think if Irina or Maria had not had their one major fall one of them might have won the LP phase over Kwan with Kwan's performance that night. Their scores were very close to hers as they were even though she had all 1st place votes. Both had slightly higher tech. marks in the LP but lower presentation scores. Maria's fall was the worst since I think it hurt her presentation scores alot as well as her tech. scores. It killed a good chunk of the finale section of the program.

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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    I remember being surprised how much less explosive and fast than usual Hubert was in the 98 Worlds LP. I was wondering how it would be watching Rechnio and Hubert flying across the ice back to back and trying to compare, but Hubert did not look like her usual self that night.
    I was at those Worlds and both Rechnio and Hubert were very fast in both the SP and the LP. However, Hubert didn't carry her attack all the way through in the LP, and seemed to run out of steam a couple of times. This was most noticeable to me during and just after some of the spins, which weren't her strength anyway (although I really liked some of her unusual spins that year); and a couple of times it almost looked like a "stop-and-start" performance. Nevertheless, for most of the program it was fast speeding as usual from Laetitia, even if she seemed a bit tentative here and there (for example when she doubled her salchow). She was also quite fast in the SP, even though the music was more laid-back. I loved that short program!

    Rechnio was however also very fast. Her SP was spectacular, I was a little less impressed by her LP. I think she was mostly judged fairly in 98, it was in 99 that she got badly marked down IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by casken View Post
    I always thought Hubert would have made the podium had she just stayed up on the triple/triple at the end of the program. That was a gutsy move.
    And it was a HUGE combination jump, as were some of her other jumps. If she had landed it, I'm almost certain Laetitia would have carried home the bronze medal.

    But it was good, close skating for both of them that year. I think Hubert might have gotten a medal anyway if Butyrskaya hadn't been held up in the SP.

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    Hubert was hurt by having absolutely god-awful spins, even by 1998 standards. Rechnio's were a bit better, but the speed still pales in comparison to her skating speed.

    Bute and Slute deserved to make the final group but I would have Liashenko ahead in 4th place, her Le Grand medley program was amazing.

    I think overall Kwan's title was uncontested, and I would have given the silver to Rechnio and the bronze to Butyrskaya (2nd in the lp but too behind in the sp for the silver). Just not a fan of either of Slutskaya's programs or her style that year. No matter how close she was in both years, I don't ever think Hubert deserved a medal in either 1992 or 1998 Worlds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Just not a fan of either of Slutskaya's programs or her style that year.
    Really? Those 1998 programs were my favorites of Slutskaya's. And different from each other.

    And she did almost-land two triple-triples in that LP, even if they would have been downgraded by today's standards.


    BTW, I would say that the fastest skaters at 98 Worlds were Lavrenchuk, Carter, Hubert, Rechnio, and Slutskaya. Not necessarily in that order, but those five were a step above anyone else, e.g., Butyrskaya and Liashenko being part of the next tier.

    Of those, Slutskaya had the most skating content between the jumps (back inside spiral, three turn to forward outside spiral, covering almost the full rink, followed immediately by a step to the other forward edge up into double axel!) and the third best spins of the field (after Ruh and Vorobieva).

    Biggest problem was that her body line sucked. And she made some jump mistakes.
    Last edited by gkelly; 05-03-2010 at 02:33 PM.

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