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  1. #1

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    Retrospective: The 1989 World Championships

    Retrospective moves on to the 1989 World Championships.

    The key facts in relation to these world championships are:-

    • Kurt Browning wins the first of his 4 world titles. Fadeev led after the compulsories, with Petrenko 2nd and Filipowski 3rd. Bowman was 4th and Browning 5th. However, both Fadeev and Petrenko suffered falls in their short programs, thereby making way for both Bowman and Browning to move up. Browning won the SP with a superb performance, and that moved him up to 2nd overall. Bowman's 2nd place in the SP, moved him up to first overall. Browning then won the LP and took the title, with Bowman 2nd (both in the FS and overall). For the 2nd consecutive world championships running, Browning landed a 4T in his FS, although the landing was slightly two footed.

    • Midori Ito wins her first and only world title. Claudia Leistner led after the compulsories, with Trenary 2nd and Ito 6th. Ito then won the short program, with Trenary finishing 2nd. This moved Trenary up to 1st overall, with Ito 3rd (Leistner 2nd). Ito then produced what I think was one of the greatest ever performances of a program by a ladies singles skater, to win both the FS and the title. Her LP contained all 6 different types of triple jump (7 triples in total), including a 3T+3T combination and 3A (she had landed the first ever 3A by a lady in 1988 at the Aichi Prefecture Regional Competition, and then landed one for the first time internationally at the 1988 NHK Trophy). It changed the whole landscape of Ladies figure skating forever, forcing others to inject more difficult content into their programs to remain competitive (especially with compulsories being phased out altogether after the 1989/90 season) Trenary had a disastrous FS and fell to 3rd overall, with Leistner taking the Silver medal.

    • Ekaterina Gordeeva & Sergei Grinkov regain their world title, having lost it the previous year when Gordeeva had come down with the Flu and fallen in the LP. They won both the SP and LP at these championships to win their 3rd world title easily. Kristi Yamaguchi & Rudy Galindo finished 5th. Yamaguchi also took part in the Ladies singles, where she finished 6th.

    • After finishing 2nd at 4 consecutive world championships behind Bestemianova & Bukin, Marina Klimova & Sergei Ponomarenko finally win the world title. They won easily. The Duchesnay's finished 3rd. Their OSP was highly controversial. Their feather boa and straw hat were considered props (as opposed to being part of their costumes) by some judges, and received deductions. They also received deductions from some judges for using vocals in their music.

    • Evgeni Platov finished 6th in the Ice Dance with Larisa Fedorinova. The following season, Platov's coach, Natalia Dubova, changed his partner to Oksana Grishuk. Grishuk & Platov would go on to win 4 world titles and 2 Olympic titles (becoming the only ice dancers to win 2 Olympic titles), and they would win 20 consecutive competitions between 1994 and 1998. Nevertheless, the road was not a smooth one. As a result of problems between Grishuk and Maya Usova, Grishuk left Dubova's group in 1992. Platov acquired a new partner, whilst Grishuk attempted to find a new one in Germany, before returning to her previous coach, Natalia Linichuk. Platov then decided to re-team with Grishuk in the Autumn of 1992, and they were then coached by Natalia Linichuk. Platov later said of his partnership with Grishuk: "It's like being a husband and a wife. Sometimes, you fight. Sometimes, you walk away and calm down. I met her a long time ago, and I still remember her as a little girl on the ice. She was so little. So active. Usually, little girls are boring. But that girl. Oh, there was a fire on ice." He added: "It's hard to change her mind. She fights every step. But it works out. That's why she is so good."


    Here are the videos in relation to the medal winning performances:-

    MEN'S

    Gold: Kurt Browning (Canada)

    Short Program, Free Skate, Exhibition 1, Exhibition 2, Interview 1, Interview 2, Medal Ceremony

    Silver: Christopher Bowman (USA)

    Short Program, Free Skate, Exhibition, Profile

    Bronze: Grzegorz Filipowski (Poland)

    Short Program, Free Skate

    4th: Alexander Fadeev (USSR)

    Short Program, Free Skate, Exhibition

    6th: Viktor Petrenko (USSR)

    Short Program, Free Skate,

    9th: Michael Slipchuk (Canada)

    Short Program, Free Skate


    LADIES

    Gold: Midori Ito (Japan)

    Short Program, Free Skate, Free Skate (2nd Copy), Exhibitions, Medal Ceremony

    Silver: Claudia Leistner (West Germany)

    Short Program, Free Skate, Exhibition

    Bronze: Jill Trenary (USA)

    Short Program, Free Skate, Profile, Interview

    4th: Patricia Neske (West Germany)

    Short Program, Free Skate

    5th: Natalia Lebedeva (USSR)

    Short Program, Free Skate

    6th: Kristi Yamaguchi (USA)

    Short Program, Free Skate

    7th: Evelyn Grossmann (East Germany)

    Free Skate

    10th: Surya Bonaly (France)

    Short Program, Free Skate

    11th: Karen Preston (Canada)

    Short Program

    16th: Charlene Wong (Canada)

    Short Program


    PAIRS

    Gold: Ekaterina Gordeeva & Sergei Grinkov (USSR)

    Short Program, Free Skate, Exhibition

    Silver: Cindy Landry & Lyndon Johnston (Canada)

    Short Program, Free Skate

    Bronze: Elena Bechke & Denis Petrov (USSR)

    Free Skate

    4th: Peggy Schwarz & Alexander König (East Germany)

    Short Program, Free Skate

    5th: Kristi Yamaguchi & Rudy Galindo (USA)

    Free Skate

    7th: Isabelle Brasseur & Lloyd Eisler (Canada)

    Short Program, Free Skate

    8th: Natalie Seybold & Wayne Seybold (USA)

    Free Skate


    ICE DANCE

    Gold: Marina Klimova & Sergei Ponomarenko (USSR)

    Original Set Pattern, Free Dance

    Silver: Maya Usova & Alexander Zhulin (USSR)

    Original Set Pattern, Free Dance

    Bronze: Isabelle Duchesnay & Paul Duchesnay (France)

    Original Set Pattern, Free Dance, Exhibition, Profile

    4th: Klára Engi & Attila Tóth (Hungary)

    Original Set Pattern, Free Dance

    5th: Susan Wynne & Joseph Druar (USA)

    Original Set Pattern, Free Dance

    6th: Larisa Fedorinova & Evgeni Platov (USSR)

    Original Set Pattern, Free Dance

    8th: Karyn Garossino & Rod Garossino (Canada)

    Original Set Pattern, Free Dance, Interview

    11th: Michelle McDonald & Mark Mitchell (Canada)

    Original Set Pattern
    Last edited by Maofan7; 01-22-2013 at 11:00 PM.

  2. #2
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    I was awaiting this retrospective! Even with the mistakes here, Alexander Fadeev came out in the 1989 season with two of my all-time favorite programs, especially the short program (which often gets overshadowed by his free skate, probably due to his amazing skate/costume drama at the Europeans a few months prior).

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    The best thing I can think of is that G&G were amazing. Just perfect.

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    Vanessa Riley said Fadeev put on quite a show
    Last edited by bardtoob; 01-23-2013 at 01:51 AM.

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    Thanks for all the great links!

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    This was a great year.

    G/G were in a class of their own here. I loved their SP this year, it had so much attitude for such young skaters.

    Midori. When she did that 3A it was amazing. No one came close.

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    I think this was the first time I heard about Rokhamo & Kokko. A friend of mine attended these Worlds and he just raved about them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwizzlerS View Post
    I think this was the first time I heard about Rokhamo & Kokko. A friend of mine attended these Worlds and he just raved about them.
    Its a shame that neither their OSP or FD are on Youtube.

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    Midori Itos program was sparkling with such effervesence. The fact that this program decades later is still being looked at as the one of the best technical programs really speaks volumes. Yamaguchi showed the world she would be a contender after the end of figures too.

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    Ito's LP at 1990 Worlds was even better i think. What a crime Trenary won. Thank God figures were done after that year.

  11. #11
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    I love Ito in 1990 but I love her even more here. Not the SP which was a real step back in terms of artistic concept after 1988 - they should have kept that SP - but the LP which, while a technical tour de force, is also to me an example of a quintessential 1980's ladies LP in the very best way. I adore the Frank Mills music and it's still on my iPod. Choreographically it's a perfect fit and her presentation is so honest here and she really did get this music. Shez was great too but it also heralded the start of over choreographing her programs where she appeared to be overloaded with a surplus of random moves that had nothing to do with the actual music and were all done in an effort to hide her flaws and project an image of artistry but don't maximise her strengths. What they should have done is what they did with this 1989 LP which highlights her strengths. I actually think her earlier Yamaha corporation composed LP's had better cohesiveness in terms of her skating style than some of her later programs.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    Ito's LP at 1990 Worlds was even better i think. What a crime Trenary won. Thank God figures were done after that year.
    Completely agree about School Figures. The best thing that ever happened to skating was the removal of compulsories. They had become an anachronism. They should have disappeared in the 1960s. Had they done so, then the likes of Janet Lynn and Denise Biellmann would have most likely won the world and Olympic titles they deserved.

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    It was a great event, one of my favorite ever. So many wonderful moments.

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    I loved the 1989 worlds- one year after the 1988 Olympics.

    Midori Ito's LP was one for the ages- the first 3A by a lady at worlds, and a row of 6.0's (five of them) for technical marks!
    I thought she would win the next 3-4 titles, but it was not to be. I remember her lovely blue dress and much improved artistry. Scott Hamilton's comment when she landed a 3t-3t like it was nothing at all- "I have never seen a lady skate like this!"

    G&G's LP to Die Fledermaus was a model of how to skate pairs. It was a perfect skate and should have received higher marks, but they won easily, so that was a non-issue.

    Cindy Landry & Lyndon Johnston of Canada surprised everyone by winning the silver. She as just 17, and Johnston was around 27.

    I first saw Bechke & Petrov, and could see how different and innovative (although imperfect) they were than G&G.

    Yamaguchi & Galindo at their first senior worlds- a clean skate and their emotions were high, but their coach was dying of brain tumor.

    Kurt won his first world championship and he said- the first thing I want to do is: not fall off the podium Interestingly, those days they allowed two 3A's in the SP (one in combination).

    Gregorz Filipowski had the skate of his life, skating the LP to Warsaw concerto. His reaction at the end was precious. He won the bronze medal- the only world medal he ever won.

    Viktor Petrenko was supposed to be the next champion, coming in as the Olympic bronze medallist, but he had a poor skate (I think in both SP and LP) and he missed the podium.

    Chris Bowman was good enough talentwise to challenge Kurt, but he didn't quite deliver it. The 3A was his nemesis. I loved his stylistic approach to skating and the spring in his jumps.

    In ice dance, it was nice to see Klimova-Ponomarenko win their first world title, although I thought the Mac the knife program didn't bring out the best in them.

    I was so impressed with Usova-Zhulin's FD (Mars from the Planet suite and a Chopin piece sandwiched between two Mars)

    The 1989 worlds were really interesting.

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    The highlight of these worlds was both Midori Ito and Klimova/Ponomarenko. For Marina & Sergei, it was finally getting that gold medal that they had truly deserved for so many years but had to wait until 1989 to receive it. I found the comedy in their FD that year to be kind of flat and artistically, I found the program to be trite. But the choreography was seamless and difficult yet they skated it to clinical perfection. They really knew how to make the difficult look easy.

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    The first SBS 3F in international competition was landed by Yamaguchi and Galindo. However, the "ahead of it's time" element that I like the most is their pairs spiral into mirror SBS 2A.
    Last edited by bardtoob; 01-24-2013 at 01:44 AM.

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    Are any of the judges from 1989 still judging? They had to be corrupt as sin. LOL!

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    The problem with 80s judging was that there was a pecking order in place, and like Lu Chen several years later, Ito did not have a strong fed behind her. They were happy with her placing top 6 even though her presentation was perfectly respectable at the time. We already commented on other threads that Claudia Leistner won TWO silvers at Worlds, that should wake you up. Ito's marks in the 80s were atrocious considering Kira Ivanova, Leistner, etc.

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    I don't like that the rules back then allowed Browning to do three axel jumps in the short program.

    Too bad Bowman never really had the 3axel, otherwise it could have been a great rivalry between him and Browning (or a great addition to the Browning - Petrenko rivalry within that quad).

    Ito was surreal. I am glad she got to at least win 1 world title. She is such a pioneer in ladies skating.

    I love that everything about G&G is so elegant and pure and together, they totally made avant garde work. They have the kind of perfection that cannot be matched by B&S and definitely not T&M and V&T.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    G&G's LP to Die Fledermaus was a model of how to skate pairs. It was a perfect skate and should have received higher marks, but they won easily, so that was a non-issue.
    Yeah I was like WTF at their marks too, it was a perfect opportunity to hand out all 5.9s and 6.0s and that is what should have happened. The skate would have been unbeatable for anyone, but more to the point what the heck were they remotedly saving marks for considering the field this year.

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