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1997 World Championships: Qualifying Rounds

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by JJS5056, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. JJS5056

    JJS5056 Well-Known Member

    Hi all.

    I have been following FSU for several years, but this is my first post; please forgive me if this is better suited for the Trash Can and feel free to move as seen fit.

    The first international competition I ever watched was the 1997 World Championships. Through the gift of YouTube, I have been able to rewatch videos of the short and long programs several times over. However, I have long wished to see videos of the qualifying rounds, or at the very least hear detail on the programs some of my favorite skaters.

    Of course, the program I'm most interested in is Lu Chen's. AFAIK, it was the only time she competed that program. Additionally, I have heard that Nicole Bobek had a great skate just prior to the tragic death of her coach. I would be forever grateful if someone were to upload and post videos of either of these programs. If this isn't possible, does anyone know which jumps each landed?

    I'll always believe LuLu was robbed of a spot in the LP. While I have never seen the programs of the lower-ranked skaters, given the very low standard of skating that year, I'm quite comfortable stating that her artistry should have been enough for at least 24th. Bobek, for instance, was 8th with large errors on both the combo and solo triple. Lu's mistakes were certainly more severe- .8 vs. ~.5 for Nicole, but I just can't believe that they were 17 spaces apart considering their comparable artistry, spins, etc.

    Nicole, OTOH, really missed an opportunity to grab a second World medal. Her SP marks made it clear that the judges were ready and willing to give the USA a sweep. I wish she had at least attempted her planned content in the long program. I don't mean to underestimate the impact of Fassi's death, but a program like the one delivered just weeks prior at Nationals with only 4 triples could have been enough for 3rd-6th.

    Anyway, I've digressed- I would love to chat more about this competition, but most of all, I'd be the happiest FSUer of all to see or hear more about Lu Chen and Nicole Bobek and their performances in the QF.

    Thanks, and I hope I haven't ruined my first impression by posting this in the wrong forum. :)
  2. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    I don't have the info you're looking for, but nice to read your first post in nine years. Hope it's the first of many!
  3. museksk8r

    museksk8r Holding an edge and looking dangerously sexy

    I wish I had video of Nicole's performance in the QR at 1997 Worlds too. I remember reading a book about Tara Lipinski that recounted the QR at those Worlds and the book said that Bobek skated very strong and finished 2nd to Lipinski in Qualifying Group B and that she finished ahead of Maria Butyrskaya. Kwan won Qualifying Group A ahead of Vanessa Gusmeroli and Irina Slutskaya. I seem to remember that the QR was skated on a Monday afternoon and Carlo died Wednesday evening. I wish I had more info about the jumps attempted and the video, but that portion of the competition was not broadcasted or accessible to the public to my knowledge.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  4. Clay

    Clay Well-Known Member

    Based on what I've read, Bobek stepped out of her triple toe in the qualifying, but was otherwise clean. By worlds, she added a second triple flutz, so I'm not sure if that meant 4 clean triples in the qualifying round. I'm not going to bother to understand what she could or could not have landed in the rest of the competition.

    Lu Chen was lucky to even make out of the qualifying. She landed a triple toe and popped or fell on everything else. Perhaps she should have made it through in the short, but it is hard to compare without seeing all of the lower-ranked skaters. She must have left a horrible impression through that week. Fumie Suguri's program is on youtube though. She missed her triple lutz combo and doubled the flip. So that's 1 deduction and a lower base mark for double the triple flip, according to the rules back then. Susan Humphreys was 21st, but they didn't move Lu Chen up after Susan withdrew.

    Sadly, Lu's "Le Mer" is not available anywhere. I've never heard that it was shown. It's never been on youtube and it wasn't shown on British Eurosport.
  5. JJS5056

    JJS5056 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the welcome, skate boy, and muse for the additional info. In trying my best to not sound insensitive, I'll just say that it's too bad the SP wasn't held earlier Wednesday.

    Clay- I had read somewhere along the way that LuLu's QF skate was indeed broadcast somewhere. Thank you for the information on some of the jumps each attempted, though. If Lu was only landing triple toes, perhaps it was best she didn't make it through, though I still would have liked to see the program. As for Bobek, any idea if she was still omitting the flip?

    What is the protocol these days for LP withdrawals? Would they move the next skater up? Additionally, is that still the case that a withdrawal negates the Olympic spot that had been earned? IOW, Humphreys made the LP, yet Canada did not have a lady in Nagano- would that still be the case? Was it because there were fewer than 24 spots up for grabs at Worlds, or does a withdrawal not count as a placement at all?

    The rules really sucked that season. I still can't believe USA only qualified 2 to Nagano for both pairs and men in spite of having 4+5 and 2+6 (or 7?), respectively, because of the poor performances of S/Z and Hollander. Even worse was the case of the Russian men, who finished 3+5, but lost out on a 3rd spot because of Urmanov's withdrawal. Truly one of the ISU's most illogical rules, and that is saying A LOT! Had the ladies SP been better skated (or Bobek scored more appropriately), the USA might have even most their 3rd spot there (unless there was something guaranteeing 3 for multiple medalists, but I doubt that; if medaling had an impact, I'm sure Eldredge's silver would have been enough).
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  6. all_empty

    all_empty Well-Known Member

    Aside from the major errors on the Lutz and Axel, I think Lulu's spins were just short on rotations too (8 for the solo spins, 5 on each foot for the combo, if I recall). It's too bad because she hit some nice positions in the combination spin (although the sit was basically non-existent - perhaps another tenth) and the choreography was nice. Just too many deductions added up.
  7. Lainerb

    Lainerb New Member

    Supposedly the qualifying rounds were shown on Swiss television including Chen Lu's program to La Mer.
  8. Tony Wheeler

    Tony Wheeler Well-Known Member

    I believe that in order for the next-ranked skater to be moved up a position (eg. 25th getting to skate the free program in the singles' disciplines), the withdrawing skater has to do it before the skate order is determined for the next program. Since the draw happens almost directly following the short program, that would be difficult in most cases unless a skater were to injure themselves during a performance and still complete it, etc.

    As far as the Olympic spots being earned at the previous Worlds-- I wrote a blog piece a few months ago that visualizes how the initial 24 ladies' spots were earned at the 2009 World Championships for the Vancouver Olympics. Maybe it will help you understand more than me trying to give a brief explanation: http://www.flutzingaround.com/2012/11/why-2013-world-championship-is.html Keep in mind, though (as you pointed out in your last paragraph), the system of earning multiple spots based on combined placements was a bit different until directly after the 1997/1998 season.
  9. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    I don't know about Lu Chen, but I've always thought it was better for her not to compete in the LP, and I think judges did it on purpose, because she would have been very very low in the rankings (between 20th and 24th overall). For a current World Silver and former World champion, it would have been really bad, in order to prepare the Olympics.
    With a 25th place in the SP, it's as if she didn't participate at those championships, IMO.
  10. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

    I struggle to imagine how failing to qualify for the FS is a better experience than finishing the competition, however low the placement.
  11. Lainerb

    Lainerb New Member

    I seem to recall her still being injured at the time of the competition or still recovering from injury at any rate. If that were the case it was probably for the best she didn't skate anymore. The only reason she was there was to attempt to qualify China a spot for the Olympics.
  12. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    I just try to find a reason why judges didn't put her in 24th place after the SP. This is one reason I can think of : by failing to qualify, she doesn't have a ranking at those championships, as if she didn't participate. ;)