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Vaitsekhovskaya article on GPF results: "A scandalous ending"

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by quiqie, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. quiqie

    quiqie Well-Known Member


    A scandalous ending

    GPF has ended with Russians winning gold in all four disciplines in the Junior event. Furthermore, Russian juniors swept the podium in pairs skating. Pairs skating was also the only discipline where our senior skaters managed to capture medals: Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov got the gold, and Vera Bazarova/Yuri Larionov settled for the silver.

    Pairs skating was the closing event at the Grand Prix Final, and it turned to be scandalous.

    World vice-champions Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov earned 131.09 points for their free program - 0.37 less than Vera Bazarova/Yuri Larionov got for the brilliant performance they delivered right before that. Thus, the final standings were as planned in this discipline.The only annoying 'detail' was that Russia's first team didn't just have an unsuccessful skate. They had a rather spectacular meltdown.

    That Trankov was on the edge of breakdown was obvious already during the warm-up. He tried several times a triple Salchow - the opening jump in the free program, but kept popping it.

    He didn't pop it, though, during the actual skate, and athletes and coaches in the stands heaved a sigh of relief.

    But right after the beginning of the second part of the program, Maxim fell on triple toe loop, and then lost his balance on the entry into the throw, and the pair missed the element completely.

    His fall was so bad - on his back - that it took him a while to get on his feet. When he managed, the athletes had to skate from one end of the rink to another, and only then resumed the performance. In such case, judges' scores have to reflect not only the missed element, but also the interruption of the program. But they turned a blind eye to that. As well as to the fact that there wasn't any actual choreography in such skate.

    Nevertheless, Volosozhar/Trankov's overall result was the second best that evening. And as for the components score, it was the very best.

    The athletes themselves, of course, are not to be blamed for such scoring. But the judges did them no favor. Because the final sum looked in this situation like a mark of shame: made people think that Bazarova/Larionov were robbed of the deserved win. That such "handouts" in figure skating must be repayed sooner or later. And that Russia doesn't really have any first pair. All she has is reasonably good skaters who lose their game when the competition gets more or less tough. That was that happened at the Grand Prix in Moscow, where Volosozhar/Trankov were made champions despite missing all the key elements in the free program.

    The excuses like the one that the athletes and their coach Nina Mozer offered after the event - that the level of difficulty of the program prevents from skating it clean, do not sound very convincing. At the very least because free program of the Canadians Meagan Duhamel/ Eric Radford, who skated in the same competition, included unique for pair skating side-by-side triple Lutz, and 3-2-3 combination with two throws in the second part of the program.

    Duhamel and Radford brought to memory times when Canada suddenly presented competitive product a year before Olympics. It happened in 1993, when Isabel Brassuer and Lloyd Eisler became the World champions, the history repeated in 2001 with Jamie Sale/David Pelletier. In other words, there is enough pairs skating traditions in Canada to make it count.

    In Sochi, Megan and Eric clearly lacked cleanliness, but made it up for with difficulty. They didn't make top three due to quite a silly mistake: the pair lost rhythm on a lift entry. But when Eric, holding his partner in his hands like a weightlifter, managed to lift her up, Viktor Kudryavtsev, who was sitting beside me, gasped: "What a guy! What a character!"

    So it will hardly be a surprise if this team makes top three already at the World championship in March - the less so that the championship will take place in Canada.

    Bazarova and Larionov, unlike their decorated compatriots, didn't make mistakes in Sochi. One could call them a flawless pair, if not for Vera's injury, that didn't let her skate full force during the first half of the season. I think no one really knows how much strength she has left and whether it will be enough to gain top shape or keep the shape they already have. In all fairness, the athletes should be given a bye at Russian National Championship. Let them rest, recover, gain strength for the European Championships. Treat them like Russia's first pair that they are, which is quite obvious at this point.

    Ice dance brought a shock as well. At the moment when it became clear that Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev have a chance for the bronze medal, Dmitri fell on the step sequence. For the first time in his life and in front of Russian president. The high guest had partly caused the fall, it seemed: his presence added an excitement and a desire to go all out in the dance. It went according to rather vulgar proverb: 'wide steps tears pants' - the ice dancer finished the program with torn trouser leg. After the skate, coach Alexander Zhulin was a universal catastrophe and cosmic sadness embodied, despite the fact that the result wasn't that bad. In Sochi, everybody could see that Bobrova/Soloviev's program is a hit and highly competitive from any point of view. As for falls, even the greater used to fall in ice dance. Like the World champion Scott Moir and the ex-World champion Charlie White.

    Much sadder was the fact that even in the face of such a huge mistake of Bobrova/Soloviev, second Russian team, Elena Ilinykh/Nikita Katsalapov finished behind them.

    Speaking of the winners, in Sochi Moir with his partner Tessa Virtue had not much better minutes that those who finished off the podium. To be defeated by training mates Meruyl Davis and Charlie White was painful, and even more so because the Canadians had lost both in the short and in the free dance.

    Marina Zoueva, coach of both teams, looked slightly discouraged.

    "To tell the truth, I thought that Tessa and Scott were better in the free dance, - she said in the mixed zone. - I don't understand the scores difference."

    The French Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat, who finished third, lost almost ten points to the second place. It looks like the former coach of both Canadian and American teams, Igor Shpilband, was right, when he said that no one would be able to close the gap to the leaders a year before the Olympics.
    alilou and (deleted member) like this.
  2. l'etoile

    l'etoile New Member

    Thanks! It was a really interesting read.
  3. aka_gerbil

    aka_gerbil Rooting for the Underdogs

    That line has sent me into an absolute laughing fit. I'm going to have to work that one into a conversation at some point now.
  4. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

    I'm trying to figure out how "wide steps tear pants" can be a rep level.
  5. caseyedwards

    caseyedwards Well-Known Member

    V/t didi so many good things in their free skate. The twist ,a throw , combo jump,some lifts. She wants an automatic last place because they missed a throw jump and he fell? Or automatic fives in pcs if there is a fall. Why they didn't get an interruption in excess like b/s did in dance is a question.

    But soloviev's problems are nothing new. It's basically all him why b/s placed last in the gpf last year and last in the sd in 2010.
  6. love_skate2011

    love_skate2011 Well-Known Member

    she is crazy ! :huh:
    no I will not
    hanca and (deleted member) like this.
  7. lulu

    lulu New Member

    Has an almost Zen like quality to it. ;)
  8. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

  9. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

    An 'interruption in excess' would have only applied a -1 if it were 11 seconds more (it goes up from there) but for V/T it certainly didn't apply.
  10. Finnice

    Finnice Well-Known Member

    She really does not spare her words! The problem with Bazarova/Larionov is the lack of the feeling and really used music choiches. Her postures are absolutely regal, but watched live, they just lack the wow-factor. Figure skating is more than just doing the elements. But I totally agree about Duhamel and Radford, they did a good job.

    It was horrible for poor Soloviev. They had such a high speed just before the fall that I made note of that to the jump sheet. Blame Putin:p
  11. Lis

    Lis Active Member

    I really enjoyed reading this!
    I do think Vaitsekhovskaya has a point.I think the judges are very lucky it was a Russian pair in 2nd place and not someone from another country then I think the negative reaction would have been even stronger.They did due to their mistakes of course lack choreo and that was not shown in the points they got. Nop not impressed by the judging of them in either CoR or GPF!Of course it is not the skaters fault but is does give a signal to them and others that V/T will have monstrous score skating clean and is is ok for them to make 2 big mistakes or even more and still win.Now how can that be justified tec difficult elements yes they still made but the transitions,performance choreo well ...Vera and chauffeur did have a more clean skate with an energetic first step to the last.They surprised me.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  12. love_skate2011

    love_skate2011 Well-Known Member

    correction: its Diva Vera and her manservant :drama:
  13. allezfred

    allezfred Master/Mistress of Sneer Staff Member

    And her jump technique. :yikes:

    I do feel that they are being "positioned" for post-Sochi when both Volosozhar/Trankov and Kavaguti/Smirnov will have retired. Even though they don't hold a candle to either pair.
  14. love_skate2011

    love_skate2011 Well-Known Member

    I dont think Volosozhar/Trankov will retire, if they dont win gold which is possible if they have an LP meltdown like they did at the GPF in Olympics, they might go for 2018. K/S for sure will retire though, sad that they are being dumped even before Sochi
  15. Jeschke

    Jeschke #teamtrainwreck #teamschott

    That´s the sad story. V/T teaming was K/S´s 'dead'.
    They couldn´t match S/S and Zhang/Zhang in the main competitions in the years that counted until the 2010 Olympics

    And afterwards the same happend to them as to Z/Z in 2010. Bump, there´s another 'nations favourite team' (V/T in K/S'S case, Shen/Zhao on Z/Z's) case and their fed is strongly rooting for them as the judges do.
    Being surpassed by a second russian team should sadly give them one more obvious sign, that, as hard as they will try, their time is gone.
  16. rfisher

    rfisher Will you rise like a phoenix or be a burnt chicken

    V/T have said they plan to retire, but skaters can always change their minds. Max wants to choreograph. I agree that B/L are being set up to become Russia's number 1, but there are some good junior teams that will become senior during the next quad so I'm not certain how long they'll hold on to that spot post Sochi.

    What I do wonder is how an international judge panel cares who is number 1 in a particular federation. :lol: I wonder if the Russian seniors were a little off their game because Putin was in the audience? Both Soloviev and Trankov certain did some impressive ice work. :lol:
  17. allezfred

    allezfred Master/Mistress of Sneer Staff Member

    There are ways of making them care. :sekret:
  18. bmcg

    bmcg Well-Known Member

    I really don't find Bazarova and Larionov pleasant to watch at all. Mismatched and miserable. I haven't kept up much with the juniors but I´m going to hold hope that Russia has something else to offer once the other two teams retire.
  19. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

    I think even if they win the gold they will probably take a season or two off then assess the other pairs like S/Z did to see if coming back is worth it.

    I would like to know who that 'one' person is who would call B/L a "flawless pair"?

    It's quite obvious they are Russia's #1 pair? Is it?

    I remember when many people were saying the S/K should be put ahead of B/L because they weren't getting any better, now she thinks after beating K/S at two competitions (really only the GPF mattered) they are better that they are :eek: AND V/T :rofl:? I have a really hard time taking her seriously.

    I seem to recall M/T being third in the short and free skate at the 09-10 GPF, beating K/S by quite a wide margin yet it had no bearing on the rest of the season. I hope V/T move the 3T back to the beginning.
  20. rfisher

    rfisher Will you rise like a phoenix or be a burnt chicken

    PML, now I'm hearing a Boris and Natasha voice saying "Ve haf our ways" as they slink around the corner.
  21. quiqie

    quiqie Well-Known Member

    That would be Vaitsekhovskaya? She wrote that it was obvious at this moment of time, anyway.

    Frankly, it surprises me that so many people are getting so :drama: over something so :barrel
  22. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Yuzuru, Medvedeva, T&M, Shibs, P&C

    If using really used music is a negative (according to you), I think 80% skaters will not make it. B&L have improved in their expression. It's not a huge leap, but they are making gradual progress in that area. You don't even want to give Vera full credit for her gorgeous positions. I know that even if they skated perfect like G&G (a highly improbable scenario, of course) you will still not give them credit.

    I am glad that Vait....brought up the issue about judging. Had B&L been a Canadian pair instead of Russian, there would have been a huge uproar over their silver medal.

    I am wondering at this point whether Trankov can handle the pressure of being the favorites. He had major problems in two competitions in a row. I also remember that in the 2010 Olympics he was the one that fell on the sbs jumps in the SP. He was given a pass by fans at that time because they felt he was a more consistent jumper than Maria, but a pattern may be emerging here. They will need to skate clean at the Russian nationals to break out of it.
  23. LilJen

    LilJen Reaching out with my hand sensitively

    It really is brilliant. My favorite line encompassing the whole GPF.