Huh. Barring injury Gao/Xie will be replacing Peng/Jin at Beijing unless Zhang does indeed stay in 4 more years. Beautiful twist. Both have personality to spare and they should have just knocked one of the Russians off the podium at this point.
Not really. A 17th pair would mean a 5th group for the FS and 2 ice makes would be needed instead of 4 groups of 4 and 1 ice make. Carli/Pauletti are a brand new team and this is just their 2nd international... plus he will have one more season of ISU age eligibility in 2018-19 since he won't turn 21 until after July 1st.
Very happy for Feng & Nyman today. Think they did all they can. Her first year in pairs as far as I know and still has the musical timing of an ice dancer. Impressed he matched her musically as well. A good match. Better than their SP performance at Nationals. Showed they earned the spot.
Love Gao & Xie. I remember their gorgeous free skate from the JGPF, but I didn't remember their SP. Quite different. A nice balance. Beautiful skating. May the triple jumps miraculously develop to join their performance level.
Great skates from both of the top two Russian teams. Enjoyed the leaders' program the most when I saw it at the JGPF. Today, I thought the second team about chased them down except for the combination spin.
Overall, a step up in packaging for me when comparing the top three pairs short programs this years with last year's.
First time I have seen Matte & Ferland from Canada. Enjoyed their attack & thought the program was a nice change of pace. Sorry about the mistakes, but I liked them.
Also thought the Spanish team had a nice presence on the ice.
Looking forward to the battle of the top teams in the free skates.
Walsh/Trennnnnt have a consistent 3T, but the top 4 teams plus both American teams are attempting both the 3T and the 3S (and Kostiukovich/Yalin attempt a 3S+3S sequence) so they are actually behind in terms of base value for their jumps relative to the other teams.
What an enjoyable competition this was!!
Pavlyuchenko/Khodykin have been so solid all season and this was their best SP yet. Everything as sooooo smooth. Having the throw as the last element for a junior SP is ballsy! I love the leap he does after she lands the throw. So cool.
Kostiukovich is a STAR. She has charisma out of the wazoo and she was selling that program! Again, don't know if this is a partnership that will live past juniors but I hope she stays in pairs, and that she succeeds. I am surprised they only got a L2 on the twist since they have a pretty solid 4Tw. I absolutely love her lift positions. They, and P/K, are my favorite junior pairs discoveries this year.
The Chinese are also lovely. I don't think this is the best program for them; I'd love to see something more romantic or classic. His kicking throw technique bothers me.
Mishina/Galliamov are still raw, compared to the top four but I think they have the goods to do well in the long term. I have a soft spot for her - it's nice to see a pairs skater that has something more than a stick figure. I hope that they can skate a clean LP - it is a much better program.
I thought the top 4 had significantly better triple twists than the rest of the field. Way bigger, more secure and confident.
I'm not sold on either of the Canadian teams. I prefer to watch Matte/Ferland, but technically, they are lacking. They elements really lack explosiveness. Everything is just so small. Walsh/Michaud are fine; they don't stand out. I think both teams are too close in height.
I think this is the best set of junior pairs teams the US has had since Denney/Frazier. I lurve Sarah Feng's presentation I know she switched to pairs recently, and she is doing impressively well. Misha Mitrofanov is really elegant for a US pairs man. Unfortunately, Audrey Lu is not She seems like she needs more ballet/stretch/better posture. I also think she has much weaker skating skills.
From the lower ranked teams, I really liked the Ukrainians.