The last remaining spots for the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, are at stake at the Nebelhorn Trophy 2013 in Oberstdorf, Germany on September 25 to 28.
The traditional fall event Nebelhorn Trophy is the ISU designated senior international figure skating qualifying competition as it was in 2009.
Rules for Olympic Qualification in Communication # 1791: 1791 Olympic Qualifications
NISA Report: http://www.iceskating.org.uk/node/6459
Official ISU Review of event:
Let’s wish Matt Parr and Stacey Kemp/David King all the best of luck in this important competition!
If they do well and get Olympics slots, then we could also get a Team GB entry at the Sochi Olympics!!!!
The schedule for Nebelhorn Trophy is as follows:
Thursday, September 26: Ladies and Pairs Short Programs, Short Dance
Friday, September 27: Men Short Program, Pairs and Ladies Free Skating
Saturday, September 28: Ladies Free Skating, Free Dance, Exhibition Gala
Kemp and King SP: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWtxgTq06ks
In 7th position after the SP (TSS=51.33, TES=28.67, PCS=22.66) Clean program, no deductions
Double Axel called as a Downgrade (Rotation)
Steps called at Level 4, with some +1 GOE from Judges
Skating Skills upto 6.75, most component scores around 6.00
Need to be in Top 8 to Qualify.
Kemp and King LP: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAXKTX6zPucIn 7th position after the LP (TSS=94.97, TES=50.37, PCS=45.60)
Fall from Stacey on Double Axel which was 1st jump of Combination
Throw Triple Flip got GOE +0.4 and Throw Triple Loop got GOE +0.7
Both Spins called at Level 4 and Skating Skills at 5.79
Coomes and Buckland, Short Dance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aB7g0CJDYLQ
Simon Briggs interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVBjbtUtpUo
Reported as it happens (from Dave Arnold)
(Full Report from Sandra Stevenson below)
Ladies after SP:
1st Elena Radionova with 64.69 (Russia)
2nd Miki Ando with 59.79 (Japan)
3rd Ashley Cain with 57.87 (USA)
Hot Tip of the Day: Jason Brown from the USA to win the Mens event
Mens after SP:
1st Nobunari Oda with 87.34 (Japan)
2nd Jason Brown with 79.41 (USA)
3rd Jeremy Ten with 76.49 (Canada)
Matt Parr was 27th with 47.21 (GB). His Change Sit spin called at Level 4 and most Judges giving it a GOE of +1
Unfortunately there was 1 Fall and the Triple and Triple in Combination not favoured by the Judges.
Pairs after SP
1st Volosozhar/Trankov 81.65 (Russia)
2nd Wende/Wende 61.00 (German)
3rd Purich/Tran 56.71 (Canada)
Ice Dance after Short
1st Paul/Islam 59.06 (Canada)
2nd Hubbell/Donohue 56.53 (USA)
3rd Monko/Khaliavin 55.90 (Russia)
1st Volosozhar/Trankov 231.96 (Russia)
2nd Wende/Wende 174.88 (Germany)
3rd Vartmann/Van Cleave 162.81 (Germany)
7th Kemp/King 146.30 (GBR)
The TV Schedule:
Eurosport 412 and Eurosport HD 410
Thursday 6.45pm Womens SP
Eurosport2 443 and Eurosport2 HD 411
Friday 1.00am Pairs SP
Friday 10.45 Mens SP
Friday 12.45pm Womens SP
Saturday 1.00am Pairs FP
Saturday 9.45am Pairs FP
Saturday 6.45pm Womens FP
Saturday 7.45pm Dance FP
Sunday 7.30pm Gala
Matt in Formative State at Nebelhorn Trophy Oberstdorf 2013
by Sandra Stevenson
“It certainly wasn’t the performance I wanted,” admitted the 23-year old Matt Parr, who is the current British champion and has won that honour three times in the past four year. He was in the “Mixed Zone” where skaters go to be grilled by journalists. He walked there in his socks after completing his Free Skate, eighth of the 34 competitors in Oberstdorf, just after 10am on Saturday morning. He was still wearing his skating outfit, an attractive deep blue shirt with a tasteful amount of silver. But his black trousers were rolled up and he carried a substantial role of tape
His boots are in their final stages and he and Coach Simon Briggs are hoping to break in a new pair, which is always a trying time.
Simon revealed, “Up to this point, there just hasn’t been the time needed to do that. It’s not an easy task. We were initially planning to go and compete in Bratislava next week but now we’ll get started on new boots instead. There is just so much tape can do. We can’t put the change off any longer.”
Matt’s Free Skate showing, set to “Who Wants to Live Forever?” took place just after 10am on an overcast Saturday morning, which is certainly not an ideal time to skate. He received 144.64 overall score with a promising but flawed showing.
“We got all Level 3s (for the three spins and his footwork) but I would like to see a 4 (the maximum) on the combo (spins),” Simon revealed. “We knew it would be an extremely hard task to qualify (by placing in the top six of those competitors hoping to earn their countries for an Olympic spot) and the (early) draw certainly went against us. (Matt drew to skate first in the SP and seventh in the Free.)
Simon summed up the showing, “It’s tough to go out and pick yourself up and fight. He suffered a little at the end but his two (triple) Lutzes had a nice quality. The flip was sloppy but, all in all, it was a gutsy performance but by no means his best.”
Matt admitted he was disappointed and certainly can do better. He said that yesterday (after the Short Programme), he had been disappointed and “pretty down and deflated” but today (Saturday), he was “feeling better” and felt “a bit more fight back in me”.
Conor Stakelum, who is a 20-year-old student of the University College of Dublin, spent his summer training with Lee Barkell and Doug Leigh in Canada. He is from Dublin but trains in Belfast with Caroline Gill, who was not able to be with her pupil here. Conor said he was very proud of being in his first senior international competition, and that he was the first Irish male to do that. The previous Irish mens champion retired without competing internationally at senior level. Although Conor earned only 96.23 overall, he said he still felt proud that he was breaking new ground and hoped to inspire others to follow him into the sport.
A brilliant performance by the 26-year-old Nobunari Oda gave the perky Japanese skater victory by a huge margin of 34.55 points over the tall, young American, Jason Brown, who presented a slick showing which was very smooth but did not approach Nobunari’s difficulty level.
Brown produced what was possibly his best in a Free Skate ever. He also earned his record margin, over the bronze medalist Jeremy Ten of Canada, of 22.87.
Nobunari said that although he was excited by the response of the audience and judges here, and that he had never, ever won a competition by such a huge margin, he was cautious about reading anything into that fact. He has now won three gold medals in a row on this rink, but he has a lot of competition at home. His goal is just to make the Olympic team. He still has work to do to make the programme perfect. He said he must not get too excited. There is also a report going around that he may cut down his visits to train in Canada.
Although the standings of the top three stayed the same, Jeremy was only fifth in Saturday’s Final round. Artur Dmitriev of Russia also hung onto his Short Programme standing of fourth although his Free Skate was ranked just seventh best.
PACKED WITH CONTENT
Nobunari, who skated last, said he was very nervous in the time from the warm-up to when his name was called for his Free, but the audience appeared so friendly he quickly got over that stage. His opening combination of quad toe loop to triple toe loop, earned him a phenomenal 16.40 points (14.40 base plus 2.0 GoE), with one judge inspired enough to award a +3 for this element. However, although his planned second element, planned as a second quad toe loop jump, morphed into a mere triple, that same judge punched in +3 again. There were no negatives at all in the 117 Grades of Execution given by the nine judges, who must have been exhausted by the almost five complete hours of competition.
His Free, set to Rossini’s stirring “William Tell Overture”, is undoubtedly a masterpiece, although there were minor errors His third element a triple Axel to double toe loop is probably going to develop into a triple-triple as the season progresses. His first spin, a flying sit was the maximum Level 4 with +0.43. The following step sequence received Level 3 with +0.71.
At the halfway stage where the bonus 10% clicks in, he executed his second triple Axel and gained the maximum +3 Grade of Execution from four of the nine judges, with the other five awarding +2. After a +0.70 triple Lutz to double toe loop, and a +1.30 triple flip, he presented a Level 3 Flying Camel Combination spin. The triple loop which followed received a +3 from one judge who also punched in another +3 for the triple Salchow which came next. Four judges believed the “Choreographed Section” was worthy of +3 and one of those judges also gave +3 for the Level 4 combination spin which closed the routine. His components ranged from a low of one 7.0 up to four 9.25s, three of which were given by same judge.
Jason Brown, drew to skate 30th, second in the last group of 6. Dressed in a green top with gold trimings and brown trousers, he did an Irish dance to Bill Whelan’s “Reel Around the Sun”. Because he is very flexible, he was able to incorporate a spiral and other established dance positions making the routine unique on the ice. He has no Irish ancestry but he enjoys watching all form of dance and that is very apparent to spectators.
His first move was “only” a good double Axel but he got “Wows” for the following triple Axel to triple toe loop which earned a total of 13.17 points. Two of his spins and his footwork earned the maximum Level 4 and his final spin, which was his last element, was Level 4. However, his second triple Axel was punished with two arrows for a downgrade on the rotation. A triple Lutz to half loop to triple Salchow at the halfway point earned a total of 12.47 but the following triple flip to double toe loop got one arrow for slight under-rotation on the flip.
Jeremy Ten performed last but one to music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. “My coach (Joanne McLeod, found the music in the back of a closet. I listened to in as I drove home (he trains in the 8-rink facility in Burnaby, just outside Vancouver) and I was won over. It evokes aggressive, strong confident feelings, just what you want when you are performing.”
Although he was only fifth in the Free Skate, after falling on his sole triple Axel, he finished 3.82 points ahead of the Artur Dmitriev, who was fourth overall.
Dmitriev is the son of the twice Olympic pairs champion who bears the same name. The Russian has rechanneled Philippe Candeloro’s extremely popular “D’Artagnan” routine. It’s rough, but out-and-out sword fighting IS rough and full of intense feelings. Although he gave a very energetic display and portrayed a lot of emotion, it was a flawed showing.
His first move, obviously meant as a quad toe loop, turned into a triple. And then he got an “e” for his triple flip, meaning wrong edge take-off. His third jump, a triple Axel, was good with a full +1.0 added to its base value. His first spin and the footwork, which had lots of miming sword play with lots of energy and emotion, advancing and retreating, were both Level 4 with +0.21 and +1.30.
But then he singled a Lutz. The following triple flip to double toe loop earned an extra +0.20, but a triple loop lost -0.70 which was also removed from the base value of his final jump, a triple Salchow. However his last two spins gained the maximum Level 4 with +0.21 added for the change foot sit and +0.50 added for his change foot combination.
Although he was judged only seventh best in the Free, he still held onto fourth place by a significant margin of 4.28.
Alexei Bychenko is a 25-year-old who formerly competed for Ukraine. However, he is Jewish and therefore entitled to an Israeli passport. He is now training in the United States with Galit Chait, who won a world championship medal for Israel in ice dance. Alexei pulled up from eighth after the SP to fifth overall, with a FS which was third best.
Zoltan Keleman from Roumania was sixth throughout the event.
by Sandra Stevenson
It wasn’t a good day to get out of bed for Matt Parr, who lies 27th after the SP. He drew to skate first of the 34 competitors, warming up at 8:30am and beginning his routine at 8:37. The competitors who finished 23rd through 27th were very close with only 1.57 marks separating these five placing. Matt did not attend the draw, held at nearly 2pm.
The 23-year-old, who is taught by Debi & Simon Briggs in Dundee, is the current and 2008 & 2010 season British champion. He performed to “Farruca y Rumba” by Pepe Romero, opening with a +0.36, Level 4 change foot sit spin, and a double Axel which received +0.07. He stumbled on the Triple Lutz and so he changed the later planned triple flip from that to a planned combination of two triple toe loops. But the landing on the first one was not good and so he did a double toe and fell on that. His other two spins were Level 3 with +0.07 and +0.14 GoEs. His combination of two triple toe loops turned into a triple double. He ended with his Level 3 steps which gained an extra +0.21. His components ranged from two 5.75 down to a low of 3.5. However, that appeared out of line since no other judge gave less than 4.25. Matt has competed in this event twice before so he is familiar with the territory.
ODA BACK ON TRACK
For a short Japanese guy (5’5”), Nobunari Oda, who took the lead on Friday in the mens event of the Nebelhorn Trophy, has a lot of charisma. That is partly because of the 26-year old’s flamboyant personality, and also because his success has been so up and down over a significant number of years.
To start with he is a 17th generation descendant of a famous war lord, Nobunaga Oda, who was very successful in the Sengoku Warring Period in the 15th Century. But, in a long career, he has only won the Japanese championship once, in 2009. His best place in his five entries in world championships was his first time in, in 2006, when he finished a very promising 4th.
The 2006 season was notable because the new, much more complicated system of determining resuIts was being implemented in top events for the first time. Nobunari won the Japanese championship but, shortly afterwards, the gold medal was taken back and given to a rival.
Nobunari was no longer the skater chosen to go to the 2006 Olympic Games. A glitch in the new computer programme was responsible. As a consolation prize Nobunari was sent to the world championship following the 2006 Games, which were in Calgary where he finished a very respectable 4th, which was to be his best place ever in his five appearances in Worlds.
In the following Games, in Vancouver, he finished seventh but then, a few weeks later in the 2010 world championship in Torino, where he had a disastrous Short Programme in which he messed up all his jump elements and was buried in 28th place, and eliminated from the Free Skate. In several competitions, he has lost out because he executed too many combinations.
He has even had a run-in with the law. He was arrested for driving his Moped while under the influence of alcohol in July 2007. It was determined no life was endangered and he publicly apologized, but the Skating Association suspended him for half a season. He was so devastated, he pulled out of all subsequent events that season.
He is now a happily married man, with two sons. Shintaro was born on October 1, 2010 and Sinnosuke on January 5, 2013. When I asked whether he was lonely because he trains in Canada with his wife taking care of the children in Japan, he admitted that was the case but said it was worth training abroad because of the coaching. His mother, who is a skating coach, is with him here along with his coach, Lee Barkell who teaches him in Barie, Ontario. David Wilson creates his choreography along with Lori Nichol, who makes sure the choreography is arranged to take into account all of the various technical requirements.
Nobunaro opened the upbeat routine, for which he wore a shimmering white and silver shirt with an opened but tied down tie with some unusual hopping steps, in keeping with the upbeat music, “Cotton Club” by John Barry. He then soared into his first element, a +0.57 quad toe loop which earned him a total of 10.87. That was followed by a triple Axel with a good landing, for which he banked two full points over the base value of 8.50. The change foot camel spin earned Level 3 from the Technical Panel and +0.43 Grade of Execution over its base value 2.80.
At the half way point, he executed a triple Lutz to triple toe loop for which two of the nine members of the judging panel awarded +3 Grades of Execution, the maximum possible. Six others punched into their computers +2 and a solitary judge gave +1, which is for “superior” execution. With the 10% bonus for jumps in the second half, this move earned 12.61 points.
His two other spins were both awarded the maximum Level and, respectively, earned a total of 3.36 and 4.14 points. The Level 3 footwork, which was performed between the spins, was given 4.16. His components ranged from three 6.0s up to three 8.5s.
An American 18-year-old, Jason Brown, lies 7.93 points behind Nobunari in second place, with a Canadian who is coming back from injury, Jeremy Ten, third, a further 2.92 points behind going into tomorrow’s Free Skate.
The six skaters who won a mens Olympic place for their country in the Second Olympic Qualifying competition in Oberstdorf are:
1.Alexei Bychenko of Israel, who was eighth in the SP, third in the FS and fifth overall with 197.46 points;
2.Zoltan Kelemen of Roumania, who was sixth throughout the event with 194.08;
3.Michael Christian Martinez of The Philippines, who was 11th and 8th but 7th overall;
4.Brendan Kerry of Australia, who was 5th and 12th but 8th overall;
5.Yakov Godorozha of Ukraine, who was 9th in both sections and overall;
6.Paul Bonifacio Parkinson of Italy, who was 10th in the SP,13th in the FS, and 10th overall
The top two reserves for the list are Maciej Cieplucha of Poland, who was 15th in the SP, 10th in the Free, and 11th overall
and Luiz Manella from Brazil, who was 24th in the SP, 4th in the FS and 12th overall.
by Sandra Stevenson
On the first day of the Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf in the south of Germany, current world champions, Tatiana Volosozhar, 27, & Maxim Trankov, who will be 30 on October 7, gave a superb showing of their Short Programme, set to Khatchaturian’s Masquerade Waltz with its dark tones of swirling emotions, while the British champions, an engaged couple, Stacey Kemp & David King, gave a promising performance to the stirring Piano Concerto No. 1 by Tchaikovsky.
However, the ISU has eyed certain skaters’ warm-up jackets. Apparently, David’s spiffy jacket, is too “in your face” and officials are sternly lecturing that wearing patches can constitute advertising, which could bring about a big fine. David was horrified and explained he bought it in a shop and this is the style nowadays. They certainly weren’t being paid to wear it.
Maxim, obviously a perfectionist said, they still had to work to do, but it is hard to see what could be improved. Their previous SP personal record was 75.84 but on Thursday, they received 81.65 (44.59+37.06), an advance of 5.81 points. She was dressed in a very feminine pale blue with sparkles. He sported an old-fashioned moustache to go with his 19th Century military outfit with oversized gold epaulets.
When asked about his unshaven (but neat) facial hair, Maxim said it was because of the character he was playing in their Free, “You can’t shave if you’re playing Jesus Christ.”
Right from their first steps, they sped with incredible intensity around the rink before he tossed her up into a dazzling lateral triple twist during which she when spun horizontally high above him before he eventually caught her. It was so well done seven of the nine judges punched in +3, the maximum Grade of Execution. The other two judges gave +2. Their side-by-side triple toe loop solo jumps also moved three of the judges to give the top award and the other six other presented them with +2.Their throw triple loop was also in the amazing class, earning five +3s and four +2s.Their Level 4 back outside death spiral “only” got one +3. Their Level 4 pair combination spin “only” received five +2s and four +1s. Their Group 5 Reverse Lasso lift received three +3s but their last element, Level 4 straight line steps, gained unanimous +2s.
Their 45 component marks ranged from a low of two 8.50s to a high of eight 9.75s.
Stacey Kemp & David King, who have held the British Senior title from November 2006 till the present, and won Junior championship, the season before, were extremely disappointed in London, Ontario at Worlds when they just missed marginally getting into the top countries who automatically get spots in Sochi.
“It would have been nice to have that assurance, of course,” David explained. “But we weren’t too worried about qualifying in Oberstdorf, and, maybe, that was good, that we got an early start to the season. Last year was just awful from an injury point of view. First Stacey got sick, and then I injured myself doing, jumps off and on boxes off the ice. It’s wonderful to skate now and not be injured.” , and that faith was justified. In Thursday’s Short Programme, they were the leading pair of those seeking to gain a spot for their country to compete in the Olympics. They competed in the Vancouver Olympics, which finished on a high note with David proposing to Stacey, and she accepting. Since David’s father is a jeweler, there was no question of where the rings would come from.
They now train in Ellenton, Florida, with Canadian coach Lyndon Johnston. They skated 13th of the 19 pairs from 17 countries, to Tchaikovsky’s famous Piano Concerto No.1.
Nowadays, the first thing a skater or pair do when they come off the ice, is rush to the monitor screen which gives them the judges’ breakdown of marks along with the Level of each move given by the Technical panel.
The 25-year-old Stacey and 29-year-old David performed to the romantic Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1. They opened with a triple twist which was deemed to have earned the basic level but they lost -0.90 of a point off the base value. Plain jumping has never been Stacey & David’s strong point. Their side-by-side double Axels got a double arrow, but they still banked a certain a small amount. Their lifts are their strength, and they received the maximum Level 4, with an additional +0.60.
Their spectacular throw triple flip, in which he sends his future wife soaring into the air and she lands yards away from him, gained +0.20 over its base value of 5.50. Their back inside death spiral was rewarded with +0.50 over its Level 3 base value of 3.2 points. The Level 3pair combination spin was satisfactory in all aspects and earned its base value. They finished with their straight line step sequence, which elicited from the nine judges an extra +0.40 over the Level 4 base value of 3.9 points.
Their 45 components scores ranged from a low of one 4.45 for Transitions and Linking Footwork up to two 6.25s from one judge for Skating Skills and Interpretation.
FAMOUS SOCCER PLAYER MAKES FIGURE SKATING INTERNATIONAL DEBUT
An interesting entry was Olga Bestandigova & Ilhan Mansiz, who are representing Turkey. He is a famous soccer player, now 38, known world-wide for scoring the most famous “golden” goal in the Quarter Finals of the 2002 World Cup which got Turkey into the semi-finals. He played for Besiktas, Japan’a Vissel Kobe and Hertha in Berlin.
Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdjZB4u4FTU
But his career was shot when he suffered terrible left knee injuries after being hit by a car while he was in a pedestrian crossing in Munich. He had eight months of surgery for medial ligament damage and destroyed cartilage. But a chance offer of place on Turkey’s Buzda Dans, which is their equivalent of Dancing with the Stars, rekindled his life. He fell in love with Olga, his dance partner, who was a skating instructor. Now 34, she had competed in the Winter Olympics as a pair with her brother in the 2002 Games.
They are now training in Arizona.
“It was Oli (his pet name for her) during the show who saw my potential,” Ilhan explains. “I always wanted to start a second sporting career after football but I never thought in my dreams it would be pairs skating. We are not expecting to get a medal. “But, to be a part of the Olympics, will mean much more than winning. It is also about encouraging people that no matter what, at any age, you can reach your dreams by believing and working hard.
“I would be the first athlete to compete in the World Cup and the Winter Olympics.”
However, that seems unlikely since they finished 19th and last in the Short Programme. Nevertheless, his example may inspire many other former athletes to take up a different competitive sport when they have finished their initial careers.
“I had never even watched skating before I stepped on the ice for the first time when I was 32.”
1. Stacey Kemp & David King of GBR, 7th throughout
2. Elizaveta Usmantseva & Roman Talan of Ukraine, 9th in Short, 8th in Long, 8th overall
3. Natalija Zabijako & Alexandr Zaboev of Estonia, 11th in SP, 9th in FS, 9th overall
4. Andrea Davidovich & Evgeni Krasnopolski of Israel, 15th in SP, 10th in Free; 10th overall
1.1st Reserve, Narumi Takahashi & Ryuichi Kiharai of Japan, 8th in SP, 13th in FS, 11th overall
2. 2nd Reserve, Miriam Ziegler & Severin Kiefer of Austria, 10th in SP, 14th in FS, 12th overall
by Sandra Stevenson
The 45th Annual Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf opened on Thursday morning at 10:54 with six minutes warm-up for the first group of five Ladies who included the returning “star”, Miki Ando, who was dressed in a beige and gold shimmering outfit, with a black sleeveless warm-up jacket. She looked somewhat apprehensive.
On the warm-up ice Miki did a good double Axel, but her next jump attempt was a single loop. She showed off a good triple Lutz and a second one combined with a double loop. Then there was again a single loop. Later a second double Axel had a scratchy landing. It was definitely a tentative beginning.
“I knew I had to pull myself together,” she said later, and she did.
For four hours from 11:29 until 15:25, Miki’s name graced the top of the score board, with a score of 59.79 (30.13+29.66). Then a 14-year-old from Moscow took the ice and, to our great surprise, obliterated the opposition. Skating 30th in the field of 35, Elena Radinova took the ice first of the last group of six skaters finishing first, ahead of Miki, by a very significant margin of 4.90 points.
Wearing a yellow outfit with orange and light green patches of chiffon with silver adornment, she performed immediately after the warm-up. She flew confidently through the two minutes and fifty seconds, displaying great confidence. She flew through her elements with great confidence and speed. Only her age, 14, will keep her from shining in this Olympic Games.
Her music was that used for the movie, Anna Karenina, along with a section from “Two Steps from Hell.” All her Level moves got the maximum 4. Two of the jumps were placed in the second half. This talented youngster obviously has a very supportive, and competent back-up crew.
The honour of opening the event was given to Sandra Ristivojevic, who represents India. The field included 35 Ladies from 35 countries. No Britons were entered. This year, the event is a two-tier contest. The countries for 24 of the 30 slots available for the singles in Sochi were determined by that country’s placement in the last world championship, which were in London, Ontario.
This event will decide the countries of the other six “vacancies”. Jenna McCorkell already earned for Britain the right to enter one Lady in the Games in February, as have the British ice dance champions, Penny Coomes & Nick Buckland. However Stacey King & David Kemp were the top pair who did not get an Olympic slot and neither did a British man.
Because the organizers do not want to discourage their “regular” entries, the stars of this event have come from countries already qualified for the Games, including the Japan and North America.
The big interest here, of course, is Miki, who skated very early, fourth in the first warm-up group of five. The order of skating was determined by ISU world rankings. Since Miki, who will turn 26 on December 18, has been out of competition for two seasons, her current “world ranking” is low.
She took time off to have a baby, a daughter, born in April and named Himawari, which is Japanese for Sunflower. She later declared, “I have chosen the baby’s life over skating. It was a decision I made naturally as a woman.” She has also declined to name the father. She has brought the baby with her, to Obersdorf, but not to the rink. “I brought her because, when I look at her, she calms me down.” Miki’s mother is traveling with her and taking care of the child while Miki is at the rink. She doesn’t feel it is strange for the family to be coping so well without a male protector, because her mother did so well with her after Miki’s father died when she was eight.
Miki looked trim and in good shape as she went through her Free in yesterday’s (Wednesday) practice. She was attended by a “temporary” coach, Italian Valter Rizzo. Back in Japan she is working with a coach but has yet to make a commitment for a more permanent arrangement.
The charismatic 2007 & 2011 world champion has competed in her national Japanese championship ten times, winning the title in 2004, 2005 & 2010.
In Thursday’s Short Programme, skating to an unsung violin rendition of the famous tune“My Way”, she skated beautifully, although her spins were a little slow. Her opening element, the triple Lutz to double loop looked fine, but got -0.40 taken off its base value because the second jump was deemed a little under-rotated. The triple Loop earned +1.10 over its base value. The two spins, flying sit and change foot combination, were Level 3 with +0.57 and 0.03 respectively. Her double Axel gained an extra +0.71. Her Level 3 straight line steps received an extra +0.93. She finished with her layback spin, which was Level 2 with +0.36. Overall her score was 59.76 (30.13+29.76).
When Miki was very young, she was acknowledged by the International Skating Union as the first woman to execute a quad Salchow in competition, which she accomplished in the Junior Grand Prix Final in The Hague in December 2002. But, as she grew, she lost that jump. However, she is still the only woman to have been recognized for doing this incredibly difficult feat in a sanctioned event.
The American entrant, Ashley Cain, lies third with a score of 57.87 (31.30+26.57) She is the bubbly daughter of former Australian pair skater, Peter Cain, who competed in pairs with his sister, Liz, gaining the Australian championship five times. Her mother, Darlene Wendt, was a Canadian ice dancer trained by Louis Stong. Naturally, Ashley has competed in pairs as well as singles, but after winning the 2011 U.S. Junior Pairs title with Joshua Reagan, she is now concentrating on singles. She won silver in singles in the 2012 U.S. Junior championship.
4. Veronik Mallet scored 55.87 (30.02+25.77). The 19-year-old, 5’3” Canadian newcomer, from Sept Iles, Quebec, is competing in her first international. “I only got my triple Lutz and triple flip last season,” she explained. “I was a late bloomer.” It is very unusual for skaters to get these jumps as late as that. It is much easier to get the triples before the growth spurt and even more so before puberty. So how had this happened? Veronique explained she had got ill and lost four pounds. Her coach, Annie Barabe, said, “It’s amazing how something as small as that really made a difference.”
5.Nathalie Weinzierl, Germany, 54.60
6.Elena Gedevanishvili, Georgia, 51.59
7.Elizaveta Ukolova, the Czech Republic, 50.60
8.Isadora Williams, Brazil, 50.35
9.Kerstin Frank, Austria, 48.81
10.Brooklee Han, Australia, 40.74, was the only skater in the top ten to fall.
35.Clara Peters, who represents Ireland, looked good in a royal blue sleeveless creation, but didn’t have the difficulty and fell on her double Axel. She earned 28.30 (14.24+15.06 -1). How long will Clara keep trying? “I love skating,” she always explains. “I don’t want to give it up.”
14-year-old Russian steals Japanese thunder while American and Canadian newcomers introduce themselves to senior competition. By Sandra Stevenson
Miki Ando, who will turn 26 on December 18, remembers when she was 14, and throwing off Quad Salchows in practice. She is still the only woman the ISU has credited with accomplishing this jump in an ISU event. It was authorized at the Junior Grand Prix Final in 2002 at The Hague when she was 15. But it wasn’t that long before she lost the ability to rotate as quickly as the jump required. She was still trying it unsuccessfully years later
Developing hips and breasts can be disastrous for jumping. “If you are female, you are going to go through that development stage,” said the father and coach of the American competitor, Ashley Cain, who earned bronze. “You have to be very careful with them, to make sure they don’t get discouraged and leave the sport or injury themselves badly.”
The 5’1” blonde Elena Radionova, who turned 14 on January 6, obviously has not gone through these changes yet. She has no breasts and practically no hips. But she is the current world junior champion from Moscow, and she won this Nebelhorn Trophy by a huge margin of 25.35 points.
She flew through her opening jump combination of triple Lutz to triple toe loop, and later did a second triple Lutz. But her showing was not flawless. She fell on a double Axel.
This unfair advantage is why the ISU initially brought in age restrictions. Competitors for Senior events must have reached 15 on July 1, which is the beginning of the season for figure skating. In the 2006 season, which started on July 1 of 2005, that meant that neither Mao Asada, the future 2008 & 2010 world champion, or Yu-Na Kim, the 2010 Olympic champion, were allowed into the 2006 Olympic Games.
Elena said she knew all about Miki’s quad, but there’s no word as to whether the youngster is trying such a jump herself.
Miki still seems a little unsure of her return. She has not yet picked a main instructor, and, in Germany, she was with an Italian coach. She brought her five month old daughter, Himawari, with her to this event, but not to the rink. The baby was looked after by Miki’s mother.
She said, “Here (in Germany), I was so nervous (before the Free), I was shaking. I’m just glad it’s over and I have a medal.” But not the one she was hoping for.
Elena said her mother put her into ice skating when she was very young because her feet turned in and the parents hoped skating boots would help correct that problem. Surprisingly for one so young, she knew all about Ando’s quad success.
Her routine was set to music from the film, “Frida”. She earned positive Grades of Execution for everything she tried except for the fall on the mid-routine double Axel. All three spins were Level 4 and she showed such flexibility in the layback, she was rewarded with eight out of a possible nine maximum +3 Grades of Execution. (The other judge punched in +2 and she also received one more +3 for her straight line steps.)
Miki only just hung onto second place by just 0.47. She was only fourth in the Free, which she performed to Stravinski’s “Firebird”. She opened with a triple Lutz for which two judges gave +1, five judges 0, and the remaining two -1. Her triple loop jump, which followed, received five 0s, which means satisfactory in every aspect, along with three +1s and a solitary +2. But the two spins which followed were relatively slow and only Level 2 with +0.50 for the flying sit, and +0.21 for the change foot combination. The double Axel, which came next, was good enough for an extra +0.50.
But then she doubled her Salchow and received a total score for this element of only 1.27. She immediately followed that with a triple Salchow to double toe loop, earning 5.95. A triple toe loop lost -0.10. Then came a double Axel combined with two double loop jumps which earned its base value. Her last spin, a flying camel combination spin was only the basic Level 1. The step sequence was only Level 2 although with an extra +0.50. She finished with her choreographed section which earned an extra +0.90. Although she was given the second highest component score, Ando received only the sixth best technical score.
Realistically, the 2007 & 2011 world champion is going to have to do quite a lot more work and with a top coach who is really familiar with what is needed for Level 4s. She still has not decided on a coach. She was being “looked after” by an Italian in Oberstdorf.
By contrast, Ashley Cain, is obviously on the way up. Although she fell on her opening move, a triple Lutz and got an arrow for slight under-rotation for both her triple flips, the first of which was combined with a double toe loop, she did a good, +0.60 triple loop, and a second one at the half-way stage combined with a double toe loop and double loop which earned +0.20 for GoE.
Two of her spins were the maximum Level 4. The concluding spin and her steps were Level 3. Later she earned +0.40 for her triple Salchow and +0.64 for her double Axel. Her steps, for which she earned two of the maximum +3s, and the last spin, were Level 3. She also earned one +3 for her choreographed section. She performed very gracefully in white and silver to “Ave Maria”.
Ashley, who turned 18 on July 22, is the daughter of pair skater, Peter Cain, who competed at Olympic Level with his sister for their home, Australia, and Darlene, a Canadian ice dancer. They now live in Texas. “People often ask me about coming to train in the United States. We had to do that to get the proper top level coaching, but it was very hard. People know Australia is a long way away, but they don’t realize just how far that is.”
Ashley competed in both singles and pairs but is now concentrating on singles.
She was overshadowed on the elements score by 2.18 by Canada’s Veronik Mallet, but was ahead by 2.82 on the component marks. Overall, had Ashley earned just 0.48 more, she would have gained silver instead of Miki.
Veronik, who comes from Sept Iles in Quebec, and turned 19 on June 11, is a late bloomer. This was her first international and she only recently mastered triple Lutz and triple flip jumps. She was third in the free, for which she performed to “Funny Girl”. However second in this section was very close, with Ashley getting 104.52, Veronik 103.88 and Miki fourth with 103.07.
Brooklee Han, an 18-year old who was born in the United States, but whose father is Australian, and so she now represents that country, zoomed up from 10th after the SP, with a free which fifth best. Elene Gedevanishvili, 23, who represents the country of her birth, Georgia, and has now qualified for her third straight Olympic Games, was sixth overall in the SP and overall, although she was only seventh in the Free.
1. Brooklee Han of Australia who was 10th after the SP, 5th in the SP, 5th overall;
2. Elena Gedevanishvili of Georgia, 6th in SP, 7th in FS, 6th overall
3. Anne Line Gjersem of Norway, 11th in SP, 6th in FS, 7th overall
4. Kersten Frank of Austria, 9th in SP, 9th in FS, 9th overall
5. Elizaveta Ukolova of the Czech Republic, 7th in SP, 10th in FS, 10th overall
6. Isadora Williams of Brazil, 8th in SP, 14th in FS, 12th overall
1st reserve Inga Januleviciute of Lithuania, 15th in SP, 12th in FS, 13th overall
2nd reserve Juulia Turkkila of Finland, 19th in SP, 13th in FS, 14th overall
Ice Dance Olympic Qualifiers
These places were earned by the following couples. However, the country can select a different entry.
1. Xintong Huang & Xun Zheng, China
2. Alisa Agafonova & Alper Ucar, Turkey
3. Danielle O’Brien & Gregory Merriman, Australia
4. Cathy & Chris Reed, Japan
5. Sara Hurtado & Adria Diaz, Spain
The two top reserves are Slovakia, who were represented here by Federica Testa & Lukas Csolley; and Poland (Justyna Plutowska & Peter Gerber)
Former British singles champion, Maria McLean, was one of the Technical Specialists at this event
The maximum number of entries for the Olympic Winter Games is 30 for Ladies and Men, 20 for Pairs and 24 for Ice Dance couples. 24 spots for Men and Ladies, 16 spots for Pairs and 19 spots for Ice Dancers were determined according to the results of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2013 (see ISU Communication 1791 for details). The remaining open entries (six Men, six Ladies, four Pairs and five Ice Dance couples) are available only to ISU members which have not earned an entry in the respective discipline. Only one entry per discipline and country may be earned in Oberstdorf.
A total of 154 skaters from 50 ISU members have been entered for Nebelhorn Trophy. The event is open to other skaters whose countries have earned entries for the Olympic Games already, but they are not eligible to qualify additional spots.
Overview over the competitors
A total of 34 Men have been entered, with 26 Men competing for an Olympic berth. The top contenders are Nobunari Oda (JPN) and 2013 World Junior silver medalist Jason Brown (USA). Both are not trying to qualify a spot for the Olympic Games.
The Ladies event features 36 entries. 29 of them are eligible to qualify an entry for Sochi. Two-time European bronze medalist Elene Gedevanishvili (GEO) hopes to qualify for her third Olympic Games. Two-time World Champion Miki Ando (JPN) and reigning World Junior Champion Elena Radionova (RUS) headline the field, but are not competing for an entry to the Olympic Games. Ando starts her comeback in Oberstdorf after sitting out the past two seasons while Radionova will debut at the international senior scene.
19 Pairs have been entered and 13 of them hope for a chance to go to Sochi. Among them are 2012 World Pairs bronze medalist Narumi Takahashi (JPN) and her new partner Ryuichi Kihara (JPN). The top contenders are reigning World Champions Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov (RUS).
Out of the 23 Ice Dance couples, 18 are fighting for a spot at the Olympic Winter Games. 2011 World Junior Champions Ksenia Monko/Kirill Khaliavin (RUS) and 2011 Nebelhorn Trophy Champions Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) lead the field, but are not competing in the qualifying.