Germans lead dance, Russians win short in pairs and Japan makes big gap in men’s at Nebelhorn Trophy

Denis Ten with Stephane Lambiel

By Olga Fluegge,
special to World Figure Skating

Oberstdorf, Germany - Yesterday at the 2012 Nebelhorn Trophy their short programs performed ice dancers, pairs and men.

In ice dancing the German team of Nelli Zhiganshina / Alexander Gazsi pleased the local audience by taking the lead with a result of 59.58 points. The students of Igor Shilband American duo Madison Chock / Evan Bates, one of the main favorites, skated very well their Polka, earning 56.97 points and the second place.

The main surprise of the competitions was the third place of representatives of Azerbaijan Julia Zlobina / Alexei Sitnikov, who finished third with 56.95 points. Given the small difference in the results and approximately equal level of leaders, we can expect a very interesting fight for the podium at today’s free dance competitions.

In pairs, 2012 world silver medalists Tatiana Volosozhar / Maxim Trankov (65.24 points) secured a comfortable lead skated the short program to music from the movie “The Godfather” with one minor mistake: step-out of Tatiana on the triple Salchow.

Caydee Denney / John Coughlin of the United States, last year’s bronze medalists of Nebelhorn Trophy, made a mistake on throw triple Lutz but hold the second place with 57.29 points.

Caydee Denney and John Coughlin

The audience was pleasantly surprised by the French team of Vanessa James / Morgan Cipres, who showed a decent performance taking the third position in standings with 55.00 points. Another Russians Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov, after the partner’s fall on triple toe, are currently fourth with 52.43 points.

The short programs in men’s skating were mentioned by many falls. The highlight of yesterday’s evening was the performance of Japanese Nobunari Oda, despite the fall on a quad toe. He skated in a very soft musical style, demonstrated high levels of all non-jumping elements and deservedly leads with a score of 79.64 points.

Konstantin Menshov of Russia was very good performing his short to the music of Pina Bausch. He landed very well a quadruple toe loop and a spectacular triple Axel, earning 69.30 points and a second place. No one expected to see a little-known dynamic athlete from Alaska Keegan Messing (68.55 points) in third place but this guy absolutely deserved it.

Denis Ten of Kazakhstan in the short program interpreted the music from the movie “The Artist.” Technically everything was well below his level but interesting choreography left a good impression. As a result, he scored 67.88 points and the fourth result.

Nebelhorn Trophy 2012 – All results and standings>

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