Volosozhar, Trankov get standing ovations, Sotnikova leads ladies, Oda takes gold at Nebelhorn Trophy
By Olga Fluegge,
special to World Figure Skating
Oberstdorf, Germany – Friday’s competitions at 2012 Nebelhorn Trophy were continued with ladies short programs, pairs free skating as well as men’s.
Russia’s Adelina Sotnikova, as expected, took lead in ladies short programs with a result of 58.48 points. The fall on her triple toe-triple toe combination didn’t allow her to get usually high scores for the technique. Canadian skater Kaetlyn Osmond (second place, 55.68 points) worthy debuted in senior skating and showed that she has everything to be among the top skaters in future.
It was very pleased to see Estonian Elena Glebova among contenders for the podium. Her short program on the music of Rolando Tambin had good choreographic and expressive lines. She scored 54.26 points. The audience will be able to see Glebova’s performance only at the European and World championships as by the results of last season she didn’t get spots to compete at Grand Prix Series.
Also, among yesterday’s performances, despite the modest technical content, was memorable the elegant skating of Haruka Imai of Japan (9th place, 47.70 points). Since spirals are no longer a must-have in the short programs, hardly anyone of ladies includes them in their programs, which is a pity because it is very simple and effective transitions.
The highlight of pairs free skating, without a doubt, was the fantastic program by Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia. Their program is dedicated to Japan and its tragic events of 2011. This story is made from personal experience of Tatiana and Maxim: the story of two young people who fell into that tragedy and trying to save each other. Flawless performance, amazing new lifts and love for every detail. It was the first performance, which got standing ovations by the audience. Russian pair received 196.55 points overall.
The silver medal with the program “Phantom of the Opera” won Americans Caydee Denney / John Coughlin (178.90 points), who demonstrated high-quality elements, but still concede in components. At a press conference skaters were critical to very often changes in rules related to lifts in pair skating. The bronze took French team of Vanessa James / Morgan Cipres (151.52 points).
Very worthy of attention was another Americans Gretchen Donlan / Andrew Speroff (4th place, 145.35 points), with a very nice pair skating and beautiful lines in their program “Sleeping Beauty”, but the team needs to work on improving jumping elements.
Mari Vartmann / Aaron van Cleave of Germany and Vera Bazarova / Yuri Larionov have withdrawn Friday from pair skating competition. Vartmann suffered an injury in the pairs short program, when she picked into her right foot with her blade and was unable to train this morning. Vera Bazarova is suffering from an injury to her hip joint according to the medical bulletin.
For the third consecutive year, the top prize in men’s skating of Nebelhorn Trophy goes to Japan. This time it got Japanese Nobunari Oda (233.33 points), who also won the last year’s tournament. Oda for the first time executed a so-called Rippon Lutz. His performance was also notable by the beautiful interpretation of a complex symphonic music.
The silver medalist Konstantin Menshov of Russia (212.94 points) made a very good impression. Also, he was the only one man to land clean and flawless quadruple toe loop. Let’s hope that he will be able to repeat such level of skating at the Grand Prix Series. The main surprise was the bronze medal of American Keegan Messing (210.78 points). This was his first medal at the international senior competitions.
Tatiana Volosozhar / Maxim Trankov – Nebelhorn Trophy 2012, Free Skating