Wagner delights with “Delilah”

Ashley Wagner at Skate America 2012

By Vladislav Luchianov

Ashley Wagner of the United States confidently won ladies competitions at 2012 Skate America. Her teammate Christina Gao took the silver and Russia’s Adelina Sotnikova won the bronze.

I must say that I was very impressed with the Ashley’s new free skate program. I can say that this program may become even more successful than last season’s. But the most important thing is the perfect performance. After all, even a very good program could undermine all efforts of a skater in case of failed execution. But this is not about Ashley Wagner. She deserves the most flattering words for the technique as well as for the components.

Yes, she doesn’t have triple – triple cascades in the arsenal but she is completely confident with all the other jumping elements, step sequences, spins and so on. As a result, she feels herself very comfortable on the ice and can truly express the artistic image of the program.

Skating to “Samson and Delilah”, Ashley performed six clean triple jumps and her layback spin got the highest level from judges. She totaled 188.37 points and took her first Grand Prix gold.

”Today went exactly as planned. I really fought for some of those jumps, but I was pleased with what I put out. The quality of the program overall has improved since Japan Open,” U.S. champion told the press. “After the short program, I definitely thought that it was plausible to win the whole event. It was a good and bad thing because I started to worry about it. I was happy that I was able to go out there and keep my nerves under control and stay focused on what I wanted to accomplish. It’s a good day for me.” she noted.

Christina Gao, after the wonderful short program performed no less impressive free skating and proved that she intends to fight for the top places this season.

She skated very nice and solid Tango routine, landing clean six triple jumps. Christina moved up to the second place with 174.25 points overall and won her first Grand Prix medal.

“I’m really happy with how I did. I think I put out a really good performance. It’s really pretty much how I’ve been training, and that’s what I kept telling myself before my performance. I just said, ‘do it like at home, do it like normal,’ and that’s what I did.” she commented.

Despite the high complexity of the program, Adelina Sotnikova of Russia again couldn’t perform it clean. She opened her performance to “At Last” and “Burlesque” with a triple Lutz – triple toe cascade and a triple flip, but later she missed the second triple flip. Also, she did one combo too many. Reigning Russia’s national champion slipped to third place with 168.96 points.

“I’m very pleased that I did the triple – triple combination. I really wanted to do that. I’m completely unhappy about missing that second triple flip and about doing an extra combination.” said Sotnikova.

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Skate America 2012 – Ashley Wagner, FS

Photo: Ted S. Warren

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