It looks like taking some time off to rest Sui’s foot injury paid off well, as Sui/Han earned their third Four Continents title. I think they have the best set of programs of any pair this season; each one is so well suited to them and I love the music in both. It was definitely exciting to see them pull off a clean short program and both of their quads in the free skate. Also of note, they did beat reigning World Champs Duhamel/Radford in both TES and PCs in the short program. Their performance here really showed that they are still a strong contender for that Worlds podium. Heading to Boston, they could give themselves a technical advantage over the other top teams if they can keep those quads consistent.
Congratulations to Scimeca/Knierim on a fabulous free skate to win silver here. While many North American skaters struggled, they were a great example of what huge momentum can be gained by competing at this event. The jumps were a little shaky in the short, but they avoided any huge mistakes to set themselves up for a good free. BLESS THEM for finally landing those jumps! It was exciting to see that kind of skating out of this team- look what happens when they are clean! In the free, they actually had a higher TES than Sui/Han because of that cleanliness. Their elements are really quality with good transitions. I’ve been waiting for their free skate music to connect with me, and that finally happened this time out. Good for them heading to Worlds!
The Chinese team of Yu/Jin had a bit of a messy competition. They had two deductions in the short, one for the side by side jumps and one for a time violation and a fall and underrotation call in the free. After beating Scimeca/Knierim twice this season, they fell behind then in both segments of the competition here. I like their costumes and their music, but their performances were a little flat for me. They are likely to be named to the Chinese World team, where they will try to make a good showing in their first appearance at that event.
I know Kayne/OShea were hoping to gather similar momentum after their national title, but unfortunately they weren’t skating their best here and Tarah was sick. Even though they weren’t perfect, I think the music choices are working really well for them and I expect their consistency to return in time for Worlds. After a really shaky short, I thought they pulled it together well for the free that was almost clean. After this skate, I think they still have work to do before they’ll be considered the U.S.’s number one pair team. They’ll start that work in Boston, where I am sure they will be hungry.
Also messy here were Canadians Iliushechkina/Moscovitch, who landed in fifth. After winning a contested spot on the Canadian World team, they have to step up their skating at Worlds to make the most of that opportunity. They have some really lovely moments, but she really has a hard time with those side by side jumps. Similarly, Americans Castelli/Tran weren’t able to end their season on the highest of notes. For their first season competing internationally, they did alright, but I see so much more potential in them. I hope they rest up and get started on the new season nice and early so they have plenty of prep time for next year. Also- can they please keep their Journey free skate for next year? I think that one deserves a clean skate : )
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Reviews, predictions and opinions in the magical, sparkly and dramatic field of figure skating.