Technically, no one could compete with the likes of Anna Pogorilaya at Skate Canada. She lead the entire competition with two clean skates full of technically demanding jumping passes. Surprisingly, I loved her soft and gentle short program and gorgeous blue costume. I've said before that her Firebird free skate is not my taste, but this was a good competition for her. All the Russian ladies have to be feeling the pressure to win early in this season because they face fierce competition from each other. Mark this as the second Russian gold in the early Grand Prix season. The second of many, in my opinion!
Ashley Wagner had a wonderful competition to start off her season. She stayed on her feet in both of her programs and her connection to her music resulted in the highest program component scores of the competition. She had under rotations as usual, but most importantly she should take some confidence away from this competition with her silver medal. I love both of her programs this year and think they have great potential. She watered down the technical difficulty of her free skate, which is a strategy that will serve her well in the Grand Prix. She says to plan harder elements later in the season, which she will need to compete strongly at Nationals and Worlds.
Capturing her first senior Grand Prix medal, Japan's Satoko Miyahara won the bronze and a standing ovation for her Miss Siagon free skate. This lady certainly has a bright future ahead of her. I love her free, but hate her short- I'm not sure what's more outdated- her puffy sleeved costume or the cheesy Magic Flute music, but it's not my favorite. She got a few under rotation calls and her PCS are not as high as her more seasoned competition, but she can quickly grow those skills with time. She's definitely a bright spot in the future of figure skating!
Other news off the podium: American Courtney Hicks rebounded from a mistake in the short to post a big score in the long program and place fourth. She has big jumps when she's on, but has a problem connecting to the audience and her music. Elena Leonova from Russia had a strong showing in the short, but had a terrible free skate and finished sixth. She has some work to do before she gets that comeback she's been seeking.
Up next is Cup of China! I'm very excited to see the first season outing for Julia Lipnitskya- should be good to watch : )
About the Blog:
Reviews, predictions and opinions in the magical, sparkly and dramatic field of figure skating.