Golden Skate

Joubert wins Trophee Eric Bompard gold

Brian Joubert of France easily captured the gold medal, while teammate Alban Preaubert won the silver. Russia’s Sergei Dobrin, who was seventh at this event last year, won the bronze – his first senior Grand Prix medal.

Short Program

Joubert showed that he was clearly the class of the field, landing his opening quadruple toeloop-triple toeloop combination in his exciting performance to music from the Die Another Day soundtrack. The two-time and reigning World silver medalist also delivered a triple Axel, a triple flip, and good spins and footwork for a first place finish in the short (77.35 points).

“My goal was not to make any mistakes,” said Joubert, who added that he has problems with pressure when competing on his home turf. “I fought for the quad today. I was off balance, but I had a good reaction and I could do the triple toe [for the combination].”

Teammate Preaubert also delivered a good performance, opening with a good triple Axel and a triple flip-triple toeloop combination. In addition to a triple Lutz, the Frenchman also delivered good spins and two level three footwork sequences, placing second in the short with 71.38 points for his delightful routine to Night on the Bald Mountain and Buzzy Bee.

“It is nice to skate at home [France],” said Preaubert, “but it’s also more difficult than at Skate America because there is a lot of attention and expectations are high.” He added that he was a bit stiff on his jumps, but was proud to have completed a program without mistakes. “I hope I can skate as well tomorrow for the French audience,” continued the 2006 Skate America bronze medalist.

Klimkin produced a triple Axel, triple loop, and good spins, but fell on his quadruple toeloop combination attempt. The Olympian earned 64.80 points for his routine to music by Vanessa Mae, placing third overall after the short.

“It was ok,” said Klimkin, who just began practicing fully a month ago due to an injury. “The triple Axel went well,” he continued, “but I tried too much to control the quad. I’m actually in a good shape now, but the competition comes a little too early for me. I think I’ll be in top shape by the time of Russian Nationals.”

Teammate Sergei Dobrin fell out of his quadruple Salchow combination attempt, but landed a triple Axel and a triple flip, placing fourth in the short with 62.85 points.

Switzerland’s Jamal Othman placed fifth in the short with 59.18 points, followed by Patrick Chan of Canada (57.82 points).

Long Program

Debuting a new long with featured music by Metallica performed by Appocalyptica, Joubert landed his opening quadruple toeloop-double toeloop, followed by a triple Salchow, and a triple Axel. The two-time and current European bronze medalist also produce a quadruple toeloop, a triple loop-triple toeloop combination, a triple flip, and a triple Salchow-double toeloop combination. Despite stepping out of a triple Lutz, the 22-year-old displayed good spins and footwork, earning 153.73 points for a first place finish in the long and overall (231.08 points).

“I’m very proud to have won this Grand Prix,” said the four-time and current French National Champion. “It was a wish from my heart to win here. It’s the third edition of the Trophee Bompard and I have finished second twice. It would have been upsetting not to finish first again. This win gives me confidence.” Joubert acknowledged being nervous about his new long. “But I got a good score,” he continued. “I just try to feel the music. There is no story to the program.”

Preaubert opened his routine with a triple flip-triple toeloop combination, followed by a triple Axel-double toeloop-double loop combination, a triple Lutz, and a triple Axel. The 21-year-old also executed a triple flip, a double Axel-double toeloop combination, a triple loop, and triple Salchow, while delivering good spins and footwork throughout. The French National bronze medalist placed second in the long with 140.34 points (personal best) for his delightful routine to music from the soundtracks of Mike Hammer, Swing Kids, Bob Fosse Show, and The Mask, placing second overall with 211.72 points.

Preaubert was pleased. “This is my second Grand Prix medal this season and I have hopes to qualify for the Final which would be great,” said the 2006 Skate America bronze medalist . “I have made a lot of changes. I went to train with Annick Dumont in Champigny and my choreographer is Nikolai Morozov. I developed well and hopefully I have found a style that is interesting for the audience. I enjoy this style and I hope you can see it.”

Skating to music from The Mask of Zorro soundtrack, Dobrin landed a quadruple Salchow-triple toeloop combination, a quadruple Salchow, and a triple Lutz-double toeloop combination. Though the 20-year-old singled an Axel, he landed three more triples to place third in the long with a new personal best of 130.65 points. With a total score of 193.50, the 2005 World Junior bronze medalist rose from fourth to third overall.

The 2006 Russian National bronze medalist was very excited. “I came here last year for the first time and I finished seventh,” he said. “This year everything is different. The bronze medal is a very good result for me. I didn’t expect a medal, I just expected a good performance. I’ve not landed two quads for the first time in competition. I did it before in a National competition in Russia.”

Klimkin landed a triple Axel in the opening of his routine to music from The Mask soundtrack, but then put a hand down and stepped out of a quadruple toeloop. The 26-year-old also stepped out of a triple Loop, a triple Lutz, and turned out the landing of a triple flip (in combination with a triple toeloop), earning 122.36 points for a fourth place finish in the long. With a total score of 187.16 points, the three-time and reigning Russian National silver medalist slipped from third to fourth overall.

Chan placed fifth in the long with 122.10 points (personal best) and overall (179.92), while Japan’s Takahiko Kozuka rose from 11th place to sixth overall (177.85 points) after placing sixth (121.81) in the long.

Joubert earned 15 points and competes next week at Cup of Russia alongside Klimkin (11 points).

Preaubert, who had 11 points from Skate America, picked up another 13 and will have to wait to see if it’s enough to qualify for the upcoming Grand Prix Final.

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