Just made it back from the Pavillon de la Jeunesse, I noticed the ISU site hasn't published the list of the judges yet for the Men's. For those interested, the countries represented were CAN, USA, JPN, RUS, CHN, FRA, ESP, UKR, CZE.
Hanyu is the only skater among this group that I hadn't seen in a competition yet. My assessment of him has changed - for the better. That's why it's hard to judge from a computer screen. I thought he was very expressive for his age and his basic skating skills are quite respectable, as well as his power. Although his skating style is not effeminate, he looks like a girl and can seriously be mistaken for one, from the way he grooms to what he wears. Now, before I get jumped on this - this is just my observation, I don't mean anything by it.
Fernandez certainly has the flair and the showmanship. In my opinion, what he really needs to focus on now is to improve his SS. He is definitely slower than the rest of the pack and he doesn't get a lot of height on his jumps. His ice coverage comes across as a little laborious even though he does have some good content in there. I like to see him lighter on his feet.
Brezina is just off today. He came in a little late this afternoon, right after the ladies SP, looking a litte lost. Even his only clean jump tonight, the 3A, was off as well - he was lucky that wasn't called a <. I felt he was on the right track last year, this year, I am not so sure. I get this impression he is becoming a little stagnant this point and may benefit from a coaching change.
Abbott had the performance of the night. He was engaging and interactive. A near flawless skate except the poor landing on the 3F. Otherwise, he really sold that program. Now, the question to ask is why is his PCS behind Patrick Chan? Whereas PE, CH an IN are all debatable, SS and TR are hands down in favor of Chan. Abbott is a fine skater with really smooth edges and respectable power in his stroking though Chan is just out of this world on the blades, you have to see it in person to believe it. I lost count how many times I have seen Patrick Chan skating in competitions but he never ceases to amaze me, even today, I was still impressed by his speed - probably could give Speedy a good challenge.
Takahashi was messy tonight. It felt like the mistakes on jumps really distracted him. He again benefited from the design of CoP with the Technical Panel assigning the +combo designation to the jump that would produce a smaller negative GOE although it has to be noted, 1 judge out of 9 still made the mistake of giving a -2. When the +combo sign was noted in the SP, it's a mandatory -3 no if or but. This is such a juniorish error, it's hard to believe this would happen at this level (where only judges with ISU designation are allowed at this competition, not just mere International level). On the 4T, to me even without the +combo designation, that's a -3 as well but only 4 judges chose to punish him accordingly. The Quad was clearly UR and then landed on two feet, even a generous grading, which would -1 (for UR) + -2 (for two feet landing) would equal -3, so again, Takahashi definitely got some help or he could be 6th right now.
Chan's bumping with the board, then fell was a good example to illustrate why not all falls are equal in the minds of judges. The judges could see that the combo was completed and fully rotated before he accidentally hit the board. He otherwise would have no trouble holding on to the 3T. So in effect, the error was regarded as no fault of his own, hence a majority of judges gave -1 and -2 instead of -3. Personally, this is one of the rare situations that I would give a fall anything but a -3, so I feel a -2 would be justified in this case although I could understand why a few feel -1 is also justifiable. Now, regarding Chan's performance, he skated it very well technically but I felt he looked a little distracted and not as engaging as he normally were. Understandably, the recent controversy engineered by a Reuters journalist has petrified him in my opinion. I was amazed he could retain his focus. Chan actually had a really awkward fall on a pop 2T during the warm up, which prompted his coach to tell him to relax and tone it down. He managed to regain his composure after that and practiced really well. Hopefully, with the SP out of the way, he can be a little more relax and stop worrying about that media buhaha/trap in news lately.
P.S. Scott Davis, the Tech Specialist, got a loud cheer when his name was announced. Many still remember him I guess, don't know how many people here still do; I enjoyed his style of skating when he was competing.
Thank you Wally for an in person expert report and opinions.
eta. I was actually surprised and find it harsh to see four -3 for Patrick's quad combo because it was beautifully executed and landed before the board took him down, and there is already a -1 fall deduction.
Last edited by Violet Bliss; 12-10-2011 at 01:10 AM.
I hope Chan hit the board tonight won't affect him tomorrow. Sometimes mentally, you'd try to be more cautious and tense.
Oh, I forgot to mention, nice to see he cut his hair, lol.
Scott Davis is also beloved in Canada b/c he coached Vaughn Chipeur. I believe his coaching base was in Canada for several years.