2013 European Figure Skating Championships
Men Short Program
Another interesting and well skated event.
Excellent performances from the top three and a number of personal bests beaten. Majorov has finally held it all together to deliver the best skate of his career to date but the prize for the most incredible performance of the afternoon award has to go to Viktor Pfeifer who delivered a near perfect, beautifully presented and executed routine to place 10th. Harry Mattick who has made some costly errors and failed to qualify but who still gave an enjoyable, entertaining performance deserves a special mention.
Despite his age and multiple injuries Plushenko continued to be a formidable competitor but is his body finally saying 'No'? He was very lucky to end up skating in the final group (both Kovtun and Majorov should have easily beaten him, in my opinion) and given his chances of medalling are very slim and his chances of winning are pretty much zero at this point, I wonder whether he's going to withdraw now (ETA: shortly after I've posted this, he has anounced his withdrawal due to injury).
So after being positively surprised with the judging being relatively decent yesterday, we're back to the usual crap now.
Not a single judge noticed that Fernandez's combination spin was off-centred throughout or that Brezina had no steps preceding the quad (and he got five -2s for missing a combo which is an automatic -3). Only one judge gave -3 to Plushenko's 3lutz which was meant to be the combination and had no preceding footwork (and was barely landed on top of that). Yakov Godorozha received six -2s for a 3axel with a step out (-2 to -3) and a hand down (-1). Deductions are cumulative. I guess it's nitpicking on details but still.
Whilst judges would (correctly or incorrectly) penalise skaters for mistakes, they didn't seem to make use of the whole GOE in order to not only reward high quality but also penalise for low quality of execution.
And another thing is PCS. As usual, there was very little variation despite skaters having different strengths and weaknesses. And the marks seemed connected with both the jumps that a skater performed and his starting order, even though those are not the things that are included in the judging criteria, are they?
1. Ali Demirboga /TUR/
Schindler's List (soundtrack) by John Williams
3lutz(hand down)/2toe weird timing on the lutz take-off (it looked rushed) and he didn't get a lot of distance and was off-axis in the air as a result [-2]
3flip fall [-3]
sit holding foot/change sit(off-centred)/jump to sit positions not extended well [-2]
2axel flow out could be a little better 
camel/intermediate camel var/sit/change sit broken leg/up var again positions not extended very well and rotation a little slow [-1]
circular step sequence 
flying camel - very poor extension [-1]
His movement was quite awkward and he skated with rounded shoulders. His edges weren't that bad (quite deep actually) for a skater of his standard.
I'm sorry but Rana Belkis Gocmen doesn't seem to be able to teach her skaters good technique. All her skaters I can remember really struggle on the triple jumps. I think that if Turkish skating is to develop properly, the federation really should hire some outside coaches to train not only their skaters but more importantly the coaches.
2. Manol Atanassov /BUL/
Oblivion by Astor Piazzolla
3toe/3toe nice and solid on the first one, the second (after a little hesitation) was a little tight on the landing and very slightly cheated 
camel coe/jump to change camel to catch 
camel/sit var/up/change sit broken leg/up butt out(poor extension) rotation quite slow, weak camel position [-1]
3lutz really fought for the landing, free foot almost touched but he managed to keep it off and stay upright [-1]
straight line step sequence flow not bad, could use more speed though 
steps into 2axel solid, connected directly to the straight line step sequence 
sit/jump to sit to side twist to var rotation quite slow, positions could be better extended [-1]
He maintained quite decent flow throughout the program but the speed was lacking. His lines looked messy and could be better extended. Expression was lacking. A question mark over the choice of music, which was slow and constant throughout, lacking both rhythm and highlights.
I loved how he continued to perform footwork after completing his step sequence and then did 2axel right out of steps (having skated more than a whole length of rink of footwork!).
His improvement since last season (when he wasn't really able to land any jumps) is quite remarkable. He has improved his personal best by over 22 points!!! Moving to the US for better training conditions has definitely paid off.
3. Valtter Virtanen /FIN/
Ain't No Sunshine
3lutz slightly over the toe on the landing, not a lot of flow out, long break after steps [-2]
3loop(step out)/2toe(won't count) [-3]
scratch butterflies to flying camel to side twist to catch a little slow, positions poorly extended [-1]
camel/sit/up var/change camel/sit leg behind/up 
straight line step sequence edges very decent, speed and flow not bad 
sit to coe to forward tuck to var to side twist 
Choreography reflected the character of the music quite well but he lacked expression and skated with very stiff shoulders throughout.
4. Saulius Ambrulevicius /LTU/
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (soundtrack)
3toe overrotated heavily [-3]
camel/up L/change sit to forward tuck 
sit holding foot to broken leg/jump to sit to side twist 
2axel landing a little insecure 
flying camel to catch(took him a while to grab the leg, poorly extended) rotation a little slow [-1]
straight line step sequence - decent flow and expression 
Good expression throughout, he seemed to really pay attention presenting the program. Flow not bad. PCS in general not very bad for a skater with such a limited jump arsenal.
This was the best I've ever seen him skate. He's improved quite a lot. Not a bad performance for his standards (although obviously a shame about the toe-loop). A new personal best for him (by around 1.5 points).
5. Viktor Romanenkov /EST/
Tango Amore by Edvin Marton
3axel long entry and slightly scratchy landing but landed it [-1]
flying camel to donut and upside twist to catch weak positions, not a lot of speed [-1]
3flip short break after steps, free leg touched down slightly on the landing [-2]
to sit cannonball/change sit/jump to sit to forward tuck some of the positions a little weak, rotation quite slow by the end [-1]
straight line step sequence 
camel(poor position)/up(very off-centred)/change sit broken leg/up butt out positions not extended very well, could use more speed [-2]
He was quite stiff, skated with rounded shoulders and lacked expression. His basics are quite weak for a skated with his jump arsenal.
The quality of execution of his elements wasn't good but good for him landing all his jumps. A new personal best for him (by almost 1.5 points).
Anna Levandi had a very nice makeover, her new haircut suits her really well.
6. Stephane Walker /SUI/
Melodia del Rio by Ruben Gonzalez
La Lluvia by Ruben Gonzalez
3axel underrotated over a quarter, fall [-3]
3lutz/3toe entry a little long but both jumps executed quite well 
scratch butterflies into flying camel to coe to donut extension good but could use a little more speed 
3lip landing not very strong, seemed that free foot touched slightly on the landing [-3]
back sit to leg behind/change sit cannonball to broken leg decent positions and rotation speed 
camel to upward catch/sit tuck/change sit/jump to sit/upright 
circular step sequence could use some more speed 
He could use a little more speed. The music really didn't work for him. It was Latin, it was playful but he didn't make good use of it, seemed quite withdrawn and didn't show a lot of expression and didn't make good use for it. He is quite elegant with a decent posture and lines and classical music or soundtracks (that he skated to during his last Euros outing) suit him much better.
7. Harry Mattick /GBR/
scratch butterflies into flying camel fell out, putting both hands down, right after landing (so the element will receive no value)
sit cannonball to broken leg/change sit to var decent positions, very good rotation speed 
circular step sequence decent speed, quite sharp footwork 
three-turns into 3loop 
camel(extension not great)/up var/change sit(off-centred)/up butt out to up L good rotation speed 
It's his first European Championships and it looks like the nerves got the best of him. A real shame because he showed very good expression throughout, his movement was quite detailed and composed and he's a very good spinner. The potential is definitely there.
Nice to see the judges reward him on the PCS somewhat, despite the technical score being so low, definitely well deserved.
8. Maciej Cieplucha /POL/
3lutz/3toe neither jump (toe especially) had very good flow out 
footwork to flying camel to upside twist to catch(weak, slow and barely held) [-1]
footwork to spread eagle to 2axel 
straight line step sequence 
sit holding foot/jump to change sit broken leg 
camel/sit/up L/change up cannonball/sit forward tuck/up 
A decently choreographed program with quite a lot transitions. His movement reflected the languid bluesy music well but he seemed very tense.
He looked really nervous at the start and you could anticipate mistakes would creep in.
Seeing him hold a plastic cup of water with his teeth in the kiss and cry (and speak or rather mumble to his coach while doing it ) was very amusing.
9. Paul Bonifacio Parkinson /ITA/
Nothing Else Matters by Metallica
4salchow underrotated, two-footed, fall [-3]
2axel meant to be a triple but opened up early, popped into a wild double, underrotated and fell [-3]
flying camel to donut to catch quite good rotation speed 
sit pancake/jump to sit to forward tuck quite good rotation speed 
straight line step sequence good speed and decent edges 
camel/jump to sit var/up var/change up Y(extension not great) good rotation speed 
A total disaster on the jumps but his overall skating ability was clearly best so far. Very good speed throughout, quite clean edges and very strong spins. He was quite elegant as well (although his shoulders were rounded).
Looking through his past competition results, it seems that maintaining focus is a serious issue for him. I hope he is working with a sport psychologist because there's a lot of ability there and it would be a shame if it could never be realised to full potential. He has the goods and just needs to work on delivering them under pressure.
10. Yakov Godorozha /UKR/
Factor by Angelo Badalmento
3axel step out with hand down [-3]
3lutz/3toe not a lot of flow out off either jump 
scratch butterflies into flying camel to catch to upward catch slow [-1]
sit coe/change sit/jump to sit to var slow [-1]
circular step sequence could use more speed, edges a little scratchy [-1]
camel/sit/up cross-foot/change sit broken leg holding foot/up L quite slow [-1]
He was really slow and lacked expression. Spins were slow as well. A decent job on the jumps but everything else needs work.
I'm surprised the judges gave him PCS in the 5s but I guess that's as a result of showing a good jump content.
A new personal best, by almost 5.50 points.
Marina Amirkhanova has also had an incredible makeover. Gone from terribly cut black hair to a blonde bob with a fringe. Definitely a much better look.
11. Javier Raya /ESP/
Como Siento Yo
Hip Hip Chin Chin
3axel step out [-2]
3toe(poor flow out)/2toe(opened up early but managed to complete two revolutions just about) [-1]
camel to upside twist(good positions)/change camel catch 
3flip step out [-2]
flying sit pancake to forward tuck 
circular step sequence could use more attack 
camel coe/change L/jump to sit/up butt out to up 
Decent basic skating and a lot of upper body movement throughout but he lacked expression and seemed to be going through the motions (maybe he was nervous and tense as a result?).
12. Pavel Ignatenko /BLR/
3axel landed but not much flow out and a really telegraphed entry [-1]
3lutz/2toe not a lot of flow out 
flying camel to coe to donut to upward catch poor positions, slow [-1]
3lip landing a little shaky, poor flow out [-2]
straight line step sequence 
sit to side twist/change sit/jump to sit to side twist 
camel/sit holding foot/up butt out/change camel(weak)/sit forward tuck/up cross-foot rotation a little slow [-1]
His basics aren't very strong. He skated with stiff shoulders and his movements were messy and unfinished. Edges were quite shallow and he needed a lot of pushes to generate speed.
Again, I feel that the PCS he's received were more related to the jumps that he landed than what he actually showed on the ice.
A new personal best for him by almost 3.50.
13. Pavel Kaska /CZE/
The Addams Family by M. Leontovich and Peter Wilhousky
3lutz/2toe [-1] - he rushed the lutz take-off and struggled to maintain his balance on the (scratchy) landing
three-turns into 3loop solid, nice flow out 
camel to catch/change camel to coe(slow) 
circular step sequence good flow 
flying sit cannonball to forward tuck 
camel to catch/sit leg behind/camel(weak position)/sit broken leg/up slow after change of foot [-1]
His basics are decent but he's capable of performing this program (that he's kept after last season) much better. Choreography isn't bad but he wasn't selling it at all and just seemed to be going through the motions.
14. Alexei Bychenko /ISR/
Party Sailor by Wilson Picket
John Rango by James Brown
3lutz/3toe high and solid 
3flip decent height, nice flow out 
flying sit/jump to sit side twist totally off-centred [-2]
camel/sit/up/change camel(weak position)/sit broken leg/up totally off-centred [-2]
2axel difficult entry off transitions but over the toe on the landing, no flow out 
straight line step sequence good energy, fast footwork 
turns into camel(extension not great)/jump to change camel to upside twist var(off-centred) [-1]
A lot of speed throughout and a fun, decently choreographed program featuring a fair amount of transitions. He blew all of his spins though (I wonder whether the judges will notice - ETA: checking the protocols after the event, they did notice ).
15. Justus Strid /DEN/
Pinball Cha Cha by Senor Coconut
3axel overrotated [-2]
3flip(high and solid)/2toe 
3lutz take-off went all wrong, wild in the air, step out with hand down [-3]
camel coe/change camel to catch extension not great, slow [-1]
straight line step sequence sold it well, quite fast footwork 
flying sit/jump to sit to arms behind 
camel/sit broken leg/up butt out/change sit/up Y/up cross-foot slow after change of foot 
He's a very voidy and entertaining performer but his posture is quite appalling (Hunchback of Notre-Dame) and his movements are really messy and unfinished. Choreography fell short for me and didn't bring his strengths out enough (not enough goofing around, basically ).
His super hunky brother has really let himself go, I hate to say.
16. Kim Lucine /MON/
Moanin' by Art Blakey
2axel decent height but could use some more flow out 
flying sit pancake/jump to sit forward tuck well extended positions, decent rotation speed 
3lutz landing a little weak 
camel upside twist/chagne camel to catch quite slow, positions not great [-1]
straight line step sequence good energy 
scratch butterflies to camel/sit leg behind to coe to var/up/change camel(slow)/sit/up cross-foot very good rotation speed at the start but slow after change of foot 
Speaking of appalling postures, Lucine takes the crown. Decent choreography, great energy and a lot of expression throughout but his basics are weak.
He's improved his personal best by 3.26 points.
17. Evgeni Plushenko /RUS/
Storm by Yanni arranged by Edvin Marton
3lutz over the toe, scratchy landing, no preceding steps (was meant to be the combo) [-3]
3axel fall [-3]
flying camel(fantastic extension) to catch(could use more speed) 
sit pancake/change sit broken leg to forward tuck(a little slow) good positions and speed (until the last one) 
straight line step sequence great attack but edges a little scratchy and the speed wasn't there 
camel(great extension) coe/sit var/up var/change camel/sit leg behind/up cross-foot could use more speed 
The speed, the basic skating, posture and lines, immediately set him apart from the rest. But technically, he was very far from his best. Choreography was very generic. The program lacked transitions or any interesting highlights.
Given his age and his never-ending battle with injuries that just keep piling up, the Sochi gold seems more and more of a distant dream. He's an incredible performer that proved time and time again that he can deliver under pressure but his body can only take so much. It might be the time to bow out.
18. Viktor Pfeifer /AUT/
Moonlight Sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven
3salchow/3toe  both jumps solid with good flow out (surprising given he was off-axis in the air on the toe but no problems with the landing whatsoever)
camel var/change camel coe quite good rotation speed, decent extension 
circular step sequence deep edges, good flow 
hydroblade towards 3lutz with arm above solid 
flying sit pancake to forward tuck 
camel/sit broken leg(great position)/up/change camel var/sit var(another original string position)/up holding foot(and another one) good positions, rotation speed not bad 
Wow. The kind of performance that gives you chills.
Stunning posture and lines. All of his movements were beautifully extended and accentuated. The program flowed very well from start to finish and all of the technical elements were executed to a high standard.
He's beaten his personal best by almost 4 points.
19. Zoltan Kelemen /ROU/
Rich Man's Frug from "Sweet Charity" (musical soundtrack)
3axel landing not very strong but clean 
3flip(slightly underrotated, no flow out)/3toe(cheated almost 1/2 revolution, step out) [-3]
3lutz solid 
flying sit holding foot to broken leg to forward tuck 
camel/change camel(lost balance and had to abort the spin after changing foot the element will receive no value)
straight line step sequence decent speed 
camel(wobbly)/sit/up butt out to var/change camel/sit/up L slow after the change of foot, off-centred throughout [-2]
His basic skating isn't bad but the choreography was lackluster. The program didn't have a lot of character and Zoltan's expression was lacking somewhat (as usual).
20. Javier Fernandez /ESP/
The Mask of Zorro (soundtrack) by James Horner
three-turns into 4salchow clean and solid but landing a little bit scratchy (slightly over the toe) 
transitions to 3axel solid 
flying upright cannonball to cross-foot quite good rotation speed 
turns to back sit/jump to sit/change sit holding foot to broken leg 
circular step sequence good flow, quite fast footwork 
camel coe/up var/change sit leg behind/up cross-foot good positions and rotation speed but off-centred throughout [-1]
Quit elegant and composed movement throughout. Whilst elements seemed to flow together well and the layout didn't seem bad, the program wasn't very interesting or memorable. The choreography lacked highlights.
His edges are quite smooth but he needs a lot of cross-overs in order to generate speed.
He's improved his personal best by over 2.50 points.
21. Tomas Verner /CZE/
4toe fall [-3]
3axel slightly scratchy landing with poor flow out, entry quite long [-1]
flying sit cannonball(position could be better extended) to cross-foot 
camel/jump to sit leg behind/another jump/change up var 
straight line step sequence good edges and flow but could use more energy 
sit to side twist/change cannonball coe to forward tuck decent rotation speed 
Verner's continued inability to deliver under pressure is extremely frustrating, given what he's capable of. Today not only the jumps didn't work but he also seemed to make no effort presenting the program, lacking expression and just going through the motions. A not like this trademark Nichol snoozefest is a good program to begin with (it's very generic).
He was light over the ice, as usual, but other than that this was a very disappointing performance.
22. Peter Liebers /GER/
Excerpts from "Alexander" (soundtrack) by Vangelis
4toe underrotated around a quarter, fell out with hands down [-3]
3axel telegraphed but very solid with a soft landing and good flow out 
sit to var/jump to change sit pancake decent rotation speed 
2lutz wild scratchy landing, had to put foot down [-3]
scratch butterflies to flying camel to coe donut to catch slow [-1]
circular step sequence two small stumbles [-1]
camel/jump to sit to forward tuck/up/change camel(slow)/sit var(off-centred)/up cross-foot [-1]
Liebers's basics aren't bad (his skating skills in particular are quite decent) and this program works quite well for him, reflecting the music decently and containing a few memorable highlights. I just wish he would push more on the expression and really sell his routines. He always seems quite distant.
23. Chafik Besseghier /FRA/
Piano in Concerto by Maksim Mrvica
3toe/3toe high and solid  (was meant to be 4/3)
3axel weak landing but hung on [-1]
steps to 3lutz a very short break after steps, not a lot of flow out [-1]
flying camel to upside twist to upward catch positions poorly extended, a little slow [-1]
circular step sequence 
camel/sit/up L/change sit forward tuck/up not a lot of speed 
sit cannonball/change sit leg behind to jump to sit to side twist quite slow [-1]
He's a very strong jumper but everything else is lacking, I'm afraid. He skated through the music most of the time, with rounded shoulders and the spins were weak.
She might not be competing but at least we can watch Pechalat in the K&C.
24. Alexander Majorov /SWE/
Ray's Blues by Dave Grusin
3lutz/3toe high and quite solid but not a lot of flow out, a little hesitation between the two jumps 
3axel high and solid, soft landing 
camel/sit broken leg/up butt out/change camel(extension not great)/jump to sit/up var 
3lip soft landing, nice flow out but a slight change of edge 
scratch butterflies to flying camel coe to catch(a little slow) his camel positions were not extended well [-1]
circular step sequence quite fast footwork, sold quite well 
sit to side twist/jump to change sit to forward tuck 
He seemed to skate to the music most of the time but his posture and movements were quite messy. A very good job on the jumps. He gets quite impressive height on them.
He's improved his personal best by almost 6 points.
He still looks ridiculously out of shape for a competitive athlete. There's a lot of weight he could lose. Given the height he gets on his jumps, it's a lot of pressure to put on his joints.
25. Brian Joubert /FRA/
Genesis by Justice
Aerodynamic by Daft Punk
4toe/turn/3toe(solid) [-1] good height and distance
3axel not a lot of flow out 
flying up var to L to var decent positions and rotation speed 
3lutz high and solid, flow out could be a little better 
camel/sit pancake coe/jump to sit/up var to cross-foot quite good rotation speed 
sit/jump to sit/change sit side twist to forward tuck(a little slow) 
circular step sequence good expression, fast footwork, a little scratchy though and edges could be more pronounced 
Joubert is finally back in good shape. Strong basic skating, good speed and whilst the program was a little short on the transition front (as usual), it didn't lack character. Joubert was expressive and skated to the music well, managed to capture its mood with his movements and the choreography fitted his chosen tracks well also.
26. Michal Brezina /CZE/
In the Hall of a Mountain King by Edvard Grieg performed by Epica
4salchow landing a little skiddy but he held it, no preceding footwork though (he does one turn, then there's a break and then comes the jump) [-2]
3flip(high but overrotated)/2toe(won't count) [-3]
3axel high and solid 
camel to upside twist/change camel to catch could use a little more speed but the positions were well extended 
flying sit to cannonball to forward tuck could use some more speed 
straight line step sequence quite deep edges, fast footwork, a lot of attack 
camel/jump to sit/up pancake/chagne camel/sit/up var quite slow [-1]
His skating skills are good (quite deep and smooth edges) and he did seem to move in time with the music most of the time but the choreography was really basic. He skated around the rink into the first jump, the around into the second, around into the third, then did two spins, steps and another spin.
The spins didn't work very well for him today. The flip was overcooked. He got incredible height on it, making it hard to control.
27. Maxim Kovtun /RUS/
Lawrence of Arabia (soundtrack) by Maurice Jarre
4toe/3toe solid 
2axel it was meant to be a triple but he opened up early 
sit side twist/change sit forward tuck decent positions, speed not bad 
scratch butterfly into flying camel to donut(slow) [-1]
3lutz hand down [-1]
straight line step sequence deep edges, fast footwork 
camel/sit var to coe(off-centred)/up butt out/change sit/jump to sit/up cross-foot 
There's clearly potential there. He seems to be a very strong jumper his posture is quite good, he has beautiful, elegant lines and he can be quite expressive. Choreography lacking however and the program didn't have any character.
28. Sergei Voronov /RUS/
Yablochko (Russian Sailor Dance) by Reinhold Gliere
4toe(solid)/3toe(weak landing with half a turn out and not a lot of flow out) 
3axel landing not very strong, telegraphed [-1]
flying camel to donut 
circular step sequence footwork quite fast but edges weren't well pronounced, energy was decent but his upper body movement seemed quite messy 
3loop solid with good flow out but break after steps 
camel coe/sit/up butt out/change camel/sit/up L decent rotation speed 
sit/jump to sit/change sit holding foot to forward tuck good rotation speed, positions could be better extended though 
A decent job on the elements and his speed was quite good but the program seemed like an afterthought. Not much relation to the music and not much going on in between the elements. And his movement was quite messy.
29. Florent Amodio /FRA/
Memories of Sobral by Sebastien Damiani
4salchow solid with good flow out 
3axel clean but landing not very strong 
flying camel to upside twist to catch(extension could be better) decent rotation speed 
circular step sequence deep, smooth edges, fast footwork 
3lutz(solid)/3toe(not much flow out) 
sit/jump to sit/change sit cannonball to forward tuck good rotation speed 
camel/sit var/up var to var/change camel/sit leg behind/up cross-foot quite good positions and rotation speed 
Another performance where the elements were strong but the program seemed to be incidental. Not a lot of relation to the music and not much happening in between the elements. And again, the posing. Which is a shame because Amodio's basics are very strong. He has deep, smooth edges, quite a lot of speed and nice posture and lines. He can be very expressive as well. Unfortunately, Morozov keeps giving him terrible choreography. I guess you can't really blame him given the judges don't care. It means it's easier for him to land the jumps.
He has improved his personal best by almost 8 points.
It's weird how Pechalat/Bourzat had to leave Zhulin and some other international skaters had to stop training in Russia as well but Morozov is still allowed to train a skater who is a potential threat to Russian men.
30. Paolo Bacchini /ITA/
Music by Dmitri Shostakovich
1axel popped, did less than one-and-a-half revolutions and fell [-3]
3lutz painful fall [-3]
camel/sit/up var(a little weak)/change sit broken leg/up var changed rotation centre quite considerably on change of foot 
straight line step sequence 
camel coe/change camel to catch not a lot of speed 
flying sit/jump to sit to side twist(off-centred) to forward tuck(very weak and barely held) [-2]
His basic skating is quite good with fairly deep edges and decent speed and his movement reflected the music quite well. He seemed tense throughout, however.
Bacchini has often crumbled under pressure in the past and skating last after so many big names as well, seems to have been too much to handle.