Home Figure Skating News Rochette wins fourth national title

Rochette wins fourth national title

by Rosaleen Kaye

The 2008 BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships concluded Sunday with the Senior Ladies Long Program.

Joannie Rochette (QC) won her fourth consecutive national title in this event, while Mira Leung (BC/YT) won her second silver. Cynthia Phaneuf (QC) placed a close third to win the bronze.

Rochette skated with effortless speed and carried the Spanish theme and character of her Don Juan routine throughout the program. The three-time and defending champion opened with a solid triple Lutz-double toeloop-double loop, but then stepped out of a triple flip. She also later fell on a triple Lutz, and almost lost it on her combination upright spin, but otherwise landed 3 more clean triple jumps. She placed first in the long (116.44 points) and overall (175.76 points).

Rochette admitted it was not her best skate, but was nonetheless excited about winning her fourth consecutive title. “After the mistake [on the flip], I was able to come back and do my combination at the end.”

Lesley Hawker (CO), who stood in seventh after the short, showed determination and attack in her nearly flawless routine to I’ll be Seeing You. The program, which had a lyrical and tender feel to it, featured five triple jumps including a triple Lutz-double loop and triple flip-double toeloop-double loop combination. The 26-year-old placed second in the long (107.41 points) and fourth overall (155.61 points).

Phaneuf skated with speed in confidence in her routine to Claire De Lune, and fought for every jump. The 2004 champion fell out of a double Axel and made minor mistakes on two other jump passes, but otherwise produced a solid triple toeloop-double Axel. She also delivered two very good level 4 spins and nice level 3 circular footwork. She finished third in the long (104.61) and overall (158.10 points).

The 20-year-old was very happy to be back on the national podium. “I was very excited just to be on the ice and I’m skating great. Better than the year before. I was very confident and I had fun. I wish I could have done a better program, but I was very happy with it.”

Leung skated with good speed and flow in her routine to piano concertos by Rachmaninov, showing good interpretation of the music. The 18-year-old singled a flip, but otherwise landed five clean triple jumps and received a level 4 on three of her spins. All non-jumping elements were also awarded positive Grades of Execution (GOE) from the judges, and she placed fourth in the long with 103.82 points. With a total score of 162.10 points, however, she was able to maintain second place overall to win the silver.

“When I got on the ice today I felt great,” Leung later told the press. “I had a really strong start. I’m really disappointed in myself for making those mistakes. I felt like I was running out of room for my second flip and I thought I was going to crash into the boards. I’m happy with the rest of my performance.”

Myriane Samson (QC), who stood in third after the short, placed fifth in the long (88.30 points) and overall (143.18 points). The 19-year-old showed good speed and expression in her routine to Memoirs of a Geisha, but had problems on a triple Lutz and triple Lutz-double loop combinations and doubled a flip and loop.

Jessica Dubé (QC) placed eighth in the long with 84.86 points, but with a total score of 131.62, moved up to sixth place overall (131.62 points). The 20-year-old fell on an underrotated triple Lutz and a triple flip, but otherwise showed good lines and extensions.

Erin Scherrer (WO), who stood in 10th after the short, placed sixth in the long (85.82 points) and seventh overall (130.17 points).

Amélie Lacoste (QC) finished in eighth place overall, followed by Kristen Walker (AB/NT/NU).

Skate Canada announced the following assignments at the end of the event.

Worlds (Mar 16-23, 2008 ~ Göteborg, Sweden)

Men: Patrick Chan, Jeff Buttle
Ladies: Joannie Rochette, Mira Leung
Pairs: Langlois/Hay, Dubé/Davison, & Duhamel/Buntin
Dance: Virtue/Moir, Weaver/Poje, Hann-McCurdy/Coreno

Junior Worlds (Feb 25 – Mar 2, 2008 ~ Sofia, Bulgaria)
Men: Kevin Reynolds, Elladj Baldé, Jeremy Ten (Alt. Ian Martinez)
Ladies: Myriane Samson (Alt. Diane Szmiett)
Pairs: Velenosi/Fernandez, Pisotta/Stewart (Alt. Lawrence/Sweigers)
Dance: Crone/Poirier, Lenko/Islam, Ralph/Hill (Alt. Routhier/Saucke-Lacelle)

Four Continents (Feb 13-17, 2008 ~ Goyang, Republic of Korea)
Men: Jeff Buttle, Shawn Sawyer, Vaughn Chipeur (Alt: Chris Mabee)
Ladies: Joannie Rochette, Mira Leung, Cynthia Phaneuf (Alt. Lesley Hawker)
Pairs: Langlois/Hay, Duhamel/Buntin, Miller/Moram (Alt. Brodeur/Mattall)
Dance: Virtue/Moir, Weaver/Poje, Hann-McCurdy/Coreno (Alt. Crone/Poirier)

Patrick Chan and Dube/Davison were offered a spot at the Four Continents, but declined for training reasons.

In Pairs, Moscovitch/Moscovitch and Kirkland/Radford are not eligible as the girls are too young, therefore Miller/Moram got the spots.

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