2011 Skate Canada

Pairs Event



Place Team Country SP FS
1 Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov RUS 1 1
2 Wenjing Sui & Cong Han CHN 4 2
3 Megan Duhamel & Eric Bradford CAN 2 3
4 Narumi Takahashi & Mervin Tran JPN 3 5
5 Lubov Iliushechkina & Nodari Maisuradze RUS 5 6
6 Jessica Dube & Sebastian Wolfe CAN 6 7
7 Xiaoyu Yu & Yang Jin CHN 8 4
8 Paige Lawrence & Rudi Swiegers CAN 7 8

Short Program

Planned Program Content

Starting Order - Short Program

Warmup Group 1

1. Jessica Dube & Sebastian Wolfe, CAN
2. Xiaoyu Yu & Yang Jin, CHN
3. Megan Duhamel & Eric Bradford, CAN
4. Lubov Iliushechkina & Nodari Maisuradze, RUS

Warmup Group 2

5. Paige Lawrence & Rudi Swiegers, CAN
6. Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov, RUS
7. Narumi Takahashi & Mervin Tran, JPN
8. Wenjing Sui & Cong Han, CHN

Start Time: 15:45


Short Program Placements


Team Country
1 Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov RUS
2 Megan Duhamel & Eric Bradford CAN
3 Narumi Takahashi & Mervin Tran JPN
4 Wenjing Sui & Cong Han CHN
5 Lubov Iliushechkina & Nodari Maisuradze RUS
6 Jessica Dube & Sebastian Wolfe CAN
7 Paige Lawrence & Rudi Swiegers CAN
8 Xiaoyu Yu & Yang Jin CHN


Volosozhar & Trankov Leave Field in Their Dust

Pairs Event a One Horse Race

1. World silver medallists from Russia Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov crushed the competition in the Short Program with a personal best score of 70.42, more than eight points ahead of the second place team, Megan Duhamel & Eric Bradford.  Though Trankov lost six weeks to limited training due to a shoulder injury, it did not show here, with the majority of their GoEs +2.

Though only a level two, their opening triple twist was big and clean, with seven +3 GoEs and the remainder +2.  Their side-by-side triple toe loops were scored from -1 through +3 (go figure).  This was followed by a strong throw triple flip.  They closed with three level four elements - the step sequence, forwad inside death spiral, and pair combination spin.

Their routine to "Вring Me Back To Life" by Evanescence was well skated with good Choreography and Interpretation.  Their components averaged 7.75 and the team led the pack in both TES and PCS by about 4 points each.

2.  Megan Duhamel & Eric Bradford gave a strong performance with only a few minor errors that did not significantly impact their scores.  The team opened with three strong elements -- a nice level three triple twist, clean side-by-side triple Salchows, and a nice level four death spiral.  On their pair combination spin four of the judges went negative on GoE and the element was scored 0.06 points below base value.  Their closing three elements were also well done -- a strong level four step sequence, a nice level four group three lift, and a clean throw triple flip.

The team skated a passionate performance to "Concierto de Aranjuez" with good speed and interpretation, that received an average component score of 6.75, third best of the group. 

3.  World Junior bronze medallists Narumi Takahashi & Mervin Tran placed third in the Short Program despite significant errors on two elements.  On their opening side-by-side triple toe loops Takahshi put her hand down and may have two-footed the jump.  The judges responded with GoEs of mainly -2 (and one judge who gave a +1!).  On throw triple Salchow Takahashi two-footed the jump and stepped out of the landing.  Their remaining elements were strong, overcome these errors and allowing them to hold third place.  They had a nice triple twist, called level three, and their remaining elements were called level 4.  Their GoEs were typically +1s and +2s, with a few +3 on their last three elements

Skating to "Imagine," the routine consisted of pretty movements at moderate speed.  Opinions of the routine we heard afterwards ranged from slightly better than background music (our view) to lovely musicality.  Component marks ranged from 5.5 though 8.0, a significant difference of opinion!  Nevertheless, most of the judges appeared to like it, with the average component mark 6.8, and their PCS the second best of the segment.

4.  The young Chinese team of Wenjing Sui & Cong Han have had a busy season, having already competed in two Junior Grand Prix events and now a Senior Grand Prix.  On side-by-side triple toe loops Sui under-rotated and two footed the jump.  Their remaining elements were all fairly strong with their GoEs mainly  +1 and +2.  Sui may have had a minor swipe of the ice with her free foot on throw triple flip, but you could not tell from the marks which ranged from 0 through +3, with five +2s and one +3.

Skating to "Country Dance" by Josh Turner, it was a fast fun performance.  The team skates too far apart for much of the routine and their transitions slightly trail  their other components, which averaged near 6.7.  Their coach, Bo Luan has the two time World Junior Champions competing in both the Junior and Senior Grand Prixs so they gain experience.  Hopefully, he will not burn them out in the process!

5.  Russia’s Lubov Iliushechkina and Nodari Maisuradze opened with side-by-side triple toe loops which Iliushechkina  two footed.  It was their only element that was scored negative.  Their remaining elements primarily reieved GoEs of +1 and +2, with their throw triple flip particularly well done.  Their elements were all called either level three or four.

Their routine to "Figaro" was fast, whimsical and entertaining, though they also have an annoying habit of skating too far apart from each other too often in the program.  Their components averaged just under 6.5.

6.  Canadian Jessica Dubé and her new partner Sébastien Wolfe has a mediocre start to their Grand Prix season.  They opened with a level one double twist, and then followed with side-by-side triple flips which both executed poorly and received and edge call.  A level three group three lift was nicely done.  Their throw triple Lutz had a bit of a shaky landing, but only two judges went negative for the GoE.  Both their pair combination spin and death spiral were called level four, and were nicely executed.  Their step sequence was called level two.

Their routine to "Three hours past Midnight" had some jazz interpretation and was skated with middling speed, but thin on transitions.  Their components averaged just above 6.0

7.  Paige Lawrence & Rudi Swiegers had a tough time of it with their elements, with two falls in the program.  They opened with a nice level four pair combination spin.  Their triple twist was called level one, and was poorly executed, with GoEs of 0 through -3 (mostly -1s and -2s).  Side-by-side triple toe loops were successfully executed and their level 4 forward inside death spiral was well done.  Following a nice group 3 lift (level four) Lawrence fell on throw triple Lutx.  Their closing step sequence was slow and called level one, with a fall by Lawrence.

Skating to music from "Beetle Juice," the program has some fun moments with better than average interpretation.  with average componet scores near 6.25, their lowest marks being Transitions and Performance/Execution, and rightly so..

.8.  Xiaoyu Yu & Yang Jin, the second Chinese team here, skated to "The Nutcracker."  They had strong elements with a big triple twist, with six GoEs of +2,  a strong group 3 lift with a one arm entry and change of direction, and a nice pair combination spin.  Side-by-side triple toe loops were called downgraded (two footed by Yu), and their step sequence, at level 2, had eight GoEs of -3, courtesy of Jin tripping his partner for one fall deduction.

Performing to background music, the team was not competitive in components, with an average component score of just under 5.3 - significantly behind the other teams. 


Free Skating

Planned Program Content

Starting Order - Free Skating

Warmup Group 1

1. Xiaoyu Yu & Yang Jin, CHN
2. Paige Lawrence & Rudi Swiegers, CAN
3. Jessica Dube & Sebastian Wolfe, CAN
4. Lubov Iliushechkina & Nodari Maisuradze, RUS

Warmup Group 2

5. Wenjing Sui & Cong Han, CHN
6. Narumi Takahashi & Mervin Tran, JPN
7. Megan Duhamel & Eric Bradford, CAN
8. Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov, RUS

Start Time: 16:15


Free Skating Placements
Place Team Country
1 Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov RUS
2 Wenjing Sui & Cong Han CHN
3 Megan Duhamel & Eric Bradford CAN
4 Xiaoyu Yu & Yang Jin CHN
5 Narumi Takahashi & Mervin Tran JPN
6 Lubov Iliushechkina & Nodari Maisuradze RUS
7 Jessica Dube & Sebastian Wolfe CAN
8 Paige Lawrence & Rudi Swiegers CAN


Volosozhar & Trankov in a Class Apart

1. No one skated clean in the Free Skate, though a few came close.  Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov, were not one of them, but they still managed to again crush the competition despite two significant errors.  They more than doubled their Short Program lead to win the event by 20.56 points.  On side-by-side triple Salchows Trankov stepped out of the jump, resulting og GoEs of -1 and -2.  Throw triple Salchow was two footed and received GoEs of -1 and -2, except for one judge who got fooled by the height and distance and went to +2.  Their group 3 lift had a small shoulder assist on the set down, which caused one judge to go to -1, and their closing pair combination spin had a small loss of balance near the end of it that caused one judge to go to -1.

On the plus side, the remaining elements were all strongly executed, including a dazzling throw triple loop.  The lifts were all very well done, including a fully clean triple twist caught in the air with no assisting shortcuts in the takeoff or set down.  Due to the errors their TES was 0.82 behind Sui & Han.  But in the components they had no competition.

Skating to music from the movie "Black Swan" the Russian team gave a very dramatic if somewhat sloppy performance.  With further polish this routine will serve them well the rest of the season.  Their component scores averaged near 8.4, with Transitions down near 1/2 point compared to the other components.  Their PCS was 10.19 points ahead of the Chinese team.

2.  Wenjing Sui & Cong Han moved up two places in the Free Skate to finish second overall.  They had one of the cleanest programs of the group, with only a side-by-side three jump combination scored at -3, with all three jumps called either downgraded (3T) or under-rotated (two 2Ts).

The tem opened with big level 1 quad twist.  The element had a small shoulder assist on the catch and two judges went to -1, while the remainder scored it 0 through +2.  They also had two strong triple throws, a Salchow and a Flip.  The base value for the elements of the Chinese and Russian teams were nearly identical, with the Chinese team leading slightly in TES due to cleaner elements.

On the presentation side, the team gave a fairly strong performance to "The soul of Flamenco," music a polar opposite from their country and western Short Program.  The team did a fairly good job with their interpretation of the Latin theme, and received component scores that averaged just below 7, significantly below the leaders, but a good result for what is basically still a strong Junior Team that is competing at Senior only for some additional experience, their main goal being to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final.

3.  Megan Duhamel & Eric Bradford dropped from second in the short to third in the long, for a third place final result by more than a three point margin.  They attempted a program whose base value was only two points below the leaders, but errors in four elements pulled them down to having the fourth best TES.  They opened with a good triple twist, that was called level 3 and completed several nice lifts and spins.  A side-by-side three jump combination had an under-rotated triple Lutz, and the following triple Salchow attempt was doubled.  Throw triple loop was cleanly landed, while throw triple flip had a poor landing with a step out, with seven -2s and two -3s.  One group five lift was nicely executed, but the other had a broken set down with GoEs of -2 and -3.

The teams' routine was nicely choreographed to "Viva la Vida" and "Yellow" by the contemporary group Coldplay, and was enjoyable despite the interruptions from the several element errors.  Their Choreography mark was the highest of the five components, followed by Skating Skills.  Overall their average component score was near 7.1, somewhat better than their marks in the Short Program.

4.  Xiaoyu Yu & Yang Jin were a different team in the Free Skate, finishing fourth in the long after a eighth place result in the short, more than 20 points behind the leaders.  Everything was better in the long compare to the short; elements, presentation, even components to some extent.  They were so far back in the short, however, that this performance could not pull them up more than one place in the final results.

The team's main strength was their elements, in one of the cleanest performance of the group.  Only one element, side-by-side triple toe loops, was scored slightly negative, with only two -1s from the judges.  They attempted the most difficult program in terms of base value, and ended up third best in TES. It was a season best performance for them.

What held this team down, however, was their component scores.  They did not really interpret their music ("Requiem for a Dream") and were painfully slow compared to the other teams.  The average component score was just over 5.5, which was an improvement over the short where it was just under 5.3, but well below what is needed to be a competitive Senior team.

5.  After a third place finish in the short, Narumi Takahashi & Mervin Tran dropped to fifth in the long for a fourth place finish.  The team fell more or less in the middle of the pack for sloppiness, with three elements scored negative and one element receiving no value.  An attempted triple toe loop - double toe loop degenerated into double toe loop - single toe loop, scored at -2 and -3.  Throw triple Salchow had a hand down and a step out, while throw triple toe loop also had a poor landing.  On choreographic spirals the team did not meat minimum requirements for holding the spiral position and the element received no value.  This error alone was more than half the point difference that kept them out of third place, and pushed their TES value to seventh out of eight.

On the plus side, the team had a strong opening triple twist, called level 3, and nice side-by-side triple Salchows.  One of their group five lifts and their group three lift were also well executed.  Their performance, in our view, was similar to the short, with minimal expression (interpretation), and a bit slow, with the performance getting increasingly sloppy towards the end.  Their average component score was 7.1, 0.3 better than the short, so again the judges liked it a bit more than we did, with their highest component Choreography, and their lowest Interpretation.

6.  Russia’s Lubov Iliushechkina & Nodari Maisuradze dropped to sixth in the Free Skate but held fifth place overall thanks to the cushion they accumulated in the Short Program.  Four of their elements were scored negative, starting with the opening side-by-side triple Salchows where Iliushechkina under-rotated the jump, stepped out, and put a hand down -- all of which was missed by one judge who gave it a 0, while the remainder where at -2 and -3.  They followed with a decent triple twist (level 3).  A triple toe loop - double toe loop sequence was under-rotated on the triple, though opinion varied on that, with three judges at 0 and the remainder at -1.  Throw triple Luts had a poor landing and was scored mostly with -1s, and two -2s.  One judge missed the error again and was at 0.

At this point the team mostly got there feet underneath them, with a nice group 5 lift with a one-arm air position and changes of position.  Throw triple loop had a poor landing, with the judges mostly at -2 with two -1s and one judge again at 0.  The remainder of the routine was two other nice lifts, a strong group 3 lift and a nice group 5.  On the closing back inside death spiral Iliushechkina hip dragged the ice some and two judges went to -1, the remainder scoring it 0 or +1.

Their routine was set to "A Chorus Line" and was adequately presented, but the choreography was basically the same old thing for this much used piece of music.  To our mind, the team skated too far apart from each other too often and showed weaker than typical spatial awareness.  Their program components averaged just under 6.7.  Their individual marks ranged from 5.50 through 7.50, a rather large range that further reflects the inconsistent judging of this team.

7.  Canadian Jessica Dubé & Sébastien Wolfe had a mediocre free skate which landed them in sixth place overall.  Only two elements were scored negative, Dube falling on a triple flip, which also had an edge call, and on side-by-side flying change foot combination spins which had abysmal unison.  Seven judges went to -1, we assume for that reason.  Their strongest element was a nice group 5 Axel lasso lift.  The remainder of the elements were clean but undistinguished.

In components the team was likewise undistinguished, skating to "Heroes."  Their components averaged 6.42 with Transitions at 5.86.  Overall, the performance was slow and boring.

8.  Bringing up the rear, Paige Lawrence & Rudi Swiegers were likewise technically mediocre and artistically uninteresting. Four elements were scored negative and four others received at least one negative GoE.  Their only element of positive note was a well executed group 4 lift that was called level 4.

Their performance to "Nouvell France" and "Man in the Iron Mask" was too sloppy to be enjoyable with same-old-same-old choreography.  Their components averaged just shy of 6.2.

2011 Skate Canada Pairs Medalists

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