2008 Skate America

Ladies Event


Place Skater Country SP FS
1 Yu-Na Kim KOR 1 1
3 Yukari Nakano JPN 3 2
2 Miki Ando JPN 2 3
5 Rachael Flatt USA 5 4
4 Mirai Nagasu USA 4 7
8 Susanna Poykio FIN 8 5
10 Mira Leung CAN 10 6
6 Kimmie Meissner USA 6 9
9 Yan Liu CHN 9 8
7 Annette Dytrt GER 7 11
11 Tugba Karademir TUR 11 10
w Valentina Marchei ITA - -


Short Program

Starting Order - Short Program
  1. Yan Liu
  2. Annette Dytrt
  3. Tugba Karademir
  4. Mira Leung
  5. Rachael Flatt
  6. Susanna Poykio
  7. Valentina Marchei
  8. Mirai Nagasu
  9. Kimmie Meissner
  10. Yukari Nakano
  11. Miki Ando
  12. Yu-Na Kim


Short Program Placements
Place Skater Country
1 Yu-Na Kim KOR
2 Miki Ando JPN
3 Yukari Nakano JPN
4 Mirai Nagasu USA
5 Rachael Flatt USA
6 Kimmie Meissner USA
7 Annette Dytrt GER
8 Susanna Poykio FIN
9 Yan Liu CHN
10 Mira Leung CAN
11 Tugba Karademir TUR
w Valentina Marchei ITA

Kim Krushes Kompetition

Yu-Na Kim gave a commanding performance, besting the remainder of her group by over 12 points in the short program.  Nearly nine of those points came from the element score, thanks to the only successful triple-triple jump combination of the evening (3F+3T).  On double Axel, she put a hand down, with a loss of 1.44 for the error, but otherwise is was a technically secure program. Her spins and steps were all level three or four, and her program components mostly in the high sevens.  Skating to Saint-Saens "Dance Macabre" in a brown dress with spider web design it was a mature performance.

Performing an oh so sad interpretation of "Memories of a Geisha,"Miki Ando gave a strong though flawed performance.  She attempted triple Lutz-triple loop, but was downgraded on the loop.  Later, on element six, she fell in the midst of her straight line step sequence.  Her triple filp also ended up with a negative GoE score, though five of ten judges scored it with GoEs of 0 or 1, probably the result of many of those judges being thrown out in the random discard of judges.  Her Program Components were mostly in the high sixes to low sevens, though one judge gave her a couple of eights.  One brave judge gave a 3.75 in transitions.  For the former World Champion it was not an outstanding start, but at least a good starting point for the season on which to build.  Her free skate tomorrow will tell us more.

Yuri Nakano had a lovely clean skate, but on her solo jump she doubled a Lutz, which receive a mandatory GoE of -3 from each judge, as a triple jump is required in the short program.  So while the program appeared flawless, it was not.  It was a lovely performance to "The Gadfly" by Shostakovish, but was controversial among the judges.  One judge had her Program Components in the fives, while others were in the sevens.  With a span of 2.5 points in the marks (out of a typical 6.5 points) how anyone can think basing results on five scores is a good idea escapes me.

Reigning National Champion, Mirai Nagasu was the best placed U.S. lady, ending up fourth in the Short Program.  She leads the other American skaters by 1.5 points, and is 13 points behind the leader.  On her opening jump combination she had a poor landing on triple Lutz, which resulted in negative GoEs (except for one judge who gave an inexplicable zero).  She wisely did not attempt the second jump of the combination and then on element two, the triple flip, she tacked on a double toe loop.  Skating to the "Chaplin" soundtrack it was decent performance, but hte choreography needs to be further developed.  Her Program Component marks were mainly in the mid sixes, with some marks in the fives, and a few in the low sevens.

Skating to "Moon River" from "Breakfast at Tiffanys," Rachell Flatt was the third lady to attempt a triple-triple, but like Ando a triple loop was downgraded by the Technical Panel.  She attempted a program with well developed transitions but the fluid continuity of movement demanded by the piano rendition chosen eluded her.  Perhaps this is why her transitions score was substantially below her other components.  One judge had her as low as 4.75 in Transitions (and also Choreography).  The remainder of her Component marks were mainly in the sixes, with a few fives thrown in as well.  Overall, it was again a wide diversity of opinion among the judges on the Components.  In addition to the downgrade, her triple Lutz had an edge alert, and in this case most of the judges agreed and gave negative GoEs for that element.

The third U.S. lady, Kimmie Meissner, placed fifth in the Short Program.  Skating to "Un Ange Passe" by Lefevre, she fell on triple flip.  The element also received an edge alert, but since the fall alone resulted in GoEs of -3 it is impossible to discern from the marks if the judges agreed with the call.  Meissner also received a few negative GoEs on her level three spiral sequence, perhaps for a small wobble of the free leg in one of the spiral positions.  Her Program Components averaged about seven, and were the best among the three American ladies.  It was not an overwhelming debut in her comeback attempt, but it was a respectable performance on which to build.

Italian skater Valentina Marchei did not appear in her warm-up and withdrew for undisclosed medical reasons.


Free Skating

Starting Order - Free Skating
  1. Tugba Karademir
  2. Mira Leung
  3. Yan Liu
  4. Susanna Poykio
  5. Annette Dytrt
  6. Kimmie Meissner
  7. Rachael Flatt
  8. Mirai Nagasu
  9. Yukari Nakano
  10. Miki Ando
  11. Yu-Na Kim


Free Skating Placements
Place Skater Country
1 Yu-Na Kim KOR
2 Yukari Nakano JPN
3 Miki Ando JPN
4 Rachael Flatt USA
5 Susanna Poykio FIN
6 Mira Leung CAN
7 Mirai Nagasu USA
8 Yan Liu CHN
9 Kimmie Meissner USA
10 Tugba Karademir TUR
11 Annette Dytrt GER

Kim Scores TKO in Battle of the Giselle's

Yu-Na Kim produced a slam-dunk victory in the Free Skate, to win the ladies event by nearly 21 points.  It was an unequivocal victory to say the least.  In the Free Skate alone she had nearly a nine point margin of victory leading in both element points and Program Component points.  She landed six triple jumps, including an opening triple flip - triple toe loop, but in her second element popped a loop jump into a single.  On flying sit spin two judges gave GoEs of minus one, for reasons we did not notice, and on a flying combination spin she also got negative GoEs, this time for a more obvious reason, traveling.  Her performance to "Scheherazade" was fairly clean and controlled, but had a few holes in the choreography and only middling speed, resulting in her marks for Transitions and also Interpretation being slightly lower than the others.  Nevertheless, overall her Component marks were very good ranging from 6.75 to 8.25, but mostly in the mid sevens.

Placing second and third in the Free Skate, Yukari Nakano and Miki Ando both skated to Giselle.

Giselle in a nutshell.  Giselle is a peasant girl who falls in love with a disguised nobleman, Albrecht, who toys with her affection.  She finds out what he is up to and is inconsolably grief stricken.  Giselle goes mad and dies. (In some versions she kills herself.)  Giselle becomes a Wili (in Slavic mythology the ghost of a girl betrayed by her lover and who dies before her wedding day).  At night Wilis inhabit the forests and will lure young men to dance for them.  The Queen of the Wilis forces Albrecht to dance, intending for him to dance all night until he dies.  Giselle intervenes in order to spare his life.  At dawn Giselle tells Albrecht she forgives him and then must return to the grave; but because she has maintained her love for him in death, her soul is freed and she ascends to heaven.

So which Giselle did the ladies from Japan present?  Giselle in love?  Giselle the broken-hearted?  Giselle gone mad?  Giselle the Wili?  Giselle the angel?  Or none of the above?

For Nakano it was none of the above.  Dressed in peasant costume, she looked beautiful and smiled throughout the program.  So maybe it was actually Giselle in love -- or anyone else in love for that matter.  But beyond that there was really no emotion or development of the character.  Technically she scored reasonably well, despite her jumps being a bit of a struggle.  She landed five triples, and did not attempt a possible triple Axel.  Her triple Lutz had a huge wrap, and was scored negative.  Her spins, on the other hand, were excellent, all three being scored with GoEs of plus one and two, and her two sequences were also scored positive.  In Program Components her marks ranged from 6.0 to 8.0, mainly in the low sevens.  She took a major hit on Transitions, which were marked nearly 0.75 points below the other components, while next lowest were Choreography and Interpretation.

Miko Ando never cracked a smile in her performance, so I guess she was broken-hearted Giselle.  Ando landed six triples, and attempted a triple toe loop - triple loop combination, but the triple loop was called downgraded.  Other than that error, her jump elements were scored positive, and in her case it was the spins and sequences that cost her points.  A change camel spin was called level one, and she received some negative GoEs and her spiral sequence, that only reached level two.  Even with these problems, she still managed to squeak past Nakano in element scores, by 0.03 points, thanks to a somewhat higher base value for Ando's elements.

In Program Components Ando was scored more than four points behind Nakano.  Her Transitions were thin, particularly in the first third, and the judges responded with Transitions scores from 4.00 to 7.00 and everything in between.  Her skating was too slow for the music, which in itself was not all that fast to begin with, and there were major holes in the choreography in addition to the lack of any significant character development.  After Transitions, her next lowest Program Component score was for Interpretation.  Her Component marks covered a wide range and it looks like the the judges who gave her the highest marks were not included in the scoring.  With a different draw of judges she might well have ended up second.

Rachael Flatt moved up one spot in the Free Skate and finished fourth overall.  Her performance was a bit of a struggle, with negative scores on triple Lutz (with an edge alert), a double Salchow with a step out, a popped Axel to a single, a triple Lutz combination with an edge alert, and some negative GoEs on two spins.

Skating to "La Mer" by Debussy, her program was way too linear and way too slow.  Her average Program Component score was about 6.25 with all five components scores fairly equally.

U.S. National Champion Mirai Nagasu placed seventh in the Free Skating, behind Susanna Poykio and Mira Leung (oh the humiliation).  Thanks to a fairly decent Short Program she only dropped one place, and ended up fifth overall.  Nagasu landed but one clean triple, a Lutz.  Five other jumps, four of them attempts at triples, were downgraded.  She fell on triple Salchow, and also in a straight line step sequence.  Her saving graces where three spins at level four and a spiral sequence at level four, all with positive GoEs.  Throughout the program, Nagasu seemed focused on the elements.  The program is full of holes, choreographically, and she tended to come out of the program for each jump.  A great deal of work is needed in the next three months to turn this into a champion program.

Kimmie Meissner placed ninth in the Free Skate and eighth overall, behind Mira Leung who placed seventh overall (oh the humiliation).  It was all too painful to watch: downgrade and fall on triple Lutz, fall on double Axel, triple flip with edge alert, pop to single loop, double Axel scored at minus one.  The only successful jumps were a solo triple Salchow and a triple Lutz.  Except for a flying sit spin at level four, her spins and sequences were levels two and three.

Meissner's Program Component scores ranged form 5.00 to 7.35, but averaged about 6.00.  In the Short Program it looked like she has made some progress getting back into form since changing coaches, but the Free Skate says otherwise.  Skating to an extremely emotional Concerto Grosso by Vivaldi, she appeared way in over her head artistically.  Her emoting looked more like what one sees in an over the top silent film were the music cannot be heard instead of a performance where it can.  Not a glimmer of a sense of the music was to be found in this performance.


2008 Skate America Ladies Medalists


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