Trophee Eric Bompard Recap

Pairs: Bazarova and Larionov turned out a magnificent short program to beat the Germans in the technical score and keep them close in the overall rankings.  Savchenko and Szolkowy impressed with their elements but I’m still bored by their short program.  Zhang and Toth had another respectable outing and if they can improve their speed and the height on their throw elements they could break into the next level of pairs.  Hausch and Wende had two solid programs to win the bronze medal but finished 40 points back from 1st and 26 points from 2nd.  Bazarova and Larionov had a gorgeous free skate but she had some jump problems.  If they can work these out, they have great lines, lifts and performance quality and can easily compete with the best of the best.  Look for them to challenge Kavaguti and Smirnov for the Russian national title.  Savchenko and Szolkowy’s free skate was delightful and they separated themselves from the field with a 14 point lead over the Russians.  They had a few blips here and there but their scores have been well above the best teams in the world and if they can clear up their small problems they could be unbeatable this year.

I predicted 2/3 exact podium placements and 2/3 podium finishers.  My Fantasy team finished 1st, 4th and 5th.

Mens:  Kozuka, Amodio and Mroz all had solid shorts to put them in medal contention.  Chafik Besseghier had a suprise short in his first international competition to place 4th in the short.  After jump problems, Brian Joubert landed in 5th place in the short and withdrew before the free skate.  Kevin Reynolds also had jump problems in his short falling on his second quad to land him in 7th after the short.  Besseghier and Reynolds both had jump problems in their free skates.  I think Besseghier needs more experience under his belt and hopefully he’ll get more assignments in the future.  Reynolds may need to go back to the basics and focus less on the quad and make sure he can consistently land all his other jumps in the program. Mroz and Amodio both had minor problems in their skates but were mostly clean and were able to gain the bronze and silver medal respectively.  Kozuka impressed with his free skate and scored 17 points higher in the free skate than Amodio and gained the top free skate and total scores for the season thus far.  He has set himself up to be a big threat for the rest of the season and Japanese nationals should be very interesting this year.

I accurately predicted 1/3 exact placements and 1/3 podium finishers (one of my podium finishers withdrew).  My Fantasy team finished 1st, 4th, WD.

Ladies: Kiira Korpi was the surprise leader after the short program with a top score for the season thus far.  She was closely followed by Mirai Nagasu and Haruka Imai with Alissa Czisny still in the podium hunt.  Mao Asada had a tough short program and was in 7th place after the short.  Nagasu was able to conquer her mental issues and skate a clean free to win the free skate and take the silver medal, her first career senior medal.  Kiira Korpi wasn’t far behind and was able to maintain her lead and win the gold medal.  Cynthia Phaneuf had a strong free skate and was able to pull up from 6th to 4th.  Alissa Czisny placed 4th in the free skate but it was good enough for the bronze medal here.  Interestingly, Meite placed 7th in the free skate but had the highest total element score in the free skate. 

I predicted 0/3 exact placements and 2/3 podium finishers.  My fantasy team finished 3rd, 4th and 10th.

Dance: To no one’s surprise Pechelat and Bourzat won gold here by nearly 15 points.  Their total score is just below Davis and White and it will be interesting to see how much work Davis and White have done since Skate America to clean up their programs and if they will distance themselves from Pechelat and Bourzat or if the French team is a real threat in the future.  Riazanova/Tkachenko were a real surprise here placing 2nd in both segments and posting some of the highest scores thus far, this season.  Chock and Zuerlein had a mishap on their free skate but still placed 3rd in both segments to take home their second bronze medal.  Their scores are still below the Shibutanis and it will likely be a tight race for the silver medal at U.S. nationals.

I predicted 1/3 exact placements and 3/3 podium finishers.  My Fantasy team finished 1, 2 and 7.