Thursday, March 14, 2013
Competition continued Thursday from the Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario.
The ladies short program, featuring 35 athletes, made for hours of entertainment for the excited fans. The U.S. ladies are in great position going into the short program, sitting fifth and ninth. Ashley Wagner totaled 63.98 points for her “Red Violin” short program. She opted for a triple-double combination, rather than a triple-triple jumping pass.
“I wanted to do that triple-triple combination but I decided to play it safe,” she said. “Mr. Nicks told me if it doesn’t feel right, don’t risk it. I would rather play it safe than sorry. The landing on the flip wasn’t exactly how I wanted it.”
Wagner is here with a clear goal: to help the U.S. earn three entries for the 2014 Olympics next February. To earn a third spot, Team USA needs to record a combined total finish of 13 or lower between Wagner and Gracie Gold (they have a combined placement of 14 after the short).
“At an event this huge and this important, my focus is to get the three spots back and I figured playing it safe with a triple-double of quality was the better way to go,” she explained. “The U.S. ladies team here is here to get that third spot back. It’s almost a personal agenda. I was the person most directly affected last Olympics and I want that third spot back. We’ve been trying for too long to get it back.”
Gold made her World Championships debut to the tune of 58.85 points. She hit all of her jumps, including a program-opening triple Lutz-triple toe. She did experience one bobble on her layback spin, saying she got too excited when the time came to changer her edge.
She explained, “I’m supposed to pull it up for an edge change. I think I got a little bit excited and as I was pulling it up, I went for the edge change immediately. I wasn’t able to get either of those features. Simple mistakes today. Easy things that I think I can fix with time and more competitions.”
Meryl Davis and Charlie White began their quest for their second World title, and they did so by producing the best short dance of the night to the tune of 77.12 points, which is the best short dance score ever. The veteran duo had a great time doing it, too.
“We felt as though it wasn’t only our season’s best in terms of result, but it was our season’s best skate,” Davis said. “To do that at the World Championships is really exciting. Charlie and I both got off the ice and the first thing we said was that it was a lot of fun to perform. The program went smoothly and we enjoyed every minute of it.”
Madison Chock and Evan Bates are competing at their first Worlds together (they each previously came to this event with former partners) and were extremely satisfied with the short dance result. They earned a personal-best 66.74 points and hope to emulate their performance quality in Saturday’s free dance.
“If we can have a similar performance to what we did today with a great feeling in the program and score a personal best, that would be great,” Bates said.
Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani: also enjoyed their best performance of the season and narrowly trail their teammates with 66.14 points. They looked very dapper in new royal blue and purple costumes, and were all smiles following the skate.
“We are really happy with our short dance. The audience is so great. It was a season’s best for us. We feel like this program has grown so well over the course of the season. We are looking forward to Saturday,” Maia said.
Chock and Bates sit in seventh, with Shibutani and Shibutani in eighth. The race is certainly a tight one from 1-9 going into the free dance. Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are in second place with 73.87 points followed by Russia’s Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev with 70.05.
Friday will see the conclusion of the pairs and men’s events. Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim and Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir sit in 12th and 13th, respectively. Atop the pairs leaderboard are Russia’s Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov with 75.84 points followed by Canada’s Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford and reigning World champs Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of German.
Max Aaron, also in his Worlds debut, brought the crowd to its feet after a great Tron: Legacy short program. He is in eighth place after posting a score of 78.20 points. Ross Miner has some ground to make up after finishing 14th with a score of 70.24 points for the short program. Patrick Chan of Canada leads after posting a short program score of 98.37 points. He is followed by Kazakhstan’s Denis Ten and his teammate Kevin Reynolds, who won Four Continents last month.
Friday, March 15, 2013
Pairs Free – 11:55 a.m.
Castelli and Shnapir: 12:02 p.m.
Scimeca and Knierim: 12:59 p.m.
Men’s Free – 5:45 p.m.
Miner: 6:58 p.m.
Aaron: 8:35 p.m.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Free Dance – 2:30 p.m.
Shibutani and Shibutani: 4:38 p.m.
Chock and Bates: 4:46 p.m.
Davis and White: 5:24 p.m.
Ladies Free – 7 p.m.
Gold: 9:11 p.m.
Wagner: 10:06 p.m.