2013 World Team Trophy: Day 1

11 Apr

Twitter  #WTT13 icenetwork.com Event Page   |  Schedule   |   Results

Competition Notes

2013 ISU World Team Trophy | Tokyo

The fun began Thursday afternoon at Yoyogi Stadium, home of 2013 World Team Trophy. Team USA opened to great results and is tied for first place with Japan.

Madison Chock and Evan Bates won the short dance by about three points, totaling 66.54 points for their “Quidam” performance. The 2013 U.S. silver medalists are having a great time in their first World Team Trophy.

“It’s unlike any other competition I’ve experienced ever,” Bates said. “The atmosphere is infectiously fun. It’s not like a normal skating competition in the way that everyone is cheering for each other. Everyone is excited. It’s the last hurray.”

For more of Bates’ musings through the weekend, check out his icenetwork.com blog.

Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir don’t begin competition until Friday so they were full time cheerleaders, along with many of Team USA’s coaches. Castelli even started the wave during the ice dance warm up.

After the short dance, Shnapir quipped, “My hands are very red after clapping along to all six teams’ short dance music. I watched the most short dance I ever have at one time, it was fun.”

The men’s standings are close with Jeremy Abbott in fourth place and Max Aaron in sixth. Abbott is separated from Japan’s Daisuke Takahashi, in second place, by about 0.6 points.

Abbott, competing for the first time since the U.S. Championships in January, earned 80.24 points for his spy-themed short program. His performance included a triple Lutz-triple toe and a beautiful triple Axel. A three-time World Team Trophy competitor, Abbott has been working hard to stay in shape since his third-place finish back in January.

“After nationals, I started very hard in the gym and completely changed my diet,” he said. “I have been sore for about two months straight. I’ve been working very, very, very hard. I’m in the best shape of my life. I’ve never felt so comfortable doing a long program in training. I came into this event very seriously, this was my world championships since I didn’t get the opportunity to go.”

Aaron came very close to breaking his season’s best score and totaled 77.38 points in the short program. He opened with a 13.09-point quad Salchow-double toe combination and continued to skate clean from there.

“I had a good time out there,” he said. “I want to finish the season strong. I actually wanted a season’s best, I didn’t reach that, but it makes me go back and look at what I need to focus on.”

Patrick Chan of Canada won the short program with 86.67 points.

A pair of World Team Trophy veterans are representing Team USA in the ladies event. Gracie Gold and Ashley Wagner are in third and fourth places, respectively.

Skating to “Hernando’s Hideaway” for the last time this season, Gold earned 60.98 points. After falling on the second half of her triple Lutz-triple toe combination, the 2013 U.S. silver medalist rebounded for a solid program.

“It was pretty good. Not perfect,” she explained. “I probably should have done a triple Lutz-double toe. It’s the last competition of the season, I’m a little bit tired. I had a lot of fun and the crowd is so supportive. I’ve been working on my choreography since worlds, even more than my jumps. The components score really reflected that.”

Wagner was intent on putting a triple-triple jump combination into her short program, and did so today. She skated a great program, with the exception of a near-fall on the double Axel, a mistake she also made last year at this competition. Wagner, who is the team captain, shook off the mistake and was happy with meeting her goal of executing the triple-triple.

“I got the triple-triple out there, and that’s really what I was focusing on more than anything else,” she said. “Then going into the Axel, I was thinking, ‘don’t repeat last year.’ I’m happy with what I did. I really wanted to do the triple-triple, I got it out there and I’m happy.”

Friday, April 12, 2013

Pairs short – 3 a.m.

Castelli and Shnapir: 3:14 a.m.

Free dance – 4:25 a.m.

Chock and Bates: 5:17 a.m.

Men’s free – 6 a.m.

Aaron: 7:05 a.m.

Abbott: 7:21 a.m.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Pairs free – 2:15 a.m.

Ladies free – 3:50 a.m.

Wagner: 5:07 a.m.

Gold: 5:15 a.m.

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