Russia

Finns take early lead at Junior World Challenge Cup

Finland’s Fintastic and Musketeers lead the pack after the short program competition at the Junior World Challenge Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden. The only two teams in the event to crack the 50-point barrier, they sit first and second with 55.90 and 54.04 points respectively going into tomorrow’s free program. USA’s Team Braemar are third after the short program with 49.94 points, and Canada’s Les Supremes are close behind in fourth place with 48.64 points. They’re followed by Skyliners (USA), Convivium (SWE), Nexxice (CAN), and Spartak Junost (RUS). Full results are here.

Though the Finnish teams may appear to have a comfortable lead, the free program presents opportunities for trailing teams to make up ground. Valuable points can be gained in the free program: more elements are included, and whereas some elements in the short program are restricted to specific difficulty levels, that’s not the case in the free. Teams will need to be at their best tomorrow to remain in the fight for medals.

The free program begins at 10:30 a.m. EDT tomorrow. Links to live streaming (which was of excellent quality today!), results, and starting orders are available here.

Best of luck to all teams!

Swedish Championships and Zagreb Snowflakes Trophy

While the American Senior teams are competing at their National Championships to earn spots on the U.S. world team this weekend, some international heavy-hitters will be on the ice in Sweden and Croatia.

Sweden’s National Championships take place from March 3-4. With only 2 Senior teams, it’s a guarantee that both will be at Worlds in April. However, the pressure is still on both teams to perform at their best as they prepare to compete for World medals in their home country in just over a month. Team Surprise missed some calls at Spring Cup a few weeks ago, losing the free program to Russia’s Tartarstan (9th in the world in 2011), though still finishing first overall. Typically a medal contender at Worlds, eyes will be on Team Surprise’s performances this weekend to gauge their improvement. Additionally, Team Boomerang had their highest ever finish at Worlds last year (8th), and will surely have been working hard in an effort to challenge for a higher finish this year at home.

At the Zagreb Snowflakes Trophy taking place March 1-3, Paradise (RUS) and Team Berlin 1 (GER) are expected to lead the pack based on their competitive history, though there are also other seasoned international competitors in the mix. Paradise surprised many people when they beat defending World Champions, Rockettes (FIN), in the short program at SynchroFest International back in December. However, they finished 3rd behind Team Unique (FIN) and Marigold Ice Unity (FIN) at French Cup in early February. Team Berlin 1 has been a top 10 finisher at Worlds a number of times in the past, so their performance and scores will be watched closely by their competitors as well.

Live streaming is available for the Zagreb Snowflakes Trophy, for the price of $8.00 (USD) for both days of the event.

Nexxice rallies from behind to win gold and $15,000 at SynchroFest

After placing 4th in yesterday’s short program at the 2011 SynchroFest International in London, Nexxice was untouchable tonight, winning the free skate by a solid margin of 13.44 points, and finishing nearly 10 points ahead of silver medalists, the Haydenettes, overall. In addition to their gold hardware, Nexxice also took home $15,000 in prize money.

The final standings were as follows:

  1. Nexxice (CAN) 185.15 ($15,000)
  2. Haydenettes (USA) 175.44 ($12,000)
  3. Rockettes (FIN) 174.05 ($9,000)
  4. Paradise (RUS) 160.92 ($6,000)
  5. Les Supremes (CAN) 153.76 ($3,000)
  6. Crystallettes (USA) 142.51 ($1,000)
  7. Jingu Ice Messengers Grace (JPN) 118.03 ($1,000)
  8. Fusion (CAN) 112.07 ($1,000)

Detailed free skate protocols are available here, and if you missed the performances, you can still view them in the Skatebuzz archive. (more…)

Haydenettes lead SynchroFest after short program

The short programs for the 2011 SynchroFest International wrapped up last night–or did they?

After Rockettes’ score was changed during the event last night–they were initially awarded 61.23, which was then corrected to 59.83–another revision was posted this morning. Les Supremes’ original score of 57.87 has been adjusted to 55.20, dropping them into 5th place below Nexxice. That leaves the final¬†final short program standings as follows:¬† (more…)