ISU Challenger Series Nebelhorn Trophy 2017: Olympic Qualifying Competition
The ISU Challenger Series Nebelhorn Trophy 2017 opened Thursday with the Short Dance, Men’s and Pairs Short Programs in Oberstdorf, Germany. Nebelhorn Trophy is the designated Olympic Qualifying Event this season. 25 Men, 34 Ladies, 11 Pairs and 16 Ice Dance couples compete for six available spots in Men’s, Ladies and Ice Dance and five spots in Pair Skating. More spots might become available if countries return Olympic quota places.
Coomes/Buckland (GBR) take confident lead, poised for Olympic berth Great Britain’s Penny Coomes/Nicholas Buckland took a confident lead in the Short Dance and are now in a prime position to secure an Olympic berth for Great Britain. Kana Muramoto/Chris Reed of Japan are currently ranked second, followed by Germany’s Kavita Lorenz/Joti Polizoakis.
Coomes/Buckland turned in a strong dance to ”Rhumba d’Amour” and the Samba ”Batacuda”, scoring a personal best of 71.79 points.”I am so thankful to be back, I worked very, very hard to be here and today made all of that hard work worth it. I really enjoyed it and I think it made me appreciate the moment more. I was out there and I just loved every second”, said Coomes, who missed the whole past season due to a severe knee injury.
Muramoto/Reed performed to the Cha Cha ”Like It Like That”, Rhumba ”Mondo Bongo” and Samba ”Batucada de Sambrasil ” and picked up a seasons best of 62.67 points. ”We really enjoyed every moment out there. It is such a fine program and we are looking forward to skating our free dance the day after tomorrow”, Muramoto commented.
Lorenz/Polizoakis earned 61.09 points for their dance to Salsa ”Aquarile”, Rhumba ”Mil Pasos” and Samba ”Magalenha”. ”It is always a pleasure to skate at home and we can’t wait until Saturday to perform our free dance”, Lorenz told the press.
Allison Reed/Saulius Ambrulevicius (LTU) are standing in fourth place at 58.34 points followed by Cecilia Törn/Jussiville Partanten (FIN) with 56.32 points and Lucie Mysliveckova/Lukas Csolley (SVK) at 55.97 points.
19 Olympic spots for Ice Dance were allocated at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017 and six more spots are available at Nebelhorn Trophy. Originally five spots were available, but since Denmark returned their Ice Dance quota place, a sixth spot has opened up for the competitors at Nebelhorn Trophy.
Tarasova/Morozov (RUS) lead after Pairs Short Program European Champions Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov of Russia skated to the lead in the Pairs Short Program Thursday at Nebelhorn Trophy. World silver medalists Aliona Savchenko/Bruno Massot of Germany are sitting in second place before the Free Skating on Friday while Austria’s Miriam Ziegler/Severin Kiefer came third.
Tarasova/Morozov put out a strong performance to «Piano Concerto No 2 » by Sergei Rachmaninov, that was highlighted by a triple twist, side by side triple toe and a triple throw loop. They scored 77.52 points. « For the first competition of the season the short program was not bad, it was good, but we had some little mistakes », Morozov noted
Savchenko/Massot produced a big triple twist and three level-four elements in their Flamenco routine « Fuego », but she fell on the throw triple Axel and stepped out of the landing of the triple Salchow. The World and European silver medalists scored 72.99 points. « It is our first competition and still a practice for us. We still need to practice this program. But we feel good and we know that we still have to work for the Grand Prix », Massot explained.
Ziegler/Kiefer landed a triple twist, triple toe and throw triple flip in their program to « Sunshine to Leith » to set a new personal best of 65.09 points. « This is our only chance to qualify for the Olympic Games and we got off to a good start and we hope to continue like that tomorrow », Kiefer told the press.
World Junior Champions Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya/Harley Windsor (AUS) placed fourth (64.91) and are in the running for an Olympic berth right now as are Tae Ok Ryom/Ju Sik Kim (PRK, 60.19 points) in fifth, Anna Duskova/Martin Bidar (CZE) in seventh place (58.80 points) and Paige Conners/Evgeni Krasnopolski (ISR) in ninth (55.85 points).
16 Olympic spots for Pairs were allocated at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017 and five more spots are available at Nebelhorn Trophy. Originally four spots were available, but since France returned their second Pairs quota place, a fifth spot has opened up for the competitors at Nebelhorn Trophy.
Jorik Hendrickx (BEL) claims Men’s Short Program at Nebelhorn Trophy Jorik Hendrickx of Belgium skated first and finished first in the Men’s Short Program at Nebelhorn Trophy Thursday in Oberstdorf, Germany. Alexander Johnson (USA) came second and Sweden’s Alexander Majorov sits in third place.
Hendrickx turned in a solid performance to ”Je suis malade”, landing a triple Axel, triple Lutz-triple toe and triple loop. The Belgian Champion earned 85.15 points, setting a new personal best score. ”I skated first, but it wouldn’t influence my skating. I just went out there, I tried to get all my elements, I skated with my heart and I trusted in the judges and the technical panel to judge me the right way and I think they did and I skated my best”, Hendrickx commented. Johnson’s program to ”Legends” by Sacred Spirits included a triple Axel, triple flip, triple Lutztriple toe and smooth footwork. The 27-year-old scored 82.55 points, a new personal best score. ”I’m thrilled. As a senior, I’ve never skated a clean program internationally. So today was a big day for me and I’m really proud of myself for doing that, especially under the circumstances of skating last and having a long day”, Johnson said.
Skating to ”Bang Bang” by Asif Avidan, Majorov landed a quadruple toeloop and triple Axel, but he reduced his planned triple toe-triple toe combination to triple-double. The Swede picked up 77.01 points. ”It was okay, not the best one, but I’m satisfied. I could have done a triple-triple, but I didn’t do it. It’s a sport and anything can happen”, Majorov shared. ”It (competing for an Olympic spot) is not nerve-wrecking, if you are nervous you do stuff that you don’t do otherwise and you need to be calm”, he added.
The race for the Olympic spots is still wide open with several contenders having a chance. June Hyoung Lee (KOR) ranks fourth at 74.37 points, Matteo Rizzo (ITA) is in fifth (72.97 points) and Julian Zhi Jie Yee (MAS) sits in sixth place (71.93 points).
The first Olympic spots were taken in the Pairs and Men’s events at Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany, on Friday. The Ladies started their competition with the Short Program.
Kailani Craine (AUS) takes first place in Ladies Short Program Kailani Craine of Australia took first place in the Ladies Short Program as Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany continued Friday. Sweden’s Matilda Algotsson is standing in second place followed by Nathalie Weinzierl of Germany.
Craine landed a triple loop-double toe, triple flip and double Axel in her routine to ”Dream A Little Dream Of Me” to set a new personal best score of 58.02 points. ”Of course, I was nervous, because it’s an Olympic spot, my dream on the line, but I definitely prepared, I couldn’t have done anything else in training to prepare for this moment. I’ve been really present in my training and I tried to mimick competition in my training”, the Australian Champion said about competing in the Olympic qualifying event.
Algotsson’s program to ”Turn To Stone” by Ingrid Michaelson featured a triple Lutz-double toe combination, a triple flip and double Axel. The 19-year-old achieved a new personal best with 56.91 points as well. ”I tried not to make too big deal out of it. I just tried to do what I can do and tried my best. That worked out today, but it’s exciting to compete for an Olympic spot”, the Swedish skater shared.
Skating to ”Caruso”, Weinzierl completed a triple Lutz-double toe combination and a double Axel, but she missed the triple loop. The German Champion earned 55.48 points. ”For me this is also an important event, because we (German ladies) compete in three Challenger events and at Natioanls for the one Olympic spot. I was in Sochi in 2014 and I decided right away I want to go again, because it is really something special to compete
Anna Khychenkova (UKR) in fourth place (55.05 points), Viveca Lindfors (FIN) in fifth (53.75 points), Alexia Paganini (SUI) in sixth (53.59 points) and Isadora Williams (BRA) in seventh (53.44 points) remain close to the podium.
Tarasova/Morozov win Pairs at Nebelhorn Trophy Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov of Russia won the Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany on Friday. Germany’s Aliona Savchenko/Bruno Massot took the silver medal and Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya/Harley Windsor of Australia moved up one spot to take the bronze. The Australians and four more couples earned an Olympic spot each for their country.
Tarasova/Morozov opened their Rock’n’Roll program with a quad twist and followed up with a side by side triple Salchow and an excellent throw triple Salchow. The European Champions went on to produce level-four lifts, but they struggled with their triple toe-double toe combination. She did only a double-single while his landing was wobbly. The World bronze medalists scored 140.94 points and totaled 218.46 points to win the event. ”It was not a 100 percent yet, but it was our first competetion. It was a good way for us to start the season like this in Oberstdorf”, Morozov commented.
Savchenko/Massot’s program to ”La Terre Vue du Ciel” was highlighted by a big triple twist, difficult lifts and a throw triple Salchow, but Savchenko fell on the throw triple Axel while Massot crashed on the back end of the triple toe-triple toe sequence. The World silver medalists picked up 138.09 points and remained in second place at 211.08 points. ”It was a bit difficult for us this being the first competition of the season. We take it as a practice. We have a new program with difficult choreography”, Massot told the press.
Alexandrovskaya/Windsor put out a strong performance to ”The Mask”, hitting a triple twist, side by side triple Salchow and triple toe-double toe-double toe as well a throw triple flip and Salchow. The 2017 World Junior Champions improved their personal best significantly, scoring 125.80 points for the Free Skating and 190.31 points overall. The team earned an Olympic spot. ”Obviously it is very exciting for us. We skated really, really well and we also qualified (an Olympic spot) for Australia. So that was a huge step for us”, Windsor said.
Miriam Ziegler/Severin Kiefer (AUT) slipped from third to fourth at 180.60 points. Annika Hocke /Ruben Blommaert (GER) moved up from eigth to fourth at 180.37 points. Tae Ok Ryom/Ju Sik Kim (PRK) placed sixth at 180.09 points.
In addition to Australia the following ISU members qualified a spot for the Olympic Winter Games 2018 in Pyeongchang, Korea: Austria, Czech Republic, Peoples Democratic Republic of Korea and Israel. Su Yeon Kim/Hyungtae Kim (KOR) finished 15th, but the houst country rule might apply. The couples from Russia, Germany, Canada and USA did not take part in the Olympic qualification process as their federations already had qualified spots at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017.
Hendrickx (BEL) claims Nebelhorn Trophy gold and earns Olympic spot Jorik Hendrickx of Belgium claimed the gold at Nebelhorn Trophy and earned an Olympic spot for his country Friday in Oberstdorf, Germany. Alexander Johnson (USA) skated to the silver medal while Sweden’s Alexander Majorov clinched the bronze and also a berth for the Olympic Winter Games 2018.
Hendrickx turned in an excellent peformance to ”Concierto de Aranjuez”, reeling off eight triple jumps including two Axels and a triple Lutz-triple toe-double loop combination as well as level-four spins and footwork. The Belgian Champion posted a new personal best score with 167.91 points for the Free Skating and 253.06 points total score. ”It is the Olympic qualifying tournament, but I just approached
it as a normal competition. I’m very pleased with my performance. I didn’t have a good sleep last night and it has been a very long day. I tried to stay focused and I performed well”, Hendrickx commented.
Johnson, who coincidentally skated to ”Concierto de Aranjuez” as well, landed a rare triple Lutz-single loop-triple flip combination and three more triples, but he struggled with the triple Axel. The American was ranked sixth in the Free Skating with 143.59 points, which was a personal best, and held on to second place at 226.04 points overall. ”My free program was not what I wanted it to be, but I definitely showed some great things out there and didn’t give up even when things weren’t going my way. I’m proud of myself and I definitely accomplished a lot at this competition. Now it is time to go back to work”, the 27-year-old noted.
Majorov opened his James Bond program with a quadruple toeloop and hit six triples, but crashed on a triple flip. The multiple Swedish Champion scored 148.03 points for the Free Skating and was ranked fifth in this segment. He totaled 225.04 points to remain in third place. ”It (qualiying a spot) means a lot, because it is a part of the goal you have, which are the Olympic Games. It is a really important competition. I did it and I did it well. The free program was alright, I missed only one jump”, Majorov said.
Matteo Rizzo (ITA) was second in the Free Skating and moved up one spot to fourth place at 223.27 points followed by June Hyoung Lee (KOR) at 222.89 points and Julian Zhi Jie Yee (MAS) at 220.67 points. Yaroslav Paniot (UKR) came seventh (208.76 points). Belgium, Sweden, Italy, Korea, Malaysia and Ukraine earned spots for the Olympic Winter Games. Yee is the first Malaysian athlete to qualify for Olympic Winter Games.
The ISU Challenger Series Nebelhorn Trophy 2017 is the designated Olympic Qualifying Event this season. 25 Men, 34 Ladies, 11 Pairs and 16 Ice Dance couples compete for six available spots in Men’s, Ladies and Ice Dance and five spots in Pair Skating. More spots might become available if countries return Olympic quota places. 24 Olympic spots for Men and Ladies, 16 for Pairs and 19 for Ice Dance couples were allocated at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017.
Coomes/Buckland (GBR) dance off with gold and an Olympic spot
Penny Coomes/Nicholas Buckland of Great Britain returned in style to win the Nebelhorn Trophy and top the list of Olympic qualifiers. Silver medalists Kana Muramoto/Chris Reed of Japan and bronze medalists Kavita Lorenz/Joti Polizoakis of Germany earned spots as well.
Coomes/Buckland’s dance to ”Battle Remembered” was highlighted by level-four lifts, a level-four combination spin and level-three footwork, only the twizzles were graded a level two. The two-time European bronze medalists scored 105.34 points, setting a new personal best and accumulated 177.13 points overall. ”For us, it’s our first time we’ve shared our free dance. It is a big thing to get out a new program in front of everybody. It wasn’t our best skate, we made a couple of mistakes, we have skated that far better in practice and I’m sure it’s going to improve throughout the season. But wheter you like it or not, it was Olympic qualification and that was the most important thing for us today and we did that”, Buckland said.
Dancing to ”The Last Emperor” and ”Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence”, Muramoto/Reed completed five level-four elements and picked up a level three for the step sequences to achieve a new personal best of 96.63 points. The Japanese Champions totaled 159.30 points. ”I was emotional before we skated. It was a dream going to the Olympics and I couldn’t even imagine myself being there when I was a single skater. Now I have that amazing partner and we made it. Our skate today was really controlled but emotional, too”, Muramoto commented.
Lorenz/Polizoakis produced level-four lifts and level-three twizzles in their program to ”Pride and Predjudice”. The German Champions earned 91.41 points, which added up to 152.20 points. ”We were really excited to do this free dance today, because this program means so much to us. We have a good connection to the music and the film, so we enjoyed every second of it. Today, we not only skated for ourselves, we also skated for Germany, because we were able to get the spot”, Lorenz told the post-event press conference.
Yura Min/Alexander Gamelin (KOR) moved up from seventh to fourth with a Korean dance (143.80 points) and qualified a spot for the home Olympic Games as did Cortney Mansour/Michal Ceska (CZE) in fifth place (143.44 points) and Lucie Mysliveckova/Lukas Csolley (SVK) in sixth at 143.22 points.
Kailani Craine (AUS) grabs gold and Olympic spot
Australia’s Kailani Craine skated to gold as Nebelhorn Trophy wrapped up Saturday in Oberstdorf, Germany. Matilda Algotsson of Sweden earned the silver medal and Alexia Paganini of Switzerland surged from sixth to clinch the bronze medal. All three Ladies secured an Olympic berth for their country.
Craine’s program to ”Moulin Rouge” included five triples jumps, but the two Lutzes received an edge call. The Australian Champion also completed three level-four spins and level-four footwork and picked up 109.43 points. Craine was ranked second in the Free Skating but edged out Algotsson by 0.44 points to take the gold at 167.45 points.”I felt really good in my free program today. I felt really prepared for this competition. It wasn’t the best free program that I’ve done, but it was enough to get me first place and to qualify an Olympic spot. I don’t think anything really can compare with what the Olympic Games are going to be like. It’s been a dream since I started skating, so I really just want to be able to skate my best, but I want to soak up every single moment”, Craine said.
Algotsson jazzy routine to ”Minnie the Moocher”, ”At Last” and ”Jumpin’ Jack” featured four solid triples as well as difficult spins and footwork. The 19-year-old set a new personal best for herself with 110.10 points and was ranked first in the Free Skating. Overall the Swede accumulated 167.45 points. ”I felt I really could enjoy my free program today, during the progam as well, not just after. I felt secure and I could trust my training and go for it. My legs were shaking a bit before, but I could handle it. For me it feels unreal that I actually might be able to go to the Olympics. I’m going to try to work hard, because I think it is something you will remember forever. Hopefully I will get to go”, Algotsson commented.
Performing to ”Phantom of the Opera”, Paganini landed a double Axel-single loop-triple Salchow as well as four more triples. The 15-year-old posted 102.39 points, a personal best, which added up to 155.98 points overall. ”I was really nervous going into this event, but I knew I was prepared and I can count on my training. For me it really hasn’t sunk in yet that I got the spot. So thinking to be at the Olympics is so crazy”, Paganini shared.
Nathalie Weinzierl (GER) slipped from third to fourth after making a few errors (155.85 points). Isadora Williams (BRA) in fifth place (154.21 points), Viveca Lindfors (FIN) in sixth (154.10 points) and Anna Khnychenkova (UKR) in seventh (151.08 points) earned Olympic spots.Weinzierl was the only Lady in the event not competing for am Olympic spot as Germany already got one.
The ISU Challenger Series Nebelhorn Trophy 2017 was the designated Olympic Qualifying Event this season. 25 Men, 33 Ladies, 11 Pairs and 16 Ice Dance couples competed for six available spots in Men’s, Ladies and Ice Dance and five spots in Pair Skating. More spots might become available if countries return Olympic quota places. 24 Olympic spots for Men and Ladies were allocated at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017, and six more spots were available at Nebelhorn Trophy. 16 Olympic spots for Pairs were allocated at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017 and five more spots were available at Nebelhorn Trophy. Originally four spots were available, but since France returned their second Pairs quota place, a fifth spot has opened up for the competitors at Nebelhorn Trophy. 19 Olympic spots for Ice Dance were allocated at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017 and six more spots were available at Nebelhorn Trophy. Originally five spots were available, but since Denmark returned their Ice Dance quota place, a sixth spot has opened up for the competitors at Nebelhorn Trophy.
Pictures can be found here