It’s official, the announcement was made just an hour before the ladies’ free skate was to begin that the 2015 Trophee Eric Bompard had been cancelled. This comes after ISU and FFSG, the French skating governing body, confirmed that competition would continue a few hours before. But in the end, the local government made the decision to pull the plug on the second half of the event following the Paris terror attacks on Saturday.
There is similar precedence to this cancellation in the past. The 2001 Junior Grand Prix Phoenix was cancelled two weeks after the September 11 attacks. The JGP final was held after the skaters in that competition were offered a chance to compete at a later event. That said, there are only two events left in this season’s GP, whereas there were six left that season before the JGPF. And the short program has already taken place for TEB.
Peter Krick, ISU’s figure skating director, suggested that the short program results be used to determine Grand Prix Final qualifiers. But an official ISU decision will be made soon. But In the meantime, here are a few thoughts about the short programs that took place on Friday.
Once again, rough short programs again for Patrick Chan and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva – but if we learned anything from Skate Canada, it’s that a rocketing comeback is in the works. For Chan, it was his more trusty quad toe that dropped him to fifth in the standings. For Tuktamysheva, it was her trusty triple lutz that was the main factor, though she made mistakes on all three jumping passes.
We also saw mistakes just across the board – Daisuke Murakami, Denis Ten, Max Aaron, Gabrielle Daleman, Mae Berenice Meite, Kanako Murakami, you name them – none of them were immune to the SP errors. Maybe it was that fog that was building up in the rink like it seems to every year.
Gracie Gold posts a personal-best short program score with a clean skate that included what was called a clean-edge triple flip – a closer look says unclear edge at best – I would’ve called it “e” with the left view or “!” with the right view, but the technical panel generally has different shots of these jumps. Nonetheless, fantastic progress from Gold so far this season. One caveat to that point is that panels this season have been more lenient on takeoff edges that are close to clean (Ashley Wagner’s lutz and Alena Leonova’s lutz are examples).
What a crazy and log-jammed short program leaderboard for the pairs. With the exception of a strong Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov, the next six pairs were separated by just 3.43 points! Speaking of which, Volosozhar/Trankov are growing into this Bollywood short program – quite a departure in style for them. It proves that you can do a dance from a different culture effectively and without being accidentally offensive. Meryl Davis/Charlie White’s Bollywood short dance from a few years back is another example. Take note, skaters, you don’t all have to do Phantom of the Opera – just make sure your choreographers know what they’re doing.