Saturday, March 22, 2008

What a difference a day makes - Lepisto/Korpi update from the World Figure Skating Championships

Back on Thursday, I briefly blogged about the ladies' short program, in which Kiira Korpi placed 4th and Laura Lepisto placed 21st.

Well, Laura did much better in the long program. Kiira, however, fell back a bit. Here are the top 9 skaters' final results, courtesy Weird Vision:

1 Mao ASADA JPN 185.56 2 2
2 Carolina KOSTNER ITA 184.68 1 3
3 Yu-Na KIM KOR 183.23 5 1
4 Yukari NAKANO JPN 177.40 3 4
5 Joannie ROCHETTE CAN 174.12 6 5
6 Sarah MEIER SUI 171.88 7 6
7 Kimmie MEISSNER USA 149.74 9 12
8 Laura LEPISTO FIN 147.26 21 7
9 Kiira KORPI FIN 145.73 4 17 covered the Finnish portion of the free skate results, and gave me a Finnish lesson to boot:

The Maundy Thursday, which ironically is called ”Kiirastorstai” ("Kiiras-thursday") in Finnish, definitely was not Kiira’s day. After the stellar short program everything unravelled on yesterday night and unfortunately the outcome was probably the technically weakest performance Kiira has ever done. And after that she dropped from fourth to ninth place in the results. Kudos to Laura Lepistö for stepping up in the ranks, now the two spots for next year were easily secured (8+9 <= 26).

Golden Skate provided more information:

Finland's Laura Lepistö sky-rocketed through the ranks after she skated a clean long program which featured four clean triple jumps. The 2008 European bronze medalist barely made the cut for the long, after finishing 21st in the short program. She finished seventh (101.85 points) in the long, despite skating long before the leaders, and placed eighth overall with 147.26 points. The 19-year-old's only mistake was popping a planned triple Lutz into a double.

"Not everything was perfect," noted the Finnish champion, "but I am happy. I tried to leave it (the short program) behind and concentrate on the free program today, but it was hard. It was my first trip to Worlds, and I hope that next time it will easier."

In contrast, teammate Kiira Korpi fell from fourth to ninth place overall (145.73 points) after finishing 17th in the long. The 19-year-old only produced one clean triple jump and took a fall during the spiral sequence. Nevertheless, the rest of her non-jumping elements were strong and she displayed good presentation skills.

"I don't know what happened," said Korpi. "It felt good before the program. I didn't feel nervous. I think I tried too much. It was a different situation to skate in the last group. It was bad luck to fall in the spiral. Maybe I was nervous even if it not felt like that."

Of course, when Kiira Korpi enters a competition, non-skating issues are sometimes discussed:

[T]here were two highlights of the day: A Japanese skater falling on a non-jump right on her chest and Kiira Korpi.

When I saw her get introduced on TV I began talking to the TV trying to ask her out. Obviously I didn’t get the response I was looking for. But I wanted to be one of the first sports guys to recognize that she is a knockout and a natural.

Um, you're not the first...

BUT, make no mistake; I watched her routine and she was solid. Not strong enough to win a medal but she was a solid skater who has a legitimate shot at reaching the podium in any event she enters. So in english, she’s a good skater.

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