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.
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 were allocated at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017, and six more spots are available at Nebelhorn Trophy. 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. 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.