16 ISU members earned the last remaining spots for the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, at the Nebelhorn Trophy 2013 in Oberstdorf, Germany this week. Brazil and the Philippines will be represented for the first time in the figure skating event at Olympic Winter Games. The traditional fall event Nebelhorn Trophy was the ISU designated senior international figure skating qualifying competition as it was in 2009.
Australia, Israel, Romania, Philippines, Ukraine, Italy earn Olympic spots for Men
Athletes from Australia, Israel, Romania, Philippines, Ukraine and Italy earned the six Olympic spots for Men. Japan's Nobunari Oda took the gold medal followed by Jason Brown (USA) and Jeremy Ten of Canada.
Oda led after the Short Program with an excellent performance to Cotton Club that included the only quadruple toeloop of the day (87.34 points). The 26-year-old followed up with a quad-triple toeloop combination as well as seven more triple jumps in his Free Skating to Wilhelm Tell (175.64 points) and posted a new personal best total score of 262.98 points. I was very focused on my first quad and when I landed it I felt relieved. After that I did all my other jumps and I am very happy, Oda noted. Brown started with a clean short to The Question of U into the competition as well (79.41 points) His Irish themed long program to Reel Around the Sun featured six clean triple jumps, but one triple Axel was downgraded (175.64 points). The World Junior silver medalist accumulated 228.43 points overall. Ten shone in the Short Program (76.49 points) and held on to third place with 205.56 points although he missed the triple Axel in the Free Skating (129.07 points).
Alexei Bychenko (ISR/5th), Zoltan Kelemen (ROU/6th), Michael Christian Martinez (PHI/7th), Brendan Kerry (AUS/8th), Yakov Godorozha (UKR/9th) and Paul Bonifacio Parkinson (ITA/10th) secured the Olympic spots for their countries.
Australia, Georgia, Norway, Austria, Czech Republic and Brazil take Ladies spots
Skaters from Australia, Georgia, Norway, Austria, Czech Republic and Brazil grabbed the six Olympic spots for the Ladies. World Junior Champion Elena Radionova of Russia took the gold medal at Nebelhorn Trophy in her international senior-level debut while Japan's Miki Ando earned the silver and Ashley Cain (USA) claimed the bronze.
14-year-old Radionova produced a triple Lutz-triple toe combination in her Short Program to Anna Karenina (64.69 points) as well in her Latin-themed long program (123.52 points). The Muscovite hit five other triples in her long program but missed a double Axel. She scored188.21 points overall. I am very pleased with what I did here. This is my first (international) senior event and I didn't know what to expect. It was new to me and it is nice that I got these scores. I tried really hard, Radionova said. Ando returned onto the international scene after sitting out the past two seasons. The two-time World Champion started off with a solid Short Program to My Way (59.79 points) and landed four triples in her Free Skating to Firebird by Igor Stravinski (103.07 points) to total 162.86 points. Cain, a former pair skater, hit four triples and underrotated to others in her long program and accumulated 162.39 points overall.
Brooklee Han (AUS/5th), Elene Gedevanishvili (GEO/6th), Anne Line Gjersem (NOR/7th), Kerstin Frank (AUT/9th), Elizaveta Ukolova (CZE/10th) and Isadora Williams (BRA/12th) took the Olympic spots. Brazil will be represented for the first time in figure skating at the Olympic Winter Games and overall 30 Ladies will compete.
Great Britain, Ukraine, Estonia and Israel qualify spots in Pair Skating
The four available spots in Pair Skating went to Great Britain, Ukraine, Estonia and Israel. World Champions Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov of Russia won the event, setting new personal best scores in Short Program and Free Skating. Germany's Maylin Wende/Daniel Wende and Mari Vartman/Aaron van Cleave finished second and third.
Volosozhar/Trankov put out a clean Short Program to Waltz Masquerade that included a side by side triple toe and throw triple loop (81.65 points). Their long program featured a big triple twist, two more triple throws as well as a triple Salchow and level-four lifts and spins (150.31). The European Champions racked up a total of 231.96 points. We are very happy to have won Nebelhorn Trophy for the third time. It is already a tradition for us to start our season here and we hope that this will be a golden season like the one before, Trankov said.
Wende/Wende put out two solid programs to November Rain (61.00 points) and Your Highness (113.88 points). The husband-and-wife team scored 174.88 points and successfully returned to competition after sitting out the entire season due to injury. Vartman/van Cleave included the triple twist into their programs for the first time and earned 162.81 points overall.
Stacey Kemp/David King (GRB/7th), Elizaveta Usmantseva/Roman Talan (UKR/8th), Natalja Zabjako/Alexander Zaboev (EST/9th) and Andrea Davidovich/Evgeni Krasnopolski (ISR/10th) qualified the Olympic spots for their countries.
China, Turkey, Australia, Japan and Spain claim Olympic Ice Dance spots
Ice Dance teams from China, Turkey, Australia, Japan and Spain claimed the available Olympic Ice Dance spots. Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) moved up from second to take their second Nebelhorn Trophy title. Russia's Ksenia Monko/Kirill Khaliavin pulled up from third to second while Canadians Alexandra Paul/Mitchell Islam slipped from first to third place.
Hubbell/Donohue lost a few point on the twizzles in the Short Dance (59.06 points) but rallied back with a strong Free Dance set to Nocturne Into Bohemian Rhapsody by Lucia Micarelli. The Americans earned a level four for the lifts, the twizzles and the spin while the footwork sequences garnered a level three and two (90.58 points). Overall they scored 147.11 points. For Madison and I it is a great experience to come to Nebelhorn. To be able to come back and win a second time is a big deal to us. It helped to boost our season the first time and I think it's another great stepping stone for us to work our way up, Donohue told the presss.
Monko stumbled on the twizzles in the Short Dance (55.90 points) but the Russians made no mistake in their dance to music by René Aubry and Gaetano Donizetti (86.24 points). The Muscovites picked up the same levels as Hubbell/Donohue for their elements and totaled 142.14 points. Paul/Islam took the lead with an excellent Short Dance to Quickstep and Foxtrot (59.06 points). However, both made errors in the Free Dance on the side by side twizzles that received no level (82.93 points) and they dropped two spots at 141.99 points overall.
Xintong Huang/Xun Zheng (CHN/4th), Alisa Agafonova/Alper Ucar (TUR/5th), Danielle O'Brien/Gregory Merriman (AUS/6th), Cathy Reed/Chris Reed (JPN/7th) and Sara Hurtado/Adria Diaz (ESP/8th) earned the Olympic spots.
The maximum number of entries for the Olympic Winter Games is 30 for Ladies and Men, 20 for Pairs and 24 for Ice Dance couples. 24 spots for Men and Ladies, 16 spots for Pairs and 19 spots for Ice Dancers were determined according to the results of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2013 (see ISU Communication 1791 for details). The remaining open entries (six Men, six Ladies, four Pairs and five Ice Dance couples) were available only to ISU members which have not earned an entry in the respective discipline. Only one entry per discipline and country could be earned in Oberstdorf.