Posted by Sari
I’ll say this for the new judging system – it gives a lot to analyse! Olympics opened with pairs short, and a very high standard one at that. Tatiana and Max were just the class of the field today, no question. Elements were crisp, clean and gorgeous, the program was a skating clinic in pair skating - someting I thought I would never say about them.
The rest of the field is really close. There is about the same difference between 1 and 2 (3.92 points) as there is between 2 and 8 (4.47 points). Thus the placements are really not that important. Still, I do think that judges use the component marks for protocol judging. As far as the judging is concerned we could still have just one “presentation” mark, all the five components are usually within one point of each other, and I don’t think they necessarily reflect what was going on on the ice.
Props for Inoue and Baldwin landing a throw-triple-axel, a first in international competition (they did one in US nats this year). It is difficult to see how the throw could have been cleaner and even so one judge gave it -1 GOE. They had the second highest element mark but were (unfairly, IMO) dinged in the components which kept them down.
Props for Shen and Zhao for showing up and skating as well as they did as Hongbo is just coming back from a serious achilles tendon injury. They do have the “it” –factor, but they were given a some world champions extra in the components.
Props for Petrova and Tihonov for the best coreographed and performed program of their careers. The souped up Händel’s Sarabande Smalun first introduced to skating works like a charm and they were fast, crisp and had the lift of the competition. I know I am biased but even so, I think it is a crying shame that the sloppy chinese are ahead of them.
And finally props to Savchenko and Szolkowy for overcoming the media storm around Ingo and skating their perfectly COP-designed programme with flair. They should have been rewarde better in the skating skills and transition mark.