5th World Freestyle Skating Championships (part 2)
Day 2: Speed, Jam and Battle Finals in Geisingen, Germany
Part.1: Speed Slalom
• The first half of the day was dedicated to Speed Slalom, from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. There were four categories: men’s and women’s in both Junior and Senior.
First stage, try-outs: two runs with free start per skater, and only the best one taken into account for the KO Systems ranking.
• The Juniors were the first to go. There were nearly as many girls as boys (17 and 18) for once. But only the first eight would go through to the KO Systems.
• A couple of major participants asked to be outclassed and changed for the other side: Seniors. It is the case of Clémence Guicheteau (Fra, #3) for girls, the 2010 Junior World Champion and current European Champion, as well as that of Lan Wang Heng (Chn, #50) Pu Hao Yang (Chn, #95) and Yang Hsin-Chiao (Tpe, #70) the current WSSA speed-slalom record-holder for KO System Time (4.85), for the boys. This will put the bar higher for the Senior Category, but on the other hand the Junior categories will seem a bit empty without them.
Speed Slalom Try-Outs
• The girls started the day. They were 9 to be able to pretend to the qualification. Unfortunately there were only 8 places: young Lily Granjon (Fra, #29) is 9th, 5 tenth behind the 8thand last qualified, who is none other than her big sister Zoe.
• The best time for girls is that of Chinese Lu Qian Qian (Chn, #60) who runs in 5.12: she is more than 2 tenths ahead of the three next qualified skaters, who are all French: Tiffany Derisbourg (Fra, #5) and Oceane Loutrein (Fra, #104) are both in-between 5.3 and 5.4, while Caroline Kerbrat (Fra, #20) is more than 2 tenths behind with 5.638. The second half of the qualified skaters are all very close, squeezing in 5 hundredth around 5.7: Angelika Prucnal (Pol, #13) with 5.712, Yu-Hsuan (Tpe, #91) with 5.741, Su Fei Qian (Chn, #32) with 5.762, and Zoe Granjon (Fra, #9) with 5.767.
• The rest of the girls is above 6.7.
• In the boys’ category, cone penalties are numerous, and being clean becomes a very rewarding operation: the three skaters who managed perfect runs are at the top of the ranking for the KO Systems. The Chinese are leading: Pan Yu Sho (Chn, #123) is the only one who ran below 5’’, his best time being 4.851. Ye Hao Qin (Chn, #87) and Zhang Hao (Chn, #94) are not very far behind with 5.086 and 5.113.
• The times are quite close until the 6th time, by Dawid Jaworski (Pol, #44) who did 5.361, whereas the two last qualified are above 5.8! Let’s note the qualification of Jimmy Fort (Fra, #51) the current European vice-champion who, despite two cone penalties, manages to get the 5th qualifying place with 5.243.
• The non-qualified skaters are above 5.9.
• Just like for the Juniors, only the best 8 women will go through to the KO Systems – the selection is tough given that they are 29!
• Most of the main protagonists make it, except for Chen Chen (Chn, #16) who ends up 10th, two places away from the qualification.
• Half of the Top-8 is Italian: the leader, Cristina Rotunno (Ita, #2) is the only one under 5’’ with 4.937. Sara Barlocco (Ita, #6) ends up 3rd with 5.344, Barbara Bossi (Ita, #1) 6th and Chiara Lualdi (Ita, #4) 8th. Clémence Guicheteau (Fra, #3) seizes the 2nd place, two tenths behind Cristina, while Kristina Lysenko (Rus, #7) is hot on the heels of Sara, only four hundredths behind!
• The times of the second half of the qualified skaters are closer: only 25 hundredths separate Chiara Lualdi from the 5th, Tiphaine Bourbon (Fra, #50). Rebecca Chew (Sin, #74) is the only Asian to go through, she is 7th.
• To conclude, let’s note that 6 out of the 8 qualified are in the world Top-10…
• Out of the 64 registered men, 12 don’t manage to validate a single run, amongst whom Andrea Bellotto (Ita, #15) and Denis ‘Disa’ Islamov (Rus, #26). You could already feel the pressure by the way the kicked cones were flying, even with top-skaters!
• Only 16 men are allowed to take part in the KO Systems. Liao Jie (Chn, #18), Romain Lebois (Fra, #7), Igor Cheremetieff (Fra, #10) and Do Ji-Hwan (Kor, #12) end up at the door of the qualifications, ranking respectively 18, 19, 21 and 22.
•The competition is extremely tough: Only the two last qualified are over 5’’! The Top-Three, Savio Brivio (Ita, #54), Simone Nai Oleari (Ita, #3) and Yang, Hsin-Chiao (Tpe, #70) are respectively 4.62, 4.621 and 4.624. The seven best times are under 4.7… and you’ve got to wait until the twelfth time to get over 4.8.
• Out of the 16 qualified skaters, 6 are the best ranked in the world, and 10 of the Top-16 skaters are there: Yohan Fort (Fra, #1) ranks 7th, Kim Sung Jin 5th (Kor, #2 – former #1), Simone Nai Oleari 2nd (Ita, #3), Luca Ulivieri 15th (Ita, #4 – former #1), Tiziano Ferrari 11th (Ita, #5 – former #1), and Andrey Shitov 13th (Rus, #6). Let’s not forget Yu Jin Seong (Kor, #9) and Guo Fang (Chn, #11 – former #1) in 6th and 8th positions, as well as Alexandre Claris (Fra, #13) and Kirill ‘ReKiL’ Ryazantsev (Rus, #16) in 16th and 10th positions. The worst ranked, Diego De Araujo (Bra, #63), is not the slowest and he qualifies at the 9th place.
• The two juniors Yan Hsin-Chiao (Tpe, #70), the world record-holder, and Lan Wang Heng (Chn, #50) rank at the top, respectively 3rd and 4th.
• Three French out of four make it through to the semi-finals: In quarter-finals, Caroline Kerbrat, Océane Loutrein and Tiffany Derisbourg knock out Angelika Prucnal (Pol), Yu-Hsuan Huang (Tpe) and Su Fei Qian (Chn). But there is one last Chinese still standing, the most dangerous of all: Lu Qian Qian who eliminates Zoe Granjon to qualify for the semi-finals. She goes on her way knocking out Caroline Kerbrat in the following round, to reach the final and meet Tiffany Derisbourg, who’s just defeated Océane Loutrein. The latter will manage to seize the Bronze medal from her friend Caroline Kerbrat in two winning runs.
• As for the final, Lu Qian Qian finishes what she started, and gets hold of both the first place and the world title!
Results of the Junior Girls Speed Slalom
1) Lu Qian Qian (Chn)
2) Tiffany Derisbourg (Fra)
3) Océane Loutrein (Fra)
4) Caroline Kerbrat (Fra)
• The three Chinese, Pan Yu Shuo, Zhang Hao and Ye Hao Qin go through to the semi-finals surrounding French Jimmy Fort who easily makes room to reach the final: he seems to be quietly strolling on one foot but he is 3 tenths ahead of his opponents. And finalist Ye Hao Qin is no obstacle to prevent him from getting the title.
Results of the Junior Boys Speed Slalom
1) Jimmy Fort (Fra)
2) Ye Hao Qin (Chn)
3) Pan Yu Shuo (Chn)
4) Zhang Hao (Chn)
• The quarter-finals are no surprise for anybody: the four favorites Cristina Rotunno, Kristina Lysenko, Barbara Bossi and Clémence Guicheteau take the lead in two winning runs – except for Barbara Bossi who must have been under pressure for her first run to kick 4 cones! They respectively knock out Chiara Lualdi, Tiphaine Bourbon, Sara Barlocco and Rebecca Chew.
• The first semi-final gathers the two C/Kristinas, and the Italian, being faster and cleaner, wins the round. The second semi-final looks like a final already: Clémence Guicheteau and Barbara Bossi fight for the going through to the final. The French wins the first run thanks to the Italian’s first cone penalty, but she can’t cope with the pressure on the second run and loses the advantage – Barbara takes more speed, and crosses the the finish line more than three tenths ahead of Clémence for the final run: 5.444 vs. 5.762.
• Clémence Guicheteau gets her revenge in winning the Bronze medal against Kristina Lysenko, being one tenth faster and not swallowing the first cone.
• The final is Italian: Cristina Rotunno vs. Barbara Bossi. The latter is faster. However her two cone penalties on the second run cost her the advantage, and a third decisive run is needed. Barbara applies the same tactics as for the semi-finals and speeds up a bit to reach 5.338, letting Cristina three tenth behind.
Results of the Senior Women’s Speed Slalom
1) Barbara Bossi (Ita)
2) Cristina Rotunno (Ita)
3) Clémence Guicheteau (Fra)
4) Kristina Lysenko (Rus)
• First rounds are usually boring because results are often written in advance. But these ones were captivating! Although some groups were easily won, others could have been finals: Group 2 was made of Guo Fang (Chn) and Diego De Araujo (Bra) – and the Chinese was lucky that his opponent was less clean than him, they had to speed up to 5.2. Twice during the Eighths Finals, two skaters did the same time: 5.235 for Kim Sung Jin (Kor) and Enrico Sordi (Ita) (but the Italian had a first cone penalty), in Group 3 won by the Korean after three runs; and 5.305 during Group 8 opposing Simone Nai Oleari (Ita) to Luca Ulivieri (Ita), during the decisive second run lost by Simone (two penalties).
Some groups were easily mastered by the winner, particularly Group 1 where Savio Brivio (Ita) knocks down Alexandre Claris (Fra) who tried his best but wasn’t fast enough, but also Group 6 led by Tiziano Ferrari (Ita) at the expanse of Yu Jin Seong (Kor), Group 7 where Yohan Fort (Fra) kicked ReKiL out of the KOs, and Group 5 where Junior Hsin-Chiao Yang (Tpe) offered the victory to Loic Pasquier (Fra) in doing two false starts! His quest for gold was aborted sooner than expected. The second Junior, Lan Wang Heng (Chn), also ends up here in Group 4, knocked down by Andrey Shitov after three runs: ironically the Chinese was far faster than the Russian, but collected too many penalties to take the lead.
• Let’s note that contrarily to record-holder Hsin-Chiao Yang who was willing to meet faster opponents, Lan Wang Heng chose to compete in the senior category not because of Speed slalom but because of the Classic Freestyle competition.
• In the Quarter-Finals, while Kim Sung Jin, Tiziano Ferrari and Yohan Fort easily get rid of their opponents (Andrey Shitov, Loic Pasquier and Luca Ulivieri), Savio Brivio struggles a little longer to defeat Guo Fang: the group was close and they were running between 5.0 and 5.2!
• In Semi-finals, Savio Brivio is at least two tenths faster than Kim Sung Jin, and Tiziano Ferrari doesn’t go through but still manages to win the second run against Yohan Fort. The knocked out skaters meet in the Consolation Final, won by Tiziano, who manages to save the first cone penalty when Sung Jin doesn’t.
• The final left you breathless with an amazing 3-run fight between Yohan Fort and Savio Brivio: the first run goes to Savio, who is slightly ahead and saves a penalty. The second run is a tie: 5.212… but Savio gets two penalties, to only one for Yohan… The third run rewards the French who chose to play safe, not going too fast (5.225) and avoiding penalties, whereas the Italian tried his luck in running in 5.090. It was close to being a success, but a first cone penalty relegated him a couple of hundredths behind Yohan.
Results of the Senior Men’s Speed Slalom
1) Yohan Fort (Fra)
2) Savio Brivio (Ita)
3) Tiziano Ferrari (Ita)
4) Kim Sung Jin (Kor)
Next: the summary of the last rounds of both Men’s and Women’s Battles, followed by those of the Classic Jam and Freestyle competitions!
Chinese translation of the 1st article
Day 2 of WFSC in geisingen, Part I, Speed Slalom, Chinese version
Day 2 of WFSC in geisingen, Part II, Pair Style Slalom, Chinese version
Part III of Day 2, Battle Final of WFSC in Geisingen (Chinese version)
Day 3 of WFSC in Geisingen, Classic Slalom & Style Slides, Chinese version (Chinese version)
Last chapter - Epilogue of WFSC (chinese version)
Photos : Frozwheels