WFSC 2012 in Lishui (China) - Day 3 (3/4)
WFSC 2012, Lishui: Saturday, Aug. 25th - Day 3.1 – Speed Slalom and Slides
The schedule has been totally modified and it is running a bit late. Not impossible, but busy: Priority is given to the competitions of speed slalom and slides while it is dry, and battle in the end whether outside on the ring or inside in the hall.
Speed Slalom Junior Qualifiers: competing with the times of the Seniors : Girls Qualifiers
Let’s not waste time and start while the weather conditions are clement. A quick presentation of the judges (did I tell you that the judges had a marching and a presentation every morning? I bet I did not. And with good reason), a quick warm up and the junior women start their qualifications. Same conditions as for the Seniors on Thursday (see report Day 1): Free start and two checking devices on the finish line (cells and a high speed camera). There are 22 registered girls and only the first 8 should take part in the KO systems.
The two juniors of the French Team qualify: Tiffany Derisbourg (#6) ranks 2nd only 0.001 behind the first qualified, Chinese Lu Qian Qian (#43, 4.971), while Zoé Granjon (#10) is 6th with a regular performance – two perfects in the 5.1’s. The rest of the qualified girls is essentially made of Chinese (3) and of Taipeian (3), including Chinese all-rounders Feng Hui (7th – speed #33, new classic world champ’) and Guan Yu Xiang (speed #45, new World Vice-Champ’ in Classic Junior) who ranks 3rd with 5.035… i.e. with only 0.02 more than the Senior’s 2nd Barbara Bossi (ITA, #2)! The last qualification time is 5.286… which is lower than that of the Senior Women’s (5.322). The Junior’s and Senior’s times are around the same range, except for senior Cristina Rotunno’s (#1, ITA), which is the best qualification time of all women by far with 4.798. Let’s note that contrary to the Seniors, all the 8 qualified Juniors managed one run out of the two without penalties (against 3 seniors). The Seniors tend to be more greedy on the start race and go over the first cone.
Junior Women Qualifiers, Best 8
- Lu Qian Qian (CHN)
- Tiffany Derisbourg (FRA)
- Guan Yu Xiang (CHN)
- Su Pei-Ching (TPE)
- Huang Cai-Jhu (TPE)
- Zoé Granjon (FRA)
- Feng Hui (CHN)
- Liang Hsuan Min (TPE)
First fright of the day. Rain is coming back in the middle of the boys’ qualifiers. We are just starting the second qualifying runs that drops force us to cover the competition area with tarpaulin and wait. Hopefully, it was not a big cloud and the wind was very helpful.
The Junior men are 25 to try their luck at the qualifiers, for only 8 places available in the KO systems. To be qualified, it is quite simple: you have to be under 5.0. The times are getting lower and lower, down to 4.482 and 4.493 for the first 2, Chinese Pan Yu Shuo (#81) and Taipeian Wu Dong-Jiun (#758). The Taipeians are easy to recognize, they all skate with only three wheels! There is an important gap of almost 0.2 between the times of the 3rd (Wu Don-Yan – TPE, #193) and the 4th (Qiu Yi Ming – CHN, #690), jumping from 4.503 to 4.696.
Only the first 4 qualify with one perfect. In fact, this is not totally correct: the 8th does qualify with a perfect, having decided to play safe with a slow second run after a void first run: The last Q. time is then 4.913. The boy is called Farbod Motavasel (#NR) and has the special feature of being Iranian! Let’s also note the qualifications at the 6th and 7th places of the Chinese all-rounders Ye Hao Qin (#87, 2011 speed world vice-champ’) and Zhang Hao (#46) who mastered the Classic competition yesterday.
Just like for the Junior Women, the Junior Men’s time range is roughly the same as the Senior’s: the first 6 juniors would have been part of the first 8 seniors, the first junior qualified would have been ranked 3rd in the senior competition, and the 8th and last junior would still have been 13th.
Junior Men Qualifiers, Best 8
- Pan Yu Shui (CHN)
- Wu Dong-Jiun (TPE)
- Wu Dong-Yan (TPE)
- Qiu Yi Ming (CHN)
- Huang Yu-Ping (TPE)
- Ye Hao Qin (CHN)
- Zhang Hao (CHN)
- Farbod Motavasel (IRI)
Speed Slalom Junior KO Systems
Girls KO Systems: the Chinese domination
Quarter finals – The first four qualified girls make it through to the semi-finals at the expense of the last four. The first two groups were mere formalities: Lu Qian Qian (CHN, 1st Q.) and Su Pei-Ching (TPE, 4th Q.) get rid of Liang Hsuan Min (TPE, 8th Q.) and Huang Cai-Jhu (TPE, 5th Q.) in two runs, cleaner and faster (2 to 3 tenths ahead). The outcome of the group gathering Tiffany Derisbourg (FRA, 2nd Q.) and Feng Hui (CHN, 7th Q.) was quite obvious although the French got a small fright in losing the second run because of two penalties. But all is well that ends well, and she makes up for it in winning the third run. As for the second French, Zoé Granjon (6th Q.), she does not make it through and leaves room for Guan Yu Xiang (CHN, 3rd Q.).
Semi finals – Lu Qian Qian makes short work of Su Pei-Ching. On the other hand, Tiffany Derisbourg and Guan Yu Xiang are pretty close. Tiffany is a bit faster but not enough to be out of reach in case of a penalty. The first run is a perfect for both of them and Tiffany takes the advantage. On the second run she gets a penalty, which enables Guan Yu Xiang, who was only 0.03 behind, to tie. The third run will decide: Unfortunately for Tiffany, the Chinese runs with a clockwork cleanliness and her 0.1 lead is not enough to make up for her penalty. Guan Yu Xiang’s steadiness is rewarded and she qualifies for the final.
Consolation final – French Tiffany Derisbourg is 0.3 ahead of Taipeian Su Pei-Ching and she only needs two runs to seal the round.
Final – The final is Chinese… and pretty tight! Lu Qian Qian and Guan Yu Xiang both run around or under 5.5 and they are awfully clean: There is not a single cone down or missed in the three runs of the final. The first run goes to LQQ with a lead of almost a 0.1. But GYX speeds up and ties with a lead of 0.003 on the second run! The third run is less close but yet not won in advance: LQQ is 5.342 and GYX 5.371. The title goes to Lu Qian Qian who managed to lead the competition from the qualifications till the end.
Results of the Junior Women’s Speed Slalom
- Lu Qian Qian (CHN)
- Guan Yu Xiang (CHN)
- Tiffany Derisbourg (FRA)
- Su Pei-Ching (TPE)
Boys KO Systems: The Iranian surprise
Quarter finals – The boys’ KO Systems start with a real surprise: the first group gathers Pan Yu Shuo (CHN) and Farbod Motavasel (IRI), i.e. the first and last qualified skaters. That is when the crowd understands that the Iranian is a very good speed slalomer and that he just did not give his best for the qualifiers: he can run in the 5.0’s! He takes the advantage on the first run (with a perfect in 5.079 v. a void run) but loses it on the second run, being slower and with more penalties than the Chinese. The final run is intense: Pan Yu Shuo goes under the 5.0’s with a time of 4.954… too bad for Farbod who is 5.033. But wait: The first-cone judge raises his finger for the Chinese! His penalty relegates him behind Farbod, who qualifies for the semi-finals! The other three groups gather a Chinese and a Taipeian each. And the Chinese are having a rough time: Two of them are knocked out in two runs only (Qiu Yi Ming and Zhang Hao) by Huang Yu-Ping and Wu Dong-Jiun. Ye Hao Qin saves face and is the last Chinese in the running.
Semi finals – The first group stages Iranian Farbod Motavasel and Taipeian Huang Yu-Ping, one of the favorites of the competition. The latter has a clear speed advantage: he wins the first run by a good margin despite a penalty (pure time: 4.878, final time: 5.078) even if Farbod is far from being ridiculous with his perfect run in 5.127. The second run is a mess and the Iranian makes the most of it to tie: during the start race the Taipeian abnormally swerves on the side… His frame is unscrewing! He asks for a time out to fix it before the third run… which he wins hands up with a perfect run in 4.905 v. one penalty and a final time of 5.249 for Farbod. The second group is even messier: Ye Hao Qin makes a strike in the first run, and is not fast neither clean enough to make up for it in the second run. Final advantage to Wu Dong-Jiun who reaches the final.
Consolation final – Just like in the semi finals, Ye Hao Qin fails his first run and Farbod Motavasel takes the lead with merit (perfect run in 5.021). The latter is faster on the second run but a penalty relegates him behind Ye Hao Qin who ties. And the final run goes to the Iranian with a lead of more than 0.2. He gets a well-deserved third place!
Final – The final is between two team-mates of Taipei and is sorted out in only two runs. Same scenario on both runs: Huang Yu-Ping (who had to fix his frame in the last round) is in the 4.9’s with two penalties while Wu Dong-Jiun is in the 5.1’s with no penalty… work it out: Wu Dong-Jiun is the winner.
Results of the Junior Men’s Speed Slalom
- Wu Dong-Jiun (TPE)
- Huang Yu-Ping (TPE)
- Farbod Motavasel (IRI)
- Ye Hao Qin (CHN)
Speed Slalom Senior KO Systems
Women’s KO Systems: the bitter taste of unfinished business
Quarter finals – Half of the qualified skaters are from Team Italy (see report Day 1: http://www.online-skating.com/articles-2986-2012-wfsc-freestyle-world-championship-in-lishui-china-day-1.html). And « fate » is a great provider because the 4 of them are dispatched in the 4 quarter-final groups: No fratricidal dual for this round. While Cristina Rotunno and Barbara Bossi, the two first qualified (and the world #1 and #2!), easily get rid of their Taipeian opponents with two perfect runs each, things are getting tougher for their team-mates Sara Barlocco (#38) and Chiara Lualdi (#6) who respectively meet French Clémence Guicheteau (#3, 2010-11 jr world champ’ and 2012 european vice-champ’) and Chinese Meng Yun (#19). For both, the scenario is roughly the same: after having lost the first run, they tie on the second run and are slower than their opponents on their third run. By the end of the Quarter Finals, half of the Italian team has been decimated and there is only one Asian remaining.
Semi finals – Thanks to their good qualification ranking, the two remaining Italians are in different groups and stand as the favorites. And with good reason: they both knock out their opponents and go through to the next round… the Final! (We are finally going to have it, the fratricidal dual!) Cristina Rotunno does not have much to do against Clémence Guicheteau: she is more than 0.2 ahead on the first run and Clémence’s second run is void… Barbara Bossi’s challenge is more interesting: she takes the lead on the first run and is ahead too on the second run… but she is penalized with +0.2 over a missed first cone which results in a time tie: 5.557 for her and Meng Yun. The second run has to be redone. She speeds up to 5.234 (!) and gets two penalties in the rush. But still, Meng Yun’s perfect run is not enough to offer her the run and Barbara wins the third run (and the qualification to the final) with a final time of 5.634 against 5.659.
Consolation final – Let’s prolong the suspense before the final fight with the consolation final, gathering French Clémence Guicheteau and Chinese Meng Yun. The times are close but Clémence gets the better of Meng Yun in only two runs: two perfect runs, being 2 hundredths ahead on the first one and her cleanliness wins over her opponent’s speed on the second run (5.537 with 0 penalty v. 5.502 with 2 penalties). The French reaches the third step of the Senior Women’s Speed Slalom podium.
Final – The ultimate fight of the 2012 season is about to happen. The pressure is palpable and this must be quite an awkward situation: the two team-mates are on the start line and ready for the final stage… Somehow it tastes like home, but this is it, this is the real thing. And somehow too it has a strong taste of déjà vu: they were both in the same final last year for the World Championships of Geisingen, Ger. On the one hand there is Cristina Rotunno, brand-new #1 (July ’12) and current European Champion. On the other hand there is Barbara Bossi, brand-new #2 (freshly dethroned by Cristina after 22 months of ruling) and two-times world champion (2010, 2011). The tone is set as soon as the first run: they fight in the 5.2’s. Barbara Bossi wins the first run being slightly ahead and with only 1 penalty (against 2 for Cristina). The roles are reversed for the second run so that they are tie. The third run is decisive. They are nervous on the start line. “On your marks… Get ready…” FALSE START for Barbara. Back to the line, striking the pose. “On your marks… Get ready…” and believe it or not, FALSE START for Barbara. Again. Two false starts in a row are disqualifying. And this is how Cristina Rotunno becomes World Champion with a bitter taste of unfinished business…
Results of the Senior Women’s Speed Slalom
- Cristina Rotunno (ITA)
- Barbara Bossi (ITA)
- Clémence Guicheteau (FRA)
- Meng Yun (CHN)
Men’s KO Systems: a premature final in quarter-finals
Eights finals – With initially 46 skaters registered for the qualifiers, the Men’s category is the only one to be treated with eights finals: the best 16 were kept for the KO Systems (see report Day 1: http://www.online-skating.com/articles-2986-2012-wfsc-freestyle-world-championship-in-lishui-china-day-1.html). Most of the groups only need two runs to be completed. The 1st qualified, Chinese Guo Fang (#4), gets rid of Italian Luca Ulivieri, slower and messier. The 2nd qualified, Taipeian Yang Hsin-Chiao (#15) knocks out Polish Michal Sulinowski (#26) in 3 runs: fast but messy (runs in the 5.1’s but gets 3 penalties on each of his 3 runs), he is lucky that his opponent is not cleaner – indeed, Michal manages a perfect first run and takes the lead, but the Taipeian catches up. The 3rd qualified, Chinese Lan Wang Heng (#16) is clean and 0.2 ahead of Kirill ‘ReKiL’ Ryazantsev (RUS, #12), the two runs are a mere formality. Same comment for Italian Savio Brivio (#9), the 4th qualified, despite a poor tendency to get a first-cone penalty… He is still far in front of Jireh Goh (SIN, #360): first run in 4.795 – he is not even getting over the 5.0 with his penalty (4.995), second run in 4.818 (pure time)… The 5th qualified skater’s dual is not harder but it is quite moving: Italian Simone Nai Oleari (#3) has to knock out his team-mate Tiziano Ferrari (#7). The latter is pretty fast (runs in the 5.1’s) but Simone is faster and super steady: the round is done after two perfect runs in 4.931 and 4.932. The 6th qualified, Korean Kim Sung Jin (#3), is cleaner than his Chinese opponent Luo Jia Cheng (#329), which is a great advantage when you meet a skater with about the same speed as yours: two runs are enough to go through. The 7th vs. 10th qualified skaters’ group is the only one not ending with the qualifiers favorite winning: 10th qualified French Alexandre Claris (#4) cleanly gets rid of Chinese Li Yu Chen (#24) in two runs. As for the last group, Korean Yu Jin Seong (#13) knocks out French Igor Cheremetieff (#14) in a three-run fight unfolding in the 5.2’s.
Guess who’s back? Back again? (not Eminem) Rain is back! And this time, daddy cloud is in charge of the pouring. And it is nasty! But we are starting to have the hang of things: Picking up cones, covering electronic equipment, covering area, waiting, deciding to have lunch break, making the most of wasted time in launching reward ceremonies for competitions of yesterday and of the morning, going for lunch even if now it is dry and sunny – because everybody has gone to fill their stomachs anyway, going back on competition area and resume men’s KOs at 2:30PM. Check.
Quarter finals – The round witnesses a couple of reversals of situation! Let’s start with the less improbable outcomes: The two Chinese Guo Fang and Lan Wang Heng knock out the two Koreans, respectively Yu Jin Seong and Kim Sung Jin, in two winning runs. Although they run around the same speed, the Chinese are yet slightly faster on the whole, and cleaner. Now let’s talk about the exciting things: Alexandre Claris, the 10th qualified whose average speed is around 5.2, wins the group against Taipeian 3-wheeler Yan Hsin-Chio who is more the 5.0 type of guy. The latter completely fails both of his runs: a void first run and 4 penalties on the second run. A stroke of luck for the French who consequently goes through to the semi-finals! I kept the most sensational group for last: the second group gathered Italian team-mates Simone Nai Oleari and Savio Brivo… two favorites for the Gold. What a waste! It is a premature final. They both run under 5.0 and the suspense is there. The first run looks pretty much like a tie, and judges have a hard time trying to find a winner even with the High speed camera. Unfortunately, this brings the judges to realize that Savio set his free foot on the ground slightly before the finish line (not visible to the naked eye) and his run is declared void. However, Savio remains focused and manages to tie on the second run with an impressive perfect in 4.829 (v. a perfect in 4.929 for Simone). Simone does not hold the pressure on the third run and makes a strike, offering the qualification to the semi-finals to his opponent.
Semi finals – Savio Brivio must have given all he had on the previous round… He knocks himself out in the first Group, giving the ticket to the final to Guo Fang: a void first run and three penalties on the second run. Yet, with his two runs under 5.0 (pure time), the Chinese showed himself worthy of the qualification. The outcome of the other semi final was predictable: Chinese Lan Wang Heng, cleaner and faster, knocks out French Alexandre Claris in two perfect and steady runs (5.009 and 5.005). The two finalists jump in the arms of each other at the announcement of Wang Heng’s qualification. The Women’s final was Italian, but the Men’s final will be Chinese!
Consolation final – No surprises here, the pressure is gone and Savio Brivio pulverizes Alexandre Claris with times in the 4.8’s – a first-cone penalty on the first run and a perfect second run. If he had done the same results against Guo Fang, he would have been the one taking part in the final…
Final – The atmosphere is lighter than during the Women’s final. The feeling it conveys is that they have made it, they are here together, and they are just glad of their achievement. The final is interesting. Both skaters are clean and run under the 5.0. The first run is a perfect run for both of them and goes to Guo Fang, who is 0.02 faster. He is still faster on the second run but his first-cone penalty costs him the victory on the run, and enables Lan Wang Heng to tie. The third and deciding run is a perfect run for the two men, although once again Guo Fang is slightly faster (4.955 v. 4.989). He wins the round, the competition and the world title with merits.
Results of the Senior Men’s Speed Slalom
- Guo Fang (CHN)
- Lang Wang Heng (CHN)
- Savio Brivio (ITA)
- Alexandre Claris (FRA)
No rest for the brave! – Let’s follow with the women’s and men’s slides competitions while it is sunny (we never know). But first, I have to make a confession: the slides was the only competition that I was not judging and I had a well-deserved break – which was not a real break as I used it to continue writing my reports. I will then just give you the results… (as usual anyway, as I am not a slide specialist.)
There were only 5 women competing, including 3 Russians who take hold of the podium, a Chinese who ends up at the foot of the podium, and an Italian. Given their number, the competition started directly with the final. Olga Fokina is the new World Champion, and her team-mate Natalia Krykova retains her World Vice-Champion title of last year.
Slide Women Results
- Olga Fokina (RUS)
- Natalia Krykova (RUS)
- Liudmila Li (RUS)
- Chen Yuan (CHN)
- Chiara Lualdi (ITA)
Contrary to the women, the men were quite a lot: 18 of them had registered. They have to go through qualifications to reach the semi finals. Only 10 of them will have the opportunity to remain in the running, and they have only two slides to convince the judges. The first qualified is Chinese Dong Lei, followed by Russian Kirill ‘ReKiL’ Ryazantsev and Chinese Zhao Zhen Hua. On top of the Chinese and Russian, there were sliders from Malaysia, Vietnam, Taipei, Singapore and Spain!
The 10 qualified sliders are divided into 2 semi final groups of 5, and are treated to 3 slides. Only the best 3 of each group go through to the final. This is where the competition stops for Malaysian Lew Yun Choon and Vietnamese Dao Dinh Huan of the first group, and for Singaporeans Jasper Lee and Clement Khoo of the second group.
The final group is made of the 6 remaining skaters and is won by the two Chinese Dong Lei (first of the qualifiers) and Zhao Zhen Hua, with Chung Yung-Tzu of Taipei completing the podium. Russian ReKiL ends up at the foot of the podium.
Slide Men Results
- Dong Lei (CHN)
- Zhao Zhen Hua (CHN)
- Chung Yung-Tzu (TPE)
- Kirill ‘ReKiL’ Ryazantzev (RUS)
The biggest part of the competitions of the day is done, there are only the men’s and women’s battles remaining, which we hasten to start. We are obviously late because of the rain interludes but the delay is reasonable and we already know that we will manage to finish the program! The next (and last) report with focus on the Battle competition.
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