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Favorites win at German Nationals

This year, the German federation separated senior Nationals from the junior and novice competitions.

Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy won their seventh consecutive national pairs title. After a flawless short program, Savchenko skated without a mistake in their “Pink Panther” free program, but Szolkowy fell on the triple toe loop and the triple Salchow, perhaps because he had a cold.

“Once in the season, mistakes must be allowed,” Savchenko said.” Coach Ingo Steuer was happy they tried the triple Salchow for the first time this season.

The second ranked German team, Maylin Hausch and Daniel Wende, could not compete because both had the flu.

Mari Vartmann and her new American partner Aaron van Cleave claimed the silver. Not far behind were bronze medalists Katharina Gierok and Florian Just. As they performed well at the NRW Trophy in December, they were nominated as third tam for Europeans.

Nelli Zhiganshina and Alexander Gazsi from Oberstdorf are the new ice dance champions, their second title since 2007. Their Waltz from Cirque du Soleil as well as their free dance has very unusual choreography. The duo earned many plus points for their elements.

Second were the Skate America and Canada participants Stefanie Frohberg and Tim Giesen who split from their coach René Lohse in December.

The new German-Italian team of Tanja Kolbes and Stefano Caruso, who had trained in the summer with Igor Lukanin and Matthew Gates in the USA, won the bronze medal.

Two teams were missing: Christina and William Beier retired last summer and Carolina and Daniel Hermann both underwent surgery in November (knee and groin).

Former and and now reigning ladies champion is Sarah Hecken from Mannheim who looked more mature after working a lot with her choreographers. She landed clean combinations of two triple toe loops, and for the first time also the triple loop.

Second was her training mate Katharina Häcker who won the free program. She was the German champion nine years ago, but since then injuries often kept her out of nationals. Now she has a more elegant style and performed impressive triple loops and spirals.

The surprise bronze medal winner was 15-year-old junior Christina Erdel from Oberstdorf who skated the best free program of her career, which included four triple jumps.

Peter Liebers is the new men’s champion after an excellent blues short program with four triple jumps. But he had a so-so free program and made three mistakes in the second half. He has improved a lot since last year in style, mainly thanks to his new choreographers Lori Nichol and Shin Amano.

After Europeans he plans to refresh his programs in Toronto. “I am not yet where I want to be one day,” Liebers said.

Denis Wieczorek from Erfurt, 12th at last years Junior Worlds was second. He showed all triple jumps except the Axel and made no mistakes.

Christopher Berneck, an 18-year-old who has been coached by Priscilla Hill in Wilmington/Delaware for three years now, was very surprised about his third place.

1 Comment

Mar 17, 2011 at 02:56PM Midakka

Good post +1