To start with, Kim posted the highest recorded score ever in the short with 76.12 after an exquisite program to Danse Macabre. She followed it up with another personal best in the free program and with a total overall score of 207.71, she broke the 200-point barrier for women.
The other big story was the quiet confidence and ability displayed by Canada’s Joannie Rochette. With her silver medal, Rochette became the first Canadian woman in 21 years to stand on the world medal podium. The 2008 world champion, Mao Asada of Japan, dropped from third in the short to fourth overall after being hampered by a free program to the repetitious strains of Waltz Masquerade, which didn’t do a lot to showcase her talent. Her teammate Miki Ando, the 2007 world champion, took the bronze.
The men’s free was a nail-biter.
Canada’s Patrick Chan was the first of the last group to skate and had to wait for the final five skaters before knowing the result.
Chan didn’t disappoint and with a very strong free program was able to move from third to take the silver medal France’s Brian Joubert, the 2007 world champion, had a less than stellar free program where he doubled two jumps and fell on his final double Axel, which dropped him from first to third overall. Evan Lysacek won the first title for an American man in 13 years in front of his home crowd and posted a personal best score of 159.53 in the free and 242.33 overall.
In ice dance, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, Canadian champions and 2008 world silver medallists, captured the bronze. It was on the strength of the points they earned in their third-place finish in the compulsory dance that they were able to hold off the competition for the medal.
Americans Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto won the silver and were back on track after missing the Grand Prix Final and U.S. Nationals due to Agosto’s back injury. Gold went to Russia’s Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin whose power, presence and dramatic flair must have been the qualities to land them in the top spot because, in my opinion, timing, creativity and finesse did not.
In pairs, Canadian champions Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison, the 2008 world bronze medalists, seemed tentative and finished in seventh place, the highest of the three Canadian teams.
Germany’s Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy were able to claim the world title for the second year in row with two very solid performances. China’s Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang looked stronger and more secure than they had all season in earning the silver, while Russia’s Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov’s elegant Swan short program set them up to take the bronze.
Based on world championship results, Canadian skaters secured two spots in each discipline for next year’s Olympic Games.
Canada also qualified as one of the top six nations at the worlds, which means they can send a team to the first-ever ISU World Team Trophy in mid-April in Tokyo. Two men, two women, one ice dance and one pair team from each of these six countries will go head to head.
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