That Mens competition was really an emotional roller coaster. I had put myself into my reclining chair and was in the most chillaxing of moods. I had already followed the Pairs SP and had just returned from an evening session where I indulged into my own humble skating efforts. (To be honest, I was rather great today :D, but that's for a different column.)
Unfortunately, I can't make a case for the programmes of S/S this season, but as much as I don't fancy their stuff, they are not worse than what V/T are putting out there. What we are witnessing is the ever more gradually growing gap between V/T and the rest of the field, most importantly S/S. K/S delivered, and I was pleasantly surprised, I fancied them ever since they toned themselves down a little. Much appreciated K/S, all in all, lots of the lower pairs had better programmes and performances than the upper pairs. B/H and J/C for instance. Anyhow, on to the Men. These days, Canada is on daylight saving time, even before it hits Europe, so watching is rather convenient.
Now, there were a few "huh?"-moments during our watching of the competition. One of the first ones was after the programme of Brian Joubert. We like Brian. He can always count on a soft spot in our hearts, so he did somehow deliver, and with Quad+Double I suspected his scores to be in the high 70s, maybe 80. He got 84! At Euros he got 83 something with a 4+3. That made me say: What's going on here?
My old skating love Tomas Verner messed up all of his jump elements and managed to score 68 something, in the vein of an almost but not quite clean Misha Ge who once again put all his Panache on display. I am above reproach when it comes to bias against Tomas Verner, but I wondered, he had scored worse with better performances in the past.
Denis Ten, a skater with very good skating skills, and a previous record of 78 something in the SP, scored a whopping 91!!! While he really put it down, it made us wonder.
Then it dawned upon us. It was the love of the Canadians for huge scores. And, presumably, the setting up of a clean Chan for a record breaking international score. (Granted, it's Worlds but it's also Canada) Note that I'm not saying a messy Chan would have been propped up. But Skate Canada and the crowd just love huge scores. I remember Debbie Wilkes at Canadian Nationals a year ago or two talking up the nationals records to please the crowd, it's just the longing for new records and higher scores. Nothing wrong with that, if it keeps you interested in the sport.
Chan, thankfully, delivered and was awarded with a whopping 98. He is in 1st place, and deservedly, just for the record. (His programmes this year are better than ever, and I don't question him having a modern dance coach or whatever, it's doing him good as far as I am concerned) Everyone who has the potential to score similarly high PCS faltered today: Takahashi had too many URs, Hanyu messed up his quad and combo, etc. etc. We all know that the PCS factor for the LP is 2, which makes it harder to catch up on the tech side only. The Mens segment is, thusly, already decided.
I wonder if that is the competition format to further embrace. Even if we set aside the problems of the IJS for a moment, we are still left with a Men's event that's virtually decided after the short programme. Under 6.0 we had the factor of the favoured skater delivering and being given 6.0s, but he could never be further ahead than his 1st place ordinal allowed him to be. Be it as it may. There is still the Ladies event. Traditionally not as over scored as the Men or Dance. As the Pairs are catching up, maybe the Ladies will too at these Worlds.
Tot later, guys :D