Joubert Leads at Smart Ones Skate America, but U.S. Men Hold Three of Top Five Placesby Amy Partain
Photo by Paul Harvath
(10/21/04) - Not surprisingly, World silver medalist Brian Joubert sits atop the standings after the men's short program at 2004 Smart Ones Skate America Thursday night. In an interesting twist, the U.S. men sit in second, fourth and fifth places, while the reigning World bronze medalist, Stefan Lindemann of Germany, is in last. Michael Weiss is in second, while Ryan Jahnke and Evan Lysacek are in fourth and fifth places respectively.
Joubert stepped out of his triple flip, but otherwise had a solid program that included a quad toe-triple toe and a solid triple Axel. He said his performance was fine for the first competition of the season, but he expects it to get better.
"It's the beginning of the season and everything is new," he said. "New program, new judging system - it was difficult but I did my job. At the beginning of the season it can't be perfect, but it will get better."
Although he stepped out of his quad toe landing and failed to complete the combination, Weiss felt his short program was a good start to the season - specially considering that the short program was only the fourth time he has skated on his right boot and blade. Monday night at the end of his practice, Weiss said he landed a triple Axel and his heel separated from the boot and broke the blade.
"I had just gotten new skates and planned to break them in after the event in Japan," he said. "Certainly didn't expect to be breaking them in at Skate America. It feels weird but you do what you have to do."
After a two-year absence from skating while he was establishing citizenship in Israel, Roman Serov sits in third place after the short program. Serov, added to the Skate America roster last week, was happy to skate a clean program.
"I didn't try the quad," he said. "I was only thinking about skating my best program clean."
Ryan Jahnke fell on his first jump, a triple Axel, but otherwise had a solid short program that he seemed to really enjoy skating.
"I was a little surprised after the first jump because that jump has been consistent," he said. "When something like that happens you can decide to continue scared or rise to the occasion, go out and attack it. I decided to attack it."
Newcomer to the senior Grand Prix Series, Evan Lysacek, is in fifth. He fought for the landing on two of his jumps - a triple Axel and the triple toe (the second jump in his combination with a triple Lutz) - then fell on his final jump (a triple flip). All he could say was that he never felt that his legs were under him.
"Going into tonight I never felt better," said Lysacek, who is fighting a serious hip injury. "The program was dynamite this morning; I didn't feel nervous; my legs felt great. Then during the program I felt tight and never felt like I got my legs under me. I can't really explain it."
Lindemann, who captured the World bronze medal last year in a surprise finish, had a disastrous performance. He fell on his quad and triple Axel attempts and only then managed a double Lutz.