Sunday, July 12, 2009

The unique chance

France has a history of strong Men's single skaters. Right now Brian Joubert is undoubtedly the number one with five World medals on his record, but who will be Joubert's successor in France once he retires from competition? After last season, Florent Amodio has become the heir apparent.

In what is a funny coincidence, Amodio debuted at Junior Worlds in Oberstdorf, like Joubert did in 2000, just seven years later. Like Joubert, he finished in 15th place but still was noticed by observers who recognized his talent. Unlike Joubert, however, Amodio continued to compete at the junior level and celebrated his biggest success so far when he won the Junior Grand Prix Final last December.

The Frenchman seemed poised for the podium at Junior Worlds in March, however, it didn't happen. Amodio imploded in the short program, singling the Axel, doubling the Lutz, falling on a spin, and finished 19th. He pulled up four spots in the long and thus ended up where he was in his debut two years before.

"I've learned a lot of things about myself that I didn't know before," Amodio said when talking about his experience at Junior Worlds. "I learned technical things. For example in my short program. My warm up went really well, but I skated fifth (in the group) and I wasn't active enough in the time between the end of the warm up and my skate. I didn't remain focused enough. I didn't attack this competition the way I should have. I didn't get into it. I wasn't fighting enough. I didn't expect to mess up the short program."

Amodio came to Sofia to win, but the results of the short program were difficult for him to digest and made it hard for him to attack the free skate. "The motivation wasn't quite there," he admitted. "I tried to fight and to give my best, but it was hard. I still drew a lot of positive things from it. It was a lesson for me. I think it's important to learn for the future from a defeat."

Full article.

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