Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ladies continue to impress at Moran

If their free skates at the Moran Memorial on Saturday give any hint, Elene Gedevanishvili and Ashley Wagner mean business.

Both skaters were in nifty form, showing programs well-developed for so early in the season.

The 19-year-old Gedevanishvili is following in the steps of Katarina Witt, Debi Thomas and, more recently, Mao Asada with her interpretation of Carmen. She's not alone. Mirai Nagasu, too, is taking a stab at Bizet's fiery heroine this Olympic season.

Robin Wagner, who trains Gedevanishvili at Hackensack's Ice House, grappled with the familiar choice.

"I thought about it 50 times. Do we really want to do Carmen?" she said. "But Elene said she always wanted to skate to it, and if an athlete is really committed to the music, that's half the battle. I felt she could really get into the character and actually be the character."

"I love it," Gedevanishvili said. "It's so different. I tried to do it two years [ago], but I wasn't old enough. I'm glad I waited for the Olympic year."

The skater, whose 10th-place finish at the 2009 ISU World Figure Skating Championships earned two Olympic ladies' spots for Georgia, opened with a Lutz and triple toe-double toe combination. She also hit two triple Salchows, one in combination with a double toe, but didn't try a flip.

"It's a strategic move. Her flip is big and consistent, but at times, it changes edge [from inside to outside] a bit," Wagner said. "It's a hard call. The edge deduction can really hurt you. We'll have to work on it and think about it as the season progresses."

Gedevanishvili earned 98.86 points, placing first in the free by .71.

Wagner debuted her new free program choreographed by Irina Romanova to Borodin's "Polovetsian Dances."

Full article.

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