Whew, the Men’s final turned out to be a very exciting affair. A lot of nerves meant less than perfect skates by most of the top 6 guys, but some of the ones further down with nothing to lose really did fabulously. Just like in the Europeans, the second-ranked of the two Swedes, Adrian Schultheiss, did better in the Long program than our number one, Kristoffer Berntsson, and placed one spot ahead of him in the final ranking. It looked like they would end up 14th and 15th, which would have meant just one skater next year in the Worlds, but then one of the favourites, Tomas Verner, fell through entirely and ended up below them. And 13th and 14th is enough for two skaters next year.
Two real surprises were Sergei Voronov and Kevin van der Perren. Voronov had done really badly in the Short, but he’s got a lot of talent and showed it all in his Free program. He placed 4th today, which in total moved him up from 15th to 7th. Pretty darn amazing, and Russia gets two skaters next year. Big yay. And Kevin van der Perren, well, he jumped amazingly. And so did Brian Joubert, who really went out there fully determined to make up for his mistakes yesterday. Amazing program, and he finished with a roar (and with a kiss for the ice, heh). I so hoped he’d take the gold again, but the last man out, leader Jeffrey Buttle, held it together. He didn’t seem to have any nerves at all, and his win was in the end with a comfortable margin.
I suppose its really nice to see Canada get a gold again, though as I said in the last post, I really wanted it to go to Europe. Buttle is also a bit of a ... bland skater. Good technique, but not a stellar jumper or a stellar performer. For soft and artistic, he can’t touch Stephane Lambiel (or really, the much improved Johnny Weir, who came in third), and for powerful and explosive, he can’t touch Joubert (who really worked on selling his program today). But still, well deserved on the day. Now I expect I will spend the evening searching for figure skating videos on Youtube. ;P