Göteborg 2008: a quadless victor

Göteborg - day Five

Text and Photos ┬ę Titanilla Bod

They saved the best for last – the organizers of the World championships decided men will conclude the competitions in Göteborg. The Scandinavium Arena was sold out, 9505 fans were cheering on the best skaters.

Mistakes of the home star

Of course, the biggest applause went to the home competitors, both Adrian Schultheiss and Kristoffer Berntsson earned big ovations. The crowd was really grateful for every single element and supportive, if something went wrong – the experience will stay a memory forever for everyone who could be there. This includes Kristoffer Berntsson, who, however, didn’t skate as well as he wished in his home town.

“It was tough, I am a bit speechless right now. I don’t know why the Salchow went so weird. As for the home crowd, I am thrilled, really, really thrilled,” Kristoffer said.

“This might be the last chance…”

Kevin van der Perren introduced his new free program to Safri Duo music, and it was a fascinating skating – Kevin landed all his jumps and had a great fun out there on the ice. “Finally I did what I wanted to do all season. The quad didn’t work today so I didn’t try it, and if I fell on my hip it would have been over - I’d have to withdraw. I created this new program last week in two hours by myself. I found out that I will need surgery, so I thought that this might be my last chance to skate. I wanted to skate a program to a music I like, the levels were not important”, Kevin explained.

Disappointed Verner

Current European champion Tomas Verner was a medal contender after the short program, but totally bombed in the free. “I do not know what happened. I do not know if it was the draw but something definitely affected me. It was a total change from yesterday. I wanted to show a good program today, but… I cannot find the words, at least not any good words”, the disappointed Tomas said.

Shaky favourites

As Verner had started out a bad session, the other favourites had also mistakes. Johnny Weir had a relatively clean skate without major mistakes but with not that high technical mark. Daisuke Takahashi missed his second quad and the triple axel, and the same jumps were problems for Stephane Lambiel. “I think I was too nervous,” Daisuke admitted.

“I didn’t feel any pressure from anyone but myself. All the pressure came from me”, Stephane commented on his performance.




Joubert strikes back

“I was nervous, and when I saw how the other skaters made mistakes, I became even more nervous”, Brian Joubert admitted - he decided to put just one quad in his free program. However, he also landed seven triples so he roared with joy and kissed the ice as he finished his program. “The competition was great, the audience was great and I will remember this all my life”, the happy Brian said.




Buttle on the top

Jeffrey Buttle, who was in the lead after the short program, didn’t attempt a quad, but he did a flawless program and earned points on combinations, spins and footwork – so he won the free skate and the whole event, with the highest technical mark. “I’m disappointed that he didn’t even try a quad”, Joubert commented on the fact the world champion hadn’t landed any quad jump in the competition. Buttle protested: “I started skating because I watched Kurt Browning and Brian Orser and it was about the program. And the most memorable programs in skating, you remember the program and you don’t remember what elements they did.“

Well, he might be right, but we also remember Kurt Browning for landing the first quadruple jump in competition in the history of figure skating...

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