Team USA: Nebelhorn Trophy Sept 27, 2021 5:11:20 GMT
Post by Admin on Sept 27, 2021 5:11:20 GMT
On Saturday, performing her free skate to a Tchaikovsky violin concerto, Liu reduced her opening attempt at a triple axel into a single. After that, it was smooth sailing. She landed seven triple jumps, including a difficult triple lutz-triple toe loop combination, while showing a far more mature and elegant style than she did previously.
"The skate went pretty well today, I’m pretty happy,” Liu said. “I popped my triple axel, but I’m going to work hard in practice so that doesn’t happen.”
The 3½-revolution jump, with its base value of eight points, played a big role in the young skater’s two U.S. title wins, leading her to victories over more experienced competitors such as Bell and two-time U.S. champion Bradie Tennell. Liu will need it later this season, to compete effectively against a squad of young Russians who routinely include triple axels and quads in their programs.
Liu’s coach, three-time U.S. champion Jeremy Abbott, confirms the jump is uppermost in the plans this season.
“The triple axel has been a big part of the daily training,” said Abbott, who trains Liu alongside primary coach Massimo Scali and Lorenzo Magri. “She is able to land it every day (in practice). Now, we are working to make it as clean and as consistent as her other elements.”
Liu is slated to compete at her first senior Grand Prix, Skate Canada, in Vancouver on Oct. 29-31.
“Heading into Skate Canada, the goal is to add the triple axel into the short program, and to continue polishing and expanding the artistic side of her skating,” Abbott said. “(We want to) add more grade of execution and maximize the points in every aspect of her skating.”
This is the first season Team USA has had to compete at Nebelhorn to secure three entries to the Olympics. A new rule of the International Skating Union states that to earn three spots outright at the world championships, three skaters or teams must perform the free skate at worlds. Previously, all that was required was that the top two skaters or teams at worlds had placements totaling 13 or less.
So, although Team USA’s Karen Chen and Bradie Tennell placed fourth and ninth, respectively, at the 2021 World Championships, a third U.S. woman had to compete at Nebelhorn and place in the top six. And although Nathan Chen and Jason Brown finished first and seventh at worlds last season, since Zhou did not qualify for the free skate, a U.S. man had to earn the third spot at Nebelhorn by placing in the top seven.
Based on the results at Nebelhorn, plus those at worlds, Team USA will send three women, three men, three ice dance teams and two pairs to Beijing. The U.S. will also be one of 10 countries to compete in the figure skating team event.