Chait and Sakhnovsky are medal bridesmaids

Israeli ice dancing pair Galit Chait and Sergei Sakhnovski won the fourth place in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Tokyo.

By LIONEL GAFFEN
December 18, 2005 03:40
3 minute read.

 
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Galit Chait and Sergei Sakhnovsky, skating in the International Skating Union Grand Prix Final in Tokyo on Saturday, just fell short of a medal- again. The Israeli pair came in fourth of the six finalists in the Ice Dancing event with a 149.49 total, after the completion of the Original and Free Dance sections. World number one pairing Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov of Russia captured the top spot, with a combined 165.72 score. World number three Elena Grushina and Ruslan Goncharov of the Ukraine had a 154. 53 for the silver, while Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon of Canada, with a 152.36 total, received the bronze. After the Original Dance, a combination Cha Cha, Rhumba and Samba, less than 1⁄2 a point separated Chait/Sakhnovsky after a very solid performance, from Dubreuil/Lauzon, who went ahead 55.42 to 54.98. Expectations of the possibility of a GP Final medal had been running pretty high. But the Israel Ice Skating Federation were left disapointed after the scores were compiled following the Free Dance, when it became obvious that yet again, a medal had been denied. Coincidentally, it was the scandal surrounding the scoring of this same couple in the Skate Canada GP, that cost Chait/Sakhnovsky a place in the 2003 GP Final. World No.1 Stephane Lambiel of Switzerland won the men's singles even. In the Ladies, an upset of monumental proportions took place. Mao Asada, who was No.1 as a Junior this year, won the gold, displacing World No.1, Irina Slutskaya of Russia. while in the Pairs, world No.1 Tatiana Totmianina an Maxim Marinin of Russia captured first place. The Israeli Figure Skating Championships will take place at the Canada Center in Metulla on January 5-6, 2006. And in another coincidence, the assistant technical specialist, Marie Bowness of Canada, was in that same position at that Skate Canada event in 2003. It is the responsibility of the technical specialist and the assistant technical specialist, along with the controller, to determine the degree of difficulty of the movements, known as the Technical Element Scores or TES, as to whether they get scored as a level one, two, three or four. All that is left for the judges to do is grade the movement within the assigned level. In the Free Dance, Dubreuil/Lauzon had a TES of 51, placing them ahead of both the second place couple and Chait/Sakhnovsky, while their Program Component score or PCS, was lower than either couple. Coincidence? Is it too much to demand of the ISU that the three key people deciding all the levels of the movements, not be from countries that have contestants in these Final events, so that there can't be even the possible hint of impropriety. There have already been enough Figure Skating scandals, with the worst of them having been during the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, which is why the New Judging System has come into being, which was supposed to alleviate that situation. Unfortunately, there is still no accountability to the public, and with a scoring system far more complex than before, one can only hope that undue advantage isn't being taken of the system. And in another coincidence, the assistant technical specialist, Marie Bowness of Canada, was in that same position at that Skate Canada event in 2003. It is the responsibility of the technical specialist and the assistant technical specialist, along with the controller, to determine the degree of difficulty of the movements, known as the Technical Element Scores or TES, as to whether they get scored as a level one, two, three or four. All that is left for the judges to do is grade the movement within the assigned level. In the Free Dance, Dubreuil/Lauzon had a TES of 51, placing them ahead of both the second place couple and Chait/Sakhnovsky, while their Program Component score or PCS, was lower than either couple. Coincidence? Is it too much to demand of the ISU that the three key people deciding all the levels of the movements, not be from countries that have contestants in these Final events, so that there can't be even the possible hint of impropriety. There have already been enough Figure Skating scandals, with the worst of them having been during the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, which is why the New Judging System has come into being, which was supposed to alleviate that situation. Unfortunately, there is still no accountability to the public, and with a scoring system far more complex than before, one can only hope that undue advantage isn't being taken of the system.

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