ice skating 88.
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After French ice dancing duo Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder finished ahead of Galit Chait and Sergei Sakhnovsky despite Schoenfelder falling in the first program, more criticism was voiced of the sport's New Judging System.
Chait and Sakhnovsky "skated the best Tango of the day" at the 2006 European Figure Skating Championships in Lyon, France, according to Eurosport television commentator and former British ice dancing champion Nicky Slater. "What I can't understand is [Elena] Grushina and [Ruslan] Goncharov being in first place, and with the best will in the world, [Margarita] Drobiazko and [Povilas] Vanagas in second place," Slater said during Tuesday's live broadcast.
"From what I saw today, I don't understand the first place," he added. "I'm told that each section of the competition is supposed to be marked independent of the next section, but somehow each section seems to be influencing how each [subsequent] section is marked.
"When I see [the scores], I say, tell me why, take it by pieces, let's go step by step, line by line, tell me why. Tell me why, because I don't understand it. I thought the Israelis were in really top form today."
Reigning world and European ice dance champions Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov were in third place following the Compulsory Dance, the Tango Romantica; Delobel and Schoenfelder were fourth; and the top pair of Israeli ice dancers in fifth.
"I thought that Navka and Kostomarov did a very good dance, but not the best Tango today," Slater commented.
Boris Chait, the chairman of the Israel Ice Skating Federation and father of Galit, expressed his frustration when he spoke to The Jerusalem Post from Lyon. "The judges did not judge the French couple according to the written rules of the New Judging System," he said. "One judge actually had them in first place, in spite of all the [routine's] changes [resulting from] Schoenfelder's fall.
"Two judges had them in third place, three judges had them in fourth, five judges had them in fifth place and one in seventh, of the twelve judges.
"What took place with the judging was criminal."
Chait also reported that Ilia Averbukh, a former ice dance world champion and silver medalist at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City who is now a Russian commentator, was "in shock." "New system, old system, nothing has changed," Chait reported Averbukh as saying on television. "It's a crime for what was done with the French couple. They have to be thankful that they're in France. Something is wrong that after a fall like that, that the French couple is ahead of Galit and Sergei."