GENERICO.ruSportSemi-finished products of champions. Why Davis/Smolkin are not competing for medals

Semi-finished products of champions. Why Davis/Smolkin are not competing for medals

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The results of the rhythm dance of the European Championship – very close scores in the top ten, especially from 5th to 9th places – make you wonder: what makes people win in this strange discipline of figure skating? Why, after two incendiary dances, some take only tenth place, and others – first, if visually both one and the other were good, and someone in the arena liked the latter even more than the winners.

Here one could answer that the first couple simply executed hooks better and carried their legs more smoothly into Choctaw. But this, firstly, does not always work in practice, and secondly, it is not very clear to the average viewer. Let's try to figure out who captures the judges' hearts with what, besides the authority of the coaching staff and the country's flag on the sports jacket.

Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri, it seems, have always been in figure skating – both under Papadakis/Cizeron, and under Virtue/Moir, and much earlier. Over many years together, they have gone from outsiders of the Grand Prix stages to leaders of the European and World Championships. Without possessing outstanding abilities, they, in fact, simply continued to stubbornly and diligently do what they loved. And they endured it – the recognized geniuses and favorites left, the line became free, and Guignard/Fabbri were ready to lead it. Over the years, some of the provincialism of the style was smoothed out by charm, and technicality, thanks to painstaking work, reached an outstanding level. In their not very fashionable costumes, they rushed from the starting pose to the final pose with all the Italian passion and pressure to the cult song Hero. Close, precise and emotional. 86.80 is not a personal best, but first place before the free dance. Does not raise any special questions or doubts.

Alison Reed/Saulius Ambrulevicius, representing Lithuania since 2018, also took to the ice with intensity, but in a completely different way. They were not clearly stronger than their other competitors in the fight for the bronze medal, but they outshone them all. All because they were filled with inner fire because of the opportunity to shine in front of the home crowd and take advantage of the right of the home walls – sometimes such a chance is given to athletes only once in their career. This unspoken law works like this: skaters do their best with their winning program, without making gross mistakes, and they are given a little more points than they would have been given in another situation. 80.73 – a confident third place with a two-point lead over the fourth duo. The couple's delight in kiss-and-cry is difficult to describe in words. >Laila Fir/Lewis Gibson from the UK as two groovy figures dancing to the music. They move as if they had jazz shoes on their feet instead of skates, and in the center of the Zalgiris Arena there was parquet instead of poured ice. Perhaps someday their vog will become a mandatory rhythm of ice dancing, as has happened with the most unusual productions. So far, 85.2 points have been obtained, and the opportunity to win gold thanks to the free dance is not lost.

In this series, Diana Davis and Gleb Smolkin, who took intermediate seventh place with a score of 76.33 points, have little to show for it yet may be offered to the judges. They have improved their presentation, are trying to work on danceability, have decided on costumes – Diana’s red dress looks much more impressive than the black leather one. But they don’t yet have the endearing skittishness of the Italians, or the British’s own style, or even the mood of the Lithuanians, skating like it was the last time. They are still championship semi-finished products – just like most of the dozen duets, including the Czechs Tashlerova/Tashler, the Finns Orihara/Pirinen and others.

So everything seems to be on point. Without huge breaks and launches into extraterrestrial orbit, as has happened in previous years, for the first time in a long time, ice dancing is truly competitive. We look forward to the free dance with interest and continued intrigue.

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