2016 Worlds, Men

The men’s competition was the one where I was largely unhappy about the result.  Also that there was way too little good skating from the top five.  I was unhappy over the medalists, the failure of the Americans to preserve their top spot, and also over how much enjoyment was lost by the failure of certain skaters to stay on their feet.

There were some good points, at least.  Javier Fernandez, if he didn’t have a short program worthy of a surprise repeat, certainly had a free worthy of it.  And it was fun to watch another young Russian star be born, and I honestly hadn’t expect to love watching Mikhail Kolyada and his two programs that much.  Who knows how well he’ll age, but that was one lovely week for him.  And it certainly was beautiful to watch Adam Rippon rise to the occasion, and the other two American guys make up for their flawed shorts with better frees.  I also really enjoyed Deniss Vasiljevs and Misha Ge, the former’s short especially.

But it’s always unpleasant when Yuzuru Hanyu fumbles it.  Which he has arguably done at every Worlds where he’s been a top contender, even if he’s managed to eck out one gold anyway.  Add in that he only won the Olympics because Patrick Chan blew it even harder, and I’m seriously starting to wonder if we’ll ever see good skating from him at the bigger events, especially because he gets scored so high anyway.  Which is probably the biggest reason it’s so unpleasant; you get to the point you seriously hopes he skates clean just so he’ll deserve his result.  At least his short program was worthy of it before things went wrong in the free, and I was glad to witness a little bit of his dazzlement from that.

I was unhappy, too, that Boyang Jin medaled this year.  He does seem to be developing some artistry, and in later years it might have felt less objectionable, but now he jumped his way onto the podium when he didn’t even skate his best.  He really should’ve at least have been required to go clean to medal at this point.

But, again, at least Hanyu had a good short.  Patrick Chan, meanwhile, skated well for just long enough to make us aware of how the year away has helped his performance ability, before ruining it with mistakes.  Then, like Hanyu, he got scored too high and thus ended up ahead of Rippon, costing the US men a third spot in Finland next year, and who knows when they’ll get it back.  That they skated so well and came so close makes that hurt a lot more.

Given how much I liked the outcome of the other events, I suppose it was only fair a bad one happened too.  But I really would’ve liked at least one quality performance from Chan to enjoy.  Especially if it had kept Jin off the podium.


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