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Pair skaters unable to cement Olympic quota place for Australia

1 April 2017

FIGURE SKATING: Newly crowned Junior World Pairs Champions Harley Windsor and Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya hopes of early qualification to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang next February have been dashed despite making it to the final sixteen at the World Figure Skating Championships. 

The talented pair, who have surprised the skating world with their meteoric rise in just one season, skated their way into the final against 27 senior pairs with a superb short program – smashing their personal best. 

Skating in the early group for the free program, Windsor and Alexandrovskaya delivered a 4.30 minute program with triple twists, jumps and throws but a fall by both skaters on their easier triple jump kept the emerging duo in 16th place, just behind the North Korean couple and 2016 World Junior Champions from the Czech Republic.

In a cruel twist, the sixteen Olympic qualifying quota places available at the World Championships was filled by only the top seven pair skating nations that were able to achieve multiple entries for 2018.

Wenjing Sui and Cong Han won their first World Championship ahead of Germany’s Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot. Bronze went Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov from Russia

Fourth to seventh places went to China, Russia and two Canadian pairs in a pressure-packed finals competition that was marred with errors by most pairs.

China, Russia and Canada qualified three teams each to PyeongChang plus Germany, France and Italy qualified two quota spots each and as a consequence, the younger pairs from the Czech Republic, North Korea and Australia missed the qualifying quota.

Quota spots are determined on country basis, considering the finishing places of all 28 competing pairs. Quota spots were not issued to the top 16 places.

Australia’s Windsor and Alexandrovskaya will have the opportunity to qualify for one of the four remaining pairs quota spots in September in Germany.

On the upside, Australia’s chances of making the Team Event for the top ten countries overall across all four figure skating disciplines have been enhanced by their 16th place. 

“The event went just liked we had hoped - qualifying for the long. Overall it was an amazing experience to compete at our first Senior World Championships,” Windsor said.

“We were extremely happy with the 16th place after the short because that was the goal, and whatever happened in the long happened.”

“At the beginning of the free we felt calm and the beginning started well. It was a bit of a shock for the both of us to fall on the side by side triple toes but we took the program one element at a time and tried our best to keep fighting throughout the program.”

World Championships continues tonight with the Ladies. Australia’s Kailani Craine qualified 19th into the top 24 and final free skate.

Brendan Kerry delivered the performance of his career to date last night in the power-packed Men’s short program, placing 13th with a PB in one of the most exciting high-calibre men’s event ever witnessed. Kerry skates the free program on Saturday.

Breakdown of Qualification Pairs Skating Quota Spots from 2017 World Championships

At the World Championships, the system was as follows:

Number of skaters/teams
entered at Worlds

To earn 3 entries
to the Olympics

To earn 2 entries
to the Olympics

1

Place in the top 2

Place in the top 10

2

Total placements is equal to or less than 13

Total placements is equal to or less than 28

3

Top two placements is equal to or less than 13

Top two placements is equal to or less than 28

 

A country can earn thee quota places if they secure top two placements is equal to or less than 13, meaning three quota spots were issued to the following countries:

  • China with two pairs coming 1st and 4th. Despite not having a third pair compete at the Championships they will qualify a third pair of the 2018 Winter Olympics.
  • Russia secured three quota positions by having two pairs finish in 3rd and 5th position. They also had a third pair finish in 11th place.
  • Canada also achieved this by having two pairs finish in 6th and 7th position at World Championships. Their third pair finished in 12th.

Countries could also secure two quota places at the 2018 Olympics by securing top two placements is equal to or less than 28.

  • Germany had two pairs finish in 2nd and 19th, therefore qualifying two pairs
  • Italy had two pairs finish in 9th and 11th, therefore qualifying two pairs

Countries were also awarded two quota places if one pair finished in the top 10 positions

  • France had two pairs finish in 8th and 27th, therefore qualifying two pairs

The USA secured the final quota place with a pair finishing in 8th place.

Therefore, the following quota positions were achieved at the 2017 World Figure Skating Competition:

  •          China = 3
  •          Canada = 3
  •          Russia = 3
  •          Germany = 2
  •          Italy = 2
  •          France = 2
  •          USA = 1

The remainder of the spots will be filled at an ISU Olympic Qualification Competition in late September 2017. Countries which had already earned an entry to the Olympics will not be allowed to qualify more entries at this final qualifying competition. 

OWIA 

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