Battle Moscow 2010
by Close Yr E’s
FRENCH Version available HERE !!
One week after the Main Event of St. Petersburg, a second Russian battle follows: in Moscow this time. It is the third edition of this event. This year, it’s just a two-cone event, whereas last year it was promoted WSSA Battle European Championship.
Most Europeans present last week at Battle SPB had gone back home, except for the French and German people – and one Korean too (I won’t bother you by giving his name, it’s hard to pronounce and it wouldn’t ring you any bell… but he’s got quite a good style, he might have some future in freestyle.)
The competition was thus almost exclusively Ukraino-russian… Which means by extension that it was highly specialized in wheelings and Co.
The schedule was the same as the preceding week’s: Speed Slalom and first round of the Mens Battle on Friday and the rest of the Battles on Saturday.
The event took place – as usual – at Adrenalin Skatepark, on a ground as smooth as slippery (because challenge is fun).
Friday, March 19
Womens Speed Slalom
• A competition got over within a short time, and there was no real suspense.
Out of the Eight registered for the qualifications, only half of them had the right to reach the KO Systems, which started with semi-finals.
• Two semi-finals, first group with Kristina Lysenko (Rus, #4) and Ksenja Komarchuk (Ukr, #10), and second group with Chloé Seyrès (Fra, #1) and Katya Surmach (Rus, #107). Chloé Seyrès couldn’t speed up because of a thigh injury, and played safe with slow but clean runs to try to qualify – the tactic works and she knocks out her opponent, last year’s title-holder, after a three-run round.
• The two favorites meet in Final, a two-run final won by Kristina Lysenko with two perfects, opposed to Chloé Seyrès who makes repeated mistakes, including a nice flying landing in a slip at least 15 meters long during the first run (I told you that the ground was slippery, I tested it!)
Results of the Womens Speed Slalom
1-Kristina Lysenko (Rus)
2-Chloé Seyrès (Fra)
3-Katya Surmach (Rus)
4-Ksenja Komarchuk (Ukr)
Mens Speed Slalom
• The first eight of the qualifications (out of sixteen) go through to the quarter-finals of the KO Systems.
Andrey Shitov (Rus, #10) and Kim Sung Jin (Kor, #3) eliminate their opponents Misha Gurevich (Ger, #17) and Xuan Le (Fra, #9) in two winning runs. Igor Cheremetieff (Fra, #2), after qualifying by a narrow margin only, makes up for it in knocking out Alexey Tsokolov (Rus, #14). And Kirill ‘ReKiL’ Ryazantsev (Rus, #7) concentrates on the first run after his strike, to eliminate Martin Sloboda (Ger, #13) in three runs.
• Two worth-watching semi-finals with equal strength skaters! Andrey Shitov knocks out Kim Sung Jin after two close runs (a difference of 3-4 hundredths only). Contrarily to this first semi-final during which the skaters do perfects, the second semi-final, showing very close times too, is played out according to penalties: three runs for Igor Cheremetieff and ReKiL… Igor gives the first run to ReKiL: he is two hundredth ahead, but his two penalties relegate him behind ReKiL; the two following runs are won by Igor who is a few hundredths ahead.
• The consolation final between Kim Sung Jin and ReKiL is still spectacular: each skater wins a run. Both are doing the same times, with perfect runs. But Kim Sung Jin gives up and strikes on the third run… thus doing, he gives the last and determining run to ReKiL, who reaches the third place on the podium.
• Nothing much to say about the Final, won by Andrey Shitov thanks to two perfect runs against Igor Cheremetieff, faster… but not cleaner!
Results of the Mens Speed Slalom:
1-Andrey Shitov (Rus)
2-Igor Cheremetieff (Fra)
3-Kirill ‘ReKiL’ Ryazantsev (Rus)
4-Kim Sung Jin (Kor)
Saturday, March 20
The eleven women were dispatched into three groups of “third-finals”. Please note the absence of Yulia Kulagina and the presence – but only as a spectator – of Nadezhda Zelenova; the young retired competitor came to admire the event without the usual stress.
The Womens Battle is not very dynamic… rest is in the air after the turmoil of the preceding week in St. Petersburg! And last but not least, the girls are not in tip-top form: Polina Semenova has temperature, Marina Boyko has a back ache, and Chloé Seyrès a thigh injury… the girls battle could have been renamed the Skating Wounded Battle!
Here come the surprises!
• And as early as the first group: Kristina Lysenko (Rus, #22) is knocked out! She made a lot of mistakes all the way through both her runs and finalizes almost nothing. The other way around, Ksenja Komarchuk (Ukr, #31) is less technical but makes sure to show varied and quite clean runs. The jury asks for a Best Trick. Because of stress, Kristina fails on both her tries to do toe seven, and Ksenja knocks her out with a more modest (but mastered) front cobra. Chloé Seyrès (FRA, #2) ends up first of the group, with varied – but slow – runs.
• The other two third-finals unfold without a hitch for the favorites Marina Boyko (Ukr, #7) and Angelika Babiy (Rus, #5) of the second group, as well as Polina Semenova (Rus, #3) and Sabina Ismailova (Ukr, #21) of the third group, who qualify hands down for the semi-finals.
• This is when the second Coup de Theatre takes place, during the first group: Chloé Seyrès (Fra) is knocked out by Angelika Babiy (Rus) and Sabina Ismailova (Ukr) after a close fight. Slower than usual, she does fewer tricks; and what she manages to do, though clean and mastered, is not long enough to rival the 20-cone super-combos (local specialties!) of her opponents.
• The second semi-final is not as close, and gathers Marina Boyko (Ukr), Polina Semenova (Rus), and Ksenya Komarchuk (Ukr). Marina and Polina are ahead of Ksenya and go through to the Final.
• The Consolation Final is between the two knocked out of the Semi-Finals (indeed, there were two groups of three, two qualified and one out), i.e. Chloé Seyrès and Ksenja Komarchuk. Two runs and one last trick. Chloé ends up first (fifth at the general ranking). Both skaters showed varied runs, but Chloé Seyrès was ahead in sitting tricks and in pure freestyle.
As for the final… here is a little reminder of the protagonists (following the order to go): Angelika Babiy (Rus), Marina Boyko (Ukr), Sabina Ismailova (Ukr), and Polina Semenova (Rus). A nice selection, indeed!
• Sabina Ismailova ends up fourth, being not as skillful as the other finalists at wheelings (with back wheeling managing max five cones) as well as at sitting tricks, despite some interesting combos: heel wheeling to cobra (front and then back), butterfly to toe wheeling, or on the 50s wiper-cobra to back crossed compass to Korean screw…
• The third place goes to Angelika Babiy, who manages a wonderfully clean and complete first run: a wheeling transition back-to-front 5x5, to-and-fro kasakchoc (front then back) 6x6, a heel-heel Korean screw spinning around one cone… her two other runs are less impressive but have good technical peaks (butterfly to chicken leg managing three spins); but she loses a great deal of time in digging her heels trying to do front-to-back wheeling transition – without success.
• It’s hard to make a choice concerning the two first places… Polina Semenova manages an excellent first run starting with a 20-cone back heel wheeling on the 50s, and a heel wheeling snail to back heel wheeling on the three remaining cones. She props up her trick panel during the two other runs with efficient sitting tricks (christie free, kasakspin, back kasakchok) and solid spin combos (heel wheeling to wiper-cobra to heel-toe Korean screw to toe-toe back crossed compass).
• Marina is not as steady as usual on her wheeling tricks, and for that reason she loses her usual lead on her opponents. She manages performances in spins and sitting tricks equivalent to Polina’s: butterfly to Korean snail (switch) to Korean screw (normal) – for spins; and good kasakspins, footgun-spins, and back kasakchok – for sitting tricks. She also manages a few good and varied wheelings (special one foot, 4x4 wheeling transition, a 4-cone seven…)
• But the fatal mistake is made during the last trick: on her two tries, Marina misses her back heel wheeling after only 6-7 cones… Polina’s just got to play safe with a heel wheeling marathon managing 40 cones (80s+50s)!
Polina Semenova is then the winner of Battle Moscow 2010 (by two votes to one for Marina), closely followed by Marina Boyko.
Results of the Womens Freestyle Battle
1-Polina Semenova (Rus)
2-Marina Boyko (Ukr)
3-Angelika Babiy (Rus)
4-Sabina Ismailova (Ukr)
Even the first round of the Qualifiers is deadly! All the top-skaters qualify for the Quarter-Finals, but some promising rising skaters, like Ivan Misevra (Rus, #89), or older ones, like Kirill ‘ReKiL’ Ryazantsev (Rus, #22), and Mischa Gurevich (Ger, #32), are knocked out from the very start.
Group #6 -- ft. ReKiL (Rus), Alex Shulan (Brs), Nikolay Alexandrov (Rus), Alex Shevchenko (Rus).
Group #3 -- Dmitry Shevarutin (Rus), Alexey Tsokolov (Rus), Alexey Rychkov (Rus), Alexey Krotov (Rus).
Group #5 -- Kim Sung Jin (Kor), Max Anin (Rus), Anton Estrada-Betancourt (Ukr), Danya Yashin (Rus).
Group #7 -- Roman Gordin (Rus), Mischa Gurevich (Ger), Valera Shevchenko (Rus), Mikhail Peshekhonov (Rus).
Group #8 -- Igor Cheremetieff (Fra), Ivan Misevra (Rus), Timofey Tyagur (Rus).
The quarter-finals are pitiless:
• It’s the final “goodbye to the battalion” (sic.) for Xuan Le (Fra, #6) and Denis ‘Disa’ Islamov (Rus, #31) who both end up third in their groups, respectively behind Martin Sloboda (Ger, #1) and Viktor ‘Generator’ Meleshkevich (Rus, #16), and behind Andrey Shitov (Rus, #20) and Dmitry Shevarutin (Rus, #10). Xuan Le sums up the situation thanks to a subtle metaphor: “I fought with a toothpick” – a derived version from his phrase fighting with a bamboo meaning that someone has no chance to go through with the tricks/weapons they have in stock. The King of Style lacked riposte against wheeling maniacs.
• The quarter-finals are also marked by the knocking out of Nikolay Alexandrov (Rus, #NC): he is in the fourth group… with Igor Cheremetieff (Fra, #2) and Roman Gordin (Rus, #19) who don’t do favors! This skater crossed Russia from East to West (and it’s quite a long way); and no matter how particular his custom-skates look like (first generation Seba boots with rockered slalom FSK frames too much on the back), he’s got a good flow, smooth and quick, and a panel of tricks as technical as wide – the must-haves sevens, specials one foot, day-nights… and nice toe-wipers, and sitting tricks… and a pleasant style.
QF#1 -- Martin Sloboda (Ger), Viktor Meleshkevich (Rus), Alexey Tsokolov (Rus), Xuan Le (Fra).
QF#2 -- Alexey Gulyagin (Rus), Andrey Shitov (Rus), Dmitry Shevarutin (Rus), Denis Islamov (Rus).
• The firsts of the two groups are Martin Sloboda (Ger, #1) and Kim Sung Jin (Kor, #3) – no surprise!
• In the first group, the second place goes to Andrey Shitov, who manages clean, mastered, technique and varied runs (good combining). He thus relegates Roman Gordin (brilliant at wheelings but his runs are too repetitive) and Alex Shulhan to the third and fourth places.
• In the second group, it’s Dmitry Shevarutin who snaps up the second place: despite a chaotic first run, he makes up more than enough for it during his other two runs to get the qualification, and leave Igor Cheremetieff and Viktor ‘Generator’ Meleshkevich (who completely misses the round) high and dry.
Download it! (Shooting by ReKiL)
• The co-final is won by Viktor Meleshkevich with runs essentially on one wheel, made of so complex combos that his lack of variety is not penalizing enough to make him lose one place.
• Variety is the card wittingly played by Igor Cheremetieff – which enables him to reach the sixth place, ahead of Roman Gordin (seventh) and Alex Shulhan (eighth) because variety compensates for the fact that he is slightly behind in technique.
Co-Final -- Alex Shulhan (Brs), Igor Cheremetieff (Fra), Roman Gordin (Rus), Viktor Meleshkevich (Rus).
Download it! (Shooting by ReKiL)
• Four finalists, amongst whom three pretenders to the title(following the order to go): Andrey Shitov (Rus), Kim Sung Jin (Kor), Dmitry Shevarutin (Rus), and Martin Sloboda (Ger).
• Andrey Shitov is soon left behind by the other three; Although he is far from being ridiculous with his double wheeling transition front-back-front managing the whole 80s – and back for eight cones still doing back wheeling… and with his last trick (back wheeling to special one foot managing the whole line)… but his opponents’ big tricks are even more striking than his!
• Two different tactics. Whereas Dmitry Shevarutin counts on long and complex combos combining tricks which are already impressive in themselves (egg. a super 50s made of special one foot to butterfly to toe wiper), Martin Sloboda and Kim Sung Jin do loose skating in punctuating stylish freestyle with high-technical (wheeling) tricks…
• The finalists keep on outbidding each other: when Shevarutin manages a 20-cone back heel wheeling, Martin Sloboda bids 20 more (20+20=40 back and fro)… And Sung Jin hits harder than ever with his last trick managing 60 (yes, indeed: 20+20+20). While Martin and KSJ do 6/7-cone sevens during their runs, Shevarutin give them a forfeit with a dozen-cone seven launched from special one foot for his last trick. While KSJ manages 20 cones doing special one foot, started from stop and finalized in going back with a 10x10 wheeling transition; Martin follows, bidding even higher during his last trick: a 20-cone special one foot, and back doing front wheeling (5cones)… to manage the “last” 15 cones doing special one foot again…
• They also make a good personal show… particularly Shevarutin who does Korean screw managing at least 15 cones with his hands covering his eyes; Kim Sung Jin who captivates attention thanks to his dexterity and his precision…
• The top-trio is easily identifiable… but the final order is almost impossible to guess, and speculations are flying around. Kim Sung Jin is the favorite, mainly (but not only) because of the last (impressive) impression he left with his memorable last trick. He finally ends up first, as expected. The two remaining places on the podium go to two opponents whose skatings are hardly comparable: the jury finally decides in favor of Dmitry Shevarutin who gets the second place, and Martin Sloboda finds himself on the third step of the podium.
Results of the Mens Freestyle Battle:
1-Kim Sung Jin (Kor)
2-Dmitry Shevarutin (Rus)
3-Martin Sloboda (Ger)
4-Andrey Shitov (Rus)
The competition ended with the usual afterparty at the 1000 Miles Club… a night which will leave unforgettable memories to some of us… if ever they are able to remember them :)
The next two meetings are on March 27-28 in Nottingham (Battle UK “Roll Britannia” IV, two-cone) and in Burgos (SPA, one-cone).