PSWC 2013 - Classic Freestyle
The 11th edition of the Paris Slalom World Cup took place on May 24-26 with a heavy rain that crashed the party. Despite the tents and the volunteers' work, the cone lines were entirely wet. Yet the harsh conditions did not discourage the skaters who had to get acquainted to the slippery-wet and slopy ground of the Trocadéro. Hopefully, the weather improved day by day and the tents were not even needed on Sunday!
The event starts with the MEN'S CLASSIC COMPETITION and the 42 freestylers show their runs to the judges, their skater friends... and the few curious tourists stopping by, come rain or... come rain! The leading countries are Korea, France and Spain, who seize all the places of the Top-10 of the competition.
All but one: the Silver medal goes to Polish champion MICHAL SULINOWSKI (WR#2), thanks to an energetic run alternating between heel and toe wheeling tricks, and completed by expressive freestyle parts. A recipe that proves to be efficient!
Korean LEE CHOONG GOON (#5) wins the category for the second time in a row thanks to a run mainly based on music expression, with original freestyle routines composed specially for the k-pop song he skates to. Topped with a few high-level technical tricks, his clean performance (no cones down) propels him to the first place.
The last step of the podium goes to French ALEXANDRE CLARIS (#3) who plays with similar weapons to M.Sulinowski's, super high speed and extremely varied high technical tricks, with a back toe footgun in bonus! The only one of the category.
A.CLARIS – “I had to slow down my performance to be more precise and secure my balance on the wet and bumpy ground. I missed a couple of tricks, and because of the imperfections of the ground I had to improvise a few parts, but I'm quite satisfied with my run on the whole.”
At the foot of the podium is Korean YU JIN SEONG (#6) with a great quality performance that lacks an inch of technique to rival with the podium... the results may not have been the same if his tricks had lasted a little longer.
Let's also note the performances of French ROMAIN LEBOIS (#1) and IGOR CHEREMETIEFF (#9) who manage good feats, enabling them to rank 5th and 9th … including a toe christie for the world leader: a foretaste of what is to come in Battle!
Three Spanish skaters separate the two French. They are none others than JON LARRUCEA (#9), CARLOS NELSON (#66) and TONI CASTRO (#97) at the 6th, 7th and 8th places. All three have impressively precise performances, with original freestyle routines, perfectly in accordance with their musics. Korean LEE JUNG HYUN (#135) closes the Top-10 of the competition.
The WOMEN'S CLASSIC FREESTYLE COMPETITION take place the next day and gathers 38 skaters, almost as many as the Men's, a number increasing every year!
The winner is Chinese FENG HUI (#20) with a few but efficient high-level combos and a solid choreography. She may not have much time to train anymore, now that she is a star frequenting national TV shows, but she is still in the lead! She is closely followed by Russian DARIA KUZNETSOVA (#1) who has no reason to envy the Chinese's technical performance but who lacks expressiveness in comparison.
The Bronze goes to Polish KLAUDIA HARTMANIS (#2) who is quite satisfied with her performance:
K.HARTMANIS – "It was my first test with the new run I'm working on for the European Championships. They are all the more important as they take place in my country this year. Sometimes I still knock down a dozen of cones on that program at practice. So even if I had no power left in my legs for my 50's, that first try was quite conclusive. It's on the good way."
Russian OLGA SEMENIKHINA (#10) ends up at the foot of the podium with a huge panel of toe sitting tricks in her run: front and back toe footgun, as well as toe christie!
Ukrainian MARYNA BOIKO (#3) is 5th... and quite mitigated about her performance:
M.BOIKO – "I had to take a break after my Asian trip to treat my ankle, and I only put my skates back on yesterday. I still need to get the good balance back on that right leg. I would had rather avoid the fails and the fall in the end..."
Let's note the good performances of Ukrainian KSENIJA KOMARCHUK (#14) and Russian KRISTINA LYSENKO (#19) who rank 6th and 7th with very choreographed runs.
French ZOE GRANJON is further behind, at the 9th place with a counter-performance. She confesses that she still hasn't found the good mix this year:
Z.GRANJON – "I've known better performances! I really need to improve that run for the European Championships. I may even make a new one, I would have the French Championships to test it before the dead-line."
Next to come : Speed slalom and Battle at the PSWC 2013.
Report by Chloe Seyres for WorldSlalomSeries.com / May 2013
Article written by C.Seyres - May 2013