The ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships concluded in Colorado Springs, CO (USA) Friday with the Free Skating. A total of 24 teams representing 19 ISU Members competed in the Championships.
Team Paradise (RUS) defends World title
Team Paradise of Russia skated to gold to win back-to-back World titles, edging out Finland’s Marigold Ice Unity by just 0.12 points. Team Nexxice of Canada pulled up from fourth to earn the bronze.
Paradise put out a dynamic performance to “Warsaw Concerto” by Richard Addinsel and picked up a level four for their No Hold Element, the Travelling Wheel and their pair spin while the group lifts, the Intersections and the Move Element were rated a level three. The team from St. Petersburg was ranked second in the Free Skating with 136.08 points but overall held on to first place at 208.70 points.
Skating to a selection of music by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, Marigold Ice Unity, dressed in the Finnish colors blue and white, produced level-four group lifts, No Hold Element, Travelling Wheel and Pair Element as well as three level-three elements to win the Free Skating portion with 137.70 points. The 2014 World Champions totaled 208.58 points and remained in second place.
Nexxice’s program to “Hymn”, “If” and “Memorial” featured five level-four elements. The 2015 World Champions scored 130.37 points and were ranked fourth in the Free Skating like in the Short Program, but overall moved up to third at 197.54 points.
2016 World bronze medalists Team USA – Haydenettes pulled up from fifth to fourth place with the third-best Free Skating of the night (194.43 points). 2016 World silver medalists Team RCKT (FIN) dropped from third to fifth after a three-points deduction for falls in the intersection and another deduction for a costume failure (193.87 points). Tatarstan (RUS) placed sixth (187.33 points).
The Free Skating program contains seven required elements: two different Group Lift Elements, two different Intersection Elements, No Hold Element, Travelling Element – Wheel, Pair Element (one of pair pivot, pair spin, pair step sequence) plus two elements that have to be chosen from two different groups of elements.
Originally called Precision Skating, Synchronized Skating was introduced in the 1950s. It is a highly technical form of Figure Skating characterized by speed, precisions, unison, intricate formations, synchro elements, difficult footwork, spectacular lifts and exciting transitions. A synchronized team consists of 16 skaters (plus up to four alternates).