(March 24, 2004)
Joannie Rochette and Jennifer Robinson, the two Canadian ladies competing at the 2004 International Skating Union (ISU) World Figure Skating Championships, both put down impressive performances in qualifying earlier today.
Apart from errors on two triple flip jump attempts, the 18-year-old Rochette, of Ile Dupas, Que., had an outstanding qualifying skate. She completed a total of six triple jumps, including a triple Lutz, and her program highlighted her excellent spins and footwork.
The judges rewarded Rochette with marks ranging from 4.6 to 5.4 for technical merit and from 4.9 up to 5.8 for presentation, which were enough to place her fifth in qualifying group B.
Like Rochette, Robinson was off to a good start in the qualifying round. Robinson, 27, of Windsor, Ont., landed six triple jumps, including two in jump combinations and a triple Lutz-triple toe sequence.
Robinson currently stands one spot back of Rochette in sixth-place after qualifying.
“It was a really hard morning having to practise at six o'clock and having to compete really early,” said Robinson. “But I was thrilled with the performance.”
Leading qualifying group B is American Sasha Cohen, who delivered an impressive performance. Elena Sokolova of Russia, who won the silver medal at last year’s World Championships, is standing in second-place, and Hungarian Julia Sebestyen is in third-place.
In qualifying group A, reigning World Champion Michelle Kwan made two errors in her program to place third in her qualifying group. Two Japanese skaters had strong skates in qualifying group A, with Shizuka Arakawa currently standing first and Miki Ando, who won the gold medal at the 2004 World Junior Figure Skating Championships less than one month ago, in second-place.
The ladies competition continues on Friday with the short program.