(March 26, 2004)
Both Emanuel Sandhu and Ben Ferreira delivered strong performances in the free skate at the 2004 ISU World Figure Skating Championships to move up the overall standings.
The 23-year-old Sandhu, of Richmond Hill, Ont., was standing 11th after the short program, but put together a solid free skate last night that featured seven triple jumps, including an impressive triple Axel-triple toe loop combination.
Sandhu’s marks ranged from 5.0 to 5.5 for technical merit and from 5.2 to 5.7 for presentation, which placed Sandhu eighth overall.
His eighth-place finish at this year’s World Championships equals his previous best performance at a World Championships, an eighth-place finish at the 2003 World Championships in Washington, D.C.
“I said to myself, ‘I can't change anything right now and I don't want to go out wimpy,’” said Sandhu. “I wanted to go out fighting.”
And go out fighting he did, as did Edmonton’s Ben Ferreira.
Ferreira, 24, also skated a strong performance. His Untouchables program included two triple-triple combinations - a triple Axel-triple toe loop and a triple Lutz-triple toe loop. Ferreira also attempted a quadruple toe loop, but he stepped out on the landing of the jump.
Ferreira’s marks ranged from 4.9 to 5.4 for technical merit and from 5.0 to 5.4 for presentation. He placed 13th overall, which is an improvement on his previous best placing at a World Championships, a 15th-place finish at the 2002 World Championships.
“I think I did just about the best I could do,” said Ferreira. “The long program at the Canadians in Edmonton was a bit better, but for worlds it was a satisfying performance. I almost had the quad but stepped out. I did two triple-triples. I was very happy with the effort I gave. It was a good way to finish the season.”
Recapturing the gold medal he won at last year’s World Championships was Russia’s Evgeni Plushenko. Plushenko skated an excellent program that earned him four 6.0s, a string of 5.9s and one 5.8 for presentation from the judges.
“The third world title is great, and I thank destiny for it,” said Plushenko. “Yes, I waited anxiously for the marks, but I hoped that I had won, so I waited, waited, watched… the judges decide, and everything can happen. This was the hardest World Championship for me. Everyone skated so well, and I like this. We’re pushing the level of skating.”
Winning the silver medal was Brian Joubert of France. Joubert also delivered an outstanding performance that featured two quadruple toe loops, one of which was in combination. This is Joubert’s first World Championships medal, and it marks the first time that France has won a medal in the Men’s event at the World Championships since Philippe Candeloro won the bronze medal in 1995.
Rounding out the podium was Germany’s Stefan Lindemann, who thrilled the German audience with a great performance.
Based on the combined results of Sandhu and Ferreira, Canada will be able to send two entries to next year’s World Championships.