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1998 Ultimate Four

Date-April 23, 1998

Location-Binghampton, New York

Programs-short: Swan Lake; long: Dark Eyes

Review-

After the short program, Elena and Anton were in first place in a field of four pairs. In California where I live, the short program for pairs was not televised.

Elena and Anton won the Ultimate Four. They started out with a triple split twist, which they doubled. I expected it, in a way, because they just mastered that move shortly before the Olympics. They followed with a double axel double toe loop combination. Anton looked very steady in the air, but was just a tiny bit shaky on the landing axel. It was hardly noticed as he covered nicely and performed a great double toe loop. Their lifts were the usual, many innovative lifts. The lift where Elena is carried over Anton's head was great. Elena and Anton scored 5.9's across the board, with one 5.8-every judge placed them in first following an uncharacteristic fall on a throw by Kazakova and Dmitriev. I was shocked! Oksana fell on a throw and slid across the ice, almost crashing into the boards. I've never seen her fall on a throw like that before.

Photos-Ultimate Four Photos by Margaret Burwell

Standings after Short Program-

Ladies

  1. Michelle Kwan
  2. Irina Slutskaya
  3. Yuka Sato
  4. Maria Butyrskaya

Men

  1. Todd Eldredge
  2. Alexei Urmanov
  3. Ilia Kulik
  4. Kurt Browning

Pairs

  1. Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze
  2. Oksana Kazakova and Artur Dmitriev
  3. Jenni Meno and Todd Sand
  4. Kyoko Ina and Jason Dungjen

Final Standings-

Ladies

  1. Michelle Kwan
  2. Maria Butyrskaya
  3. Irina Slutskaya
  4. Yuka Sato

Men

  1. Tood Eldredge
  2. Kurt Browning
  3. Ilia Kulik
  4. Alexei Urmanov

Pairs

  1. Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze
  2. Meno and Todd Sand
  3. Oksana Kazakova and Artur Dmitriev
  4. Kyoko Ina and Jason Dungjen




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