IW synchronized skating team Wight Jewels were of before breakfast for their official practice for their long programme, with warm-up beginning at 7.46am. Despite falls in both run-throughs the practice went well, and the team is good shape for the competition later today. With only a narrow advantage over Hungary’s Frost Work, and the Hungarians looking strong in practice, the contest should be nail-bitingly close.
There’s opportunity too for all the teams in the early groups to skate: with only a few points between them, the chance is there to snatch the vital points to close the gap. The difference between a clean skate and a programme with a fall may cost a place – but that’s as true among the leading teams.
Duke Town Twinkle Stars of the Netherlands looked fast in their long, and seemed determined to make up ground on Australia’s Majestic Ice. But the Australian’s long programme is their preferred one of the two.
The morning revealed some of the issues that synchronized skating team’s face. Majestic Ice has all of one hour of ice a week on its home rink for practice, Twinkle Stars have three hours, and when practice times such as UK senior team Aura’s two hours a week are considered, one of the clear issues facing synchronized skating teams is getting sufficient ice time to practise and improve. It’s an issue the Wight Jewels are only able to solve by skating at extremely anti-social hours in addition to regular slots at the home rink.
Today’s skating will be interesting at all levels. Yes there will be the classic duel between Finland’s Fintastic and Musketeers, but within all the skating groups there will be keenly fought contests to maintain or improve on an advantage.
Watch it all live at http://studio.jwcc2012.se/live/ from 15.30 CET (14.30 GMT), and while they are available catch up with the interviews with the team captains at http://studio.jwcc2012.se/, including co-captains Izzy Coeshott and Gemma Marsh of Wight Jewels.
iowskaters will be back with a summary after the event, providing there is no repeat of last night’s catastrophic computer failure.