Small moves made in Britain and Hungary
Stacey Kemp and David King are week's only big movers
|Stacey Kemp and David King were the only big movers of the week, jumping up three spots. (Getty Images)|
Stacey Kemp and David King did not have an overly successful Grand Prix Series this year. They finished seventh at Skate America and eighth at the Trophee Eric Bompard. As this was only their second season on the senior Grand Prix circuit, the seventh-place finish still matched a career high for that level event.
Kemp and King proved that they are the class of British pairs skating with their performance in Sheffield last week. Their only competition withdrew before the event, so they won their third straight national title uncontested. The win moved them up three places in the rankings, up to No. 16.
The Brits will have to really prove their mettle at the European Championships at the end of January if they want to keep climbing the rankings.
The dance competition at the British nationals garnered a little more attention than the pairs, not because of a particular performance, but because of the judging. Sinead Kerr and John Kerr won their fifth consecutive national title, moving up one spot in the rankings to 12th overall.
But the Kerrs, who finished just off the podium at the NHK Trophy and fifth at the Cup of China, received scores that were far lower than expected, actually not receiving points for their final element.
They will need to fine tune their program before Europeans if they want to contend with the best in the world, defend their current standings and match their fifth-place finish last year.
There were not any changes in the rankings for the ladies this week, but there was a change in points. Top-ranked Yu-Na Kim did not skate at the Korean nationals because she had already qualified for the world championships. She, therefore, missed an opportunity to pad her place atop the rankings. She has been the world's best skater so far this season and will have to defend that position at the major international events to come.
The only change in points came from Julia Sebestyen, who won her seventh Hungarian national title in a row. The 2004 European champion added some points but remained in 12th place. She still sits behind American Emily Hughes.
Sebestyen won the Ondrej Nepela Memorial in September but has not contended at a major international event in more than a year. To remain in the upper echelon of ladies figure skating, Sebestyen needs to start performing at the big competitions soon.
There were no changes at all in the men's rankings. But some of the top men will be in action this week as the up-and-coming Patrick Chan will try to solidify his spot among the world's best by unseating three-time defending champ Jeffrey Buttle at the Canadian nationals this weekend.