Czisny defends title at Nebelhorn Trophy

American grabs gold in Germany for second straight year

Alissa Czisny will compete against a tough ladies field at the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow.
Alissa Czisny will compete against a tough ladies field at the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow. (Getty Images)


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By J. Barry Mittan, special to
(09/26/2009) - U.S. skater Alissa Czisny defended her gold medal at the 2009 Nebelhorn Trophy, totaling 151.40 points to win by 1.39 points over Finland's Kiira Korpi.

"I love coming to this competition," Czisny said. "My short was good, but my long was just OK. I'll look at the protocol and see what I have to work on."

First after the short program, Czisny was only sixth in the free skate with 91.02 points in her program to selections from the motion picture soundtrack of Dr. Zhivago.

Czisny had a triple Lutz, triple flip, triple toe and triple loop-double toe combination, all of which received negative GOEs. She doubled a planned triple loop and popped the opening double Axel in a planned double Axel-double Axel sequence, receiving no points for it.

The only jump that received a positive GOE was her triple Lutz-double toe loop combination, but she scored high on her fast and well centered spins as well as her spiral sequence

Korpi used "Crooked Room" and "Passenger to Copenhagen" for her long program. She placed fourth in the free skate with 91.67 points to win the silver medal with 150.01 points overall.

"It's been a great week," Korpi said. "I really enjoyed it. I'm so happy to have won a medal on my birthday. I think it has been ten years since I was here for a training camp, and the village is such a nice place. I was supposed to come last year, but then I got sick, so I wanted to be sure to come this season."

Korpi landed triple Salchow-double toe loop, double Axel-double toe-double toe, triple loop, and double Axel. She two-footed her opening triple Lutz and popped her planned triple Salchow and triple loop.

"It was up and down for the whole program," Korpi said. "It was difficult to maintain concentration because of the mistakes. I felt I was rushing, but I tried to fight until the end.

Chinese skater Yan Liu, performing to "Why Are The Flowers So Red" in a bright red dress with a red flower in her hair, scored 99.69 points to win the long.

Liu, who was fifth in the short, totaled 147.87 points overall to take the bronze medal and qualify for her second Olympics.

"I just do what I do every day in practice," Liu said. "The crowd encouraged me to do so much better. I'm in very good condition to train well, and this will give me confidence for the Grand Prix and the Olympics."

She landed a triple loop-double Axel sequence, triple Lutz, triple flip, triple Salchow, triple toe loop and double Axel but singled the third jump in her triple Salchow-double toe-double loop combination.

Julia Sebestyen of Hungary skated to a selection of music by Raul di Blasio in her free skate. Sebestyen, who was third in the short, earned 93.08 points to finish second in the free skate. With 146.76 total points, she was fourth overall but qualified for her fourth Olympics.

Sebestyen landed a triple Lutz-double toe combination, a double Axel-double Axel sequence, a triple toe loop and a double Axel, but every other jump was a double.

"For the beginning of the season, it was not too bad," Sebestyen said. "There was big pressure on me to qualify here. I had a good start and tried to push through to the end."

Slovenia's Teodora Postic scored 92.15 points to place third in the long, Sixth after the short, Postic earned 139.97 total points to place fifth overall.

Postic completed triple loop-double toe and triple toe-double toe combinations, a triple Salchow, triple toe loop, and two double Axels, but popped the second jump on a triple Salchow-double Axel sequence. She skated to a selection of music by the Transsiberian Orchestra and

Fourth after the short, Austria's Miriam Ziegler scored only 79.84 points in the free skate, placing 11th, but had a total score of 132.38, sixth overall.

She used music by Yann Tiersen for her free program including "La Boulange", "Mother's Journey" and "Dishes" from the motion picture soundtrack of Goodbye Lenin.

Germany's Sarah Hecken, seventh after the short, was obviously thrilled by her performance in the long, bursting into big smiles when she landed her jumps and pumping the air with her fist as she finished. She finished eighth in the long and seventh overall.

Spain's Sonia Lafuente made the biggest jump in the standings from 16th in the short to fifth in the long, placing eighth overall.

"I spent time in Montreal training with Joannie Rochette this summer, and that helped my confidence," Lafuente said.

She landed triple toe-double toe, triple loop-double toe, and double flip-double toe-double loop in combination plus a triple loop, triple toe loop and two double Axels.

Earning spots for the Olympic Games were Austria, Belgium, China, Hungary, Slovenia and Spain.