Some Thursday tidbits from Taipei

Rumba for next season's short dance; Takahashi landing quads

Miki Ando says she is a bit tired and not in top shape to compete at Four Continents.
Miki Ando says she is a bit tired and not in top shape to compete at Four Continents. (Getty Images)


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By Lynn Rutherford and Alexandra Stevenson, special to
(02/17/2011) - The two top ice dance teams here -- Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, and Meryl Davis and Charlie White -- listened intently as Bob Horen, a member of the International Skating Union (ISU) Ice Dance Committee, updated competitors and coaches on the state of the sport in a meeting held after the ice dance draw.

Horen told the group the ISU hopes to issue far fewer ice dance rule changes and clarifications than it did last season, when the new short dance -- a hybrid of the compulsory (pattern) dance and original dance -- went into effect.

Next season, Horen said it is likely the senior short dance will include the Rumba compulsory; for juniors, it will be the Cha Cha Congelado. The news is not official until after the committee's meeting at the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships in Tokyo next month; however, Horen said the ISU wanted to alert ice dancers and their coaches, so they could start making plans.

Competitors will be permitted to team the Rumba with another Latin rhythm, but definitely not a Tango or Paso Doble...

While organizers did their best to drum up interest in the event, up to and including giving away free tickets, there were almost no spectators for the short dance, held Thursday at 4 p.m. Taipei time. More people showed up for the pairs short that evening, but attendance in the 15,000-seat arena was still sparse...

The Japanese team held a press conference on Wednesday. English translators were not readily available, but it was plain world champion Daisuke Takahashi was happy with his form in Taipei.

"I am landing my quadruple toe loops in practice," he said. "I was better today, in the main rink, than I was in the practice rink yesterday."

Japanese champion Miki Ando was less happy, saying she arrived in Taipei a bit tired and "not in her best condition." The 2007 world champion is expected to compete for the ladies title here, along with her teammate, world champion Mao Asada; Akiko Suzuki, fourth in Japan; U.S. and Grand Prix Final champion Alissa Czisny; and former U.S. champions Rachael Flatt and Mirai Nagasu.