The rain that pounded Berlin overnight cleared midmorning. The mixed pairs semifinals were held indoors, but by the time they finished, the main field had dried enough to have the rest of the day’s rounds outside.
Still trying to corral the results. With 100 players in the event, the priority is to complete the rounds, and details like posting the tab sheets are rightly being skipped for now. Soon. I promise. Soon.
A brief summary:
The emotional highlight of the semifinals was Fabio Sanna and Eleonora Imazio’s ballet-inspired routine, which they nailed. That was only good for second place in their pool, however, because Cindy Kruger and Jake Gauthier also nailed their routine. Having not seen the judging numbers, my guess is that Cindy/Jake outscored Fabio/Eleonora in difficulty and stayed close to them in Artistic Impression. Execution was probably a wash.
Other teams making the finals (as I recall): Lori Daniels/Pat Marron, Mary Lowry/Paul Kenny, Lisa Hunrichs/Matt Gauthier and one more team I can’t remember right now (it’s 2:50am – it might have been Andrea Meola’s team).
The women’s semi was just a seeding round. Sarah Bergman/Mary Lowry placed first in the five team pool.
Open Pairs was a rollercoaster. The first pool dealt with squirrelly wind, so nobody hit. Nobody except Matt and Jake Gauthier, that is. Matt and Jake played super smart, altering their catches yet keeping up the level of their tech game and great teamwork. This year, Jake has opened up on his indies, and it has added a new energy to their performances.
There were a few upsets in the first pool. The most significant was Paul Kenny/Pat Marron, one of the title favorites entering the tournament. They cornered themselves upwind, then got pummelled by dropouts in the breeze for about 2/3 of their time. At a music change, they showed tremendous poise by basically starting over and playing the rest of their routine very cleanly. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough and they ended up fifth. Cindy Kruger and Lisa Hunrichs were also victims of the wind. They were in Frisbee Hell. No adjustment they made worked, we never got to see the beautiful routine they played in the qualifier and prelims. They ended up seventh.
Toddy Brodeur/Jan Soerensen seedbusted to second in the pool, followed by Clay Collerá/Fabio Sanna in third and Larry Imperiale/Steve Hanes in fourth.
The second pool was super hot. Team after team laid down finals-worthy performances and it was heartbreaking to think about the teams that played so well and would not make it to the show on Sunday.
The top 4 ended up being Tom Leitner/Reto Zimmerman in first, Dave Lewis/Pipo Lopez in second, Piccio Cusma/Andrea Meola in third, and a tie for fourth. Both Steve "The Beast" Hays/Dan Yarnell and Joakim Arveskär/Stefan Karlsson finished with the same score and will advance to the finals. Dan and "The Beast" proved that one crushing BTB catch and a score through the legs of ones teammate can be a ticket to the finals. Arveskär/Karlsson persevered through some nasty drops and will have a second chance to show their routine tomorrow.
A couple notable performances. Andrea Rimatori/Andreas Jaderyd played superb freestyle in early position – very clean and exciting. Somehow they ended up 8th. Again, I haven’t seen the stats, but perhaps the other teams outscored them in Artistic. This team should stay together, and next time maybe they will get the scores the audience thought they should get.
Karlsruhe pair Flo Hess and Christian Lamred didn’t hit their routine quite as well as in the prelims. Six drops this time, but the routine was very strong, and both guys show technical skill and aggressive catches.
They took more than the usual 16 teams into the semis due to the record 31 teams who entered, so the cuts were super tough. Four teams from each pool made the finals.
Dave Lewis/Pipo Lopez/Pat Marron won the first pool. Toddy Brodeur/Larry Imperiale/Paul Kenny, Matt Gauthier/Lisa Hunrichs/Cindy Kruger and (sorry, it’s now 3:15am) one other team also advanced to the finals.
Clay Collera/Tom Leitner/Reto Zimmerman won the second pool by a few tenths of a point over Piccio Cusma/Andrea Meola/Fabio Sanna. Jake Gauthier/Jeff Kruger/Rodney Sanchez took third, and an American history themed routine by Tristan Doshier/Steve Hanes/Dan Yarnell, complete with the tossing of a fake snake into the audience, got fourth.
A few notable performances. Philipp Lenarz/Filippo Cavalca/Paolo Magni played first and set a high standard to beat. Each player hit their biggest moves, and the whole team played clean with about two drops. Carsten Heim/Flo Hess/Christian Lamred also got hot and finished just out of the finals in fifth.
The co-op finals is stacked. Having seen all of the semis routines today, this is a title that is up for grabs. Tom Leitner/Reto Zimmerman seem to be the favorites in both Pairs and Co-op, but as we know anything can happen. The weather forecast is clear. Let’s hope the winds are friendly and we see play as strong as today’s.