American skaters dominated the singles events at the pre-Olympic skating championships at Lake Placid last weekend (20-23 September).
American skaters dominated the singles events at the pre-Olympic skating championships at Lake Placid last weekend (20-23 September). American Scott Hamilton won the men's event, and Lisa-Marie Allen, from California, U.S.A. took the ladies' title.
SYNOPSIS: Hungarian couple Krisztina Regoczy and Andras Sally did manage to break the American dominance in the ice dance competition. They took the first place with display of controlled yet artistic dancing, beating Russian couple Natalia Bestemianova an Andrei Bukin into second place. Canadians Lorna Wighton and John Dowding were third, while three American couples took the next three places. But with the Hungarian duo in peak form, the eventual result was never in doubt.
In the ladies' singles, America led the way. Lisa-Marie Allen, from California, consolidated on good performances in the early rounds to take first place comfortably, some eighteen placings and six points ahead of her nearest rival, Susan Driano, of Italy. Fellow-American Sandy Lenz was third, but well behind Allen, in the judges' opinion. Even despite a fall, Miss Allen impressed spectators with an altogether higher class of free skating.
But perhaps the highlight of the tournament was the men's singles. American Scott Hamilton was the surprise winner here, as pre-competition favourite Jan Hoffman, of East Germany, slumped to third place. Hamilton took his chance as Hoffman lapsed sensationally in the free skating section. Both he and fellow-American Scott Cramer overtook the uncertain Hoffman, but Hamilton's winning performance took him six placings and two points ahead of his compatriot. On Sunday, he gave the Lake Placid crowd an exhibition performance of his skills.
The competitions have given skaters a foretaste of next year's Winter Olympics, which are also to be held at Lake Placid. This new Olympic arena seats eight thousand, and is situated high in the Adirondack Mountains of New York state.
Last weekend's competition was considered a useful Olympic warm-up, for the world's top ice skaters.