Last Olympic spots on the lin... | Australian Olympic Committee

Last Olympic spots on the line

Author imageAOC25 Sep 2013
Last Olympic spots on the line

FIGURE SKATING: The final Olympic Qualifying Event for figure skating will get underway this week in Oberstdorf, Germany, with four Aussie athletes looking qualification for the Sochi 2014 Games.

FIGURE SKATING:The final Olympic Qualifying Event for figure skating will get underway this week in Oberstdorf, Germany, with four Aussie athletes looking qualification for the Sochi 2014 Games.

The maximum number of Olympic entries is 30 for ladies and men and 24 for ice dance couples and the 2013 World Championships has already determined 24 spots for ladies and men and 19 spots for ice dance. So spots are limited and the competition is going to be intense.


In the ladies’ event, there will be 36 athletes competing, with 29 eligible to qualify for Sochi – and just six places on offer.

Australia’s Brooklee Han will be hoping to secure qualification, knowing she has a tough field of ladies to beat in the process.

“Qualifying for the Olympics in Oberstdorf will be a great test for all 29 skaters looking towards this wonderful opportunity,” the 18-year-old who is based in Connecticut said.

“If I skate in competition like I do in practice I feel I am a very strong contender.  I missed qualifying at Worlds by only one spot, I have been working hard since then and I am looking forward to the challenge.”

Two-time World Champion Miki Ando of Japan and reigning Junior World Champion Elena Radionova of Russia, headline the field but are not competing for an Olympic entry. Ando starts her comeback in Oberstdorf after sitting out the past two seasons while Radionova will debut at the international senior level.


A total of 34 men will contest the Nebelhorn Trophy, with 26 of them competing for an Olympic berth.

Australia will be represented by 18-year-old Brendan Kerry, who has enjoyed a successful start to the season.

Kerry delivered two personal best scores at the Skate Down Under in his home town of Sydney to show incredible improvement in both his short and free programs. He then went on to place an impressive fifth at the Junior Grand Prix in Latvia. Although he was disappointed not to medal, after sitting in third place at the end of the short program, Kerry’s result is indicative of his growing strength and finesse and puts him in contention for a spot in Sochi.

Expected to lead the field are Japan’s Nobunari Oda and 2013 World Junior silver medallist Jason Brown of the USA, however neither athlete is trying to qualify a spot for the Olympic Games.


Out of the 23 ice dance couples set to compete in Oberstdorf, 18 are fighting for one of five spots at the Olympic Winter Games.

After devastatingly missing the 2009 event due to illness, the Australian couple of Danielle O’Brien and Greg Merriman are determined to give it everything they have to lock in their position in Sochi.

“The top couple of spots are probably a given,” O’Brien said of the competition.

“So everyone will be fighting for those 3rd, 4th and 5th spots – and there will an extremely competitive field there. We are feeling confident, but we know we have work to do, to get there.”

Although not looking for qualification, the 2011 World Junior Champions Ksenia Monko and Kirill Khaliavin of Russia and 2011 Nebelhorn Trophy Champions Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the USA are expected to lead the field.

The schedule for Nebelhorn Trophy is as follows:

The schedule for Nebelhorn Trophy is as follows:
NB. Germany is 8 hours behind Australia Eastern Standard Time.

Thursday 26 September
Ladies’ Short Program: Starts at 10.54 local time (18.54 AEST) Brooklee to skate at 14.43 (22.43 AEST)
Ice Dance Short Program: Starts at 19.55 local time (03.55 AEST Friday) Greg and Danielle to skate at 22.52 (6.52 AEST Friday)

Friday 27 September
Men’s Short Program: Starts at 08.30 local time (16.30 AEST)
Ladies’ Free Program: Starts at 17.55 local time (01.55 AEST Saturday)

Saturday 28 September
Men’s Free Program: Starts at 08.54 local time (16.55 AEST)
Ice Dance Free Program: Starts at 15.15 local time (23.15 AEST)

Results will be available on the International Skating Union’s website at: