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2016 Four Continents: Meet Team Australia!

  • 2016 Four Continents: Meet Team Australia!

    Australia's Brooklee Han performs in the ladies short program at the Trophee Eric Bompard ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Bordeaux, southwestern France, on November 13, 2015. AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS TUCAT (Photo credit should read NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images)

The Four Continents Championships (commonly abbreviated to 4CC) will be held in Taipei from February 16-21. For Four Continents, as with Europeans, every country has the ability to name up to three competitors in each division as long as they have achieved the technical minimum score for this event.

Team Australia this year will be sending two men, three ladies, and a dance team. Good luck to all!

MEN

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Brendan Kerry

Age: 21

ISU PB SP: 70.36 (2015 World Championships)

ISU PB LP: 138.07 (2015 Skate America)

ISU PB total: 203.48 (2015 Skate America)

Last year at 4CC: 17th

2015 Nationals: 1st

Short program: Blue Drag/Boilermaker Jazz Band by Allen Toussaint

Long program: Beethoven’s Five Secrets by OneRepublic

It's been a mixed season so far for Brendan. A wonderful debut at Skate America was followed by a last-minute invitation to the NHK Trophy (he revealed later he had two days' notice for this competition) and Australian Nationals four days after that, with the short turnaround clearly affecting him. Nevertheless, encouraging signs can be taken from his appearances thus far this season, including his highest-ever score (breaking the 200 barrier) and the upgrading of his technical content, planning a quad toe-triple toe in the short program and two different quads in the free skate. If he can deliver his planned content, he could upset quite a few of the more established big guns, and this competition will be a key booster to his confidence ahead of Worlds.

Andrew Dodds

Age: 24

ISU PB SP: 59.59 (2015 Salt Lake City Classic)

ISU PB LP: 100.18 (2015 Salt Lake City Classic)

ISU PB total: 159.77 (2015 Salt Lake City Classic)

Last year at 4CC: 25th

2015 Nationals: 2nd

Short program: Empty Chairs at Empty Tables by Alain Boubil and Claude-Michel Schoenberg

Long program: Warsaw Concerto by Richard Addinsell

Last year's Four Continents is undoubtedly not a memory Andrew would be keen to revisit, after he was one of just two skaters cut after the short program. In the intervening period between then and now, however, he has seen a radical improvement in his already-superb skating, including nailing down the triple Lutz. Both programs were easily the highlight of the men's event at Nationals and are beautifully choreographed and performed, winning him new personal bests at Salt Lake City. A repeat performance in Taipei should see him in no danger of missing the cut this time. Every year at Four Continents it seems a skater from a smaller skating country catches everyone's attention, and this year could well be Andrew's year.

LADIES

Kailani Craine

Age: 17

ISU PB SP: 50.80 (2015 JGP Logrono)

ISU PB LP: 96.45 (2015 JGP Logrono)

ISU PB total: 147.25 (2015 JGP Logrono)

Last year at 4CC: 12th

2015 Nationals: 1st

Short program: Flamenco Fire by Didulia

Long program: Romeo and Juliet soundtrack by Craig Armstrong

Kailani has had an excellent season so far, culminating in clinching her second National title in December, and leveling up her technical content by including a spectacular triple loop-half loop-triple Salchow combination at Nationals. Her goal at Four Continents will be simply to continue as she has been - to come out on top in the battle amongst the Australian ladies. Whether she will attempt to compete at both Junior and Senior Worlds remains to be seen - there is just nine days between Junior Worlds in Hungary and Senior Worlds in Boston, and the turnaround may prove to be a risk the ISA might not be willing to take. 

Brooklee Han

Age: 20

ISU PB SP: 53.20 (2014 World Championships)

ISU PB LP: 102.99 (2014 Skate America)

ISU PB total: 151.90 (2015 Nebelhorn Trophy)

Last year at 4CC: 17th

2015 Nationals: 2nd

Short program: Dans la maison (soundtrack) by Philippe Rombi

Long program: Lark Ascending by Ralpha Vaughan Williams

Brooklee has had a difficult season thus far. After the high of earning a new personal best total score at the Nebelhorn Trophy, she went quickly to the emotional turmoil of the aborted Trophee Eric Bompard event. Following that, jump problems became an issue that plagued her Nationals and saw her finish second there. Nevertheless, there has been improvement: her rally up the standings to finish eighth at the Torun Cup was a great fight, and her spins and performance quality have never faltered. An experienced head on her shoulders, and a good result at Four Continents, could just tip the balance in her favour ahead of Worlds.

Katie Pasfield

Age: 17

ISU PB SP: 36.28 (2015 JGP Cup of Austria)

ISU PB LP: 65.71 (2015 JGP Cup of Austria)

ISU PB total: 101.99 (2015 JGP Cup of Austria)

Last year at 4CC: did not compete

2015 Nationals: 4th

Short program: Carol of the Bells by The Piano Guys

Long program: Because of You/Don’t You Worry Child by The Piano Guys

Katie will make her ISU Championship debut here in Taipei, a fitting reward for a season that was full of hard work that included doubling up at Nationals, finishing third in Junior and fourth in Senior. She capped that by taking the silver medal at the FBMA Trophy, held in Abu Dhabi, in January, where she earned the minimum scores for not just Four Continents, but also Junior Worlds. Her eligibility for the latter event may prove to be a deciding factor in which skater is sent to Senior Worlds. 

DANCE

Matilda Friend/William Badaoui

Age: 18/17

ISU PB SD: 35.23

ISU PB FD: 51.34

ISU PB total: 86.57

Last year at 4CC: did not compete

2015 Nationals: 1st (Junior)

Short dance: Waltz: Beethoven’s Five Secrets by The Piano Guys

Free dance: In the Mood/Moonlight Serenade by Glenn Miller; Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy performed by the Andrew sisters

Matilda and William face a unique challenge in Taipei. Having competed all season long as Juniors, with the Starlight Waltz pattern integrated into their short dance and a shorter free dance, they will now make a very rapid transition to Seniors, including a longer free dance and a change in short dance pattern to the Ravensberger Waltz. They have continued to improve through the season, showing a strong seventh place in the Junior event at the Torun Cup, and a strong outing at this event will have them in a good place heading into Junior Worlds.

 

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