Men without profileTemperamental Sandhu could do no better than 8th; Ferreira finishes 13th
By TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun
DORTMUND, Germany -- His coach did everything but grab him by the ears and slap him around.
Two days after the Canadian media had done just that in print, Emanuel Sandhu went out in warm-up and looked like he was going to make the same mess he'd made in the short program.
"I told him to take his goddamn skates off and go back there and do some jumps," said Joanne McLeod of the mats behind the stands skaters use before they go back for their four-minute free skate final.
"The warm-up was pretty bad. Sometimes as a coach you have to get really tough.
"When he came off, I had to kick him a bit. If you don't, he's never going to get out of this rut. He was like a colt and I had to be tough and put the saddle on," she said. "At the end of the day, he responded to it. At least he took on the quad and didn't pop it," she said of his opening jump.
GUTLESS IN THE SHORT
Gutless in the short program, Sandhu pulled the parachute before giving even a half-baked try at his first jump.
He fell on his quad, but picked himself up and put together seven triple jumps to end up going from 11th to eighth while Evgeni Plushenko of Russia was winning his third World Figure Skating Championship here last night.
"I was coming off a big disappointment that I had to deal with," said Sandhu. "I thought I pulled it out. I didn't want to go out wimpy."
He wasn't wimpy. But Sandhu sulked his way through a decidedly pouty performance and the first question isn't where he goes from here but if his coach will go from here with him.
McLeod says the two have to go home to Vancouver and decide on the future.
"It's taking a lot out of me," she said. "Mentally, a lot."
She said it would be overstating it to say she had a decision to make when she returned home but said the two will have to go through the same process they went through when Sandhu withdrew from the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.
The bottom line is what could have been. Sandhu beat Plushenko in the Grand Prix final and finished ahead of Brian Joubert of France, who won silver, in his qualifying division here Monday. Stefan Lindemann of Germany won the bronze.
Who knows? When all this is done maybe Emanuel Sandhu can be a Toller Cranston.
Cranston couldn't win either. But on a night when Sandhu mopped up his mess from two nights earlier, Cranston went into the Figure Skating Hall of Fame.
Cranston, who finished 13th, 11th, fifth, third, fourth and fourth at his six appearances, said his is a special place in the figure skating Hall because he didn't win.
Sandhu has been a DNF (did not finish), 18th, ninth, eighth, WDN (withdrawn), eighth and now eighth again, which isn't coming anywhere near as close as Cranston.
Ben Ferreira, who doesn't have anywhere near the talent of Sandhu but fights for everything he gets, put up a good fight on his final night of the season.
"It was good tonight," said Ferreira. "I think I did just about the best I could do. The long program at Canadians in Edmonton was a bit better, but for Worlds it was a satisfying performance.
"I gave it a good fight. It was my last skate of the year. I almost had the quad but stepped out. I did two triple-triples. I was very happy with the effort I gave. It was a good way to finish a season."
Ferreira, who was jobbed by the judges in the qualifying competition and made his own mistakes in the short program, skated well and was judged fairly with 4.7-5.4 marks on the technical line and 5.0-5.4 marks on the technical line to finish 13th.
The Edmonton skater, currently training out of Barrie, Ont., says he's going to try to stay through to 2006 and the Olympics in Turin and Worlds south on Highway 2 in Calgary.
NO REAL OPPORTUNITIES
There are no real opportunities left here for Canada to salvage a 22-year-run of putting people on the podium at Worlds.
Clearly, no miracle is going to be forthcoming in dance where Canadians Marie France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon of Montreal sit seventh after the original dance here yesterday, with Vancouver's Megan Wing and Aaron Lowe back in 11th.
Today is the women's short program where Joannie Rochette and Jennifer Robinson sit tied for ninth and tied for 11th after the qualifying competition.
But at least there was Toller's Hall of Fame induction. And he went in with the kind of flair you'd expect from a guy who considered skating an art form more than a sport and threw his compulsory figures skates into a river in Sarajevo at the end of his career.
The controversial Cranston did a flamboyant single flip for the fans when he stepped on the red carpet.
He received a Hall of Fame medal which he said meant more than all the ones he didn't earn.
"This medal is far more important, ultimately, than a world championship medal because I could name you 20 world champions who are already forgotten," he said of those who will never been in the Hall of Fame.
At least Canada won something here.