Predictions: Grand Prix Final 2019

Alena Kostornaia 2019

I know I’m a little late but I haven’t looked at the results yet, so let’s go so I can do just that!

Men

The main story in the men’s event at the Final will be an epic showdown between Yuzuru Hanyu and Nathan Chen. With Hanyu healthier than he was at Worlds last year, this will be a good gauge to see how they stack up going into Worlds. I honestly don’t know what to expect – both of them are superb competitors and time will tell here.

As for bronze, my pick will likely be Alexander Samarin, who did quite well in France and won on home ice, which suggests a good degree of consistency so far this season. His previous competition results suggest that he generally ranks above his teammate, Dmitri Aliev, as well as Kevin Aymoz, who has had a bit of a breakthrough season.

Predictions

Gold: Yuzuru Hanyu
Silver: Nathan Chen
Bronze: Alexander Samarin

Ladies

The potential for a Russian sweep of the ladies podium is high at the GPF this year, with team Eteri’s new batch of young skaters doing 3As and quads. The race for gold will likely be a tight one between Alexandra Trusova and Alena Kostornaia.

Personally, I find Trusova’s PCs to be a little ridiculously overscored, especially if you watch her after Rika Kihira, or even Marin Honda, who despite having a rough time in the senior competition, has excellent skating skills, and buttery transitions. As I’ve maintained since the beginning, I honestly don’t understand why PCS is scored on a range when they’re marking very different and disparate categories and why they tend to correlate with your TES. Either way, the judges have been rewarding this current batch of jumping beans quite generously on the PCS front regardless of their actual ability to perform artistically, and have coherent, articulate programs, and with a 3A recently flagged as part of her arsenal, Trusova will be force to be reckoned with at the Final.

That’s not to say that her main challenger, Alena Kostornaia, has no change of snatching gold away. Kostornaia has been a refreshing newcomer to the mix, with good flow and musicality, and solid skating skills in comparison to a lot of the skaters coming out of the Tutberidze camp. Her scores have come close to Trusova’s over the season, thanks to the 3A but should Trusova land all her quads and her own 3A, it may be a little difficult for Kostornaia to catch up.

Anna Shcherbakova is another competitor not to be missed since she has a lovely 4Lz and is somewhat in the middle between Kostornaia and Trusova in terms of skating skills, performance, etc. With clean programs, I would not be surprised if she can also have a good shot at gold should her Russian teammates falter.

Rika Kihira will likely try to be a spoiler for a medal here. Kihira has slowly been building her consistency throughout the season and had intended to jump a 4S at NHK. Whether we’ll see that jump at the Final, we’ll have to see but personally, if she feels comfortable with the jump, I’d say she should go for it to increase her comfort with it in competition.

Predictions

Gold: Alexandra Trusova
Silver: Alena Kostornaia
Bronze: Anna Scherbakova

Pairs

While we’ve always known that Wenjing Sui & Cong Han are a great team, I think we’re finally seeing them settle into that with a full season (fingers crossed) – well, half a season now, ahead of them. Sui & Han will be looking to produce two consistent and hopefully clean skates, and this competition is theirs to lose.

For silver and bronze, I think I’d peg the two young Russian teams of Anastasia Mishina & Aleksandr Galliamov, and Daria Pavliuchenko & Denis Khodykin, who have been putting in consistent performances throughout the GP series, though will need some time and work to improve their performance quality, which is expected of young teams.

Predictions

Gold: Wenjing Sui & Cong Han
Silver: Anastasia Mishina & Aleksandr Galliamov
Bronze: Daria Pavliuchenko & Denis Khodykin

Ice Dance 

The results in ice dance this season has been generally predictable and stable throughout competitions. Overall, I have no doubt that Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron will dominate the entire competition, potentially with record breaking scores if they skate clean.

Generally below them with a healthy margin will be Victoria Sinitsina & Nikita Katsalapov. I’m a little surprised by the rise of this team. They have good ice coverage and some interesting elements in their programs but overall, I find their style to be overly ornate to the point of distraction. At times, their choreography is busy to the point where they get a little sloppy and I honestly want to see them power forward on the ice with cleaner movements and smoother edges. Anyways, my opinion isn’t important because it seems like the judges are clearly putting them above the rest of the pack but below the current World Champions.

The most interesting bit of the dance competition will likely be the race for bronze. Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue have been generally been the ones in that position but the judges seem to have given them some clear signals this season that their hold on this spot is tenuous, especially with the silver at Skate Canada. Admittedly, the winners of that particular leg of the GP, Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier, were on home ice, the fact that the judges were willing (and I believe, justified) in give them to the gold is a good signal for 1) H&D to revise their programs and 2) that Gilles & Poirier are in a good position to gun for the top dance spot in Canada at Nationals this year, potentially a top 5 finish at Worlds, and for this week, a chance for bronze.

Madison Chock & Evan Bates will also make an attempt for bronze, or at the very least, a chance to outscore Hubbell & Donohue to put themselves in a good place to take the top dance spot at American Nationals this season. Of all the three teams, I’m not really sure who will take the bronze but for now, I think I’ll play it safe and maybe I’ll be surprised by the result.

Predictions

Gold: Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron
Silver: Victoria Sinitsina & Nikita Katsalapov
Bronze: Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue

How are my predictions so far?

~The Rinkside Cafe

Predictions: Cup of China 2019

I literally have 20 minutes before I need to head out. Names on page, let’s go.

Men

Gold: Keiji Tanaka
Silver: Matteo Rizzo
Bronze: Boyang Jin

Dark horse: Junhwa Cha

They are *really* trying to get Jin a medal here, aren’t they?

Ladies

Gold: Anna Shcherbakova
Silver: Elizaveta Tuktamysheva
Bronze: Young You

They are not going to mark Satoko Miyahara properly here. Or Marin Honda’s PCS for that matter.

Pairs

Gold: Wenjing Sui & Cong Han
Silver: Cheng Peng & Yang Jin
Bronze: Alisa Efimova & Alexander Korovin

Bronze was a wild guess.

Ice Dance

Gold: Victoria Sinitsina & Nikita Katsalapov
Silver: Madison Chock & Evan Bates
Bronze: Laurence Fournier Beaudry & Nikolaj Sorensen

Has a chance at bronze: Kaitlin Hawayek & Jean-Luc Baker

~The Rinkside Cafe

Predictions: Grand Prix of France 2019

kevin aymoz

The exhaustion is real. I’ve been busy at work and my life after that and I’m running on fumes right now. Names on a page for predictions this week, go.

Men

Gold: Nathan Chen
Silver: Shoma Uno
Bronze: Kevin Aymoz

Ladies

Gold: Alena Kostornaia
Silver: Alina Zagitova
Bronze: Kaori Sakamoto

Could be a surprise contender: Mariah Bell

Pairs

Gold: Anastasia Mishina & Aleksandr Galliamov (toss-up for gold/silver)
Silver: Daria Pavliuchenko & Denis Khodykin
Bronze: Ashley Cain-Gribble & Timothy Leduc

Ice Dance

Gold: Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron
Silver: Madison Chock & Evan Bates
Bronze: Charlene Guignard & Marco Fabbri

Happy Halloween!

~The Rinkside Cafe

Predictions: Skate Canada International 2019

Gabrielle Daleman 2019 Worlds

Skate America totally snuck up on me last week and I wasn’t able to get any predictions up in time. I vowed I would do better this week for Skate Canada so here goes!
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Predictions: Worlds 2019

yuzuru hanyu 2018 helsinki

It’s time for World Championships and also time for predictions! There’s no time to waste, let’s go!
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Mid-Season Favourites

The GPF is over and the slew of national competitions will begin either shortly or is already underway by the time this is posted. While all this is happening, I usually like to take this time in the mid-season to reflect upon the programs we’ve seen and talk about my favourites so far. Of course, the programs listed here are my opinion, and my preferences generally tend towards programs that either do well in marrying movement to music, or do well to demonstrate certain talents or skills of a specific skater. So, with that, let’s see what some of my favourite programs are this season.
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Predictions: Grand Prix Final 2018

rika kihira 2018

This is truly one of the strangest GPFs – there’s no Evgenia, Yuzu or Papadakis/Cizeron. All in all, it has been an interesting post-Olympic season. Hopefully all goes well to Evgenia, who’s trying to re-learn all that she’s ever known, Yuzu for a speedy recovery, and well, I think Papadakis/Cizeron need no encouragement or help considering their performance at the Internationaux de France was quite dominant (though the marks needed a little more growing room for the rest of the season). Either way, the predictions will be quite tough this time around since this GPF will help determine how the dust will settle over the course of this new Olympic cycle.

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