The Japan Open is often a pleasant prelude to the figure skating season for me but I’m never extremely excited about it. In the past two years, the competition hasn’t been that exciting as there were only a few skaters to be excited about. This year, however, that seems to have changed. The lineup is as follows:
Team Japan: Miki Ando, Akiko Suzuki, Daisuke Takahashi, Takahiko Kozuka
Team North America (pretty much Team Canada): Joannie Rochette, Alissa Czisny, Patrick Chan, Jeff Buttle
Team Europe (pretty much Team Russia) : Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Alena Leonova, Artur Gachinski, Florent Amodio
It looks like Team Europe may be at a disadvantage since most skaters in that team fall short when compared to competitors in the other two teams. (I can’t help but be slightly excited over Elizaveta though.) However, Team North America have two retired or semi-retired athletes who may not have the heavy arsenal of jumps that that other competitors may have. Then again, who knows who may surprise us. If all of Team Japan is consistent, then they could very well take the title very handily. If they fall short, Team North America can very well snatch the victory from right under their noses.