Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat seem to have no luck. Even though they state that they’d like to be World Champions in Nice, France at this year’s Worlds (fat chance), it seemed likely that the French ice dance pair were poised to take the bronze after recovering from a shocking result from Worlds last year which left them off the podium and upstaged by a young duo that had just begun their senior career. Their Egyptian FD can be perceived as Orientalist (though it’s somewhat mind-bogglingly entertaining) but all in all, these two have the technical skills to medal at Worlds.
Now, all of that is uncertain. According to this article, Nathalie has fractured her nose during practice and will be undergoing surgery Thursday morning. Their participation at Worlds is uncertain and even if they do participate, it is less certain (though it was never absolutely certain) that they will be a shoo-in for the bronze if they avoid any major mistakes.
People who could fill in the void created by the French pair (either through their withdrawal or shaky performances) would be two Russian teams eager to make a name for themselves for Sochi (and winners of the silver and bronze at Euros this year) – Ekaterina Bobrova & Dmitri Sloviev and Elena Ilinykh & Nikita Katsalapov. I think these two teams have the highest chance of getting bronze after Nathalie & Fabian seeing that I don’t think the ISU would allow 3 North American teams on the podium.
When I’m talking about North American teams taking up the podium, I’m talking about the team with the best FD this season: Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje. Morozombie (whose blog I absolutely adore) thinks that these two will eventually be thrown off a cliff in favour of Gilles & Poirier but Kaitlyn and Andrew have improved leaps and bounds and they’ve been able to connect with the audience in a way that Paul Poirier and his partners cannot. I really hope that the Skate Gods will prove me wrong and allow Kaitlyn and Andrew to win. They’re a lovely couple who have the misfortune of being in Tessa and Scott’s shadow until the Olympic Gold medalists retire.
Anyways, time will tell. All I’m writing are opinions and conjectures.
March 26th to April 1st 2012. Worlds. Be there. Or at least online.
~The Rinkside Cafe