Just when I thought I could take a little break, I realize that the second WTT has descended upon us and I believe the competition will start in an hour or so. Ahhhh!!! Well, at least I got an unexpected period of spare time and will provide you with these predictions. Here is how I think the competition will pan out.
Other than the Reeds who have crashed and burned this season and is undoubtedly the weakest ice dance team in the field, Team Japan has a pretty strong list of contenders. Both men have reached the podium at Worlds either this year or last year (though Takahiko needs to get it together) and both ladies landed in the top 5 this season while Narumi Takahashi and Mervin Tran have surprised all of us with their unexpected bronze. At the moment, they stand as the highest ranking pairs team in this field from the World Championships. Discounting injury and total meltdowns – which aren’t common with the current list of competitors here other than the Reeds – Japan should clinch this competition. Here’s hoping to Daisuke wins gold here as he deserved at Worlds.
Silver – TEAM USA
Team USA won the last competition due to Evan Lysacek’s unexpected win and a decent showing from the ladies. It’ll be exciting to see how Gracie Gold stacks up to some more experienced skaters but I think she can do enough to beat the no-name French ladies and Valentina Marchei. Ashley Wagner has also done well this season so they have a pretty decent ladies team. Meryl and Charlie will undoubtedly try and get revenge against their training mates and I expect another good showdown between the top 2 couples at Team Canton. However, Team USA’s silver is shaky since the two men need to hold it together for once to secure a silver; if not, Team Russia or Canada may (and mayis the keyword here) have enough firepower to take it from them.
Bronze – TEAM RUSSIA
The reason why Team Russia may have trouble beating Team USA is their entries for the men. No, seriously, who are they? Other than that, most of the rest of the competitors are generally in the middle when they are stacked up against the rest of the field. If they can put up a strong showing with the ladies and pairs, they might be able to give Team USA a run for their money.
Fourth Place: TEAM CANADA
Team Canada was second in the inaugural WTT. They could have won the thing last time if it weren’t for Patrick Chan’s huge screwup in the SP. The good thing about that is that at least back then, Chan got penalized for wiping his ass on the ice. However, other than Chan and Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir, Team Canada is relatively weak. Meaghan Duhamel & Eric Radford may be able to muster a silver in the pairs section but Kevin Reynolds is a headcase and both Canadian ladies, even bigger headcases. I can’t see either of the ladies being able to beat the Japanese, Americans, Russians and Carolina Kostner unless their competitors bomb. Possible but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Canadian ladies bombed harder. There is a possibility that Team Canada can get on the podium. I was debating as to whether or not I should put them in bronze position but I’m too lazy to predict the results of every competition and break out my calculator. That might be just a tad too obsessive for such a cheezfest.
Fifth Place: TEAM FRANCE
Team France has a decent men’s roster as well as ice dance but what is bringing Team France down is their no-name pairs team and their two ladies who are at the bottom of the pack. They need to keep on their toes though if they want to avoid last place. (*Looking at the two men to not bomb.*)
Sixth Place: TEAM ITALY
Team Italy has replaced Team China this season thanks to Carolina Kostner’s win, a decent showing from the ice dance team and a half decent pairs team with good potential. Samuel Contesti isn’t all that bad but neither of the men have the results and rankings of the men from the rest of the field. Furthermore, I’m not sure if Carolina has the drive to win this competition after winning Worlds; this is a cheezfest after all. For some reason, I expect Akiko Suzuki or Ashley Wagner vaulting out in front in this competition…
May the cheezfest begin!
If you want to take a look at the teams, click here.
What do you think the results of the WTT will be?
~The Rinkside Cafe