NHK Trophy 2012: Predictions

The GP series is coming to a close and the NHK Trophy is here, and it will be the last competition before the final. The roster for this competition is looking really good (or at least better than TEB) and I’m super excited.

Akiko Suzuki beckons you in with her lovely costume….

Men

The men’s competition is looking to be very tough with this roster. We have Daisuke Takahashi, the SP recording setting-Yuzuru Hanyu, Javier Fernandez, who defeated Patrick Chan at Skate Canada and a few B-listers (the up and coming Richard Dornbush, Sergei Voronov and Adam Rippon) that will make this competition super exciting. The fight for these medals will be so tough in this competition, even I’m having a tough time deciding the podium.

Both Yuzuru and Daisuke will have home ice advantage but they will need good skates to get the gold. If Yuzuru performs well, he could win the SP but his health issues may prevent him from ultimately winning the gold as did happen in his previous GP assignment. Javier Fernandez has started out strong but who knows how long his consistency will last. Daisuke may be the slow and steady winner in this competition but Daisuke will need a solid season if he wants to prove he’s a worthy candidate for gold next year in Sochi. I’m really not sure how the competition will stack up but I’ll put up my best predictions here.

Predictions

Gold: Daisuke Takahashi
Silver: Javier Fernandez
Bronze: Yuzuru Hanyu (prove me wrong, Yuzuru!)

Ladies

The battle for gold here will likely be a battle between Mao Asada, who will likely be the crowd favourite and Akiko Suzuki. I quite like Akiko’s LP but I have a feeling that the recovered Mao will triumph in the end. Unlike P-Chan of last season though, she will need to lay out two solid skates to get the gold. If she doesn’t Akiko should be able to take it. Unless the judges screw her in PCS as they always do. Sigh. Your fans still believe in you, Akiko, even if the JFSA doesn’t.

Truthfully, I’m not sure who will win bronze though I’ll fathom a guess and say either Mirai Nagasu or Ksenia Makarova, though Agnes Zawadzki did win bronze at the CoR recently, while Mirai and Ksenia have been off the GP podium so far. This will be an interesting tossup for anyone who really cares about these skaters but I’d say that I’m more interested in the battle for gold. Mostly to see if Mao is recovered. And to watch Akiko’s lovely LP.

Predictions:

Gold: Mao Asada
Silver: Akiko Suzuki
Bronze: Agnes Zawadzki

Pairs

My least favourite discipline to predict. Sigh. I think the gold and silver will go to Vera Bazarova & Yuri Larionov and Kirsten Moore-Towers & Dylan Moscovitch respectively, just because of their showings at previous competitions. B&L tend to do better than M-T&M though I wouldn’t be surprised if PJ had to play up the strength of the Canadian team in her predictions. I’ll hold steadfast on the Russians in the meantime even though watching Bazarova jump makes me really nervous. Wayyy too nervous for my well-being, really.

As for bronze. well, you might as well set up a dartboard and throw a dart and see which name it will land on. For an educated guess, I’ll peg the other Russian team, Anastasia Martiusheva & Alexei Rogonov for bronze because they’re the only other team who has had a GP assignment this season. That and the other teams are fairly new.

Ice Dance

The competition at NHK will boil down to Meryl Davis & Charlie White, who will undoubtedly win gold because they and Tessa & Scott are still untouchable at this point. However, the battle for silver should be exciting: who will win? The Shibutanis skating to the soundtrack of the culturally insensitive film in which women exploit women (aka Memoirs of a Geisha) or… that monstrosity of Elena Ilinykh & Nikita Katsalapov‘s that is their Ghost FD. I never thought I’d see a program as brain damaging as Florent Amodio’s tiger LP last year but I was mistaken. Seriously, mouthing the corny lines in the movie? You guys can do better than that. Sigh. Though being Russian, I wouldn’t be surprised if they beat out the Shibutanis this year. An accomplishment now made easier with Alex’s injury which may or may not have healed completely. In any case, I think the results will be obvious here, though I’d love any of the teams to prove me wrong.

Predictions:

Gold: Meryl Davis & Charlie White
Silver: Elena Ilinykh & Nikita Katsalapov
Bronze: Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani

I’m actually quite excited for the men’s competition… What are your predictions?

~The Rinkside Cafe

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