Oh you aio;sfjsdifjadsl;kjf;asjfs. WordPress or my computer or the gremlins deleted the stuff I wrote just now. $%#@. Here we go again. Attempt #2 at writing this.
Also, this will be post #300 for the Rinkside Cafe! Woo!
Yuzuru beckons you in…
Without Patrick Chan in the mix (Chan’s never done well at Worlds whenever he does 4CC so it’s not surprising), it’s likely that there will be Japanese podium sweep thanks to the strong Japanese contingent in the competition. That and the competition is in Japan so there will be home cooking. Not that any of the Japanese men need it. Unless they fall. In any case, this will be a showdown between Daisuke Takahashi and Yuzuru Hanyu for the gold. The winner, if it ends up being one of them, will likely get the JFSA’s support for Worlds and the Olympics next season. For Yuzuru, winning here might give him an extra boost in his career but the truth of the matter is, he’s got another Olympics in him if he stays injury free. As for Daisuke, this could be his last chance at an Olympic medal and his age and increasing inconsistency is starting to show. Either way, this prediction will be difficult and I’ll likely leave it up to a coin toss. Takahito Mura has been doing pretty well this season and skating on home ice won’t hurt. I can’t really see anyone else who can be a challenger though Ross Miner and Richard Dornbush could come out as total surprises.
Gold: Daisuke Takahashi
Silver: Yuzuru Hanyu
Bronze: Takahito Mura
Being Japan’s sweetheart, it’s likely that Mao Asada and her newfound consistency will get the gold. Her PCS will also likely hold her teammate and perhaps main rival, Akiko Suzuki at bay. The bronze medal, however will be hard to decide since there are a lot of new faces that could really shake things up. Among those are Gracie Gold who is somewhat hailed to be *the* next American lady skater to finally quell the dry spell in ladies medals at Worlds and the Olympics. Newly crowned Canadian champion, Katelyn Osmond has a chance here to show that she is serious contender, maybe not for now, but for the future. Kanako Murakami may get some points from home ice advantage and be able to challenge for bronze. As well, Mirai Nagasu and Christina Gao may prove to be dark horses in the race for bronze.
Gold: Mao Asada
Silver: Akiko Suzuki (slightly unsure on this one since Akiko didn’t do so well at Japanese Nationals)
Bronze: Gracie Gold
I’m laughing right now. Slightly out of sarcasm and slightly because I don’t know what else I should do after seeing this roster. PJ Kwong and the CBC are going to have a field day with this. Why? Well… here’s the roster for the pairs competition at 4CC. Most of these pairs are barely in the “B-list” and it seems as if the skaters who are likely to win medals based on their visibility, experience and performance are… Canadian teams. There is a possibility of a Canadian podium sweep though I think Marissa Castelli & Simon Snapir might stop that. In any case, I’ll put the top two Canadian teams in, followed by C&S.
Gold: Meghan Duhamel & Eric Radford
Silver: Kirsten Moore-Towers & Dylan Moscovitch
Bronze: Marissa Castelli & Simon Snapir
The rivalry between Tessa & Scott and Meryl & Charlie continues. With Worlds in London, Tessa & Scott need to win in order to show that they can somehow beat their main rivals and make the politicking at Worlds less obvious if they do defend their World title successfully. The bronze will come down to the Shibutanis and Madison Chock & Evan Bates. C&B beat the Shibsibs at U.S. Nationals this year but only by a point and a half. I have a feeling Igor will be putting his full support for C&B giving them the advantage for bronze as Marina will focus her efforts on her top two teams rather than try for a Team Canton podium sweep.
Gold: Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir
Silver: Meryl Davis & Charlie White
Bronze: Madison Chock & Evan Bates
There are potential podium sweeps in all four disciplines. Some more likely than others. Strange, isn’t it?
~The Rinkside Cafe