It’s time for the last event of the figure skating season – the World Team Trophy! Unfortunately, the roster seems a little watered down for a few teams but onwards with the predictions! Here is the roster in a nice table courtesy of wikipedia.
Overall, the competition is a little watered down with the absence of the top ice-dance teams and a few of the top Japanese skaters. The roster for this event could be a lot more exciting and I’m actually surprised that Team China (and not Italy) is on this list.
Team Canada has a semi-decent roster. Some clear frontrunners within their respective disciplines here are Patrick Chan, Duhamel & Radford and Katelyn Osmond. In order for this to have a strong finish, Kevin Reynolds will have to pull out performances as seen in 4CC. Weaver & Poje should finish a respectable 4th just because of the intense competition of A-/B-list skaters here. Still, I’d love to see another performance of their revamped FD.
For once, Team China’s strength will not be in the pairs competition but in singles – namely Han Yan and Zijun Li. This is a good chance for these youngin’s to develop their presence at international competitions since there’s really no chance in hell this team is going to win. Or rank anything but last for that matter.
Other than the men and Pechalat & Bourzat, France’s roster is a little weak. Even weaker if Joubert manages to violate the zayak rule again. I may also cry if I have to watch Florent pause for the 10th time in his LP again.
Team Japan is at a bit of a disadvantage here with no pairs team – and the loss of Takahashi & Tran is quite a heavy one too. Since the Reeds are a weak ice dance team in general, Team Japan will have to win purely on the results of their single skaters. Mao seems to be guaranteed a victory here if she skates well but Akiko and Daisuke haven’t been as consistent as they should be lately and Mura’s a relatively new face to the elite senior ranks. Team’s Japan’s hold on gold is tenuous this year compared to last year’s. Let’s see what happens…
Other than the men, Team Russia has a pretty decent roster of competitors. I’ve got a good feeling that they’ll win both the dance and pairs event. If both young diva ladies can hold it together and produce good results, Team Russia might be able to pull off a win at this competition. For their sake, they’ll have to pray that the men can produce some half decent results as well.
The U.S. has a decent roster – they could medal but this roster is throwing a lot of monkey wrenches and obstacles so prepare for really wrong predictions. Both ladies will probably do well enough and the men – well… let’s hope they’ll be consistent. Bates & Chock should have a top 3 finish here and if the rest of the team manages to perform as well as they have in the past, they can win the gold. Unfortunately, ice is slippery and you never know what will happen. One thing to look out for in this competition: after Gracie Gold’s decent result from Worlds, the USFSA might try to catapult her to the Olympic podium if she has what it takes to medal here. The U.S. has 3 spots for the ladies at the Olympics and we all know that the USFSA is obsessed with getting a new ladies champion considering their history. I’m not sure if Gold has what it takes *now* to get to the elite level that Yuna, Carolina and Mao are in but she’ll be an interesting contender to watch for the next season.
All in all, these will be difficult predictions just because each team is weak in certain areas and no team has a completely solid roster. Many of the results will fall on the shoulders of skaters who haven’t been consistent all season and it’s going to be hard to decide whether or not they’ll implode for the purpose of these predictions. So the lesson is… be prepared for predictions that can be very, very wrong.
Predictions 1. Team Russia
2. Team Canada
3. Team Japan
4. Team USA
5. Team France
6. Team China
Ok. Team Russia and Team France changed their ice dance roster which throws things off completely. Predictions re-do.
1. Team Canada
2. Team U.S.A
3. Team Japan
4. Team Russia
5. Team France
6. Team China