Predictions: Skate Canada International 2014

duhamel radford

So, it seems as if I’m three quarters of the way through my bandwidth limit for this month so I will likely be more conservative this week with my internet consumption. Consequently, I probably won’t be watching the first group for most of the events. However, I can still provide predictions to the event so… onward!

Men

The men’s event will be a battle for redemption at Skate Canada with a lot of men who have done well in the past but have fallen at the critical moment. Among the competition will be Javier Fernandez who would have made it on to the Olympic podium in Sochi had he not violated the zayak rule. Javier’s results are a little bit everywhere, especially during the GP series but if he pulls a half decent performance, he can very well pull ahead and win the competition.

Takahiko Kozuka will also be looking to redeem himself after not being able to make the Japanese Olympic team last year. To be fair, Kozuka was facing a lot of fierce competitors at Nationals but at the same time, Kozuka has stagnated and has yet to prove that he can skate to something other than calm piano pieces. Nonetheless, if his edgework and skating skills remain superb, he can likely take home some hardware and perhaps best Fernandez if the Spaniard unravels during the competition.

For bronze, I think we should keep an eye out for the former Junior World Champion, Adam Rippon, who was once hailed by many (though myself not included) to be the next big thing in men’s figure skating. Rippon’s quad and triple axel troubles took him out of contention midway through the Vancouver Olympic cycle but last year, it looked as if he has literally gotten stronger and bulked up, skating with a lot more sureness in his edges and power than before. Up against him is hipster Florent Amodio who skated to lyrics before skating to lyrics was cool. Or allowed. The former European Champion is talented but the talent is often squandered by disjointed choreography, nonsensical music cuts and frequent and long pauses on the ice. If he can skate cleaner than Rippon, however, I can see him snatching away the bronze.

Predictions:

Gold: Javier Fernandez
Silver: Takahiko Kozuka
Bronze: Adam Rippon

Ladies

The battle for gold here will likely be between veteran, Ashley Wagner, who started out strongly last season but floundered at U.S. Nationals and young Russian phenom, Anna Pogorilaya. Last year, Wagner was able to defeat Pogorilaya in the GPF and as a result, I will base my predictions on this result. A lot has probably changed since last year but the fact remains that Pogorilaya will likely need a few more years to really get that polish that veterans skaters have. Of course, it is also possible that she will outjump Wagner for gold, so who knows?

As for my bronze prediction, I will hazard a guess and put Rika Hongo in podium contention. She did decently well at the Finlandia Trophy this year and Japan is likely eager to find their new successors now that a huge wave of talent has left.

Predictions:

Gold: Ashley Wagner
Silver: Anna Pogorilaya
Bronze: Rika Hongo

Pairs

Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford have been skating strong the past few seasons while incorporating difficult elements into their programs such as side by side triple lutzes and for this season, throw quad salchows. With a difficult program and home ice advantage on their side, this competition is theirs to lose.

Wenjing Sui & Cong Han will also try for the podium. This team has been having issues with Sui’s growth spurt, causing them to be left out of the Chinese Olympic team but the competition is a little thin here and as a result, they have a chance to prove that they’re still relevant in the pairs world. To round off my predictions, I will randomly pick Evgenia Tarasova & Vladimir Morozov who seemed to have done well at the Nebelhorn Trophy this year. Also, they have the most epic combination of last names in the skating world. I may also put them above Sui & Han since last time I checked, the Chinese pair were going on a downwards spiral. They can feel free to prove me wrong.

Predictions:

Gold: Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford
Silver: Evgenia Tarasova & Vladimir Morozov
Bronze: Wenjing Sui & Cong Han

Ice Dance

Without Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir, Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje will want to capitalize on their success last season and firmly place themselves in the top echelons of ice dance. Looking at the rest of the competition, this should also be theirs to lose considering there are really no other teams that skate on their level. The battle for silver will likely be between the relatively new team of Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier and Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue. The former have home ice advantage on their side while the latter have more experience. The predictions may come down to a coin toss.

Predictions:

Gold: Maria de Buenos Aires Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje
Silver: Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier
Bronze: Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue

What are your predictions for Skate Canada this year? Do you think this will be a better competition than what we had last week? Let me know in the comments!

~Rinkside Cafe

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