Predictions: Four Continents 2016

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The Four Continents competition is upon us! The competition will be held in Taipei, Taiwan this year and if you’re going, be sure to check out some awesome local food and here’s a survival guide for a happy journey around Ilha Formosa! As for the skating – here are my predictions! (I sincerely hope I redeem myself a little bit after those disastrous predictions for the GPF…)

Men

With Hanyu and Fernandez out of the way, Shoma Uno should look to solidify his place as an up and coming star. Uno is the highest ranked competitor here from the GPF and has the potential to win this competition, which will be good for his resume. I doubt that Uno can medal at Worlds this season but a victory here should maintain his status as an A-list competitor for the upcoming season.

His main competitors will likely be Patrick Chan, who has slowly been improving over the season but alas, the men’s field has toughened up since his days as World Champion and with an inconsistent 3A and PCS not as high as they used to be, it will be harder for him to get that top spot. A few other potential rivals for gold are: Daisuke Murakami and Takahito Mura. Both Japanese men have done reasonably well at their GP assignments but they lack either the consistency or the history of achievement that the young Uno has.

Another important competitor to consider is another young up and coming skater. I doubt that Boyang Jin will win the gold at this competition – the boy does have a fantastic 4Lz but his skating skills and presentation are still works in progress. For this season, Jin needs to get all the experience and inspiration he needs to improve himself for future seasons – he has a bright future, after all – but I do think that if he can lay down two clean skates, his technical score will allow him to be a fair challenger for the podium.

Predictions:

Gold: Shoma Uno
Silver:
Patrick Chan
Bronze:
Boyang Jin

Ladies

The ladies competition will be interesting since there are quite a few ladies who can challenge for spots on the podium. The most obvious of them would be Satoko Miyahara, who was able to win silver at the GPF. Satoko has been able to consistently lay down clean skates and at the GPF, her skating was presented with such gusto that it seems like she’s slowly growing into an adept performer as well. I hope that this is finally reflected in her scores here as Miyahara has been consistently undermarked (at least in my opinion) in a lot of the PCS categories this season.

Gracie Gold will likely be Miyahara’s main contender at 4CC. With the World Championships being held in Boston, the pressure is on for Gold to show that she’s worthy of the title of World Champion. At best, she’s been inconsistent this season with a 5th place finish at the GPF and she did trail Polina Edmunds at Nationals after the SP. Then again, the usual logic of the rankings at GPF fail once Nationals roll around and countries around the world determine who their #1 skaters are so there is a chance that Gold can win here if she can scrape together 2 clean performances. The same goes for Edmunds, who produced two strong skates at U.S. Nationals this year.

Another honourable mention goes to Mirai Nagasu, whose hard work has been showing this season. Nagasu had been struggling the past few seasons but her skating and consistency has improved and she could potentially give herself some momentum to build off of here for next season if she performs well.

Predictions:

Gold: Gracie Gold
Silver:
Satoko Miyahara
Bronze:
Polina Edmunds

Pairs

The main question of this competition is: who will Volosozhar & Trankov’s main rivals at Worlds? Will it be defending World Champions Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford or up and coming stars (with, in my opinion, the way better programs) Wenjing Sui & Cong Han. Sui & Han had to withdraw from the GPF due to injury but knowing the kind of competitors they are, I know they will come back with a vengeance. However, my last set of predictions have taught me to be practical and not hopeful so my current predictions will reflect that sentiment.

As for bronze, Alexa Scimeca & Chris Knierim may not have won U.S. Nationals this year, but they are competing amongst a much weaker field with a ton of international experience. Another team to consider is Xiaoyu Yu & Yang Jin. They may not have the big tricks under their belt like other Chinese pairs teams but they skate with a lot of refinement and polish.

Just a fun fact: I noticed that competitors Tae Ok Ryom and Ju Sik Kim are representing the PRK or the People’s Republic of Korea at 4CC. Yes, that’s North Korea.

Predictions:

Gold: Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford
Silver:
Wenjing Sui & Cong Han
Bronze:
Alexa Scimeca & Chris Knierim

Ice Dance

Considering Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje have been undefeated all season despite their… unusual free dance, I wouldn’t be surprised if they took the title here as well. Admittedly, Weaver & Poje are skating with a lot more unison, speed and polish this season but I don’t think they have the best vehicles to take them to the World title. Neither of their programs are particularly memorable (at least in a good way) and they don’t feel like programs that either play to their strengths or challenge them either. If Weaver & Poje win here, the only team that will likely topple them will be one of European origin. Unless…

… the Shibutanis capitalize on their win at Nationals to topple the Canadian team here as a prelude to Worlds. The Shibutani’s success at Worlds may depend a little on Gracie Gold’s success – if the Americans don’t get their Next Big Ice Princess in Boston, they’ll likely settle for a lovely ice dance team that have great programs this season. In any case, I’m not sure if the Shibsibs can beat Weaver & Poje here but their main aim will likely to solidify their place as the top U.S. team over Madison Chock & Evan Bates, who, regardless of the colour, should be able to medal here with a watered down field of competitors.

Predictions:

Gold: Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje
Silver:
Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani
Bronze:
Madison Chock & Evan Bates

What are your predictions for the 4CC competition? Let me know in the comments!

~The Rinkside Cafe

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. LA143
    Feb 16, 2016 @ 03:13:58

    Polina Edmunds withdrew. Also, are you forgetting about Denis Ten?

    Reply

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