Predictions: Cup of China 2016

boyang-jin

The Grand Prix series is already starting to wind towards the finals and I am super excited! I apologize for the short posts but time has been precious and I am doing my best to try and juggle my time between my different priorities. I will at some point sort through my Skate Canada pictures and post a few of the better shots. (My crappy camera is nothing compared to some of the equipment used to take close-ups of Yuzuru’s face. If you think I was joking about the fan closeups, think again.) Anyways, onwards with the predictions!

Men

  • There are two questions for this competition: 1) Can Patrick Chan win without home ice advantage? 2) Has Boyang Jin recovered from his surprisingly off the podium result from Skate America?
  • I’m at a bit of a loss for bronze though at the moment, I’m favouring two surprising performers that I rather enjoyed watching at Skate Canada: Daniel Samohin, a crowd favourite whose happy disbelief at doing so well was infectious, and Michal Brezina who skated surprisingly well and seemed to be loving every moment of the competition. He hasn’t done as well internationally in the past Olympic cycle but he’s definitely skating with more confidence and joy compared to the last time I saw him live at Skate Canada 7 years ago.

Gold: Patrick Chan
Silver: Boyang Jin
Bronze: Michal Brezina

Ladies

  • The ladies competition will also feature a story of how well a Canadian will fare when they’re not on home ice. Katelyn Osmond came out strong at Skate Canada (it was one of the few Canadian medals I didn’t have any issues with at that competition) and I hope she continues that effort here. Looking at the scores this season, she has scored higher than Ashley in both programs (and both were skating on home ice) but politically, I wonder if Ashley’s World silver holds sway in this face-off.
  • Ashley Wagner skates with a lot more consistency and confidence this season. Yes, I do think that she had no business at the podium at Worlds but I will admit that she has a great presence and acting ability on ice. Her programs this season capitalize on that and it seems to be making up for her weaker skating skills and lack of transitions.
  • Puberty has hit Elena Radionova and the longevity of her career is now in question. (Then again, it looks like Julia Lipnitskaia has adjusted her jumps to her new body so there is hope.) There is quite a few contenders who could possibly take a podium spot away from her.
  • Other podium contenders: Rika Hongo (please fix your posture, m’darling) and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (you can do better than your LP music).

Gold: Ashley Wagner
Silver: Katelyn Osmond Bronze: Elena Radionova

Pairs

  • I am so sad that my darlings, Sui & Han are out for the GP series but I’m very curious with the switcheroo in pairs teams that’s happened.
  • Yu & Zhang are a more consistent team with a very elegant style. They messed up my predictions at Skate Canada but I didn’t mind at all. They don’t quite have chemistry but the connection between these two has a better feel than Peng & Zhang.
  • Anyone know what kind of team Peng & Jin are?
  • Oh wow, another story of testing a Canadian team off home ice. I fell in love with Ilyushechkina & Moscovitch at Worlds this year and watching Dylan interact with Liubov makes me wish I had a partner who treated me just as gallantly. However, they were gifted that bronze at Skate Canada and they really need to prove here that they deserve to be on the podium and in the GPF.
  • I was so happy that I could watch the Clair de Lune program by Kavaguti & Smirnov live (though I would’ve loved to see the Manfred Symphony LP as well). They weren’t as strong as the other teams, especially with their SBS jumps, but they could medal here if a lot of the Chinese teams falter.

Gold: Xiaoyu Yu & Hao Zhang
Silver: Liubov Ilyushechkina & Dylan Moscovitch
Bronze: Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov

I have no confidence in this prediction…

Ice Dance

  • The Shibutanis need to step up their game here. They won Skate America but their scores are lower than what Chock & Bates had scored at Skate Canada, even if C&B came in 2nd there.
  • Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje will look to improve their standings and scores here as well, though I’m not sure if they will be competitive for the international podiums now that Virtue & Moir are back.
  • The big question for this discipline is the ranking for Viktoria Sinitsina & Nikita Katsalapov. There were some disturbing stories of the off-season floating around. I hope that they aren’t true. As for how they’ll do this season, I really don’t know.
  • I really enjoyed a lot of the choreographic elements in Alexandra Stepanova & Ivan Bukin’s FD (especially the twizzles). They didn’t look as polished at Skate Canada but there are enough openings in the field for them here to win a surprise bronze if they’ve managed to improve since their last GP competition.

Gold: Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani
Silver: Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje
Bronze: Viktoria Sinitsina & Nikita Katsalapov

I seriously don’t have that much confidence in my predictions this week. What about you? Let me know who you will think will end up on the podium in the comments!

~The Rinkside Cafe

 

 

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