Predictions: Grand Prix Final 2019

Alena Kostornaia 2019

I know I’m a little late but I haven’t looked at the results yet, so let’s go so I can do just that!

Men

The main story in the men’s event at the Final will be an epic showdown between Yuzuru Hanyu and Nathan Chen. With Hanyu healthier than he was at Worlds last year, this will be a good gauge to see how they stack up going into Worlds. I honestly don’t know what to expect – both of them are superb competitors and time will tell here.

As for bronze, my pick will likely be Alexander Samarin, who did quite well in France and won on home ice, which suggests a good degree of consistency so far this season. His previous competition results suggest that he generally ranks above his teammate, Dmitri Aliev, as well as Kevin Aymoz, who has had a bit of a breakthrough season.

Predictions

Gold: Yuzuru Hanyu
Silver: Nathan Chen
Bronze: Alexander Samarin

Ladies

The potential for a Russian sweep of the ladies podium is high at the GPF this year, with team Eteri’s new batch of young skaters doing 3As and quads. The race for gold will likely be a tight one between Alexandra Trusova and Alena Kostornaia.

Personally, I find Trusova’s PCs to be a little ridiculously overscored, especially if you watch her after Rika Kihira, or even Marin Honda, who despite having a rough time in the senior competition, has excellent skating skills, and buttery transitions. As I’ve maintained since the beginning, I honestly don’t understand why PCS is scored on a range when they’re marking very different and disparate categories and why they tend to correlate with your TES. Either way, the judges have been rewarding this current batch of jumping beans quite generously on the PCS front regardless of their actual ability to perform artistically, and have coherent, articulate programs, and with a 3A recently flagged as part of her arsenal, Trusova will be force to be reckoned with at the Final.

That’s not to say that her main challenger, Alena Kostornaia, has no change of snatching gold away. Kostornaia has been a refreshing newcomer to the mix, with good flow and musicality, and solid skating skills in comparison to a lot of the skaters coming out of the Tutberidze camp. Her scores have come close to Trusova’s over the season, thanks to the 3A but should Trusova land all her quads and her own 3A, it may be a little difficult for Kostornaia to catch up.

Anna Shcherbakova is another competitor not to be missed since she has a lovely 4Lz and is somewhat in the middle between Kostornaia and Trusova in terms of skating skills, performance, etc. With clean programs, I would not be surprised if she can also have a good shot at gold should her Russian teammates falter.

Rika Kihira will likely try to be a spoiler for a medal here. Kihira has slowly been building her consistency throughout the season and had intended to jump a 4S at NHK. Whether we’ll see that jump at the Final, we’ll have to see but personally, if she feels comfortable with the jump, I’d say she should go for it to increase her comfort with it in competition.

Predictions

Gold: Alexandra Trusova
Silver: Alena Kostornaia
Bronze: Anna Scherbakova

Pairs

While we’ve always known that Wenjing Sui & Cong Han are a great team, I think we’re finally seeing them settle into that with a full season (fingers crossed) – well, half a season now, ahead of them. Sui & Han will be looking to produce two consistent and hopefully clean skates, and this competition is theirs to lose.

For silver and bronze, I think I’d peg the two young Russian teams of Anastasia Mishina & Aleksandr Galliamov, and Daria Pavliuchenko & Denis Khodykin, who have been putting in consistent performances throughout the GP series, though will need some time and work to improve their performance quality, which is expected of young teams.

Predictions

Gold: Wenjing Sui & Cong Han
Silver: Anastasia Mishina & Aleksandr Galliamov
Bronze: Daria Pavliuchenko & Denis Khodykin

Ice Dance 

The results in ice dance this season has been generally predictable and stable throughout competitions. Overall, I have no doubt that Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron will dominate the entire competition, potentially with record breaking scores if they skate clean.

Generally below them with a healthy margin will be Victoria Sinitsina & Nikita Katsalapov. I’m a little surprised by the rise of this team. They have good ice coverage and some interesting elements in their programs but overall, I find their style to be overly ornate to the point of distraction. At times, their choreography is busy to the point where they get a little sloppy and I honestly want to see them power forward on the ice with cleaner movements and smoother edges. Anyways, my opinion isn’t important because it seems like the judges are clearly putting them above the rest of the pack but below the current World Champions.

The most interesting bit of the dance competition will likely be the race for bronze. Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue have been generally been the ones in that position but the judges seem to have given them some clear signals this season that their hold on this spot is tenuous, especially with the silver at Skate Canada. Admittedly, the winners of that particular leg of the GP, Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier, were on home ice, the fact that the judges were willing (and I believe, justified) in give them to the gold is a good signal for 1) H&D to revise their programs and 2) that Gilles & Poirier are in a good position to gun for the top dance spot in Canada at Nationals this year, potentially a top 5 finish at Worlds, and for this week, a chance for bronze.

Madison Chock & Evan Bates will also make an attempt for bronze, or at the very least, a chance to outscore Hubbell & Donohue to put themselves in a good place to take the top dance spot at American Nationals this season. Of all the three teams, I’m not really sure who will take the bronze but for now, I think I’ll play it safe and maybe I’ll be surprised by the result.

Predictions

Gold: Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron
Silver: Victoria Sinitsina & Nikita Katsalapov
Bronze: Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue

How are my predictions so far?

~The Rinkside Cafe

Predictions: Skate Canada International 2019

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The mid-season mark has passed and I’m fully aware I’m late but hey, better late than never, right? Either way, I do love Olympic programs since they generally showcase the best that a skater can offer. Most of the time. I’ll try not to include any repeat programs this year since it seems to be the vogue these days *cough*Moulin Rouge for almost 3 seasons *cough* so here goes!
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papadakis cizeron 14 coc fd

Time is tight, as always and I’ll admit to writing this clandestinely at work so I can do nothing more than names on the podium. Let’s go.

Men

Gold: Javier Fernandez
Silver:
Nathan Chen
Bronze: Adam Rippon

Possible spoiler: Denis Ten if he gets it together.

Ladies

Gold: Evgenia Medvedeva
Silver:
Maria Sotskova
Bronze: Mao Asada

Pairs

Gold: Aliona Savchenko & Bruno Massot
Silver:
Evgenia Tarasova & Vladimir Morozov
Bronze: Vanessa James & Morgan Cipres

Ice Dance

Gold: Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron
Silver:
Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier
Bronze: Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue

Let me know what your predictions are in the comments! Hugs!

~Rinkside Cafe

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