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

Gabrielle Daleman 2019 Worlds

Skate America totally snuck up on me last week and I wasn’t able to get any predictions up in time. I vowed I would do better this week for Skate Canada so here goes!
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Predictions: Worlds 2019

yuzuru hanyu 2018 helsinki

It’s time for World Championships and also time for predictions! There’s no time to waste, let’s go!
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Predictions: Grand Prix of Helsinki 2018

yuzuru 18 worlds lp

Work has gone from 0 to 100 in a very short span of time, I’m slightly sleep deprived, trying to keep up with my social calendar, while planning my vacation for next week. (I’ll be in Japan during the week of NHK! Is figure skating popular in Okinawa too? A tropical paradise doesn’t seem like a place where figure skating would be super popular…) You can say that life is a crazy whirlwind for me right now. Names on page predictions this week for the Grand Prix of Helsinki. Onwards!

Men

Gold: Yuzuru Hanyu
Silver: Mikhail Kolyada (can win gold here – Hanyu doesn’t really start out strong on his first GP)
Bronze: Boyang Jin

Potential spoiler for a medal: Jun Hwa Cha

Ladies

Gold: Alina Zagitova (it pains me to say this considering how her programs are so… blah)
Silver: Kaori Sakamoto
Bronze: Yuna Shiraiwa

Pairs

Gold: Natalia Zabiiako & Alexander Enbert
Silver: Nicole Della Monica & Matteo Guarise
Bronze: Tae Ok Ryom & Ju Sik Kim (Is it weird that I’m kind of hoping that the North Korean cheerleading squad will show up?)

Ice Dance

Gold: Alexandra Stepanova & Ivan Bukin
Silver: Charlene Guignard & Marco Fabbri
Bronze: Lorraine McNamara & Quinn Carpenter

Confession: Sara Hurtado & Kirill Khaliavin’s FD to Pink Floyd and Harry Styles’ Sign of the Times is a guilty pleasure kind of program for me. I don’t like the music cuts but the campy drama? I live for it.

What are your predictions? And any Japanese readers have any recommendations for things to do/try in Okinawa?

~The Rinkside Cafe

Predictions: NHK Trophy 2017

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I would not be surprised if the competition has started already by the time I’m writing this. It has been a busy week and I need to go to bed, and soon. Redux version of predictions now. Names on page, and here we go.

 
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Fantasy Programs for Pyeongchang 2018

The Olympic season is the time when you want to show off your strengths and skate programs that suit your style. Of course, we all have different ideas of what that is but it’s always interest to fantasize about programs for a bunch of different competitors, which I’ll be doing today. Let me know if you agree with any of my picks!

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Predictions: Worlds 2017

Nathan Chen

Yes, I know, it’s been a while. Hello, darling Readers! Apologies for not putting up predictions for Euros of 4CC but things are busy on my end since the year began. It will be unlikely that I will post comprehensive predictions for the World Team Trophy (my guess right now is Russia, Japan and Canada though that may change after Worlds) since I’ll be on vacation right before it starts but we’ll see. For now, let’s content ourselves with our predictions for this year’s (very important) World Championships, which will decide how many skaters each country gets to send to the Olympics.

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