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    Floating, falling, sweet intoxication... gsk8's Avatar
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    News Grand Prix Final - Preview

    The culmination of the ISU Grand Prix circuit, the Grand Prix Final, takes place from December 14-17, with the top six skaters in each discipline facing off in St. Petersburg, Russia.

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    On the Ice Mathman's Avatar
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    This must be the first time ever that there are no American ladies in the GP Final.

    Last year we had Alissa Czisny to carry the banner. She fnished last, but at least she was there.

    BTW, last year also there were three Japanese ladies in the final, Asada, Nakano and Ando.

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    *yawns*

    But I love the prediction for Sebestyen to finish a definite last I have to agree, too.

    A Japanese skater will CERTAINLY win this event. It could be Ando or Asada but that doesn't create too much excitement- may as well be Japanese Nats.

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    It's amazing to me how an ice dance team that finished 6th last season can suddenly in one year be a viable challenger to the world champions.

    Oh wait, this is ice dance ... I forgot.
    Last edited by nymkfan51; 12-09-2006 at 04:19 PM.

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    Bona Fide Member Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nymkfan51 View Post
    It's amazing to me how an dance team that finished 6th last season can suddenly in one year be a viable challenger to the world champions.
    Oh wait, this is ice dance ... I forgot.
    It's their turn.

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    On the Ice Mathman's Avatar
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    Red Dog, what's boring about the fact that the favorites are Japanese? Are Japanese skaters less interesting than competitors from other countries? Would it be more interesting if, say, Ando dropped out so the top two would be from different countries (Japan and Korea in this case)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    This must be the first time ever that there are no American ladies in the GP Final.

    Last year we had Alissa Czisny to carry the banner. She fnished last, but at least she was there.
    Actually, it's the third time we've qualified no one in the women's event at the GPF. The other two times were 1999 (Kwan didn't skate the GP series that year, and the best finish for a U. S. woman in the overall GP standings was Bobek, who was I think 2nd or 3rd substitute), and 2005 (both Kwan and Cohen were out, and the best shot we had was Angel Nikodinov, who after winning Skate America had a nightmare of a free skate at Cup of China).

    What I could also note is that this is only the 2nd time that there have been no North American skaters in the women's event. 1999, once again, was the first time it happened. The qualfiers that year were either Russian (Butyrskaya, Slutskaya, & Sokolova), Ukrainian (Liashenko), Uzbek (Malinina, who won), or Japanese (Suguri, in her first appearance at the Final). In 2005, despite the fact that no U. S. women qualified, Canada did put two women in the Final (the only time its happened to date), Rochette and Phaneuf.

    I could also mention that this is only the 2nd time that Russia has not qualified anyone in both the Women's and men's competitons. For the ladies, the first time was 2004, the year when Slutskaya was out of most of the season due to her health condition, and Sokolova and Volchkova had pretty forgetable performances. As for the men, the first occurence was last season, when Plushenko, skating only one GP, didn't qualify.

    Andy
    Last edited by ATW27; 12-09-2006 at 03:29 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Red Dog, what's boring about the fact that the favorites are Japanese? Are Japanese skaters less interesting than competitors from other countries? Would it be more interesting if, say, Ando dropped out so the top two would be from different countries (Japan and Korea in this case)?
    Nothing wrong with the Japanese contenders, but maybe I'm just sort of bummed that there are no US/NA skaters there. I may have to sit this one out.

    To answer the last question, if Ando dropped out, wouldn't one of the alternates (Rochette? Meissner?) get to go? In that case, I'd say yes that probably would make it a little more interesting. But that doesn't really mean they'd have much of a shot at winning (maybe medalling though).

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    so
    1999 was an ex Soviet GPF (Slutskaya, Sokolova, Butyrskaya, Liashenko and Malinina)
    2006 is an Asian GPF (Asada, Ando, Suguri and Yu Na)

    It's interesting how things change in 5 years. From 5 ex Soviet skaters qualifying to none.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
    Nothing wrong with the Japanese contenders, but maybe I'm just sort of bummed that there are no US/NA skaters there. I may have to sit this one out.

    To answer the last question, if Ando dropped out, wouldn't one of the alternates (Rochette? Meissner?) get to go? In that case, I'd say yes that probably would make it a little more interesting. But that doesn't really mean they'd have much of a shot at winning (maybe medalling though).
    I'm happy that is an all Asian competition. The 4 girls deserved it and it will be an exiting battle. Certainly you won't be bored watching it.

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    Tripping on the Podium
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    Uhhm...

    Quote Originally Posted by gio View Post
    I'm happy that is an all Asian competition. The 4 girls deserved it and it will be an exiting battle. Certainly you won't be bored watching it.
    Uhhm, you are a bit off! It's actually a 3 girl competition. Asada vs Kim vs Ando. Suguri won't even make it onto the podium, unless one of them has a horrible breakdown. (A horrible breakdown as in messing up 3 or 4 jumps.)

    We don't know how the top 3 we'll look, but the bottom 3 is a clincher ;-)

    Suguri, Meier, Sebestyen. Maybe even in that order ;-)

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    Bona Fide Member Spun Silver's Avatar
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    I don't care what nationality the GPF skaters are. I'd rather see beautiful Asian skaters than dull American ones. I think it's an exciting roster. I wouldn't write Suguri off for the podium because we've seen Mao and Miki crumble and Fumie pull it out.

    Even though I prefer Mao to Yu Na, I don't think she is quite where she needs to be to beat her currently. If Miki can pull it off, she sizzles.

    Thusly I am calling it:

    Miki, Yu Na, Mao, Fumie in that order...

    But if it is Yu Na, Fumie, Miki and Mao ...

    ... or any other combo with Yu Na on top...

    ... or even Mao, Fumie,Yu Na and Miki...

    ... or even Fumie, Miki, Yu Na and Mao...

    ...I won't be surprised. IOW Yu Na is the only one I'm "sure" will make the podium, and I'm not even positive about that.

    It's really hot up there!

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    On the Ice Mathman's Avatar
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    I think Sarah will make the podium. I am not necessarily penciling Julia in for last place. We'll see.

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    Medalist enlight78's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think Sarah will make the podium. I am not necessarily penciling Julia in for last place. We'll see.
    Thats the way to keep hope alive. Seriously no one should be counted off the podium. Especialy when ice is so so slippery. I want everyone to skate their best at the GPF, but I also wouldn't mind an upset or two. For some reason, it just make the competition more exciting.

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    Tripping on the Podium La Rhumba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nymkfan51 View Post
    It's amazing to me how an ice dance team that finished 6th last season can suddenly in one year be a viable challenger to the world champions.

    Oh wait, this is ice dance ... I forgot.
    Was it equally surprising to you when Belbin Agosto climbed from 13th in the rankings at 02 Worlds to finish 7th the following [post Olympic] year?

    I doubt that the Russians will beat DenStav, even on home soil [though Max is ofcourse from Moscow] but why is a Russian Dance couple's improvement looked on with suspicion but Belbin Agosto's not?

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