Favorite Grand Prix dark horse?
Among skaters/teams that were not in the top ten at Worlds, who do you think might defy the odds and make the Grand Prix finals?
Assuming it will take at least a second and a third to make it, here are two I'll be rooting for.
Ladies: Elene Gedevanishvili. With her troubles in Russia behind her, this could be Elene's breakout season. At Skate America she will face Ando and Meissner.
Which Miki will we see? The Miki who almost finished dead last at last year's GP final, or the World Champion?
Meissner was vulnerable all season in 2006-07. She barely squeaked out a flawed victory at U.S. nationals and missed the podium at Worlds.
Elene should be a solid favorite for bronze, with a pretty good chance at silver or even gold.
At NHK Elene faces Ando again and Meier. I give Elene the same chance to make second or better as at Skate America.
Will the long lay-off between the first event of the season and the last affect her, one way or the other?
Pairs: Nam and Leftheris This is way out there. But hey, it's pairs, anything can happen. Their two events are USA and China. Pang and Tong are at both and probably a lock for gold. At Skate America N&L will also face Dube and Davison. To get third, Nam and Lefteris' first job is to beat fellow countrymen Castile and Okolsky. It could be done.
At Cup of China, besides Pang and Tong, N&L will have to contend with Inoue and Baldwin. I&B could go either way. They are capable of a solid score, they might bomb. Obertas and Slavnov could conceivably get it together and reach the podium (?). Nam and Lefterhis could be second with a miracle skate (more heart than mind here) or buried in the bottom half.
Last edited by Mathman; 06-30-2007 at 10:40 PM.
Megan Oster, Caroline and Ashley
1.) Alissa Czisny - My favorite post-sasha era skater. She has everything it takes, as she showed in 2005 GP and Nationals 2007, but she isn't usually taken seriously by the other contenders thanks to her inconsistency. I think she can pull out extremely good showings and potentially make it to finals again.
2.) Caroline Zhang/Ashley Wagner - The American younglings aren't seen seriously, im sure, from the international competition. I think they can shock the world...but will they?
I think Ashley Wagner could possibly be the dark horse of this season. I love her skating style and she seems to have a good head on her shoulders competition wise.
I would love for Alissa Czisny or Bebe Liang to come out swinging during the grand prix circuit but Alissa is inconsistent and Bebe never seems to have a clean free skate. I just hope they can put those probelms behind them.
In my heart, I'm actually Canadian....
I wouldn't overlook the talented French guys, Ponsero and Preaubert. They had good results last season and I think can build on them.
And since we seem to be entering another phase of skating history where "young phenoms rule" in the ladies, I definitely would not overlook Zhang. Mao took the GPF 2 seasons ago, Yu-Na Kim last season, and I can see Zhang making it 3 in a row for the "new wave". She had some pretty impressive scores last season.
Weren't Castile & Okolski injured or sick or something at Worlds? It would have been interesting to see how they would have done had they not been; I know Nationals scores tend to be padded a bit (in all countries) but had they scored the same at Worlds as at Nats, they would have been 4th. Bearing that in mind, it's hard to not at least imagine them having a fair chance at the Final.
Hoping BeBe Liang will have a clean FS is about like it used to be, hoping Angela Nikodinov wouldn't double her jumps in her FS. It probably isn't going to happen in this universe. Alissa Czisny has a better chance of a clean FS than BeBe.
I'd stick with the Zhang/Wagner vote.
I think Thomas Verner served notice at Worlds last year that his is a serious contender, yet he is still not seen as one of the top names on the Grand Prix. With his technical skill, and if he's gotten himself to a choreographer, he has a good shot at not only placing, but challenging for top spot.
Ladies: I agree with Mathman that Elene Gedevanishvili has a good chance, also, if (that's a big if) Alissa Czisny skates a clean short and long, there's no way she'd be out of the medals, particularly at NHK. She's too good not to.
Men: I think Tomas Verner could very well medal at NHK.
Pairs: I think Castile and Okolski have an excellent shot at medaling-- maybe even silver-- at both Skate America and Trophee Eric Bompard.
Dance: I think Davis and White have a good chance at two medals, as do Virtue and Moir. The Kerrs might snatch a medal at NHK.
I totally agree with MM's choice: Gedevanishvili.
I feel that her natural elegance would be a big advantage for her.
Wasn't she also training at Hackensack? ..IIRC(thanks Juliet) she is with Ando, Takahashi, etc.; such circumstance might be an advantage too.
However, unless Miki (with Daisuke) catches stomach cold once again, which is quite a small probability, it's a bit hard to imagine Miki finishing behind Gede-chan. (BTW Miki did her PB then in her SP last GPF.)
I think the four entries in the GPF are somewhat already determined, with two remaining.
Comparing the GPF chances of Suguri, Nakano, Kostner, Rochette, Gedevanishvili, Zhang, as to "dark horse", since Zhang is already a star, Gedevanishvili is the most likely IMO.
Or since many seem to think that Suguri's days are almost past through, she can be considered another dark? horse, though having one GPF gold in her hands.
Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program
Elene Gedevanishvili is my dark horse pick. this little girl has so much talent and know that her training is in the U.S, maybe things are going to get better for her.
Dance... Davis and White should really do well. they have great tecquince and have all the makings of champions. i think that they deserve a medal in the GP and it would great if they could make the final.
Is Angela coming back to competition? Is she doing the GP???
I like Wagner's chances, she seems hungry. She says she wants to win internatonal medals for the US. I also think Rochette has a great chance. She has everything it takes to get to the top. She usually lets her nerves get the best of her. But she has geat jumps. If she can stay out of her own way she should be there. Also I think Zhang should make the GP final. I just wonder if she will get the scores she deserves. Or will she be looked at as a junior skating with the seniors. I stll have hope for Alissa/Bebe but I just don't think they have the competitive nerve. You have to show up at competition ready to compete and with more then one triple jump.
Last edited by flying camel; 07-01-2007 at 01:17 PM.
Really? I seriously think Plushenko is no where NEAR being a dark horse. I think most skating fans believe he will undoubtedly win, or atleast medal at CoR.
Always gotta go with my boy Griazev. A medal at NHK would be a tough one, but not impossible.
Not meant to belittle Evgeni. He's been away and most of us are looking forward to his comeback. I just consider him as a dark horse for the gold. It's a wait and see, and yes, I believe he will win.
Originally Posted by pista04