Why so much hype on Makarova? She is still young and her PB is 152,69 (except the nationals). These are her 1st Europeans, well, it's possible that she can surprise us but I wouldn't count on her too much.
Jumps are not the only element in programs as you of course know. Besides there are some good jumpers but there's a big lack of something else. Basic skating skills might be weak. Eg. Sebestyen is strong jumper but her transitions have been always sooo boring and also Marchei is a bit messy (imho). If you look the whole picture, the strongest skaters are imho Lepistö, Kostner, Korpi, Meier and with some expectations Sebestyen (strong jumps but that's all), Pöykiö (too slow) Leonova (too hasty) and Gedevanishvili (uncertain, depends on the day). I've seen only one program of Makarova, she is talented and I like her style but she still has some junior features, naturally (she is 17).
The hype about Makarova is that she consistently lands 5 to 6 triples in the FS. No other European lady does except Leonova. I expect they will be on the podium accompanied by either Lepisto or Kostner depending on who pulls together a decent long.
I agree about the two Russian ladies. For the third spot on the podium I must say I also agree on Lepisto and Kostner (if she skates decently clean, and land at least 4 jumps), but I would throw in also Meier (though I don't know also how she's doing), Korpi (didn't she win LP at nats?and then she has the best seasonal best for an European ladies) and Marchei (she wants the podium and has a competitive character, plus she's fighting for an oly spot, if she can handle good this pressure, I think she can deliver two good programs).The hype about Makarova is that she consistently lands 5 to 6 triples in the FS. No other European lady does except Leonova. I expect they will be on the podium accompanied by either Lepisto or Kostner depending on who pulls together a decent long.
I take from ISUsites preview the data:
best seasonal PB:
Kostner 154.18 (but she has also 167.40 at Merano Cup, don't know why the ISU doesnt'count it)
Makarova 147.29 (in JGPF, she did also 152.69 a Nice, also ISU doesn't count it)
Marchei 158.93 (in Dormund NRW trophy)
Gedevanishvili 144.19 (don't know if it's her SB, was done at Skate America)
Is there any recent news on Aliona and Robin? Will they be able to skate at Europeans given her illness? I wish her good, strong health, so they can be ready for the Olympics!
1. Aliona SAVCHENKO / Robin SZOLKOWY (GER)
2. Maria MUKHORTOVA / Maxim TRANKOV (RUS)
3. Tatiana VOLOSOZHAR / Stanislav MOROZOV (UKR)
4. Yuko KAVAGUTI / Alexander SMIRNOV (RUS)
5. Vera BAZAROVA / Yuri LARIONOV (RUS)
1. Evgeni PLUSHENKO (RUS)
2. Michal BREZINA (CZE)
3. Alban PRÉAUBERT (FRA)
4. Stéphane LAMBIEL (SUI)
5. Brian JOUBERT (FRA)
1. Alena LEONOVA (RUS)
2. Julia SEBESTYEN (HUN)
3. Ksenia MAKAROVA (RUS)
4. Laura LEPISTO (FIN)
5. Kiira KORPI (FIN)
1. Jana KHOKHLOVA / Sergei NOVITSKI (RUS)
2. Nathalie PECHALAT / Fabian BOURZAT (FRA)
3. Federica FAIELLA / Massimo SCALI (ITA)
4. Sinead KERR / John KERR (GBR)
5. Oksana DOMNINA / Maxim SHABALIN (RUS)
Hmm, slightly crazy. Is probably the advanced hour.
1. Lambiel (he'll miss the 3A, but hit the 4T and dazzle with his new LP...ha)
2. Plushenko (injury will work its woes)
5. Verner (love him, but he's probably headed towards a meltdown in at least one portion of the competition)