The 2010 Ladies figure skating Competition is shaping up to be one of the best ever, with at least ten strong ladies competing for medals.
The favourite going in is Yu Na Kim of Korea.
After redemption in the 2010 Four Continents and taking the title, Mao Asada seems to be classed as her nearest rival.
The other three, not in any order seem to be the next tier of challengers, which include Miki Ando, Akiko Suzuki and Joannie Rochette.
The European Ladies on evidence of their recent showing at Tallinn, seem to be struggling but the likes of Carolina Kostner, Laura Lepisto, Kiira Korpi, Sarah Meier and pre European favourite Alena Leonova are out there to prove they are still in the Hunt. The American Ladies also will need to fine tune themselves to be close to the top.
From 2006 Olympics in Torino, 11 Ladies are returning for another chance to compete in the Games.
Joannie Rochette was 5th last time, but more pressure is on her this time as it is in her own country and from her silver medal at last years world's she comes in this time round as a strong medal contender.
Sarah Meier was 8th last time with great Sp and LP, and that kick started her next olympic cycle, since then she has been a
grand prix final bronze medalist and has picked up 2 silver medals at Euro's and has finished in the top 10 of worlds for the
past 4 years. Her form has dipped slightly mainly due to injury, but her main goal is once again to finish in the top 10. A gorgeous skater to watch. Sarah also competed in the 2002 Olympics. (Only her and Sebestyen remain from those games)
Carolina Kostner was 9th last time in her own country as the pressure took its toll, she did rebound to take two European titles and a third recently in a sub-par event. Kostner seems to be very good or very bad, if she is on she can win it hands down but her jumps seem to let her down. It will be a good competition for Kostner if she medals, it be so good to see her radiant smile.
Elene Gedevanishvili was 10th last time and was her explosive year into the sport, she had no fear, since then she has to battle the body growing but changing coaches seems to have done the trick and seems to be back on track, with a top 10 world finish last year and recently a surprise european bronze medal. She seems to be missing some of her jumps, more notably the loop and flip, but if she can nail the rest, combined with her spins and step sequences, another top 10 finish beckons.
Yan Liu of China was a surprise 11th finisher at Torino, her best result to date, but she has gorgeous lines and is very artistic but at times her jumps can let her down. Yan Liu had to qualify for Torino and she had to do the same in Oberstdorf, but she seemed to be on, on that day and was the highest finisher qualifier. Yan will be hoping to qualify for the free this time around. But if she skates clean like she did in Torino another high finish will be possible.
Miki Ando was a disastrous 15th last time, and was the biggest drop in standings of the night dropping from 8th after the SP to 15th overall. But Ando has rebounded thanks to a coaching change and Nikolai Morozov. Ando since then took the world title in 2007, but after a blip in 2008 came back strong in 2009 with a technically difficult program to capture the bronze medal and deny Asada a medal finish. Ando is certainly stronger this time around and could come away with the Gold if all her tricks come off.
Julia Sebestyen was also disappointing in her 18th place finish and it seems to be a rollercoaster ride for Sebestyen since she won the European title in 2004. She certainly has the best technique for jumping, but this seems to let her down. Julia though seems to be having the best season of her life, which for her will be her swan song. Sebestyen on her form at the moment can get in the top 10. Julia will be in her fourth games, her first being in 1998. WOW!!, well done.
Tugba Karademir was the first Turkish skater to compete in the Torino games and finished a creiditable 21st. Again Tugba qualified her country from the 2009 worlds, always a good skater to watch with good choreography, her aim will be to qualify for the free, she normally is a good SP skater.
A young Elena Glebova was 28th last time and so did not qualify for the free, but she has grown in stature and has posted some good results. Glebova should finish higher this time around as she has a 3x3 in her arsenal.
Anastasia Gimazetdinova was 29th last time and only knew at the last minute she was coming to Vancouver as an alternate, due to strict olympic rules posed on other skaters from other countries. Since Torino Gizmo has done well particularly in her SP at the 2006, 2007 and 2008 worlds. Gizmo has high jumps and if she is on her program can look lovely and would normally finish in the top 15 after the SP, for her she will be hoping to qualify for the free. Gizmo at 29 will be the eldest in the field so it will be nice to see some maturity out there on the ice.
Good luck to All, should be a good Competition.