Wicked Yankee Girl
Any predictions for Europeans?
Do you think I&K will rank ahead of R&T in dance? Can F&S and the Kerrs regain the ground they lost to P&B after their injuries in the fall season? Will anyone trip over their costume during the Golden Waltz?
Can anyone come close to S&S in pairs?
Will the Russian ladies win all 3 medals? Will Kostner win, even though she is leaving out both the flip and the lutz?
Which Verner will show up to Europeans? Which Joubert? And who will win?
What are your thoughts?
Savchenko/Szolkowy are the overwhelming favourites
Main contenders for them:
The 2nd german team Hausch/Wende had a good season and should do well here.
Florent Amodio for me has the slight edge here to take his first title.
Main contenders for him:
Kevin Van Der Perren
Dark horses are Artur Gachinski, Konstantin Menshov, Peter Liebers, Michel Brezina
Pechalat/Bourzat are clear favourites, just need to stand up and do all their levels:
I should imagine the above 5 be in the final group and I can see Bobrova/Soloviev clinching that bronze behind P/B and F/S, Kerr's again just missing out. The other 2 russian teams relatively unknown but should feature in top 10.
Carolina Kostner is favourite and if she has planned to leave out the flip and lutz might well go in her favour as the rest of her skills and PCS are very good indeed.
Dark horses, Sonia Lafuente has had a good season, Valentina Marchei and Viktoria Helgesson. There is no 3rd Russian here due to Gozeva's lowly placed finish last year. But I can forsee a russian medal here the first since 2006. We shall see.
1). After Russian Nationals, it's clear that R&T are more mature and prepared so I believe that I&K will remain the 3rd couple. But it's not a given, anything cand happen! I actually believe that R&T can place higher than B/S( B&S always have problems with their twizzles).
Originally Posted by dorispulaski
2) Yes. S&S are the clear favourites, but their last competition(german nationals) they had 2 deductions in the long(clean short): one fall on the side by side 3S and (probably) one fall on the second 3T( from the 3T-3T Sequence). Their rate of succes on the side by side 3S is quite low. If they make the same mistakes at euros and K&S are clean, K&S will win. But if they replicate any of their performances from the GP series in the long program, they win.
3) Since neither Adelina or Liza can compete, I strongly believe Russia will be lucky to get at least one girl on the podium( If Alena can duplicate the performance from nationals, she can win thanks to her strong technical content. But she is quite inconsistent). Carolina is the one to beat though. She always has good performances at Euros
4) I hope Verner's evil twin remains in Canada! The same thing I hope for Joubert! I believe Joubert will be more prepared and thanks to his experience, he will outskate his younger opponents. I believe he will take the title, with Verner a close second(I have this feeling that Verner will miss one of his 3A in the long and he will make his 4T attempt a 3T). But my dream podium is: 1. Tomas, 2. Brian, 3. Javier
I believe the ice dance event will be the most exciting since we have no clue if F/S and K/K are prepared; the younger russian couples are hungry so they better be ready. It's safe to say P/B will most likely take the title.
Pairs- Savchenko & Szolkowy to win easily. For starters they would have to make alot more mistakes than Kavaguti & Smirnov to lose to them. Both teams skating cleanly or the same equivalent of clean the Germans win easily. And I think it is laughable to even imagine the notoriously inconsistent Russians as more likely to skate cleanly than Aliona & Robin. Not to mention Kavaguti & Smirnov are not even the #1 Russians anymore, and while the #1 Russians arent here, I doubt the Russian fed. would even want to push for their #2 team to win here so they wont alot of political push or help either. All that said Kavaguti & Smirnov to win silver. Bronze to one of the other Russian teams with the victor getting a trip to Worlds.
Men- Pretty wide open this year. Verner could win if he has a competition like he has in Russia but even skating like that he is very beatable as evidenced by a 7 fall equivalent Chan nearly beating him. Joubert of course could win but I suspect he is just as likely to be off the podium as he is to win this year. Amodio is a big threat and I wouldnt be surprised if he finishes above Joubert again or even wins possibly. Fernandez is a threat of course. Contesti and Van Der Perren sometimes surprise at Europeans. Really wide open this year.
Dance- Pechelat & Bourzat to win their first European title easily. Silver and bronze up in the air. If Faiella & Scali are back in form they win silver probably. If not Bobrova & Soloviev most likely. Kerrs are not out of the picture yet if they have recovered. Outside shots for teams like Hoffmann & Zazovin or the other Russians.
Ladies- Kostner as the favorite. She is scoring well even with mistakes and novice like jump content as long as she mostly stays upright. However if Korpi has a good competition she will probably beat the current version of Kostner, you just never know with Korpi. If Leonova has a competition like Russian Nationals and others splat she could podium or even win. If Markova has a good competition and Kostner and Korpi splat the same holds true for her. Weak field with Lepisto out, not even many dark horses.
"And I think it is laughable to even imagine the notoriously inconsistent Russians as more likely to skate cleanly than Aliona & Robin."
K&S skated a clean long program at Cup of Russia.(I believe they didn't get credit for a lift though. And because of their injury their program wasn't quite refined but the jumps were landed, so it's not impossible for them to be clean at Euros). Plus, remember last year: they scored almost 140 on their LP at euros. Yes, they are not Russia nr 1 now, and that may be key, I agree. But Aliona and Robin are not known as consistent skaters. They messed some elements at German nationals, like I've said. All I'm saying is that they need to skate at least decent to take gold.(I'm trying to be objective here. K&S beat them in the past, they came close to do it at last year's worlds with 2 falls. For the record, I want Aliona and Robin to win, and they probably will. But it's not a given. Anything can happen)
Originally Posted by pangtongfan
First of all PTfan, you (and many others) give way too much credit to who is number one and who is number two in any given country. Let’s go back to last season for a moment. M/T won in Paris and was second in Canada. They got third in both the SP and FS at the GPF (and ended up in 4th) so by the time the Russian Nationals rolled around they were HEAVY favorites. K/S OTOH got silver medals at both GP and 5th and the GPF. BUT who delivered the best two performances those days? Kavaguti and Smirnov. It had nothing to do with who was the Russian’s Feds #1 (K/S) or who was the better team going into nationals (M/T) it was who performed better and it wasn’t M/T.
Originally Posted by Mirunna
That being said S/S has had a great year and why not? They have had no competition and kept the same program the whole season. They really have been under no pressure and have taken advantage with actually enjoying skating. As I have said before K/S have been off the ice for 4 month this season while everyone else has been practicing and competing so are they going to look as good as they did last year? Absolutely not, who would expect them to? I’m surprised they didn’t take a year off to recover.
Aliona and Robin are far from consistent skaters and were beat last year by K/S whose only mistake was a step out of a 3T so the Germans are normally very beatable (look at last year). It won’t happen this year, the Germans would have to make a lot of mistakes and the Russians are far from 100%, but the Russian have only been working on their long program for 16 weeks! Not long enough to defend a title.
BTW, If everything were even and the Russian were just as healthy as the Germans and both skating perfect programs with zero mistakes…the Russians would win with no trouble…that long program alone is the best in the world bar none! The Germans really only have the 3Fth to wow the crowd with the rest is pretty childish especially for a guy Robin’s age, he looks like he barely can pull it off. I hope for more maturity next year.
The rest won't even be close
"That being said S/S has had a great year and why not? They have had no competition and kept the same program the whole season."
That's not quite true, S/S faced the world champions at the GPF where they beat them by some margin. I don't understand what do you mean by "they kept the same program the whole season". And while their LP this year is not my favorite, it's a bit too much to call it silly. Their PCS score they receive are huge. Plus, beside the 3F, they have the 3T-3T sequence(which is hard, since I don't know any other current pair trying it), difficult lifts and steps. Their only problem is the solo side-by-side jump. I'm not trying to take anything away from K/S. But if both pairs skate clean, I'm sure S/S would win.
So you call ONE team competition? I sure don't. P/T beat S/S at every competition last year, and K/S were ahead of S/S in the short at worlds and ahead of P/T at the Olympics. I have no idea what is wrong with Pang but I hope she sorts it out and it’s not serious. The rest of the motley crew at the GPF can hardly be called competition.
Originally Posted by Mirunna
Last year (as you may remember) S/S had a whole different FS than the OOA one they use at the Olympics, they used it at TEB it was a disaster, to say the very least. That is the only reason M/T were able to win. They panicked and dropped it for the new one. That is why most feel they did so badly the rest of the season. If they just would have shaken off the bad performance and continued it would have been great. So that is why I said they have used this year’s program all year. I still think it’s juniorish, not in the skating skills just the theme (I never said silly just childish maybe a fine line but I see a difference).
There are other teams to have just as high of a base value as S/S do if not higher, if K/S would have got credit for the last like at the COR it would have been higher than S/S at the GPF. B/L almost always pull full levels on their elements and usually get a level 2 on the twist, something S/S never get. K/S got the highest lift score at 8.55 and I/M get a level 3 of their twist. S/S is not the only team to have difficult elements. Some teams opt for other difficult elements such as the 2A-2A instead of the 3T-3T, it doesn't mean they can't do it.
Like I said before S/S will win - but all things being equal, K/S program is much better on all levels including choreography and interpretation. Unfortunately for K/S, not all things are equal this year with their health and training.
S/S has been great but I don't think they will have a landslide victory over K/S. Last year with Kavaguti's constantly dislocating shoulder -including right in the middle of the FS at Euros-they were able to beat S/S with some mistakes. K/S did have a later start but have been doing fine. Losing to V/T I don't think will matter at Euros because they are a super team and will probably surpass S/S themselves anyway.
Men- Verner and Amodio were the best European men on the GP but then Joubert was able to beat Amodio at French nationals and Verner did well but was not so far ahead of Amodio. I found Verner's COR performance shameless so I hope he does the program he has been doing afterwards and does not do Lysaceks Olympic program again and does a quad.
Ladies- I hope Leonova can do her Russian nationals performance again! Maybe that gave her a lot of confidence. I am not sure about Makarova's coaching change right before Euros! Maybe they will fight for Bronze or maybe silver if the Gold Medal battle between Korpi and Kostner doesn't pan out.
Dance is all P/B and good for them! After them it could be the Kerrs or F/S or B/S or I/K or R/T
Thanks Mousepotato for the clarification. I'm not sure though if changing the program made S/S last season so bad. I mean, the first time they skated the Out Of Africa program, it was a complete success. I believe Aliona was sick before the europeans, plus the pressure that came with the return of Shen and Zhao contributed to the disaster that came. This season though, they are not defending champions, so it might be easier for them to skate well.
Last season was last season. The fact that S/S lost the LP to P/T( P/T had higher PCS) at worlds shows that the judges are not objective. I'm sure if Pang and Tong would not have won the olympic silver, they would have lost the LP to S/S at worlds. (P/T deserved to win overall, but not the LP). Reputation still counts in this sport.
But this season S/S are once again seen as the best team out there, they gained momentum winning everything up until now, and this matters. Unfortunately K/S, because of their injury will have to skate very well in order to regain their their position back. They did a wonderful job last year so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. B/L are still young and PCS will prevent them placing higher than third.
How many teams do you think even have a hope of giving Savchenko & Szolkowy competition, let alone when they are skating as well as this season. Pang & Tong are one of the only ones so yes that is already most of their competition. Who else is there. Kavaguti & Smirnov who have beaten the Germans only once in their careers. Volosozhar & Morozov who we still dont know at this point. And that is it. Dont make me laugh by suggesting teams like the Zhangs or Dube & Davison.
Originally Posted by mousepotato
I know Voloshozhar and Trankov (I guess you meant him?), their performance at Russian Nationals was exquisite, and if they nail everything, S/S better watch out. Actually, they already look better than S/S when it comes to lifts, positions, etc. Maxim is a better skater than Robin, Tatiana is equally good as Aliona (if not better) and together they are a perfect match. But anyway, this is a discussion for a thread before Worlds.
Originally Posted by pangtongfan
I'm not sure what you are replying to, you just reiterated my point again. The only competition S/S have had all year was P/T; that was not so last year. The Germans only won one major competition out of 6 last year at Skate Canada. This year was so bad for pairs skating the ISU was getting pretty desperate to fill spots. Only 2 pairs had ever been to the GPF before. Once teams are able to compete and are healthy enough to be in their top form S/S will have competition again. It may happen by worlds it may not, and if next year is not plagued by break-ups and injuries I’m sure some teams would like to give them a hard time.
Originally Posted by pangtongfan
They are beatable, just because a K/S had only beaten them once in their 3½ year career together does not mean they can’t/won’t do it again. The Germans almost lost their world silver medal to K/S last year by less than a point (S/S were behind K/S after the SP) so their "fluke" at Europeans almost became another reality.
To recap Europeans:
Who knows at this point.......
1. So, how can the Ukraine give us world class ladies pairs skaters but struggle to find the men to match? Both Aliona and Tatiana would be on a shortlist of current greats.
2. Anyway, in pairs, this is Savchenko/Szolkowy's to lose. And they might. But they probably won't. If you watch them this season, despite some iffy SP mistakes, they're skating with vigour and confidence. They just seem in the zone and ready to deliver after their most disappointing season in years. Then there's Kavaguti/Smirnov and Barazova/Larionov for silver and bronze respectively. The latter team may be able to match/beat K/S on TES (which will be close if K/S are healthy) but should be out-PCS'ed all over the place. This is your top three. Any other top three, barring WDs, would constitute a major major shock.
3. Ladies is a tale of four women. Firstly, we have Carolina Kostner. This is her most successful season in a long while. Dumbing down her programs while maintaining high PCS has allowed her to reach new levels of consistency (which is a wierd term when applying to Kostner). She's got to be the presumptive favourite and looking at her fourth European title. But it's certainly not a shoo-in. Kiira Korpi is really coming on strong. She's got two programs that seem very well liked, is coming into her own PCS wise and really, ladies is weak. But at least she's going for a full set of triples.
Then you have the Russian duo. It's really really hard for me (and people in general?) to guestimate how the Russian Fed is gonna politick these two. On the one hand, the general feeling is that we're just waiting for the Russian-babies-uber-bendy-seven-triple-triple-axel stars to come in and devour the world whole (and I have to admit, as a rule I don't watch juniors, but I can't help rooting for one of them to actually go all the way and win Gold in Sochi. For all their contributions to the sport, for Russia to win this gold medal - the last they need in Olympic Figure Skating - at home? Too good a moment to root against, no matter how much I like the rest), so does Russia really give a hoot how well Alena Leonova or Ksenia Makarova realistically do? It seems that their days are numbered. On the other hand, they want to maintain those spots (and with this field, they likely will). But beyond politicking, both these skaters have triple-triples and have a full set of triples (Leonova gets credited for a full set of triples, you know what I mean), so high base value could go a long way to putting either or both on the podium. Really depends on what they actually land.
4. If Ladies is about four women, men is about ten.
Florent Amodio: The star. Not merely "European" star, but the guy who if he delivers over the next four years, can be instrumental to raising the profile of the sport in Canada/USA (a charismatic, talented, sexy skater who manages to avoid the performative gender traps in the sport that hurt it?)
Michel Brezina: Of the next generation, the first to really breakthrough (depending on where you place Chan). Injuries derailed his plans - and remember, he was talking about a two-quad SP!! How close is he to being fully recovered? How does he handle the lost training time. One thing is that he's got confidence - this isn't his first injury by a longshot (remember, he had WD from the 08/09 JGP because of injury) and that didn't derail him (silver at World juniors, strong Olympic season).
Samuel Contesti: His secret weapon? That triple axel. It can garner him mostly 2s and 3s from the judges, giving him a huge single element GOE. He has done well at Euros two seasons running.
Brian Joubert: Everyone has pointed out that I'm hard on him. So I'll just say if he does what he's capable of doing, he'll be the 2011 European Champion. May he extend his medal winning streak to a phenomenal ten European medals.
Tomas Verner: What does he land? How good is it?
And then you have the consistent Alban, the up-and-coming Javier, Russia's Gachinski and Menshov, and even van de Perren on a good day.
---- Dance later, still typing.
- * -
I think I might have done this elsewhere on this forum already, or maybe it was a different forum. lol. Anyway, I might have changed my mind on a few things since then - I can't even remember who I put, really.
1) Verner - I think this is his to lose with Joubert's consistency issues and Amodio's less than stellar performance at the GP Final, plus Brezina's injury.
2) Joubert - He probably will screw up in one of the programs, but skate the other one well enough for the silver.
3) Van der Perren - The strength of his jumps will get him to the podium.
I don't think Joubert and VDP are locks on those positions, though. If Amodio, Brezina, Contesti, or Preaubert delivers, they can easily upset Joubert or VDP, and even Verner for that matter. It's hard to say what Brezina will do because of the injury, though. You also can't count the Swede guys out (Berntsson and Schultheiss), nor Javier Fernandez, although he has had problems this season due to injury, I guess. I don't think the Russian guys will play a huge factor, at least not Gachinski, but I'm not familiar with Menshov so I can't really pass judgment on him.
1) Kostner - I agree with the poster above that with the watered down technical content she can take this. Maybe that's been her problem all along, attempting too much technical difficulty. I know she has to master that though if she ever wants a WORLD title. But with Lepisto gone, with two clean programs this victory will be easier for her to achieve.
2) Korpi - She's been skating well this season and although I doubt she'll lay down two clean programs, I think what she does do will be enough for silver.
3) Leonova - If she is clean and Korpi is not, she may take silver but Leonova isn't usually known for laying down two clean programs in a competition either. I think she will make enough mistakes to finish below Korpi.
There's always Makarova and Helgesson (Viktoria) to consider, but Makarova didn't skate well at Russian Nationals - well, it doesn't look like it from her placement, although I didn't see them - and Helgesson isn't usually a medal contender. Gedevanishvili could sneak in there, as well as maybe Hecken if the favourites falter. Sonia Lafuente has been skating well this season, but I don't see her taking a medal yet.
1) Savchenko/Szolkowy - They're the only pair besides V/T who have really skated super well during the GP season, IMO, and luckily for them, V/T won't be there.
2) Kavaguti/Smirnov - Due to the injury, they seem to be not quite at their best, but I think they'll still do enough for this medal.
3) Bazarova/Larionov - I don't know who else it would be. They're a bit better than Gerboldt/Enbert right now, and I don't think they'd be beaten by a pair like Hausch and Wende. Iliushechkina and Maisuradze could challenge them, but I and M won't be there.
Dark horses: Gerboldt and Enbert if they skate well. I'm probably forgetting someone..
1) Pechalat/Bourzat - They pretty much have this in the bag, unless they have major mistakes.
2) Faiella/Scali - This is a guess in the dark since I don't know what changes they've made during their time off, but based on their results last season, I'll place them here.
3) Kerrs - Once again, another guess in the dark but I think the 'veterans' will be able to put it together when it counts.
Bobrova and Soloviev and whatever other Russian team is going could also challenge for medals though, and also Hoffman and Zavozin. I would like to see H and Z on the podium but I think the chance isn't that high.