Early Forerunners- Mens
After assessing Int B events and the Grand Prix Series I thought I would make a start of the favourites for the upcoming European Championships to be held in Sheffield - GB.
Favourite: Javier Fernandez - Spain
What a breakthrough year for Javier and I am sticking my neck out here to say he is favourite for the Europeans. If Javi lands his quads he sure will!! His SP is very good indeed and a crowd pleaser, transitions are better but still needs to improve on the artistic side. What a story for Javi and Spain if he strikes Gold!
Closest Challenger: Michal Brezina - Czech Republic
Michal is brilliant technically, text book material and on his day can be very good. The quad seems to be letting him down and he will need it if he needs to beat the likes of Javi. His SP is very good and should give him points cushion for the free, not sure on his LP to a modern take on "The Untouchables" does get flat in places, but should be a medal contender.
Samuel Contesti - Italy
Always a crowd pleaser. Would need to nail the SP if he has any chance of a medal because usually (and on evidence of the GP) a very good Free skater and his "Parisienne French" LP is fun and can be a high scorer.
Kevin Van Der Perren - Belgium
Technically strong and has a superb 3+3+3 in his arsenal. Kevin needs to land all the jumps really to secure a medal as his PCS are not very strong and usually a skater that uses the music more as background than to his advantage. Has had a good training program this year so should be close to a medal in what must be his final European's (on his wife's home turf!!) Would be good for them.
Artur Gachinksi - Russia
Ok I have added Artur in (although has had an up and down GP) but he seems to be a big performer when it matters and being with Mishin would help him. Not a fan of his SP but His "Dracula" themed LP suits him so well. I reckon he could do well.
Like in my Ladies Summary I have not mentioned the current European Champion Florent Amodio, who seems to be struggling this year (not sure if there is something wrong in the training camp) but he does not seem to be there mentally.He may struggle to get in the top 5 this year. Also Brian Joubert, been struggling with Injury and has had no lead up preparation, so we do not know with Brian, Evgeni Plushenko, again unknown quantity we will have to see if he will be at Nationals?. Tomas Verner seems to be not the force he once was - (very unpredictable) we will see.