Ladies Preview and Contenders
Well from Nice in 2000 the last time it was held, who can remember Slutskaya's comeback, Butryskaya's scene d'amour superb SP, the emotional free of Vanessa Gusmeroli to Legends of the Fall and the turn around of Michelle Kwan to come back and take her third title with Red Violin.
Well this year the climax to 2012, only Carolina Kostner from last year's medalists is here and in fact she is the favourite for the title. Carolina has 2 very good programs again this year, she has scaled her technical content to make it more comfortable for her, her speed is slightly less but her artistry and transitional moves are second to none. If she nails her basic content then her maiden World crown should come here and she needs to grab it before the russian armada come!!
The likely challenge should come from 2 time Champion Mao Asada who seems to have got a rid of her problems and transitional coaching change from last year to have a decent solid season. Mao has the technical arsenal to upset the apple cart and will need it to challenge Kostner and the others.
The first tier of potential medalists are:
Akiko Suzuki Akiko must know that this is the best year for her to medal on the world stage in only her second visit to World's. Her strengths are her speed, charm and overall charisma that go along to effortless flow around the ice. Akiko has the technical content to challenge and perhaps steal the Gold, her artistry and transitional moves are good too, watch out for her haircut spin on outside edge.
Ashley Wagner Wow!! Ashley what a transformation and she is a possible medalist here, lot of hype and many people think she would medal here, she would probably need that triple triple combo and that could possibly make or break her here. Her programs are very good, the best I have seen from her. I love the Pollock SP and adore the Black Swan LP too.
Alena Leonova From the first tier it was hard to find the last of the top five and I have stuck my neck out and say Alena, I think she will be determined to redeem herself here, her strength is her mentality and overall personality on the ice. We shall see.
The second tier of skaters to round the top ten are:
Kanako Murakami Decent season for her, I absolutely love her Violin Muse SP WOW!!, her inconsistency and UR's could let her down and still not there with her artistry still a lot of small gaps in between moves.
Elene Gedevanishvili Elene is back Big Time!! and her coaching change has been a very good one with Mr Orser, adore her SP tango number, her strengths are her triple lutz, spins and steps.
Polina Korobyenikova Polina took my breath away at Euro's I did not really expect that from her at just 15, her LP to "Otonal" was SUPER!! She has the technical arsenal to win the TES on her LP but her PCS will let her down and maybe this year she will fall short, but we shall see.
Alissa Czisny Alissa was at the top of the stairs from the start of the season where she left off from last season, but seems to be at the bottom of the stairs at the moment, not sure whether she has a niggling injury or whether her confidence has been knocked, at the start of the season I thought she might be a medal contender again this season, but not sure as we head to Nice, but we shall see, she certainly is around a very good training camp - Sato and Dungjen are the best to deal with Alissa right now. her strengths are obviously her spins and artistry but her LP can labour at times.
Viktoria Helgesson I have again stuck my neck out and put Helgesson in the second tier, was between her and Makarova - but I feel Makarova's Free will let her down. Vika has beautiful programs this year, I cherish Her funny valentine SP and love her LP to sunset boulevard, she will be the Kiira Korpi here!! (*Korpi has been forced to withdraw due to injury - we wish her a speedy recovery). Strengths for Vika are her triple loop spins and artistry.