Trying to Figure out the GP: PAIRS
Six events. Eight teams per event. Couple new thoughts
a) Split teams that placed in the top (6/10/12?) at Worlds within the past two seasons get a spot.
b) There were a few split teams that would’ve been eligible for a spot.
c) NO MORE SWITCHING BACK AND FORTH AND BACK AGAIN (hereby referred to as the Sui/Han rule)
Skate America: Denney/Coughlin, Donlan/Speroff, Yankowskas/Reagan
Two partners, the skaters who achieved the highest ranking for US pairs in a decade, split up and competing with other people. Oh, gossipy goodness. Marley/Brubaker are guaranteed two events, so they don’t need to be here. Denney/Coughlin seem to have some political sway with the US Federation. Also, they’re capable of some big elements and skating clean to audience recognizable music (if doing so without any sense of nuance or musicality, but beggars can’t be choosers when it comes to American pairs, Canadian ladies, etc). So, of the rest, Donlan/Speroff seem to be a better choice. They might, might go with Davis/Ladwig, but Donlan/Speroff need more international exposure and have more potential. Also, I like them (ideally, it would be D/S, Y/R and D/L, but D/C are locked into their position)
Skate Canada: Duhamel/Radford, Lawrence/Sweigers, TBA (Moore-Towers/Moscovitch)
Now this is confusing. Skate Canada took a gamble last season with pairs. They trusted that they could get Lawrence/Swiegers a second GP spot and went and got three spots for their new-to-seniors teams (the two Schultz teams, Jones/Gaskell). It didn’t work out. I think L/S were set back a little bit (though i question their own strategy, as much as it fascinates me). I can’t imagine them making the same mistake again. Dube/Wolfe will get two spots elsewhere thanks to their 12th place at Worlds. Duhamel/Radford are obvious. Now, Mt/M aren’t guaranteed two spots, and while they “should” get it without Skate Canada’s gerrymandering, they might not. I actually think it’d be nice to see Canada’s de facto top pairs at the beginning of the season. With the splits that we’ve had, it might not be a bad idea to actually have them test their mettle against each other, anyway.
Cup of China: Pang/Tong, Sui/Han, Peng/Zhang
Again, an interesting conundrum. Pang/Tong have already said they’d skate the GP. Easy pick. The new team of Peng/Zhang would like a debut in front of a friendly audience, and the rules are confusing enough that I’m not sure if they’d be eligible as a split couple (from him) So, do they shove Sui/Han up against them? I’m not sure. It’s not as if China doesn’t have anyone else – Yu/Jin are pretty fascinating in their own right. But Sui/Han have insane scoring capability. It’s a puzzle.
Cup of Russia: Volosozhar/Trankov, Bazarova/Larionov, TBA (Stolbova/Klimov)
V/T are far and away the best chance Russia has for gold in Sochi, and they know it. Get the hometown crowd juices flowing. B/L are good enough for the second spot. Stolbova/Klimov are the next generation and will be getting some federation love over the next couple seasons (I hope. I adore them). Now, it would be interesting if they did something different with the number one spot )which we’ll get to), but I’d be surprised.
TEB: James/Cipres, Popova/Massot, (Mendoza/Boyadji)
Went straight with the top three teams, score wise, last season. Frankly, I’d be floored if TEB used all three spots (you know, does a host pick HAVE to be a team from the host? Because if not, that would be a wicked thing to use in politicking).
Yeah. Knowing me, this’ll be my only 100% accurate prediction.
2. Seeded Skaters
Okay, so Takahashi/Tran are the most desired bronze medalists for the GP circuit since Dube/Davison. Every single team in the top ten has beaten them before. And they tend to peak later than most others. But which country gets them? Presumably, Russia doesn’t. They have a top three team. And the event is relatively close to NHK. But if Russia wasn’t putting all their eggs in the V/T basket, they should consider sending V/T to other events, and have their medal winner be T/T. T/T can lose against K/S and/or B/L and doing so could give those teams some momentum. On the other hand, like I said – V/T = Russia’s best chance for gold in Sochi. Right now, I’m gonna think that they go for Skate Canada (he hopedicted). They train in Canada, for starters. It’s far enough away from NHK that it gives them a reasonable gap for training (since NHK is so close to the GPF)
The other interesting question bobbles around Savchenko/Szolkowy. Their medal winning years occurred during the Chinese reign. So, despite having won three Skate Canadas, three Skate Americas, NHK, CoR and TEB, they’ve only competed once at CoC (before they won a medal) and came third (I might add that the CoC pairs podium was the same as the Worlds podium. No Chinese team on the podium = an opportunity for S/S to become only the second skaters to win every single GP event (Shen/Zhao are the other ones). Do they go for it? I hope so. I’d feel more comfortable predicting it if it was a little later in the season, though.
Skate America: Voloszhar/Trankov, Bazarova/Larionov
Skate Canada: Takahashi/Tran, (Duhamel/Radford)
Cup of China: Savchenko/Szolkowy, (Pang/Tong)
Cup of Russia: (Volosozhar/Trankov, Bazarova/Larionov)
TEB: Savchenko/Szolkowy , Pang/Tong
NHK: (Takahashi/Tran), Duhamel/Radford
Okay, I initially had S/S at Skate America, but that forced V/T to do back-to-back competitions. But, as reigning champions, I’m pretty sure S/S have first say. Which would likely force T/T out of Skate Canada to TEB, which we don’t want, so I’m being optimistic.
Skate America: (Denney/Coughlin), Kavaguti/Smirnov
Skate Canada: Marley/Brubaker, Berton/Hotarek
Cup of China: (Sui/Han), Dube/Wolfe
Cup of Russia: Denney/Coughlin, Marley/Brubaker
TEB: Kavaguti/Smirnov, Berton/Hotarek
NHK: Sui/Han, Dube/Wolfe
The 7th and 9th place teams from worlds have the potential to make this very interesting, depending on where they’re placed.
Where we’re at
Skate America: 6
Skate Canada: 6
Cup of China: 5
Cup of Russia: 5
Guaranteed One (not mentioned above)
Split couples: Zhang/Zhang, Evora/Ladwig, Iliushechkina/Maisuradze, Bobak/Beharry, Kadlecova/Bidar
Staying junior: Davankova/Deputat
Season’s Best (top 24): Moore-towers/Moscovitch, Stolbova/Klimov, Yu/Jin, Lawrence/Sweigers, Vise/Baldwin, Vartmann/Van Cleave
World Standing (top 24): Hausch/Wende, Gerboldt/Enbert, Dong/Wu, Kemp/King, James/Cipre
JGP/JW medalists: Simpson/Blackmer (eligible to stay junior, think they might)
Now, there are 17 spots left, and twelve teams. And this is where host picks become important. I have four of these teams as host picks already. Now, if the various federations name them right away as opposed to cite them as TBAs, it’s possible (not likely, but possible) that they don’t get a second spot. Whereas being on this list means they get one and they can get a second as a host pick. Presuming that happens...
Skate America: Kemp/King, Yu/Jin
Skate Canada: James/Cipre, Dong/Wu
Cup of China: Vartmann/Van Cleave, Gerboldt/Enbert, Vise/Baldwin
Cup of Russia: Dong/Wu, Hausch/Wende, Lawrence/Sweigers
TEB: Vartmann/Van Cleave, Moore-Towers/Moscovitch
NHK: Stolbova/Klimov, Vise/Baldwin, Hausch/Wende, Yu/Hin
Your guess is as good as mine. I don’t actually think that Lawrence/Sweigers will get two spots, but neither will Kemp/King.
there's no dong/wu anymore. Wu retired and Dong couldn't find a partner so she will most likely be retire too. Another pair Yue Zhang/Lei Wang split as well,the girl retired and they are having a tryouts to find him a partner.Nothing is decided yet.
I think the Chinese federation wanted Y/J to do both GP and JGP,but with the rule changed they might have to be stuck in JGP for another season.
Wicked Yankee Girl
whispering, thanks for the info!
I think Yu/Jin will be given CoC over Peng/Zhang or maybe even Pang/Tong (I thought they were finally retiring???), they only have one GP guaranteed and they really deserve two and might need CoC to be their 2nd. Yu/Jin were strong all season and great at JW, Xiaoyu has come such a long way in a short time and is a star, Peng/Zhang will likely need more time to develop until they are a threat and Pang/Tong are just so old and were downright skary at Worlds, so I see the Chinese Fed pulling for Yu/Jin to get noticed and have support, they are maybe the best hope for 2014 and 2018 Olympics. When and if Sui grows she'll likely need a new partner... Yu seems to have shot up this season and could continue to grow but she is so slight and the height difference between her and Jin is still pretty large so it's unlikely she outgrows him, not the case with Sui/Han. Plus Pang/Tong have 2 GPs guaranteed already, so they don't need CoC.
Pang/Tong did state after worlds they planned on continuing and would do the GP series.
Without Dong/Wu, I think I'll slip in Peng/Zhang at Cup of Russia and Yankowskas/Reagan at Skate Canada, who both get in under the split team provision - I think.
More generally, I don't think the Chinese federation knows who's the best hope for the future; it's a risk assessment, and I'm not convinced they've done it right.
I don't think the federation doesn't recognize Yu and Jin's talent or wanted to support them.They got to be sent to Zueva two years in a row for choreography,while the first Chinese man who won the junior world title and maybe the best shot for sochi has to stay at home, just saying.
It's not correct to say split couples are guaranteed a spot. What they ARE guaranteed is top placement on the ALTERNATE list. They MAY get a spot, provided teams originally invited withdraw.
Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue
From the 2011-2012 GP Announcement:
"a) Pairs or Dance couples, who were placed amongst the ranks as previously mentioned in criteria a) and
b) in the year 2009/10 or 2010/11, have reached the minimum score as required, but have split, will be considered in the alternate list with the new partner, if proof is given in writing by their Member that they
intend to continue their competitive career."
So split couples will NOT receive a GP invitation in the initial selection rounds. They will, however, take priority over teams who have received only one event and are hoping for a second if a withdrawal occurs.
Last edited by chuckm; 05-14-2012 at 11:25 AM.
Thanks, chuck. Should've looked harder for that. But I should state that those couples I listed would be guaranteed one spot but have split, but I realize I was very unclear.
Just a quick note: The Russian Federation won't allow all their top teams to go to one competition (ie Skate America) they will want as many Russian as possible to try to go for the GPF. The skaters have their picks and the federation will have their input then the ISU will put them where they go according to the rules. K/S have always won medals at the Cup of Russia (2 bronze, 3 silver, 1 gold) and they prefer this competition, like Trankov prefers TEB and dislikes Asia. Their preferences will be taken into consideration. K/S won two golds in Asia last year and may not want to go back but have never been to TEB or Skate America and may want to try to medal there.
Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue
Yeah, that makes NO sense (my scenario at Skate America).
Yu/Jin will stay junior if the rule gets changed. It doesn't really matter that they were strong all season and grabbed silver at JW. They are more like the No.4 pair, behind P/T, S/H, and P/Z.
It is true that Pang/Tong have 2 GPs guaranteed, so they don't need COC but would definitely prefer it due to home ice advantage.
Peng/Zhang will definitely get the COC host pick because that's the only way they could possibly get 2 GPs.
Originally Posted by silverlake22
The "split" teams for the alternate list could be PENG / ZHANG, DAVIS / LADWIG and YANKOWSKAS / REGAN.
How are they behind a team that just paired up? D/C are the only example of a newly formed pair that was one of the best in their nation their first season together, and the US isn't as strong in pairs as China, and they are an anomaly. I highly doubt P/Z will be ahead of Y/J next season, maybe a season or two after, but realistically I'd be shocked to see them have better results than Y/J so soon.
Originally Posted by Gliding on ice