I think S/S are far from out. They had a bad season, with sickness and mediocre programs. I don't think they will get the gold, but V/T can and have made stupid mistakes before, so they might spoil themselves their own victory. At no point I believe that S/S will finish off podium. No way.
For Men it is the hardest to predict. To be honest, I also don't believe that Denis Ten will be on the podium. If the top form is there I think it will be between Hanyu and Fernandez if they keep up their nerves. Chan might get the gold, but I'm not so sure. Russia is not Canada. My biggest wish is a Daisuke medal, no matter what colour but it will be hard and he won't be able to make any mistakes at all. And that is extremely hard to do.
Ladies: Yuna has it in the bag. Unless Carolina or Mao melt down they will battle it out for Silver. I see no other lady that can spoil this atm, although I'd love it if Kanako would rise to the occasion or even Akiko.
Originally Posted by MaiKatze
I am not sure what to think of S&Ss chances at this point. I still see them as the silver medal favorites, but they are not a lock for the silver (atleast) like they were a few months ago. There are teams who could even bump them to 3rd or 4th if they have problems. You mention the inconsistency of V&T but S&S are and always have been a very inconsistent team. How many clean LPs in their whole career can you think of. They briefly regained a whole new level of consistency for about 15 months wary of the major threat coming up with V&T, but as V&T have eventually passed them by anyway and with age advancement, they seem to have lost that completely. I could see them getting back to their 08-09 level of consistency (which still wasnt great) and that would probably be enough to keep them in 2nd, although it could be close. V&T arent losing gold unless all of the following happen: 1. They have several big mistakes, 2. S&S skate squeeky clean, 3. S&S have better programs than this year and build some momentum somehow going into the Games so they are even seen as a close competitor to V&T again. Not entirely impossible, but hugely unlikely, I would say their odds of winning over V&T are even less than what their odds of winning gold over S&Z in 2010 were. S&S have to look over their shoulders at various teams from Canada, Russia (excluding V&T), and possibly China as well, who will all be coming after them.
I agree with your men and ladies assessments. I must say I have a funny feeling Javier Fernandez will be next years Olympic winner. If the podium is any diferent for ladies than it was at this years Worlds, probably even the exact order (with the only possible change Koster and Asada switching, but even that I doubt) I will be amazed.
The dance will be another shootout between D&W and V&M and while D&W are the more likely Champions of next years Games now, as always in that great rivalry anything could happen. A similar shootout for the bronze, just with more teams involved. B&S are the most likely bronze medalists at next years Games now but are no means a certainty yet, and Weaver & Poje and Capellina & Lanotte have the best chances to steal that bronze away from them. I could see Pechalat & Bourzat or Chock & Bates getting in the top 5 possibly but not on the podium.
On one last note does anything think S&Z might make a surprise return ala 2010. If they do I predict it will be a much less successful one. They would no longer be sentimental favorites of any sort having gotten their Oly Gold, they would be older, they would be competing against V&T in Russia. If they do attempt a comeback I see them right off the podium in 4th or 5th place.
that would mean an ultimate desperation for Chinese Pairs
Originally Posted by pangtongfan
they wont have chances anyways and are too old in their middle 30's
they are already letting Pang/Tong stay I guess their second team will be a younger pair for experince for next quad
but I don't think it will be Sui/Han whose partnership is due to end (inserts Sui's growth starting ) anytime soon
There is a sub-zero chance that S/Z will return. What would be their motivation? I recall seeing an article last year saying how they would tour for one year, and then retire from show-skating to start a family.
I feel bad for S/S, but I just don't see them being able to hold off V/T. All their little upgrades - the triple axel, re-incorporating the triple salchow, are not going to garner them enough points to stave off V/T, who gain much more GOE on each element (deservedly), and now also have higher PCS (contentious).
I think Peng & Zhang will be their 2nd team. The Chinese skating federation has always loved He-Man Zhang, and as he is strong as an ox he could easily still be in shape for 2018 and the team might have gelled into a medal contender of some sort by then. Yu & Jin are also a possability, but coming 4th at the World Juniors where they were supposed to win isnt exactly a step in the right direction. They will need to compete on the Senior GP and have success for the Chinese fed. to even consider sending them over Peng & Zhang.
I agree Shen & Zhao coming back would be a sign of ultimate desperation from the Chinese fed. and unlike the booming success of 2010 would be a flop this time (coming 4th or 5th at the Olympics for them would be a flop). I dont think we will see it but with the situation in Chinese pairs anything is possible, but even S&Z would not change the medal picture for Sochi I dont think. Pang & Tong competing now clearly past their primes as well is also a sign of the Chinese fed. desperation IMO. I doubt even they think they have a shot at that Oly Gold they narrowly missed in 2010, and they already have 2 World titles and many other medals, and I suspect they are competing more out of a favor to the Chinese fed. than really wanting to do it at this point. Either way the Chinese are long shots for a medal in Sochi at best now, and will require one of the 3 medalists from Worlds having a very bad competition. As well as Barazova & Larionov, who I still think are threats for a medal in Sochi even after a poor Worlds.
Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program
The OGM is Chan's to lose. If he can skate reasonably clean its in the bag. Same goes for Yu-na. Hanyu will probably be the closest challanger for gold, but i don't think Sochi will be his time yet, and Takahashi's best chance was in 2010. But I seriously hope he can prove me wrong. I know he can.
I disagree that either Kostner nor Asada are locks for medals. Both and capable of having serious jump issues and a fall with a << on the triple axel in the short for Mao would be disastrous. the russian girls might actually get it together with home country pressure.
For dance, it could go either way. I still feel that Virtue and Moir are in many ways "the ones to beat" but we basically don't know anything until we see how both teams start next season. Now Tessa and Scott are the ones doing the chasing so they might have the fire in their belly that Meryl and Charlie had last summer. bronze is kind of a guessing game, but I'll put my money on the Russians.
V/T are the favorites in dance, they have come a long way, I just hope they get two programs that show off their strengths. I hope S/S can prove us wrong...they certainly have the goods its just a matter of being reasonably clean.
It wouldnt be their motivation this time, it would be the Chinese fed. and their desperation with their plunging fortunes in pairs. The same reason Pang & Tong are even still competing IMHO. I agree it is very unlikely still, but I thought I would just throw that out to see if anyone else had considered it.
Originally Posted by Colanboy
This. If she doesn't get injured again next Season hopefully not, B/L performance at Worlds were better than expected coming form injuries who didn't have any falls
Originally Posted by pangtongfan
in a way even better than K/S who will have no chance for a medal sadly maybe 4th highst placement for them
I read in several german articles that trainer-S said S/S will up their technical difficulties in their programs next season. They have a plan. You're right ptfan, S/S did their own share of stupid mistakes. Maybe starting order might be another factor. V/T will probably win it, I'm not denying that. I just strongly disagree with the opinion that S/S won't medal at all! No way that S/S will be 4th or even move down more. That will only happen if they have an epic splatfest.
I don't know what it is like in Russia but I assume V/T surely are highly respected and supported by their fed. S/S are having a really hard time here in Germany. Nobody cares about them and their coach is hated. Being at the top without the support of your own country must be very exhausting.
Increasing technical difficulty. I am not sure what they can increase at this point, would they do both a throw quad and throw triple axel. Throws and lifts were always their technical strength, although lifts just have to meet generic level 4 requirements and you cant get extra credit for difficulty or originality beyond that under silly COP, only more GOE points. I cant see them doing a quad twist, as they dont have a great triple to begin with. I also dont think they are the singles skaters that Megan and Eric for example are to do side by side triple lutzes or flips and be consistent on them.
Wow that is amazing to hear about what you said about them at home in Germany though. I didnt know all that. That must be hard, although one thing I did know is Ingo Steuer was in trouble for association with a mob at some point, and it was possible he was going to not be allowed to coach anymore.
Chan, Hanyu and Fernandez for sure will be in top 5, I can guarantee you that. I loved Ten's performance but apart from this silver medal, what are his other achievements? He hadn't even won a GP medal yet and he needed help from others to take that silver. Daisuke is still in the mix I would say even though he wasn't at his best at 4cc and worlds. As of know I'm predicting
1. Chan (well, it's pretty sure)
3/4 One of the above or Daisuke
5. Hard to say, many men can fight for it.
It seems so obvious Yuna will take gold. She could basically perform 4 triples and still win (this year's worlds case). I'm literally praying Mao will have the skate of her life but Mao with 8 triples (including 3A and 3-3) could still lose to Yuna. And we all know 8-triple program is not likely to happen. However she is a serious contender for silver I would say. Caro was unable to skate to her potential at her both Olys, it might happen again. Still, she could beat a bunch of ladies on PCS alone, jumping lets say 3 triples and take the bronze. On the other hand, if Caro skates clean she can unfortunately easily beat Mao and even Kim so gold is not out of question. These 3 ladies seem to be some kind of a lock for podium, though the order may change. Who could be a threat to them? Russians, Americans, Li Zijun, Osmond would all have to be 100% clean to have any chance of beating them and it's still highly doubtful. My picks:
4. Some kind of a spoiler
V/T will win. No need to explain. S/S probably 2nd but D/R are fighting for this silver. 4-5 still open.
3-5 widely open.
What I find to be sad is that it seems to be so predictable. V/T is a lock for gold now, who can be a threat to D/W and V/M? We all know Patrick and Caro will finish on the podium and Yuna is going to be a double OGM.
On the other hand even though I'm totally not into Ice Dance I would be happy if D/W win gold. V/M had their, let someone else be happy! I would be extremely sad had D/W not won that gold. That's also a reason I would like someone other than Yuna to take the gold. I appreciate her a lot but she already is a gold medalist, there are others that also deserve this title .
^I agree with your post. And it also made me realize, how boring this really could turn out to be. I honestly don't see any real surprises here. Maybe Plushenko will upset the men and take that medal from Chan. (No one is adding him in the predictions, I wonder why...this is Sochi!) Thinking about it, the Mens event is still the one which could be more interesting. But then PChan will probably win it no matter what he does. It's another year, though. Last year, people wouldn't have predicted the Worlds Outcome from this year, so it all depends on how the skaters present themselves next season and specifically on these fateful two nights in February!
I think Yuna is amazing and deserves all the medals in the world! But it must be frustrating for skaters at the top like Carolina and Mao who fought so hard all this time, and then she just arrives and leaves them all behind with almost no chance of catching up. Hard!
Yeah I think Denis Ten will seriously have to prove himself. He was gifted in the PCs department this year!
Originally Posted by MaiKatze
For Men, I still think Hanyu, Takahashi (if he lands his jumps), and Chan are the main contenders for gold.
It's not Yuna's fault that these two lost. They lost because they made too many mistakes.
Originally Posted by MaiKatze
Who knows what kind of PCS they would get if they were clean in the LP. Caro gave up at least 10 points on the TES front and god knows how many on the PCS front in the LP alone. Mao gave up at least as much. They have to be more consistent. I'm sure they are not begrudging Yuna because they messed up badly.
I think the medal contenders in Sochi for the ladies will be the WC medalists, Gold, Adelina, Zijun and Akiko. I'm just not convinced Mao and Carolina will be able to deliver under Olympic pressure and there will be a lot of good skaters who potentially can land 10 triples (3 + 7) in Sochi. I don't think Wagner will be a factor because of her lower BV, and Kaetlyn to me looks like she has to save the landings on most of her jumps and so I think her technique isn't secure enough to deliver 2 clean skates.