I wouldn't be surprised if one of the men tried a 4-4!
I wouldn't be surprised if one of the men tried a 4-4!
I could picture Hanyu capable of a 4T-4T (Hanyu would repeat his 3A, and turn his 3Z into a 3S if he executed the 2nd quad to avoid Zayaking... he would repeat his 3A and do his regular 3Z if he didn't execute the 2nd quad). That would be nuts!
Which is worth less than: 4T-3T, 4T, 3Z, 3Ax, 3Lx, 3Z-2Tx, 3F-1/2L-3Sx, 2Ax
Now I'll try, too:
9) Ten (I still think that his silver medal was almost a fluke... if he medals in the GP, I might change my opinion)
1) Kim (no doubt here! )
4) Tuktamysheva (I have a strange feeling that she will have the SOHL at the Olympics)
5) Kavaguti/Smirnov (this is more what I hope)
10) Berton/Hotarek (again, this is what I hope, the reason is obvious)
3) Bobrova/Soloviev (home ice)
6) Ilynikh/Katsalapov (home ice again, and Morozov politicking)
10) 3rd Russian pair
Not surprised to see nearly everyone have Kim and Volosozhar & Trankov winning. It does strike me as interesting nearly everyone so far has picked Davis & White to win. I thought it might be more split with Virtue & Moir. I do have a strong feeling Davis & White have the edge now personally though.
For the men we have 5 having Chan winning 4 for Fernandez, 1 for Plushy, and 1 for Hanyu. Chan has 5 gold picks, 3 silver picks, 2 bronze picks, and only 1 4th place pick. I must say I think the predictions for Chan's chances are extremely generous at this point. I predict there will be some backlash in his scores from the huge uproar over Worlds, and he is already past his prime and declining massively technically.
Davis and White have been very strong, particularly their SD last year, while V/M have been making errors and aren't as sharp as they've been before. They'll still be D/W's greatest competition but it's really splitting hairs at this point. For V/M to win they need higher difficulty and greater conviction. But I can't help but think that D/W will win gold seeing as how they're the USA's best chance at a medal, let alone gold -- and because D/W are performing just a bit better at this point in time.
As for Chan, I don't think there will be backlash over his scores. In the judges' mind, he lost the FS and his SP lead sealed the win, plus their PCS scores were 3.5 points lower than his personal best (sub-90). I don't think he'll get the same favourability over Hanyu/Fernandez/Takahashi that he did over Ten, and a clean skate or close to clean skate will be important. I also don't think it's fair to say he's past his prime, when you could say the same for Takahashi/Plushenko/Joubert, etc. If anyone is past his prime, it's Takahashi... Plushenko at Euros was excellent, but not as good as in the past... Joubert is likely a non-factor even if he skates well. Fernandez and Hanyu haven't quite gotten to the point that their PCS can match Takahashi/Chan, although their technical ability (particularly Javier's) have surpassed Chan in terms of difficulty (though not yet in terms of GOE). To say he's past his prime isn't exactly a fair assessment considering he had a superb 2013 Worlds SP (a world record), it's been barely a year since his last clean freeskate (4CC 2012 - where he pulled 185 points), and he's continually been capable of landing 2 quads in his FS (but makes errors on easier elements - which to me doesn't show a decline in technical ability so much as a decline in focus). I still think Hanyu will beat Chan in Sochi (so make that 2 for Hanyu) because of him having comparable technical content and two 3As and the most potential to get higher PCS next season (not to mention other than Takahashi, he's the only one whose SP has even come close to touching Chan's best SP scores) -- I think Javier is a big threat but 3 quads is a really tall order for anyone, and other than Euros 2013, Javier hasn't had the best consistency between both segments. I'd have to see more of Denis Ten before predicting with him - everyone knows that was such a surprise World silver, and I can't imagine the rest of the field will be as poor in Sochi as they were in 2013 Worlds.
Plushenko with his low PCS, indeed influenced by the disgusting pro American Inman and his comrades, would have been knocked down to 7th or 8th in Vancouver had it been a well skated event. He even lost to Lysacek, and we all know there are tons of guys even in 2010 who could have beaten a quadless Lysacek (or even Lysacek with a quad for that matter), even with Inman and others running their shameless pro Lysacek chances campaigning.
The mens discipline is definitly the hardest to predict. I don't think Chan will win in Sochi, but I can see why people would settle for him (for now, at least) - he gets the job done. It might not be pretty, but the points are there. And no other man has really stepped it up to the point where he would be a clear pick - although I think Fernandez and Hanyu clearly showed the potential to beat Patrick. Both of them aren't consistent, but they're still better than Chan in that regard.Originally Posted by pangtongfan
For the backlash regarding his scores - the last season showed us pretty clearly that he already got some. Back in 2012 a perfect Takahashi scored 85+ in PCS compared to Chans 90+. Now this year Ten got 87+, just about two points below Chan. I don't think there's any doubt that 2012 Takahashi is better than 2013 Ten in every single PCS category, but Ten was still scored closer to Chan this year. The jugdes were clearly ready to give the title to someone else - saying, in 2013 with the exact same performances, I think Takahashi might have won (the LP definitly, at least). Adding the fact that the Olympics are a place much worse for scandals than WCs, I'd imagine Chan will get hampered for his mistakes pretty badly (and I can't really see him going clean). It's really just up to Fernandez and Hanyu to take the chance.
And when exactly was Takahashis prime? The poor man was hit hard with an injury that was thought to be career ending at first. I don't think he ever really reached something like a peak - he always had his ups and downs. After the 2011 WC, people said Takahashi was done and that he needed to retire already. Then he came back in 2012 to nearly become world champ again (and no matter if you think Chan deserved his title or not, Takahashis 2012 performances were worthy of a gold medal, generally speaking). This last season wasn't his best, but I'm suprised so many people are pretty much writing him off. He came back two times already, he can manage a 3rd one (and he still won the GPF this season...). He's still a medal favorite and an OGM contender for me - moreso than Ten, for example.Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy
And for Chan declining: 2011 Chan >> 2012 Chan >> 2013 Chan. That's not exactly an upward trajectory... and then factor in that he doesn't have a technical coach anymore.
Plushenko is the only top man I can envision skating clean under Olympic pressure. No one can fall and beat Plushenko on home ice, because the judges will adjust PCS to produce the outcome they want (in other words, they will be careful not to produce a controversial outcome, particularly one that negatively impacts a Russian skater). I'd love to see Hanyu win, but his difficult jumps entrances may be hard to do under such great pressure.
Kim can't be perfect all the time, but she seems to peak at the important moments. This prediction is more hopeful than what I think, because Yuna gets so much GOE for her jumps that she can make a few bobbles and finish ahead. But they are both worthy of an OGM and Yuna already has one. Carolina hasn't convinced me that she can skate well under Olympic pressure so I think it will be difficult for her because a few of the younger skaters like Adelina and Gracie are closing the PCS gap a bit.
2013 scores: 267.48 (Worlds), 258.66 (GPF), 262.35 (Rostelcom), 243.43 (Skate Canada)
Average score: 257.98
2012 scores: 266.11 (Worlds), 273.94 (4CC), 260.30 (GPF), 240.60 (TEB), 253.74 (SC)
Average score: 260.23
2011 scores: 280.98 (Worlds), 259.75 (GPF), 228.21 (CoR), 239.52 (SC)
Average score: 252.12 (obviously the spread is much greater, so it's hard to call this his "peak" season, just because he gave his best performance ever at Worlds)
So, while his performances have been technically poorer, with his actual program content improving from season to season he's still maintained an average of above 250 points. And while his score at 2011 Worlds was the best, his overall scores in the 2012-2013 season were better than 2010-2011. Add to the fact that he was still able to produce a 177 points FS at Rostelcom (and with a few doubled jumps at that) and got a world record SP at Worlds 2013 (which still would have been a 95+ point skate no matter how much people cry he was inflated) it's hard to say he's on the decline. And three World titles is hardly on the decline either (or 1 World title and 4 top-2 finishes if you're going to question 2012 and 2013).
Jump consistency wise, 2012-2013 was a poorer season for him, but points-wise he hasn't really declined a whole lot, and results-wise he's still winning or at least placing top 3, which IMO isn't on the decline and still bodes well for a solid Sochi placement, if not a win. Not to mention other skaters have had worse declines (Arakawa) and less success (Urmanov, Kulik, Hughes) prior to the Olympics and still won. Chan is still the "logical" choice (hence why most have picked him), but given his technical issues recently and a surging Fernandez and Hanyu (if the former gets a good SP or the latter gets a good LP, Chan might be in trouble) I think he can certainly be upset. If he wasn't landing his quads consistently I could argue he's on the decline, but he's one of the most consistent quad jumpers in the field, and really needs to just maintain focus on his easier elements.