Interview with Sofia Biryukova about her transition to pairs.
Further predictions incoming when they start skating in the GP, but in the end it all boils down to the day.
Remember also there were only two US men this year, next year there will be three, and the three most likely to be their team are all armed with high TES or high PCS or both.
Still pulling for Menshov/Gachinski world team.
Thank you Alex for taking the time to put this all together for us non-Russian speaking members. Much appreciated!
What do you people think about Monko&Khaliavin?
I myself don't know what to think. I find them fresh and very good on the interpretative level.
I like him but I don't like the posture of her upper body and her knees. I do prefer S&B more.
Furthermore, I think she is a bit tall for him or it looks like?
Yes they are in the main team (main team is mostly about funding) but i meant that they should fight their place in Russian team for Euros and Worlds.
I take it like like good decision. Althought Junior World title doesn't mean senior success, it can help. All other top Russian couples are ex Junior Champs.
Hawayek & Baker will have better placement anyway, because they win the most important competion of the Junior season althought Yanovskaya & Mozgov won Junior Grand Prix Final and were straight leaders for whole season. Hawayek & Baker have big advantage in US field which is not so deep like in Russia right now. Even 6th Russian Nationals couple Stepanova & Bukin have very good technique and difficult programs, so Yanovskaya & Mozgov would probably finish even behind them at Nationals (yes, Riazanova & Tchakenko retired and two couples split, but new couples consist four great technicians and made great results last season - so judges still remember each of them like promising dancer, so there is 99% chance that at least one or maybe both couples will be really great again). Plus Bobrova & Soloviev, Monko & Khaliavin, Stepanova & Bukin (don't forget Tarasova's support who simply loves Bukin). So still Yanovskaya & Mozgov would be around 5th place, which means no European or World Champs.
While Hawayek & Baker can easily challenge all top US teams. Chock & Bates suffer from Bates weak technique and one kind of style - romantic style. Shibutanis don't have good enought programs and their technique is not strong also, plus they are not fast. Hubbell & Donohue have the best edges from US couples, but judges doesn't look to love them plus Madison's injury plus the couple is not really fast as well. So Hawayek & Baker have real chance to be in top 3 and come to World Champs.
They suffer from big nervousness which leads to mistakes, but surprisingly when it counts and the competition is tough (like last two Russian Nationals and World Team Trophy 2013) – the couple puts everything together and skates the best possible way – and it is something special then.
The couple has great technique, deep edges, long lines, finished movements. You mentioned Ksenia’s upper body position – you are right. While in 2012/13 season her upper body was OK, this season she once again bend her back forward. It needs to be corrected.
This Olympic season Ksenia and Kirill had very unusual program for themselves – funny and sad clown. Not easy program even demanding also face mimics and actor‘s expression, they managed it very well. The couple is the most comfortable in romantic and dramatic stories, for example their Spanish FD in 2012/13 season, Frida FD in 2010/11 season. They are also the couple with good sense for ballroom dances – their Blues FD in 2009/10 and waltz part in SD in 2012/13 season were great.
What is once again big problem – costuming. Ksenia has similar body building like Navka or Krylova with those loooooong legs, but her costumes doesn’t show her perfection.
Height difference was never a problem with old judging system because there were not too acrobatic elements. Now judging system prefers more small ladies (mainly because of acrobatic lifts) so everybody discuss height difference. But it doesn’t have much sense. Even couples with small height difference or small weights differences – V&M, Faiella & Scali were able to execute great lifts and top dances, so what? Ksenia is definitely taller then Meryl but Kirill was always great lifter, so even with long Ksenia’s legs the couple is able to perform all variety of difficult lifts even those with rotation around a neck which is highly uncomfortable for tall girls.
Personally I take this couple like beautiful. Ksenia is another dark haired, dark eyed beauty in non classical way.
What is their big advantage is the fact that they look like couple, they react greatly at each other while skating. They are both dynamic and passionate dancers (which was very obvious in their last season Spanish FD). I suppose that this couple will have one of the best Spanish SD next season.
I'm really hoping Hawayek/Baker move up and hopefully go to Worlds this season - I saw them for the first time this season when I was watching the JGPF FD, and was extremely impressed, especially considering the fact that they were juniors. I thought the Amelie FD was just lovely, beautifully understated, interesting, different, and extremely enjoyable to watch. I think they're very talented and I hope they go far together!
As for the Russians, I'll be curious to see if the European/World team ends up being B/S, M/K, and S/B, or if one (or both) of I/Z and S/K can break into the top 3 at Nationals. RN will certainly be interesting and hopefully entertaining, if nothing else
On the Russian side, this could definitely be the right year for S/B and M/K to establish themselves as real Senior couples!
I think HB have good chances in siniors. I think the Shibs stuck. I don't see an improvement since 2011. I think that it's Marina's fault, ofcourse she was busy with VM and DW, but she haven't found a style for the Shibs and their tech has suffered after Igor left. And this year i'm not sure that they will be her number one pair.