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Thread: 2018-19 State of European Men's skating

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    EUR 2018-19 State of European Men's skating

    So the questions are:

    Who will be the next European champion and will this champion see any chance to win the World title?

    Will Fernandez, Bychenko, Brezina, Majorov compete (if they will be replaced then who will replace them)?

    Who will represent Russia (please, keep in mind that there already exists a thread about the 2018-19 State of Russian Men's skating and more detailed discussions about Russian skaters and their inner competition rather belong there) and how it will influence European Men's figure skating in general?

    Will there be any unexpected new names from unexpected new (or well known yet forgotten) countries in the Top 10 and the Top 24?

    What’s your general opinion about the overall level and main tendencies that we can expect in European male figure skating next season?

    What are other interesting questions that should be asked here?

    I wanted to ask a question about Deniss but I’m afraid to jinx it

    Thank you! I hope you’ll enjoy this topic.

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    Bona Fide Member LRK's Avatar
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    Thanks, this is a great thread idea - I don't have any thoughts to share at present, but am looking forward to reading interesting discussions on this thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anna K. View Post
    So the questions are:

    Who will be the next European champion and will this champion see any chance to win the World title?

    Will Fernandez, Bychenko, Brezina, Majorov compete (if they will be replaced then who will replace them)?

    Who will represent Russia (please, keep in mind that there already exists a thread about the 2018-19 State of Russian Men's skating and more detailed discussions about Russian skaters and their inner competition rather belong there) and how it will influence European Men's figure skating in general?

    Will there be any unexpected new names from unexpected new (or well known yet forgotten) countries in the Top 10 and the Top 24?

    What’s your general opinion about the overall level and main tendencies that we can expect in European male figure skating next season?

    What are other interesting questions that should be asked here?

    I wanted to ask a question about Deniss but I’m afraid to jinx it

    Thank you! I hope you’ll enjoy this topic.
    If Bychenko quits, Israel at least has Daniel Samohin who is a great contender when he gets it together.

    I really hope Majorov finds motivation to stay for another season. Sweden needs him to help with transition of juniors becoming seniors. I guess Gabriel Folkesson(16) and Nikolaj Majorov(17) will skate senior competitions next season. Actually they must if they want to go to Euros. Both with the 3-axel as the most difficult jump, but not much experience competing as seniors. So please Alexander! All teams need a big brother and I'm interested to see you evolve!

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    GS Supporter lavenderblossom's Avatar
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    What a great idea for a thread

    As far as retirements go:
    I heard Javi plans to semi-retire in that he will still do Senior Bs and Europeans, but not GPs or Worlds.
    Bychenko said after Worlds that he plans to retire.
    Brezina said he wants to go for another season.
    According to Jackie Wong Majorov is retiring.
    I think Chafik Besseghier might be retiring but I'm not sure.

    The top men after them in order of PBs are: Deniss Vasiljevs, Jorik Hendrickx, Daniel Samohin, Moris Kvitelashvili, Yaroslav Paniot, Matteo Rizzo, Paul Fentz, Romain Ponsart, Kevin Aymoz, and Ivan Pavlov. All of them have PBs between 210-260.
    - Deniss saved his best skates for Worlds to earn that PB. (2 factoids - 6th is the highest Latvia has ever placed in any discipline at Worlds ever; Deniss is the youngest on this list and still junior eligible for another year lol) However, 2 spin levels aside, he was pristine clean, so he's gone about as high as is possible without quads.
    - Jorik got his PB from Nebelhorn this season, and as far as I know he's continuing, so although I don't think he'll ever get a quad, the judges like him and he's a fairly reliable skater.
    - Daniel has bags of potential (and plenty of quads), but every competition besides Olympics was a disaster. Which is a great time to peak, but if he'd had those skates at Euros he would've been 4th, and at Worlds he would have made the top 10
    - Moris is a similar story, had his best skates at Rostelecom Cup and everything after was a mess
    - Paniot has 4F and 4T, but... ehhh, is there something in the water in Europe? Quadsters are only allowed 1 good skate per season?
    - Matteo did pretty well for himself! JW medal and a vast improvement in his overall skating. He's working on a 4T, I hope he can get it down by next season (he landed it at Worlds but it was UR.)
    - Fentz had a Boyang-level disaster at Euros, but he's normally a bit better than that and he showed it at Worlds and Olympics. His Worlds score of 230.92 was a PB.
    - Ponsart kind of made a breakthrough this season, his 4T is lovely. Onwards and upwards!
    - Aymoz and Pavlov have some potential. Unfortunately, Aymoz wasn't allowed to go to Euros because he didn't have a quad, though he's working on 4T and 4S. (I think he put up a video of him landing them on instagram but I don't have it saved.) Pavlov has quads and his skating is not bad, but apparently the rink he trains at always closes over the summer so he doesn't have anywhere to train half the year round .

    So the forecast seems a bit gloomy but on the positive side most of them are fairly young. In juniors Daniel Grassl from Italy has a 4Lz, he is 16 so that is something to look forward to. I think they all just need time to develop. I don't think we can pin any of them as European #1 just yet.

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    My guess would be Vasiljevs & Aliev of Russia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by merrywidow View Post
    My guess would be Vasiljevs & Aliev of Russia.
    Agreed, aside from Fernandez, but I'm not sure about a world title for either of them, what with Hanyu, Uno and Chen and the rising star Tomono around. Plus Kolyada can't be counted out, either.

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    Daniel Samohin has huge untapped potential that I hope can be reached these next four years! I don't know what is holding him back but I fully believe that if he could get consistent he could contend for medals with the big guys. Also I was very impressed by seeing Deniss live at the Olympics! He has amazing spins and such a entertaining presence! Now we just need those quads to cooperate...

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    For now, it seems that Europe's mostly going to be dominated by the Russians, with some veterans like Jorick Hendricx, Michal Brezina and Paul Fentz there to break into those higher placements when they hit and have a clean skate, which seems to be an issue for many European skaters.

    Besides the Russians (namely Dmitri Aliev), I'd say the upcoming skaters of Europe are Deniss Vasiljevs, Daniel Samohin, and Matteo Rizzo, all three of which have potential, charisma, and at some point notable results in their careers (6th at worlds, JWC, JW bronze medallist, etc). Vasiljevs did fantastic at Worlds this year, Samohin has potential to be right at the top when he skates clean (hopefully Morozov can keep the improvements going?), and Rizzo seems to be on the rise after skating well at Junior Worlds.
    There's also Moris Kvitelashvili and Yaroslav Paniot, but both of them are also prone to inconsistency and aren't usually a medal threat because of this. I think there's also an Italian junior somewhere with a 4Lz, but I don't really know enough about them to say much.

    Out of the younger skaters, I'd pick Vasiljevs, Samohin and Rizzo to be the main contenders besidse the Russians, but again consistency is something many of these skaters will need in order to make that a more realistic prediction. With the older skaters retiring en masse, they all have good shots at making the Europeans podium over the next couple of years.

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    Indeed, I was thinking more generally a while ago about the state of non-Russian competitors at Euros, since it seems like most of the true non-Russian podium heavies are either retiring or on the verge of doing so (Javi, Anna and Luca, Carolina, possibly Aliona and Bruno). Gabby and Guillaume will of course reign supreme over ice dance for many years to come.

    Deniss feels like he's got the most potential to challenge for the men's podium at the moment, but he needs to make the leap to quads to do it.

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    I am very selfish; I loooooove Deniss just the way he is, and I do not want him to ruin that by training quads too hard or too much. That said, it is the way of the world today......

    I am looking forward to seeing Deniss and Matteo Rizzo develop. Hopefully enough to pick up the “non-Russian” torch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blue_idealist View Post
    Agreed, aside from Fernandez, but I'm not sure about a world title for either of them, what with Hanyu, Uno and Chen and the rising star Tomono around. Plus Kolyada can't be counted out, either.
    I'm not sure why you include Tomono in the group who'll keep Aliev off the World podium. He did beat him by a couple places at Worlds, but that was less than 4 points and Dmitri's SB is almost 20 points higher. Plus he has more quads.

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    More info on Daniel Grassl: his protocol from Egna Spring Trophy https://twitter.com/bell_canon/statu...14627444322305

    He landed 4Lz with +GOE and attempted 4F but it got an edge and < call. He also landed two 3As, one under. Not bad for a 16 yo!

    Another one I just remembered from JW - Jonathan Hess. He has a very good 3A, no quad yet but he's got time at 17. Components need work.

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    Looking through PB's of European contenders, I am pretty sure that Javi, even partly training, still will have chances to get to the podium at Euro'19... He is the only one with +300 PB. What is also an answer to the question of European champion chances for World Championship...

    But never say never

    Dima's and Deniss' PB inreased by 30 points a year in last three seasons, so at least the first of them will have a chance to hit the 300 pts next season (we still don't know the new rules ISU is going to implement, so I use the "+300 pts" term as a synonym of the world-class contender). Besides Dima, only Mikhail and Sergei's PB is higher than 270 pts what can give them considerably good place at WC (and podium at EC).

    There is a group of skaters of PB 240-270 pts, what in some circumstances can be enough for EC podium and 4-6th place at WC: Vasiljevs, Kovtun (who maybe returns to the game after coach switching), Samarin, Hendrixx, Samohin, Kvitelashvili, Brezina, Petrov. The only consistent skater in this group is Deniss (Oly's forgotten ), but Michal woke up recently and hopefully he is ready to fight back his place on top.

    To sum up: only Javi, Deniss (and maybe Michal) can prevent the Russian sweep at EC'19

    In top 10, beside skaters above, I see also Matteo and maybe (will depend on Russian Nationals) another junior: Alexey Erokhov.

    As lavenderblossom said above, Daniel Grassl and Jonathan Hess are promising juniors. Luc Economides from France did well at JGP, also Basar Oktar from Turkey. As Bychenko retires, we probably will see Mark Gorodnitsky as a second Israeli skater. Hope that one of Belohradsky brothers shows up as a strong contender on side of Brezina. I remember quite good juniors from Sweden so Majorov will have a successor when he retires (his brother?). The second Latvian spot is waiting for the best junior (till now only Kims Georgs Pavlovs has TES high enough). Last but not least, believe that Kornel Witkowski from Poland joins the best European juniors soon.

    And there is one more skater who I always considered a junior, but who is 20 now (and competed in EC five times ): Sondre Oddvoll Boe. Hope he reached his height finally and is able to improve significantly (despite his vegan diet )

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    Quote Originally Posted by SnowWhite View Post
    I'm not sure why you include Tomono in the group who'll keep Aliev off the World podium. He did beat him by a couple places at Worlds, but that was less than 4 points and Dmitri's SB is almost 20 points higher. Plus he has more quads.
    I think Tomono is going to get better, quickly, but I could be wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colonel Green View Post
    Indeed, I was thinking more generally a while ago about the state of non-Russian competitors at Euros, since it seems like most of the true non-Russian podium heavies are either retiring or on the verge of doing so (Javi, Anna and Luca, Carolina, possibly Aliona and Bruno). Gabby and Guillaume will of course reign supreme over ice dance for many years to come.

    Deniss feels like he's got the most potential to challenge for the men's podium at the moment, but he needs to make the leap to quads to do it.
    I hope Dennis can come up with a couple of quads so he can compete for the podium. He is such a pleasant skater to watch with all his artistry - not only does he seem to have it within him but he also has the master of artistry as his coach. Great things to come, I believe!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragdoll View Post
    I hope Dennis can come up with a couple of quads so he can compete for the podium. He is such a pleasant skater to watch with all his artistry - not only does he seem to have it within him but he also has the master of artistry as his coach. Great things to come, I believe!
    I like Dennis but I am very sceptical about his quads, it has been a while since his 4T was said to be nearly competition ready and we still haven't seen it. He also grown quite tall and that might work against him. He needs a strong technical coach and Lambiel with all his wonderful qualities isn't that. I will be very happy to be proven wrong.
    Also is this a thread for discussing all the Euro men save the Russians? Why then Aliev is in it I just get confused

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tutto View Post
    Also is this a thread for discussing all the Euro men save the Russians? Why then Aliev is in it I just get confused
    I thought about it a lot when I started this thread; like, should it be kept strictly about non-Russian skater updates only? Eventually I came to the conclusion that the thread will be more interesting if we include discussions about the next European Championship and also about the chances that the leading European skaters have in the World Championship; that way, we can't possibly avoid mentioning Russian skaters and also overseas skaters occasionally.

    It doesn't mean that I can't be wrong though Technically, it's possible to upgrade the definition. So, please, keep posting your thoughts and ideas regarding that!

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    Basically without Javier the men's events will be like the ladies event has been for the last 5-6 years. Mostly Russians on the podium since Javier was for the men what Kostner was for the ladies and without either of them there are no other European countries with any contenders in either event.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    Basically without Javier the men's events will be like the ladies event has been for the last 5-6 years. Mostly Russians on the podium since Javier was for the men what Kostner was for the ladies and without either of them there are no other European countries with any contenders in either event.
    Gee, and I was under the impression that Deniss defeated Aliev at Worlds.

    Also, once upon a time Daniel Samohin defeated Aliev and Samarin for a Junior World title. Defeated them both in the free skate again last season.

    (And I do believe Matteo Rizzo defeated Kolyada in the SP during the Team Event at the Olympics).

    Never discount the chaos that can ensue in a men's event.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ice Dance View Post

    Never discount the chaos that can ensue in a men's event.
    Exactly! I would rather say that, without Javier, the European scene becomes totally unpredictable. Even though Russian entries (whoever they will be) generally have higher PBs, their consistency hasn't been exemplary at all and the difference in points isn't big enough to make them unbeatable if something goes wrong. Nowhere close to the hegemony of Russian Ladies!

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