These are my predictions almost exactly! I have Trusova over Kihira though. I admit that I have trouble parsing out the KOR ladies. Young You and Eun Soo Lim stand out but they missed the team, so I don't know how this team will stack up in that last group of Hendrickx, Miyahara and Chen.Podium Contenders: Anna, Rika, Trusova.
- I think Anna is the favorite (and I thought this last season, by the way) for the Worlds Title. The Gold Medal is hers to lose, but she has to be at full strength with three quads. I’ve said this before about a year ago, but she has a strong will and that will take her far.
- Rika: We only saw her once this season, but she looked very good and she also seems to be the healthiest among the top three. She finally landed the 4S, but it replaced the 3A+2T. That is not what she had planned and she adjusted her layout as the situation called for it. I expect her to go for her full arsenal at Worlds as she knows she needs it. Rika has grown to be consistent, but always makes minor mistakes that add up. These minor mistakes won’t cost her a podium, but they will cost her a Gold Medal with strong technical skates from the other two.
- Trusova is a wild card. She can be on top of the podium, she can be on the podium, or she can be off the damn thing entirely. She’s the least likely to go clean with her tech content than the other two; unfortunately for her, she’s also the one that needs to be clean the most. I don’t expect a five-quad layout, but I do expect four regardless if she lands the 3A in the SP or not. If there’s a time to finally land a clean 3A in the SP, Worlds is the time. She's going to have a hard go at it either way, especially beating a clean Anna. Like I said almost a year ago, Trusova needs four quads and a 3A in the SP to stand on top of the podium. Anything less than that would put her too close to either Anna or Rika. Then there’s the question of how much she’s recovered from her injuries. Well…good luck!
- 4-6: Tennell, Tuktyamysheva, Sakamoto: They have similar scoring potential but if I had to put money on it, I would bet on Tennell placing 4th. In a head-to-head where both are clean, Sakamoto should beat Tennell, but she has problems delivering when it matters. She always makes a damning error that cost her a spot on the podium. She mostly skated her SP clean until Nationals but Nationals is the first time there was any real pressure. She still looks strong, though, but she can't leave any doors open. Tennell, on the other hand, thrives under pressure and it wouldn’t surprise me if Tennell is the cleanest among this group. Tuktyamysheva has 3 triple axels but I don’t expect for them to give her a big scoring advantage. I don’t think she’s ever gotten positive GOES on all three of them in competition. Those step-outs, lost levels, and the less than optimal layout will hurt her. The 3Lz+3T hopefully is here to stay and she’s had something to prove for two years now. Anger and resentment are great motivators so she’s probably going to skate the skate of her life at Worlds. She’s not going to let this moment go.
- The rest of the top 10: Miyahara, Chen, Yelim, Hendrickx. The thing about Miyahara is that she can get slammed with UR calls and still score 200+ whereas the other girls can be clean and score less than that. It’s very unlikely that the Korean ladies will get a third spot – a tragedy - but the chips have fallen to where the American ladies might get it. Chen just needs to keep her head about her and shoot for a 205 which is in her range to do.
It’s going to be tight! Luckily for the Americans if Bradie can do well Karen doesn’t need to beat Yelim. 4th and 9th would be enough and while 4th would mean Bradie has to skate lights out it’s definitely doable. It could be very close between Bradie, Liza, and Kaori.Yelim looked pretty good at her ranking competition. Great triple triples, which Karen doesnt have. She shouldnt suffer on PCS, tho Karen will get higher ones. If they both skate well, Yelim will come out ahead I think.
She's Japan's top lady and guaranteed for the Olympic team (virtually, of course the disclaimer that nothing is every guaranteed ice is slippy yadayadayda etc etc etc).A short compilation of Rika KIHIRA's (紀平梨花) recent training videos!•Full Training Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5EkNHK7dwQInterview About Quads and...youtu.be
Kihira training, all the 4S look underrotated.
I start to think that she should just take it out and go for a safe 3A programs that will guarantee her bronze.