Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Skate America: A Preview

Here are my brief thoughts on who I suspect will be a factor at Skate America this weekend.

Pairs: World Champions Savchenko and Szolkowy should have no problem winning here. The bigger question is who else will be on the medal stand. Zhang and Zhang were out last season after an odd injury so it's hard to say how well they'll skate, but they've been among the best in the world for years and certainly shouldn't be counted out. Moore-Towers and Moscovitch, Russians Bazarova and Larionov, and possibly
Hausch and Wendes will all be looking to medal here as well.

Ice dance: Davis and White are the clear favorites to win, with Pechalat and Bourzat being pretty much a lock for silver. Who will get the bronze medal is more of the mystery - I'm leaning towards it being one of the two Canadian teams competing here (Paul and Islam and Ralph and Hill).

Ladies: There's a lot of ladies here who could potentially medal, but I think that either Carolina Kostner or Alissa Czisny have the most potential to win this event. Joshi and Viktoria Helgesson, Haruka Imai, Elene Gedenishvili, and Ksenia Makarova could all also be in the hunt as well.

Men: World medalist Takahiko Kozuka has to be considered the frontrunner here, with Florent Amodio being the most likely skater to challenge him. Michal Brezina is anything but consistent but he's managed to squish into 4th at Worlds twice, so it's hard to count him out. Last year's surprise medalist Armin Mahbanoozadeh will be looking to repeat here, with teammate and U.S. silver medalist Richard Dornbush will be competing at his first senior Grand Prix ever. Daisuke Murakami and Denis Ten are each a bit of a question mark, but if either go clean and others struggle, I could see one of them medaling.

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