Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Choosing Pairs and Men in the Cup of China

A Change is Gonna Come…

Sorry—just thinking about the outcome of yesterday’s election :-)

Or did you think I was talking about the latest withdrawal at Cup of China? Easy to see where there’d be confusion; we’ll now be missing Castile & Okolski in the Pairs event AND Daisuke Takahashi in the Men’s. Still, the predictions must go on.

For the PAIRS:
Gold- Zhang/Zhang (CHN)
Silver- Pang/Tong (CHN)
Bronze- Volosozhar/Morozov (UKR)

The third spot I’ve chosen strictly by the rankings—with the best chance for a U.S. medal out of the running, I went with the team ranked #9 at the end of last season. Of course, choosing between the top two Chinese teams is a much tougher task. The sky-high split triple twists, the throw jumps that seem to travel across small canyons… each team has ‘em. I’ll give the edge to Zhang & Zhang, as they seem to have stronger all-around skills. I haven’t seen either team since last season, though-- it really could go either way.

For the MEN:
Gold- Tomas Verner (CZE)
Silver- Stephen Carriere (USA)
Bronze- Jeremy Abbott (USA)

Could’ve been, would’ve been… Buttle was supposed to be in this event along with Takahashi and Verner, but Verner is practically uncontested now. Or is he? Especially when you think of what happened at SkAM last month, perhaps he should pay special attention to those he’s barely heard of. The absence of the others means both the two young Americans have a good chance of medaling, but didn’t Kristoffer Berntsson (SWE) make a strong impression in front of the home crowd last March? Maybe he’ll bump a USA guy out. Or maybe the trio of Chinese men will shine in their homeland. Or maybe the Canadian medal run will continue with Vaughn Chipeur…

But I’ll stick with my picks… even though I’m making Berntsson’s aforementioned FS the
Clip of the Day. Enjoy CoC!

No comments: