Thursday, October 29, 2009

Calling it For Cup or China

Before I get started—a big shout-out to International Figure Skating and Audrey Snowden for mentioning this here blog on page 61 of the new issue! Woo hoo! Guess I’d better renew that subscription soon…

So anyway, on to Cup of China business:

Gold: Belbin/Agosto (USA)
Silver: Khoklova/Novitski (RUS)
Bronze: Faiella/Scali (ITA)

Should be no contest for gold, though silver and bronze are anything but a lock. I must admit I have not seen any of these new dances yet…

For MEN:
Gold: Nobunari Oda (JPN)
Silver: Evan Lysacek (USA)
Bronze: Sergei Voronov (RUS)
On the other hand, I HAVE seen Oda’s program of course, and suspect it will be hard to beat in this field… unless Lysacek trumps him with a quad. As for Voronov… I’m guessing big time, as there’s a whole fleet of dark horses here… including Yannick Ponsero, Samuel Contesti and Denis Ten (a young talent from Kazakhstan who garnered a mess of attention at Worlds this year). I’m going with Voronov mostly because I’ve seen what he’s got this season. While I prefer Ponsero, his inconsistencies are killing him again this year thus far. Let me go on record to say I’d love to be wrong here!

Gold: Shen/Zhao (CHN)
Silver: Zhang/Zhang (CHN)
Bronze: Volosozhar/Morozov (UKR)

S/Z are now 30 and 36, respectively. Can they still get the job done? Well, consider this: Inoue and Baldwin of the US are now 33 and 36 respectively, and just landed the best throw triple axel of their career a couple of weeks back. I think there could be plenty left in the tank for the two-time Olympic bronze medalists, but I’m sure it must be Zhang/Zhang’s dream to defeat them, especially now, especially in their homeland. My personal fave for bronze would be Canada’s Duhamel/Buntin, but I think the Ukranians would have to have a pretty off day for that to happen.

Gold: Joannie Rochette (CAN)
Silver: Rachael Flatt (USA)
Bronze: Akiko Suzuki (JPN)

OK, here’s the reasoning: Carolina Kostner doesn’t seem to be back on her game yet (though admittedly she could prove me wrong this weekend)… Fumie Suguri just seems to be hanging in till Japan’s Olympic trials… and Kiira Korpi doesn’t have the technical difficulty. Suzuki, for her part, left a powerful, positive impression on me the one time I saw her last season (NHK, where she finished in 2nd right behind Asada). So I’m giving her the nod, though again it’s a tough call because she doesn’t seem to have done much since then. In any case, beware: she’s reportedly skating to West Side Story. P.S. Nagasu could sneak in there for bronze too.

Oh, and Magic 8-Ball didn’t do so well in its sophomore outing… what will it predict for the LADIES this time…

Gold: Suguri
Silver: Rochette
Bronze: Suzuki

Hmmm… anyway, here’s where to watch (all times Eastern):


2:30AM Compulsory Dance
3:55 Ladies’ SP
5:45 Men’s SP
7:45 Pairs’ SP
9:15 Original Dance

2:00 a.m.: Ladies free
4:10 a.m.: Mens free
6:25 a.m.: Pairs free
8:05 a.m.: Free dance


5pm - 7pm Men and Pairs short programs
9pm - 11pm Ladies short program and Original Dance

5pm - 6pm Ladies free skate
6pm - 7pm Mens free skate
10pm - 11pm Pairs free skate

11pm - 12am Free Dance

For the ClipoftheDay I bring you Jeremy Abbott’s FS from this event last year… I believe he was well on his way to JeremEEEE-dom with this performance


Anonymous said...

This is a stacked deck at CoC. It will be interesting to see how Evan's "stack" holds up. I suspect you are right and I don't think Oda needs the quad to beat him. If you look at points, Oda would have beaten that shameful display of bad sportsmanship that EP showed at Bompard. As to Abbott? I'd say "You ain't seen nothin' yet!!" I've seen the programs in practice and the difference in his attitude and training. Time will tell. It's Olympic season and everyting is shaken, not stirred.

Aaron said... got them all right but the women...and honestly who could have predicted that.

Nice work.

Kelli Lawrence said...

Thanks Aaron! Trust me, I'm as surprised as anyone...

And I'm very eager to see Abbott's debut this coming weekend. He made one of the more interesting coaching changes this past summer, that's for sure...