Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Studying for ISU Grand Prix Finals: Pairs & Dance Predictions

This time I’m going to break the Finals predictions into two parts, like I did with all the GP predictions last season. And since I’ve been trying to post TV times, I’ll split those in half as well. Here are Tokyo streaming times for IceNetwork:

Thursday, Dec. 3
5:50 a.m.- Pairs Short Program
7:05 a.m. - Original Dance

Friday, Dec. 4

4:20 a.m. - Men's Short Program
5:40 a.m. - Ladies Short Program
6:40 a.m. - Free Dance

Saturday, Dec. 5

2:15 a.m. - Pairs Free Skate
3:50 a.m. - Men's Free Skate
5:20 a.m. - Ladies Free Skate

Predictions In PAIRS…
Gold-- Shen/Zhao
Silver-- Savchenko/Szolkowy
Bronze-- Pang/Tong

Who else is there: Murkhortova/Trankov, Yavaguti/Smirnov, Zhang/Zhang

It’s been 2 ½ years since Shen/Zhao last went up against Sav/Szol… the former won gold (at Worlds 2007); the latter took bronze. Has the latter caught up? They’re probably quite a bit closer, but it’s hard to imagine Shen/Zhao anywhere other than first, especially after seeing them in recent events. They’re truly in a class by themselves at this point. As for bronze—believe it or not, I’m not super-confident about P/T, and am willing to admit either Russian pair could get it. But I still think P/T have the smallest likelihood of making major mistakes.

Gold-- Virtue/Moir
Silver-- Davis/White
Bronze-- Pechalat/Bourzat

Who else is there: Cappellini/Lanotte, Kerr/Kerr, Crone/Poirer

I know that V/M and D/W tend to go neck-and-neck when competing directly these days… but I’m picking the Canadians this time, if only because I’d love to see Davis/White over them when it counts a little more. In VANCOUVER. (Quite a pipe dream, I realize, with it being home turf for V/M and all… but skating fans have to know how to dream or else we go crazy, yes?)

I’d rather see the Kerrs or Crone/Poirer for bronze, but I know they don’t have the complexity of the French team. Besides, who doesn’t want to root for a guy dressed like a clock :-)

Men and ladies predictions to come soon… for the Clip of the Day here’s a look at the GPF winner from 5 years ago… hmmm, mighty familiar-looking…

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