What do we know about the men coming to compete at Worlds in 2011?
Let’s see… we know that the Japanese team is excellent—so excellent that any one of the three could make it to the podium in a very tough field. We know that quads were landed rather successfully at Europeans a couple months ago, though said quads were not always backed up with artistic integrity. We know the Canadian team is a mixed bag. We know that two out of three on the U.S. team are a very mixed, very green bag.
How this extra month of training has affected lot of them? Anybody’s guess. But here’s my attempt:
Gold—Patrick Chan (CAN)
Silver—Daisuke Takahashi (JPN)
Bronze—Takahiko Kozuka (JPN)
It just feels to me like the stars are aligned for Chan this year. After two successive stints in the runner-up position, I think he’s got it if he skates even remotely close to the way he threw it down at Canadian Nationals. I’d expect to see Tomas Verner, Brian Joubert, Florent Amodio and Nobunari Oda filling out the midsection of the Top Ten (not necessarily in that order), with Ryan Bradley possibly putting in an appearance between 8th and 10th place. As for the rest of the U.S. men—who are strong and talented beyond a doubt, but possess neither a quad toe loop nor masses of artistic chutzpah yet—I think a top 12 finish (for Richard Dornbush) and a top 16 finish (for Ross Miner) would be very impressive.
Of course my predictions leave us completely out of the running for 3 spots on next year’s team, but I’ve got to call ‘em like I see ‘em! How about you?
Coming Saturday… pairs predictions.