Thursday, February 9, 2012

Four Continents 2012... a Preview

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that I’m always a little ambiguous about Four Continents. I know it’s intended to be a sort of non-European European Championships, and it allows the world to see more skaters from Australia, South/Central America, and Africa (yes, we have one entry from South Africa this year) than they would anywhere else… but when competing against skating powerhouses like Japan, Canada, China, and (oh, yeah) the U.S., it always seems more than a little lopsided.

But let’s look on the bright side regarding who’s there this year:

+ Virtue/Moir and Davis/White, who get another face-off before heading to Worlds
+ Weaver/Poje and the Shib Sibs, who will presumably have their own face-off for the bronze medal
+ Richard Dornbush, who, on the strength of last year’s Worlds (if not this year’s overall placement at Nationals), was called in to replace a hip-injured Jeremy Abbott
+ Patrick Chan and Daisuke Takahashi, arguably (?) two of the best male skaters in the world right now
+ Mao Asada, who gets a second chance to “warm up” before Worlds after having to withdraw from the GPF a couple months ago
+ Still relative newbies Marley/Brubaker, who need all the international experience they can get after snaring a spot at Worlds over Evora/Ladwig
+ All the “almost world team members,” for whom the season might otherwise already be over (e.g. Jeremy Ten, Evora/Ladwig, Agnes Zawadski, etc.)
+ And in what might be the most compelling sidebar of this event, at least as far as Canadian fans are concerned… recent champ Amelie Lacoste and former champ Cynthia Phaneuf are vying for the sole Canadian female entry at Worlds, with the job going to, I believe, the best finisher at 4CC.

It all starts tonight at 8:45 Eastern time with the men’s short program, so here go some predictions…

GOLD: Chan
SILVER: Takahashi
BRONZE: Nan Song (China)

Mr. Chan, all I ask is that if you win, please do it without becoming a human Zamboni this time. Thank you.

If Song isn’t skating with the same technical brilliance as earlier in the season, it would be lovely to see Adam Rippon win bronze.

GOLD: Kanako Murakami (JPN)
BRONZE: Ashley Wagner

This could be a Japanese sweep (Haruka Imai is beautiful to watch), but I’m still crossing my fingers to see Ashley skate strong enough to medal… hopefully while trying out the new combos she wants to add to her programs.

GOLD: Sui/Han
SILVER: Takahashi/Tran
BRONZE: Duhamel/Radford

Is this Sui/Han’s last senior event of the season? If so, I think they could skate lights out over everyone else, including the two couples listed above.

GOLD: Davis/White
SILVER: Virtue/Moir
BRONZE: Weaver/Poje

I think D/W will just keep doing what they’re doing—winning—while V/M refrain from pulling out all the stops just yet. They’ll save that drama for Worlds.

Oh, one more thing: If anyone remembers Christopher Caluza, who competed at U.S. Nationals last year… he’s now competing for the Philippines, and will be at 4CCs tonight. How about you?


sara.raju said...

hope you're right about these picks, i adjusted my fantasy team a little.

Kelli Lawrence said...

Uh-oh... now there's pressure!!!

sara.raju said...

haha! hey kelli, i know you usually talk about the ladies and mens events, but can you discuss the ice dance from 4CCs a little more? I'm so bummed D/W lost!

Kelli Lawrence said...

Sara you're gonna hate this, but I'm still catching up on the ice dance :-( Sorry! My husband was in charge of a big charity event this past weekend, something for which I'm always recruited as well... so this post going up today won't help you out much. But when I revisit the 4CC topic in a few days, I'll try to shed more light on the dance event. Stay tuned!

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know you usually discuss the women and males activities, but can you discuss the ice flow from 4CCs a little more? I'm so bumme

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dear sara nice coments ha ha ha