Pairs predictions first! Here we go…
GOLD: Volosozhar/Trankov, RUS
SILVER: Savchenko/Szolkowy, GER
BRONZE: Pang/Tong, CHN
It wasn’t super-close last year—Sav/Szol won by about 4.5 points—but there was definitely a feeling that Volo/Trank had given notice. This year, I can’t help but think the world title is theirs to lose. Even before an injury kept the Germans out of Euros, it hadn’t been their best year by a longshot. While I’m very fond of their Pina free skate, I’m still giving the nod to the current European champs. I look forward to seeing Pang/Tong back for this event, but have a tough time believing they’ll pull a win first time out of the box.
As for off-podium action… Sui/Han apparently are making their Senior Worlds debut here (fresh off of winning Junior Worlds; didn’t know that was possible, really), and they might get a top-5 finish IF they aren’t just completely burned out at this point of their junior/senior, bi-level season. (I know they’re young, but…)
And Denney/Coughlin will do well to repeat the 6th place finish achieved by Yankowskas/Coughlin last year. To break into the top five—with Kavaguti/Smirnov and Bazarova/Larionov still in the mix too—would be pretty astounding.