Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Why Should We Love Nebelhorn 2013? Let Us Count The Ways...

Thursday 9/26 marks the start of the 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy... a “B” event that takes place annually in Oberstdorf, Germany. A few weeks back, someone left a comment on my September schedule post, pointing out that special attention should be getting paid to Nebelhorn this year. That person was right. Here’s why:

+ The pressure of it all. Some are trying for a very limited number of available Olympic spots; a few also need to get the ISU minimum TES under their belt as well. You can read a detailed article about this at IceNetwork, or a relatively shorter one below... 

The fight for six ladies’ spots includes Elene Gedevanishvili (GEO), Brooklee Han (AUS), Sofia Lafuente (ESP), Kerstin Frank (AUT), and Juulia Turkkila (FIN), who is the sole Finnish rep for the ladies since Kiira Korpi is (SIGH) injured.

Six spots exist for the men as well; those contenders include Kim Lucine (competing for Monaco), Luis Manella (BRA), Jin-Seo Kim (KOR), Brendan Kerry (AUS), Justus Strid (DEN), and Yakov Godorozha (UKR).

Only four spots remain for pairs; Kemp/King (GBR) are trying to get in, as are the new Japanese team of Takahashi/Kihara (she formerly of Takahashi/Tran, who earned World Bronze in 2012 before splitting due to Mervin Tran’s citizenship issues).

And the five or so spots up for grabs in ice dance will be twizzled up and down by Reed/Reed (JPN),  Hurtado/Diaz (ESP), and O’Brien/Merriman (AUS), among many others.

And then there are a few other choice reasons to pay attention to Nebelhorn:
+ The premieres—internationally speaking, that is—of new programs by reigning World champs Volosozhar/Trankov and potential (if he skate great beyond GP season, that is) Japanese Olympic hopeful Nobunari Oda
+ The newbies—meaning international senior debuts for the likes of Russia’s Elene Radionova and the U.S.’s Jason Brown, Ashley Cain, and Davis/Brubaker
+ The Miki Ando. (OK, that didn’t need a “The” on it but it kind of feels like it does.) Taking the spot vacated by Korpi, Ando hasn’t competed since Worlds 2011 (which she won, defeating Kim Yu-Na in the process)... and she’s one of those who really does need an ISU minimum TES in order to be viable for an Olympic bid. Seems unlikely that would be a problem, but wouldn’t you like to see for yourself?

Speaking of which, one more thing about Nebelhorn... catch it if you can, but it might be tricky-- IceNetwork will have some coverage, but it’s limited. This link from Hot Blades, Hot Passion should help set you up with the event schedule as well as the Eurosport feeds. 

I’ll do a recap next week!

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