Thursday, November 17, 2016

State of the 2016 Cup of China: ALL predictions!

Since Cup of China runs overnight/early morning for U.S. audiences, I’m posting predictions for all four disciplines at once this time.

Here is that (hopefully helpful) ISU link I like to post…

I plan to join the Twitterverse starting with men’s SP at 6:05AM Friday!  


GOLD: Shibutanis (USA)
SILVER: Weaver/Poje (CAN)
BRONZE: Stepanova/Bukin (RUS)

DARK HORSE: Sinitsina/Katsalapov (RUS)

The Shibs drew first to skate in the SD, while Wea/Po and Sinit/Kat are the final two teams. All things being equal, that might cause the Shibs to score closer to 70 and Wea/Po to score 73— which are the “opposites” of their previous GP SD scores this season (Shibs had 73.04; Wea/Po had 69.81). However it turns out, I still think the U.S. Champs will beat out the Canadian Champs in the end of this one. After that, and the battle for which Russian team will get to the podium—I’ve got S/K as the Dark Horse because I haven’t seen them at all yet this season— the placement of the rest of the field is pretty incidental to me. (But if Cannuscio/McManus of the U.S. can secure a top 5 finish that would be pretty sweet.)


GOLD: Elena Radionova (RUS)
SILVER: Ashley Wagner (USA)
BRONZE: Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN)

DARK HORSE: Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) or Mai Mihara (JPN)

Lots of interesting names in this field, which is why I’m allowing myself two dark horse options. Although I prefer Wag’s skating to Radio’s, and think she’s quite capable of the victory here, I’m going with Radio… by the point spread of a 3Lutz/3Toe to a 3Flip/3Toe and a few over-the-top emotional deliveries. If Osmond can keep her mega-powered jumps under control, I think a medal is easily within her grasp. But if not, be on the lookout for Tuktamysheva or Mihara. If both of them falter? Eyes to Courtney Hicks or home country fave Li Zijun, both of which did very respectably at Rostelecom a couple weeks ago.


GOLD: Patrick Chan (CAN)
SILVER: Jin Boyang  (CHN)
BRONZE: Sergei Voronov (RUS)

DARK HORSE: Alexander Petrov (RUS)

So there’s Chan for the win, and, um… gee, let’s see, who else?
Well… you’ve got Max Aaron and Michal Brezina, but both of them have unreliable quad salchows of late. You’ve got teenagers Daniel Samohin and Alexander Petrov, and they’re exactly that—(undercooked, inconsistent) teenagers. You’ve got Jin… another teenager, but this one’s out to prove he doesn’t understand this “sophomore slump” thing everyone’s been talking about since SkAM. And finally, you’ve got Voronov, who’s been skating remarkably clean this season. But he can’t possibly keep that up… can he?


GOLD: Yu/Zhang (CHN)
SILVER: Peng/Jin (CHN)
BRONZE: Wang/Wang (CHN)

DARK HORSE: Ilyuschina/Moscovitch (RUS)

A Chinese sweep? Yep, I think it’s quite possible. We already know Yu/Zhang are pretty good, and Wang/Wang won two medals on the GP circuit a couple seasons ago. Peng/Jin are the flipside of that change-partners thing with Yu/Zhang, except P/J make their debut here.

If I’m wrong about this potential sweep, the first one I’ve got in line to upset the applecart is Ilyu/Mosco… but they’ll have to skate a lot cleaner than they did at Skate Canada in order to do so. 

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