Cup of China Dance Preview

Pechalat and Bourzat suffered a disappointing season last year.  After winning the bronze medal at Worlds in 2012, they won two Grand Prix gold medals.  A groin injury to Bourzat took them out of the European Championships and the lack of training time was evident as they dropped to 6th place at Worlds.  In the off season they changed coaches to Igor Shpilband and have been working to increase their technical score.  Their goal last season was to challenge for the gold and this is their final season.  They’re pulling out all the stops to win an Olympic medal.

Bobrova and Soloviev showed vast improvements in their posture and performance last season.  This took them to a European title and their first World medal.  Their bronze medal at Worlds came as a bit of a surprise and they still have improvements to make as they can improve their speed and posture even more if they hope to compete with the top teams.

Chock and Bates finished 5th at US Nationals in their first season together.  They managed to pull up to 2nd the following season, a spot long held by the Shibutanis.  They maintained their placement at Four Continents and Worlds.  They placed 7th in their first Worlds together and are looking to continue their upward climb.

Aldridge and Eaton are making their Grand Prix debut after winning two consecutive Junior World Bronze Medals.  They’ve had a good start to their senior careers winning gold at the Lake Placid Ice Championships and took 6th place at Ondrej Nepela.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Pechalat/Bourzat

Silver: Bobrova/Soloviev

Bronze: Chock/Bates

 

Bios of the competitors:

Huang/Zheng, CHN: They finished 7th at Cup of China and NHK Trophy last season.  Their personal best is 133.90.  She is 26 and he is 26.

Yu/Wang, CHN: They placed 9th at Four Continents.  They placed 8th at Cup of China and NHK Trophy last season.  Their personal best is 125.75.  She is 27 and he is 27.

Zhang/Wu, CHN: They placed 18th at Junior Worlds.  Their personal best is 110.90.  She is 20 and he is 21.

Carron/Jones, FRA: They placed 1th at Worlds and 10th at Europeans.  They finished 7th at Skate Canada and 8th at Trophee Eric Bompard last season.  Their personal best is 145.98.  She is 27 and he is 25.

Pechalat/Bourzat, FRA: They placed 6th at Worlds.  They won gold at Cup of China and Trophee Eric Bompard last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they won bronze.  They are the 2012 World Bronze Medalists and 2011 and 2012 European Champions.  Their personal best is 173.18.  She is 29 and he is 32.

Bobrova/Soloviev, RUS: They are the reigning World Bronze Medalists and European Champions.  They won silver at Skate America and silver at Cup of China last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they finished 5th.  They are the 2011 and 2012 European Silver Medalists and  2007 World Junior Champions.  Their personal best is 169.25.  She is 23 and he is 24.

Aldridge/Eaton, USA: They are the reigning World Junior Bronze Medalists.  This is their Grand Prix debut.  They won gold at JGP USA and gold at JGP Slovenia last season to qualify for the JGP Final where they won bronze.  They are the 2012 World Junior Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 141.14.  She is 19 and he is 21.

Chock/Bates, USA: They finished 7th at Worlds and are the reigning Four Continents Bronze Medalists.  They finished 4th at Cup of China last season.  Their personal best is 164.91.  She is 21 and he is 24.