Cup of China Pairs Preview

Many of these teams are new to the Grand Prix circuit as they are new teams that formed in the off-season.  Due to the young nature of many of these partnerships this is a very open field for the podium.

Peng and Zhang are in their third season together.  They have high flying tricks including quads, but the age difference limits their program choices and she is still developing her artistic side.  They struggled in the free skate at Skate America and dropped to the bronze medal.  With this particular field, they’ll have more leeway to make mistakes and still place well but she’ll need to clean up her side by side jumps.

Wang and Wang had a solid outing at Cup of China last season, finishing 4th.  That is their only international competition to date and they haven’t competed in any Senior B events since then.  It’s hard to tell if that is something we can expect from them or if that was an unusually good result.

Yu and Jin are returning to the Grand Prix circuit after claiming the Junior World title.  They previously competed on the Grand Prix back in 2011 but with the rule changes, pairs teams were no longer able to enter both the junior and senior events.  They won every event they entered last season and are finally prepared to take the full step into the senior ranks.

Calalang and Sidhu are having a great season so far.  They took home the silver medal from the US Figure Skating Classic and the bronze medal from the Skate Canada Autumn Classic and between the two events, set personal bests in all segments of the competition.  With a large shakeup in the US pairs team in the off-season, this team is a dark horse for the podium and are looking to improve on their 11th place finish.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Peng/Zhang

Silver: Yu/Jin

Bronze: Wang/Wang

 

Bios of the competitors:

Purich/Wolfe, CAN: This is their Grand Prix debut.  Their personal best is 147.95.  She is 19 and he is 19.

Peng/Zhang, CHN: They finished 8th at the Olympics and 5th at Worlds.  They won bronze at Skate America.  Their personal best is 197.37.  She is 17 and he is 30.

Wang/Wang, CHN: They finished 4th at Cup of China last season.  Their personal best is 172.35.  He is 26.

Yu/Jin, CHN: They are the reigning World Junior Champions.  They won gold at JGP Latvia and gold at JGP Estonia last season to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final where they won gold.  They are the 2012 World Junior Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 173.77.  She is 18 and he is 20.

Della Monica/Guarise, ITA: They finished 16th at the Olympics, 16th at Worlds and 8th at Europeans.  They finished 8th at Trophee Eric Bompard last season.  Their personal best is 154.55.  She is 25 and he is 26.

Bazarova/Deputat, RUS: This is their Grand Prix debut.  Their personal best is 130.40.  She is 21 and he is 21.

Cherniavskaia/Souza-Kordyeru, RUS: They placed 5th at JGP Latvia and won silver at JGP Czech Republic last season.  Their personal best is 144.23.  She is 15 and he is 21.

Calalang/Sidhu, USA: This is their Grand Prix debut.  Their personal best is 156.46.  She is 19 and he is 23.