Four Continents Men’s Preview

Patrick Chan and Daisuke Takahashi will engage in a showdown that will likely preview the medal outcomes at the World Championships.  All season these two skaters have shown off their impressive technical elements along with their world class skating skills and performance qualities that have led them each to a World title.  When Patrick Chan is on, he is unbeatable.  He has gorgeous quads and quad + triple combinations and his edge quality, choreography and commitment to his programs are unparalleled.  He is often his own worst enemy, falling on step sequences and making silly mistakes that let the competition close in on him.  However, he tends to have a buffer and can afford a few falls and still find himself at the top of the leaderboard.  Although national events tend to be overscored, Chan topped 300 points at Canadian nationals and has clearly set the bar high.  He has the 2nd best short program, free skate and total scores for the season.

Takahashi has many of the same qualities as Chan but his programs tend to be more extroverted and he really shines when playing to the crowd.  He set the highest short program score earlier this season, without a quad jump, showing just how strong he is on the PCS side and by racking up points in GOEs on his elements.  He is going for the quad flip in his programs and if he successfully lands it, he’ll go down in the history books as the first man to do so.  He has the best short program, 3rd best free skate and 3rd best total score of the season.

Nan Song is having an impressive season after finishing 22nd at the World Championships last April.  He won a silver and bronze medal on the Grand Prix and just missed making the Grand Prix Final.  He has been successful with his quad all season and has shown an improved performance quality.  He has the 10th best free skate score of the season.

Adam Rippon is also having a great season and while he didn’t medal on the Grand Prix, he’s shown improvement in his triple axel (a jump that plagued him all last season) and has been working on adding quads to his program.  He’s worked on the quad lutz but will likely be going for a different quad with a better success rate here.  His free skate is captivating and he has all the potential to showcase the same performance qualities as Chan and Takahashi.  He’s heading to his first World Championships since 2010 and the first one he has qualified for outright, so he’ll want to set himself up with good performances here and show he can compete with the best.

Tatsuki Machida finished 7th at NHK Trophy this season but showed improvement in his gold medal finish at Golden Spin, a senior B competition.  He won the silver medal behind Adam Rippon at Four Continents in 2010.

Other skaters in the hunt include Denis Ten (who is capable of big numbers but struggles with consistency), Jeremy Ten (who has battled back from injury that kept him out all season) and Kevin Reynolds (who has one of the most difficult free skates planned including three different quads but hasn’t been able to hit it yet this season).

Ross Miner and Richard Dornbush round out the American team.  Miner won his first Grand Prix medal earlier this season and Dornbush has added a quad to his repertoire but has struggled with his triple axel.

My podium predictions:
Gold: Patrick Chan
Silver: Daisuke Takahashi
Bronze: Adam Rippon

Bios of the competitors:
Nicholas Fernandez, AUS: His personal best is 109.77.  He is 21 years old.

Brendan Kerry, AUS: He finished 18th at Four Continents last season.  He placed 17th in the preliminary round at Junior Worlds. He placed 14th at JGP Australia.  His personal best is 125.64.  He is 17 years old.

Mark Webster, AUS: He placed 14th at Four Continents last season.  He finished 13th in the preliminary round at Worlds.  His personal best is 143.54.  He is 21 years old.

Kevin Alves, BRA: His personal best is 141.44.  He is 20 years old.

Luiz Manella, BRA: He finished 7th at JGP Italy.  His personal best is 149.03.  He is 16 years old.

Patrick Chan, CAN: He is the reigning World Champion.  He won gold at Skate Canada and Trophee Eric Bompard to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where he won gold.  He is the 2009 and 2010 World silver medalist, 2009 Four Continents Champion and 2007 World Junior silver medalist.  His personal best is 280.98.  He is 21 years old.

Kevin Reynolds, CAN: He finished 20th at Worlds and 11th at Four Continents.  He placed 7th at Cup of China.  He is the 2010 Four Continents bronze medalist.  His personal best is 218.65.  He is 21 years old.

Jeremy Ten, CAN: His personal best is 207.27.  He is 22 years old.

Jinlin Guan, CHN: He finished 6th at Four Continents last season.  He is the 2008 World Junior Bronze Medalist.  His personal best is 201.98.  He is 22 years old.

Nan Song, CHN: He finished 9th at Four Continents last season.  He placed 22nd at Worlds.  He won bronze at Cup of China and silver at Trophee Eric Bompard.  He is the 2010 World Junior silver medalist.  His personal best is 226.75.  He is 21 years old.

Jialing Wu, CHN: He finished 8th at Four Continents last season.  He placed 8th at Cup of China.  His personal best is 203.60.  He is 26 years old.

Jordan Ju, TPE: He finished 17th at Four Continents last season.  He placed 28th at Junior Worlds.  His personal best is 134.33.  He is 16 years old.

Wun-Chang Shih, TPE: He placed 19th at Four Continents last season.  His personal best is 120.96.  He is 25 years old.

Harry Hau Yin Lee, HKG: He finished 21st in the preliminary round at Worlds and 20th in the preliminary round at Junior Worlds.  He placed 19th at JGP Austria.  His personal best is 115.00.  He is 17 years old.

Tatsuki Machida, JPN: He placed 7th at NHK Trophy.  He is the 2010 Four Continents Silver Medalist.  His personal best is 217.48.  He is 21 years old.

Takahito Mura, JPN: His personal best is 198.07.  He is 20 years old.

Daisuke Takahashi, JPN: He is the reigning Four Continents Champion.  He placed 5th at Worlds.  He won bronze at Skate Canada and gold at NHK Trophy to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where he won silver.  He is the 2010 Olympic Bronze Medalist, 2010 World Champion, 2007 World Silver Medalist, 2008 Four Continents Champion, 2005 Four Continents Bronze Medalist and 2002 World Junior Champion.  His personal best is 264.41.  He is 25 years old.

Abzal Rakimgaliev, KAZ: He placed 13th at Four Continents last season.  He finished 12th at Junior Worlds. His personal best is 180.75.  He is 19 years old.

Denis Ten, KAZ: He finished 14th at Worlds.  He placed 5th at Skate America and Skate Canada.  His personal best is 212.39.  He is 18 years old.

Christopher Caluza, PHI:

Maverick Eguia, PHI: He placed 15th at JGP Romania.  His personal best is 127.38.  He is 19 years old.

Kang Chan Kam, KOR: He is 16 years old.

Hwan-Jin Kim, KOR: He is 15 years old.

Min-Seok Kim, KOR: He placed 15th at Four Continents last season.  He finished 27th at Worlds.  His personal best is 168.59.  He is 18 years old.

Richard Dornbush, USA: He finished 9th at Worlds.  He placed 4th at Skate America and 6th at Cup of China.  His personal best is 222.42.  He is 20 years old.

Ross Miner, USA: He finished 11th at Worlds.  He placed 6th at Skate Canada and won bronze at NHK Trophy.  His personal best is 217.93.  He is 21 years old.

Adam Rippon, USA: He finished 5th at Four Continents last season.  He placed 4th at Skate Canada and Trophee Eric Bompard.  He is the 2010 Four Continents Champion and 2008 and 2009 World Junior Champion.  His personal best is 233.04.  He is 22 years old.

Misha Ge, UZB: He finished 12th at Four Continents last season.  He placed 30th at Worlds.  His personal best is 182.06.  He is 20 years old.