Four Continents Pairs Preview

Sui and Han are pulling double duty again this season competing at both the junior and senior levels, but are now old enough to compete in their first senior ISU Championship.  They have amazingly difficult lifts, quad throws and quad twists which give them a huge technical advantage over the rest of the field.  Earlier this season, they looked a little messy, likely due to competing in multiple events and training both junior and senior programs.  Their difficult elements can also cause them problems as a messy landing and a fall on the quad twist at Cup of China cost them a medal and a trip to the Grand Prix Final.  They have the 10th best short program, 5th best free skate and 6th best total score of the season.

Duhamel and Radford are continuing to show improvement, especially on the triple twist, the element that plagued them all last season.  They are strong singles skaters and have a lot of difficulty in their side by side jumps and have a nice look on the ice as a pairs team.  They brought home their first national pairs title last month and enter this event as the reigning silver medalists.  They have the 6th best short program, 9th best free skate and 8th best total score of the season.

Evora and Ladwig have all the elements to be one of the best pairs teams in the world with good choreography, nice lines, great throw jumps and the best lifts in the world.  Their problems come in their side by side elements and they give points away by not landing these jumps.  They were noticeably disappointed by their third place finish at nationals that left them off the world team and this will be their final event of the season.  They have nothing to lose and no reason to hold back and if they can hit everything they could grace the top of the podium.

Takahashi and Tran are in their first senior only season and their improvements led them to their first Grand Prix Final.  They also have lovely lines and nice elements but struggle individually in the side by side jumps.  They have the 8th best short program, 10th best free skate and 10th best total scores of the season.

Denney and Coughlin won the U.S. National title in their first season as a team.  They seem to really enjoy skating together and being on the ice and have huge throw elements in their programs.  They have some nice elements in their lifts including a jaw dropping death drop at the end of their final lift in the free skate but she doesn’t always hit the nicest positions in the lifts which leaves the door open as they can lose points on their GOEs.  Their programs are well put together to maximize their points and they are gunning for a medal at every event that they enter.  Their free skate has been steadily improving all season as their partnership has been developing and they should get better scores here than they saw on the Grand Prix.  They have the 8th best free skate and 9th best total scores of the season.

Marley and Brubaker are another fairly new team but she was brand new to pairs when they started a year and a half ago.  They put out a sterling short program to lead at U.S. nationals and the only mistakes in their free skate were uncharacteristic errors on the side by side jumps from Rockne.  Mary Beth showed that she deserves her place as a top senior pairs lady by fighting for the landing on a difficult throw jump in their free skate and holding the team together after a few mistakes.  They also have a great look on the ice with nice chemistry, unison and matching positions.  They made their Grand Prix debut earlier this season while Marley was suffering an ankle injury and should see a big boost in their international scores here.

My podium predictions:
Gold: Duhamel/Radford
Silver: Sui/Han
Bronze: Denney/Coughlin

Bios of the competitors:
Dube/Wolfe, CAN: They placed 6th at Skate Canada and 5th at Trophee Eric Bompard.  Their personal best is 158.44.  She is 24 and he is 22.

Duhamel/Radford, CAN: They are the reigning Four Continents Silver Medalists.  They placed 7th at Worlds.  They won bronze at Skate Canada and Trophee Eric Bompard to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they finished 5th.  Their personal best is 181.79.  She is 26 and he is 27.

Lawrence/Swiegers, CAN: They are the reigning Four Continents Bronze Medalists.  They placed 8th at Skate Canada.  Their personal best is 171.73.  She is 21 and he is 24.

Dong/Wu, CHN: They finished 10th at Four Continents last season.  They placed 14th at Worlds.  They placed 6th at Trophee Eric Bompard.  They are the 2008 World Junior Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 147.75.  She is 22 and he is 24.

Sui/Han, CHN: They are the reigning World Junior Champions.  They won silver at Skate Canada and placed 5th at Cup of China.  They won gold at JGP Austria and Latvia to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final where they won gold.  They are the 2010 World Junior Champions.  Their personal best is 180.82.  She is 16 and he is 19.

Zhang/Wang, CHN: They finished 9th at Four Continents last season.  They placed 13th at Worlds.  Their personal best is 147.38.  She is 19 and he is 21.

Takahashi/Tran, JPN: They finished 7th at Four Continents last season.  They placed 9th at Worlds and are the reigning World Junior Bronze Medalists.  They placed 4th at Skate Canada and won silver at NHK Trophy to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they finished 6th.  They are the 2010 World Junior Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 172.09.  She is 20 and he is 21.

Denney/Coughlin, USA: They placed 4th at Skate America and 5th at NHK Trophy.  Their personal best is 175.40.  She is 18 and he is 26.

Evora/Ladwig, USA: They finished 6th at Four Continents last season.  They placed 11th at Worlds.  They finished 4th at Cup of China and Trophee Eric Bompard.  Their personal best is 171.92.  She is 27 and he is 31.

Marley/Brubaker, USA: They placed 8th at Four Continents last season.  They finished 7th at Skate America.  Their personal best is 144.80.  She is 16 and he is 25.


  1. I hope they will do better.