Grand Prix Final Men’s Preview

The men have been up and down all season but the Japanese have proved supreme with four entrants in the Final.  All three of the Grand Prix Final medalists as well as the World medalists are at this event.  Only Tatsuki Machida is at this event for the first time.

Patrick Chan made some mistakes at home in Canada and won the silver medal behind Javier Fernandez.  He threw up a huge score at Rostelecom Cup with two quads in his free skate to claim back his top spot.  He’s going for his third consecutive Grand Prix Final title.  He has the 4th best short program, best free skate and best total scores of the season.

Yuzuru Hanyu has set two world record short program scores this season but the 17 year old struggled under the pressure at Skate America in his free skate.  He rebounded at NHK Trophy and showed that he is ready to compete with the best and challenge for the top of the podium.  He has the best short program, 4th best free skate and 2nd best total score of the season.

Takahiko Kozuka won the gold medal at Skate America.  Although he won the silver at Rostelecom Cup, he faltered and scored 21 points less.  If he can skate like he did at Skate America he can be on the podium, otherwise he’ll be at the bottom of the pack.  He has the 5th best short program, 3rd best free skate and 5th best total scores of the season.

Javier Fernandez also started strong defeating Patrick Chan at Skate Canada but he dropped to 4th place at NHK Trophy.  He has three quads planned in his free skate but has yet to hit them all.  If he can do it, he’ll have a huge technical score in addition to his PCS capabilities.  He has the 3rd best short program, 2nd best free skate and 3rd best total scores of the season.

Daisuke Takahashi has struggled this season and his programs don’t really seem to fit his personality. He won two silver medals this season on the Grand Prix and didn’t win gold for the first time since 2009.  He has the 2nd best short program, 5th best free skate and 4th best total scores of the season.

Tatsuki Machida was one of the biggest surprises of the season, backing up his Skate America bronze medal by beating Takahashi at Cup of China for the gold medal.  He has the 6th best short program, 8th best free skate and 7th best total scores of the season.

My podium predictions:
Gold: Patrick Chan
Silver: Yuzuru Hanyu
Bronze: Daisuke Takahashi

Bios of the competitors:
Patrick Chan, CAN: He is the reigning World Champion and Four Continents Champion.  He won silver at Skate Canada and gold at Rostelecom Cup to qualify for the Grand Prix Final.  He qualified for the Grand Prix Final last season and won gold.  He is the 2011 World Champion, 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.

Yuzuru Hanyu, JPN: He is the reigning World Bronze Medalist.  He won silver at Skate America and gold at NHK Trophy to qualify for the Grand Prix Final.  He qualified for the Grand Prix Final last season and finished 4th.  He is the 2011 Four Continents Silver Medalist and 2010 World Junior Champion.  His personal best is 261.03.  He is 17 years old.

Takahiko Kozuka, JPN: He finished 11th at Worlds. He won gold at Skate America and silver at Rostelecom Cup to qualify for the Grand Prix Final.  He is the 2011 World Silver Medalist, 2009 Four Continents Bronze Medalist and 2006 World Junior Champion.  His personal best is 258.41.  He is 23 years old.

Tatsuki Machida, JPN: He finished 7th at Four Continents.  He won bronze at Skate America and gold at Cup of China.  He is the 2010 Four Continents Silver Medalist.  His personal best is 232.92.  He is 22 years old.

Daisuke Takahashi, JPN: He is the reigning Worlds and Four Continents Silver Medalist.  He won silver at Cup of China and NHK Trophy to qualify for the Grand Prix Final.  He qualified for the Grand Prix Final last season and won silver.  He is the 2010 Olympic Bronze Medalist, 2010 World Champion, 2007 World Silver Medalist, 2008 and 2011 Four Continents Champion, 2005 Four Continents Bronze Medalist and 2002 World Junior Champion.  His personal best is 276.72.  He is 26 years old.

Javier Fernandez, ESP: He finished 9th at Worlds and 6th at Europeans.  He won gold at Skate Canada and finished 4th at NHK Trophy to qualify for the Grand Prix Final.  He qualified for the Grand Prix Final last season and won bronze.  His personal best is 253.94.  He is 21 years old.