Nebelhorn Dance Preview

Zhiganshina and Gazsi of Germany have a great shot at taking their first major gold medal at the Nebelhorn Trophy.  They had a breakout season last year, finding themselves in the top 12 at Worlds and top 10 at Europeans.  They have some really nice lines and they highlighted this last season with their ballet themed free dance.  If they can continue to package themselves effectively, they should do well here and throughout the season.

Also battling it out for the podium will be the Reed siblings from Japan and Tobias and Stagniunas of Lithuania.  The Reeds can sometimes get close to the line with their programs in terms of appropriateness for siblings and with the required Latin short program, it will be interesting to see what side of they line they land on this season.  Tobias and Stagniunas train with Igor and Shpilband, arguably the best dance coaches in the world at the moment.  They had decent results last season, and can easily improve and climb the ranks.

A team to watch is Hubbell and Donohue of the United States.  Hubbell competed last season with her brother and Donohue has competed internationally as a junior.  They’ve had good results in their summer events, especially considering that they are still a very new team.  Their programs have received good reviews and they’ve been praised for their packaging.  This will be their first time in front of international judges and can provide good feedback in advance of their Grand Prix debut.

My podium predictions:
Gold: Zhiganshina/Gazsi
Silver: Hubbell/Donohue
Bronze: Tobias/Stagniunas

Bios of the competitors.

Geil/Eisenbauer, AUT: They finished 11th in the preliminary round at Worlds and 10th in the preliminary round at Europeans.  She is 26 and he is 20.

Harvey/Gagnon, CAN: She is 21 and he is 23.

Ralph/Hill, CAN: They finished 7th at Cup of China and 6th at Trophee Eric Bompard last season.  Their personal best is 121.39.  She is 19 and he is 20.

Kubova/Kiselev, CZE: They finished 9th at JGP France and JGP Czech Republic last season.  Their personal best is 111.39.  She is 18 and he is 22.

Karmi/Lindholm, FIN: They finished 12th in the preliminary round at Junior Worlds.  They finished 14th at JGP Great Britain.  Their personal best is 79.07.  She is 19 and he is 20.

Lindholm/Kanervo, FIN: They finished 14th in the preliminary round at Europeans.  She is 22 and he is 23.

Zhiganshina/Gazsi, GER: They finished 11th at Worlds and 7th at Europeans.  Their personal best is 140.95.  She is 24 and he is 26.

Walden/Edwards, GBR: They finished 20th at Worlds.  Their personal best is 116.52.  She is 28 and he is 24.

Reed/Reed, JPN: They finished 13th at Worlds.  They placed 7th at NHK Trophy and Skate America last season.  Their personal best is 133.33.  She is 24 and he is 22.

Tobias/Stagniunas, LTU: They finished 14th at Worlds and 12th at Europeans. Their personal best is 131.01. She is 20 and he is 26.

Agafonova/Ucar, TUR: She is 20 and he is 26.

Hubbell/Donohue, USA: This is their first season together.  She is the 2010 Four Continents bronze medalist with her brother.  She is 20 and he is 20.

Olson/Cowan, USA: They placed 6th at JGP Austria and 8th at JGP Czech Republic.  Their personal best is 113.78.  She is 19 and he is 21.