Skate Canada Men’s Preview

Patrick Chan is the reigning World Champion although he struggled last season and nearly lost his title.  He had strong short programs and currently holds the World Record Short Program score but his free skates were often filled with errors.  He moved to Detroit at the end of the season to pursue a better training environment and has been settling well.  After splitting from Christy Krall, he is coached primarily by Kathy Johnson and his jumps took a bit of a hit.  After missing out on the podium in 2010, his sole focus has been on Sochi and he is gunning for Olympic gold.

 

Yuzuru Hanyu set two World Record short programs last season and had a huge breakout year.  He finished ahead of Patrick Chan at the Grand Prix Final but wasn’t able to find his way back to the podium at the World Championships.  He has the quads as well as the artistry but he seemed to struggle with some of the nerves that comes along with being a front runner.

 

Nobunari Oda had a rough few seasons and only won medal on the Grand Prix last season.  It’s also been two years since he made a World team and in a deep Japanese field, he’s facing an uphill battle to claim one of the spots in Sochi.  He kicked off the season with an impressive victory at the Nebelhorn Trophy and proved that he is a contender going into this season.

 

Also in the mix are Takahito Mura who was the surprise winner at Trophee Eric Bompard last year and made the Japanese Worlds team along with Jeremy Abbott who’s reprising his Exogenisis free skate after failing to qualify for Worlds last season.  Ross Miner is the reigning US Silver Medalist but had a slow start to his season this year.

 

World Junior Champion Joshua Farris is making his Grand Prix debut at this event.  He has quads and triple axels in his arsenal but struggled with his jumps at his senior debut at the US Figure Skating Classic.  He choreographs his own programs and admitted that he was more focused on the performance at that event and let the jumps get away from him.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Patrick Chan

Silver: Yuzuru Hanyu

Bronze: Nobunari Oda

 

Bios of the competitors:

Elladj Balde, CAN: He finished 18th at Four Continents.  He placed 7th at Skate Canada last season.  His personal best is 199.94.  He is 22 years old.


Patrick Chan, CAN: He is the reigning World Champion.  He won silver at Skate Canada and gold at Rostelecom Cup last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where he won bronze.  He is the 2011 and 2012 World Champion, 2009 and 2010 World silver medalist, 2009 and 2012 Four Continents Champion and 2007 World Junior silver medalist.  His personal best is 280.98.  He is 22 years old.  


Andrei Rogozine, CAN: He finished 13th at Worlds and 10th at Four Continents.  He placed 9th at NHK Trophy last season.  He is the 2011 World Junior Champion.  His personal best is 216.60.  He is 20 years old.


Michal Brezina, CZE: He placed 10th at Worlds and is the reigning European Bronze Medalist.  He placed 6th at Skate America and won bronze at Rostelecom Cup last season.  He is the 2009 World Junior Silver Medalist.  His personal best is 243.52.  He is 23 years old.  


Yuzuru Hanyu, JPN: He placed 4th at Worlds and is the reigning Four Continents silver medalist.  He won silver at Skate America and gold at NHK Trophy last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where he won silver.  He is the 2012 World Bronze Medalist, 2011 Four Continents Silver Medalist and 2010 World Junior Champion.  His personal best is 264.29.  He is 18 years old.  


Takahito Mura, JPN: He placed 8th at Worlds and 8th at Four Continents.  He finished 8th at Skate Canada and won gold at Trophee Eric Bompard last season.  His personal best is 234.18.  He is 22 years old.


Nobunari Oda, JPN: He won bronze at Skate Canada and placed 5th at Rostelecom Cup.  He is the 2006 Four Continents Champion and 2005 Junior World Champion.  His personal best is 262.98.  He is 26 years old.


Jeremy Abbott, USA: He placed 5th at Skate Canada and won silver at Trophee Eric Bompard last season.  He is the 2007 and 2011 Four Continents Bronze Medalist.  His personal best is 238.82.  He is 28 years old.

 

Joshua Farris, USA: He is the reigning World Junior Champion.  He won gold at JGP USA and gold at JGP Slovenia last season to qualify for the JGP Final where he won silver.  He is the 2012 World Junior Silver Medalist.  His personal best is 228.32.  He is 18 years old.  


Ross Miner, USA: He placed 14th at Worlds and 9th at Four Continents.  He placed 5th at Skate Canada and won bronze at NHK Trophy last season.  He is the 2012 Four Continents Bronze Medalist.  His personal best is 235.37.  He is 22 years old.