Skate Canada Pairs Preview

Volosozhar and Trankov are making their Grand Prix debut here after winning the silver medal at Worlds in their first year as a team.  They have big elements and classic Russian style including gorgeous positions in their lifts.  They’ll be tough to beat here, especially as they have had more time to develop and settle into their partnership.

Duhamel and Radford are also in their second season together and finished a respectable 7th at Worlds after winning the silver medal at Four Continents.  They are working on their triple twist and a hard landing at Worlds broke his nose in their short program.  They have a high technical content and side by side jumps that other teams aren’t attempting.  If they can clean up their pairs elements, they should do well here.

Sui and Han are the reigning Grand Prix Final bronze medalists and started off the season well at their JGP events showcasing a quad twist for the first time.  They also have quad throws in their arsenal and extremely difficult entrances and exits from their lifts.  Their teammates Yu and Jin also worked out the kinks at two JGP events and showed significant improvements.

Lawrence and Swiegers and Iliushechkina and Maisuradze are two young teams that have lots of energy and enjoyable programs and also have a great shot at walking away from this event with a medal.  Takahashi and Tran finished 3rd at Junior Worlds and train alongside Lawrence and Swiegers.

My podium predictions:
Gold: Volosozhar/Trankov
Silver: Sui/Han
Bronze: Iliushechkina/Maisuradze

Bios of the competitors:
Dube/Wolfe, CAN: This is their Grand Prix debut.  She is the 2005 World Junior Silver Medalist, 2008 World Bronze Medalist and 2009 Four Continents Silver Medalist with her former partner.  She is 23 and he is 21.

Duhamel/Radford, CAN: They finished 7th at Worlds and won silver at Four Continents.  They placed 5th at Skate Canada last season.  Their personal best is 181.79.  She is 25 and he is 26.

Lawrence/Swiegers, CAN: They are the reigning Four Continents bronze medalists.  They won bronze at Skate Canada and finished 5th at Cup of Russia last season.  Their personal best is 171.73.  She is 21 and he is 24.


Sui/Han, CHN: They are the 2010 and 2011 World Junior Champions.  They won gold at JGP Latvia and Austria.  They won silver at Cup of China and bronze at Skate America last season to qualify for the GPF where they won bronze.  They won silver at JGP Austria and gold at JGP Germany last season to qualify for the JGPF but they withdrew to focus on the senior competition.  Their personal best is 179.04.  She is 16 years old and he is 19.


Yu/Jin, CHN: They took home the silver from JGP Latvia and Austria.  They won bronze at JGP Austria and gold at JGP Czech Republic last season to qualify for the JGPF where they won bronze.  Their personal best is 154.37.  She is 15 and he is 17.


Takahashi/Tran, JPN: They finished 9th at Worlds, 7th at Four Continents and are the reigning World Junior bronze medalists.  They won bronze at NHK Trophy and silver at Cup of Russia last season.  They won silver at JGP Great Britain and JGP Germany last season to qualify for the JGP Final where they won gold.  They are the 2010 World Junior silver medalists.  Their personal best is 165.47.  She is 19 and he is 21.

Iliushechkina/Maisuradze, RUS: They won gold at Skate Canada and finished 4th at Cup of China last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they finished 4th.  They are the 2009 World Junior Champions and 2008 World Junior silver medalists.  Their personal best is 177.44.  She is 19 and he is 23.

Volosozhar/Trankov, RUS: They are the reigning World silver medalists.  This is their Grand Prix debut.  Their personal best is 210.73.  She is 25 and he is 27.