2017 Rostelecom Cup Men’s Preview

The first event of the Grand Prix season is starting off with a bang with the matchup of Nathan Chen and Yuzuru Hanyu.  Chen had his breakout season last year, qualifying for the Grand Prix Final in his first senior season and then going on to beat Hanyu at Four Continents.  He is the first man to land four quads in a program and the first to land five.  He also was the first to land a quad lutz and a quad flip in the same program.  He has the most versatile arsenal of jumps and has been working on his components with famed dance coach Marina Zoueva.  But Hanyu is the reigning Olympic Champion and has an arsenal of quads in his back pocket as well.  When he is on, his program components are through the roof and can’t be matched by anyone.  He was the first to break the 300 point mark and still holds the record for highest scores.  But both are coming to this event with some setbacks.  Chen did not have all of his quads in his program at the US International Figure Skating Classic and he struggled at Worlds last season as his boots were breaking down too fast from all the quads in his programs.  Hanyu is battling back from an injury, and his signature quad loop wasn’t in his programs at the Autumn Classic International.

Nathan Chen is entering his sophomore season on the senior circuit after winning a silver medal last year to qualify for the Grand Prix Final, where he also won the silver medal.  He started his season with a gold medal at the US International Figure Skating Classic.  At that event he landed a quad flip + double toe and a triple lutz in the bonus, both jumps which are likely to be upgraded.  He had strong program components, with several judges giving him 9 and 9.25 marks, but he averaged in the high 8s.  His free skate included a quad loop and a quad lutz but he doubled a toe in the second half and ended up with a repeated double toe in combination.  While this is unlikely to be his jump content for the season, as he’ll likely have four and even five quads in his free skate, he did earn all positive GOEs worth 13 points.  His program components were slightly better with his composition mark reaching 9.05.  He has the 4th best short program, 2nd best free skate, and 3rd best total scores.

Yuzuru Hanyu is entering his 8th Grand Prix season and has won 10 medals on the circuit.  He has qualified for the Final for 6 years in a row, and has won gold for the last four years.  He started off his season with a silver medal at the Autumn Classic International.  He had watered down programs at that event due to an injury and could not complete his signature quad loop.  How he does at this event will largely depend on how well that injury has healed and which jumps he is successfully able to add back to his arsenal.  His short program at the ACI included a quad salchow and a quad toe + triple toe in the bonus.  He earned Level 4 for his spins and steps and all positive GOEs netting 15 points.  He received nine 10.00 marks and his program components all averaged in the mid to high 9s.  While he was able to put together a solid short program, his free skate was largely held up by his program components.  He landed a quad salchow + triple toe in the bonus that earned him 19.08 points but his quad toe was downgraded and he fell on a triple axel.  He also singled his opening lutz and doubled two toes.  The errors cost him some points in the program components as he had marks as low as 8.95 for transitions.  He has the best short program and 4th best total scores.

Mikhail Kolyada is going into his third season on the Grand Prix, and while he has never won a medal, he has never placed lower than 5th.  He competed in two Challenger Series events this fall, winning gold at Ondrej Nepela Trophy, before finishing 4th at Finlandia Trophy.  His biggest issue at the start of the season has been putting two clean programs together.  He was not even in the picture after the short program at Nepela Trophy but his free skate was strong enough to win him the gold medal.  His free skate included a quad lutz, quad salchow (fall), and a quad toe (fall) in the bonus.  He earned an impressive Level 4 on all of his spins and his step sequence with program components in the mid to high 8s.  At Finlandia Trophy, his short program included a quad toe + triple toe and he earned all positive GOEs.  His program components ranged from 7.92 to 8.17.  He has the 5th best short program, 3rd best free skate, and 10th best total scores.

Misha Ge is appearing on the Grand Prix for the 5th season.  He also has never won a medal.  He started his season with a 4th place finish at the Autumn Classic International.  His short program at that event did not include a quad, and his triple lutz + triple toe combination was not in the bonus.  He could put his two most difficult jumping passes in the bonus to try and maximize his points without the quad, but that doesn’t seem to be his strategy at this point.  He earned program components in the high 7s to low 8s.  His free skate also did not include a quad and while he has five jumping passes in the bonus, two are his lower value double axels.  He earned all positive GOEs except for on his solo triple axel and had slightly higher program components in the low to mid 8s.  He has the 9th best free skate score.

Nam Nguyen will compete on the Grand Prix for the fourth year and he has one previous medal, a bronze from his first event back in 2014.  He placed 5th at the Autumn Classic International earlier this season. His short program included a quad salchow + triple toe and a quad toe.  He earned all positive GOEs, but he finished well behind his training mates in that segment of competition as his GOEs were not very high and his program components were comparatively low, ranging from 7.15 to 7.70.  His free skate included a quad salchow + triple toe, quad toe in the bonus, and quad salchow (fall) in the bonus.  He doubled two other jumps in the program.  Again, his program components were on the low side in the low to mid 7s.  He has the 6th best short program score.

Denis Ten is a veteran at this event, starting his 9th season on the Grand Prix.  He has only medaled twice and has never won gold.  He competed for the first time last week at Cup of Nice, a senior B event and did not have the best outing.  He’s also been working his way back from injury so he might not quite be back into competitive shape yet.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Nathan Chen

Silver: Yuzuru Hanyu

Bronze: Mikhail Kolyada

 

Bios of the competitors:

Nam Nguyen, CAN: He placed 8th at Four Continents.  He finished 6th at Skate America and 8th at NHK Trophy last season.  He is the 2014 World Junior Champion.  His personal best is 245.21.  He is 19 years old.

Daniel Samohin, ISR: He finished 33rd at Worlds and 6th at Junior Worlds.  He placed 5th at Skate Canada and 8th at Cup of China last season.  He is the 2016 World Junior Champion.  His personal best is 236.65.  He is 19 years old.

Yuzuru Hanyu, JPN: He is the reigning World Champion and Four Continents Silver Medalist.  He won silver at Skate Canada and gold at NHK Trophy last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where he won gold.  He is the 2014 Olympic Champion; 2014 World Champion; 2015 and 2016 World Silver Medalist; 2012 World Bronze Medalist; 2011 and 2013 Four Continents Silver Medalist; and 2010 World Junior champion.  His personal best is 330.43.  He is 22 years old.

Keiji Tanaka, JPN: He placed 19th at Worlds and 13th at Four Continents.  He finished 7th at Rostelecom cup and won bronze at NHK Trophy last season.  He is the 2011 World Junior Silver Medalist.  His personal best is 248.44.  He is 22 years old.

Denis Ten, KAZ: He finished 16th at Worlds.  He won silver at Trophee de France last season.  He is the 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist, 2013 World Silver Medalist, 2015 World Bronze Medalist, and 2015 Four Continents Champion.  His personal best is 289.46.  He is 24 years old.

Deniss Vasiljevs, LAT: He placed 14th at Worlds and 7th at Europeans.  He finished 11th at Rostelecom Cup and 6th at NHK Trophy last season.  His personal best is 239.00.  He is 18 years old.

Dmitri Aliev, RUS: He is the reigning World Junior Silver Medalist.  He won gold at JGP Czech Republic and placed 4th at JGP Slovenia last season to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final where he won gold.  This is his Grand Prix debut.  His personal best is 247.31.  He is 18 years old.

Mikhail Kolyada, RUS: He placed 8th at Worlds and is the reigning European Bronze Medalist.  He finished 4th at Rostelecom Cup and 5th at NHK Trophy last season.  His personal best is 279.41.  He is 22 years old.

Andrei Lazukin, RUS: This is his Grand Prix debut.  His personal best is 210.66.  He is 19 years old.

Nathan Chen, USA: He finished 6th at Worlds and is the reigning Four Continents Champion.  He placed 4th at Trophee de France and won silver at NHK Trophy last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where he won silver.  He is the 2014 World Junior Bronze Medalist.  His personal best is 307.46.  He is 18 years old.

Grant Hochstein, USA: He placed 9th at Four Continents.  He finished 11th at Skate Canada and 11th at NHK Trophy.  His personal best is 237.25.  He is 27 years old.

Misha Ge, UZB: He placed 12th at Worlds and 7th at Four Continents.  He placed 6th at Skate Canada and 7th at Trophee de France last season.  His personal best is 246.19.  He is 26 years old.

2017 World Championships Men’s Preview

It’s all about the quads, bout the quads, no triples should be the motto of the men’s event at the World Championships in Helsinki.  Nathan Chen made history at the US Championships and again at Four Continents when he became the first man to land five quads in a free program.  Several skaters are attempting quad lutzes and quad flips and even quad loops.

Javier Fernandez enters this event as the reigning two-time World Champion and five-time European Champion. He set a personal best defending his World title last season, scoring an impressive 314.93 points.  He has had a less than stellar season this year, placing 4th at the Grand Prix Final and failing to score over 300 points.  Most of this can be attributed to his technical performances which have not been clean this season.  His program components have been strong, with his best short program performance equal to that of Yuzuru Hanyu.  He has the highest program components score in the free skate this season, besting Hanyu.  In the short program he has a very slight technical disadvantage as he has the easier quad salchow and quad toe.  In the free skate, he only has three quads, putting him 10 or even 15 points behind the other top men in the field in planned jump content.  He has to skate perfectly clean if he wants to hold on to his World title.  He has the 2nd best short program, 3rd best free skate, and 3rd best total scores.

Yuzuru Hanyu is the two-time reigning World Silver Medalist.  He competed at Four Continents for the first time since 2013 and walked away with the silver medal.  He started his season with a silver medal at Skate Canada but was able to take home gold from the Grand Prix Final.  He was the first skater to score over 300 points and currently holds the record of 330.43.  However, he has not come close to that mark this season, scoring in the low 300s.  He is the first skater to land a quad loop and has it in both of his programs this season.  His short program includes a quad loop and a quad salchow.  He has five planned quads in his free skate, including the quad loop, two quad salchows, and two quad toes.  His jump content base value in the free skate is 90 points.  His biggest issue is skating his programs cleanly, and he hasn’t been able to skate a clean program, let alone two clean programs in competition this season.  He also has been bested on the program components this season by Patrick Chan and Fernandez.  He has the best short program, best free skate, and 2nd best total scores.

Shoma Uno is the reigning Four Continents Bronze Medalist.  He won a gold and silver on the Grand Prix circuit and took home bronze from the Grand Prix Final.  Last season, he finished a disappointing 7th at Worlds after he won bronze at the Grand Prix Final in his first senior season.  His personal best score is 288.05, set at Four Continents, however he crossed the 300 point threshold a few weeks ago at Coupe de Printemps, a senior B event.  These events are often overscored and thus do not count towards personal best scores, but it will be interesting to see how close he can get to that mark.  His short program includes a quad flip and a quad toe.  His free skate includes four quads, including a quad loop (new at Four Continents), quad flip, and two quad toes.  His planned base value of 84 for his jumps is well below the 90 point threshold that several other top competitors are aiming for, however, he has the best program components of any of the younger skaters.  For both of his programs, he is only within 3-4 points of the top program component scores handed out this season.  He has the 4th best short program, 5th best free skate, and 4th best total scores.

Nathan Chen is the reigning Four Continents Champion.  He won a silver medal at the NHK Trophy to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where he won the silver medal.  In just his first senior season, he has been setting record after record and making history with his programs.  His personal best was set at Four Continents and is 307.46, making him one of only three skaters to score above 300 points in major competition.  What is most impressive about him, is that he has the ability to land five quads in a program cleanly and receive positive GOEs on all of his elements.  He showed a bit of a crack in his armor at Four Continents but was still able to hold off some formidable competition to take home his first championship gold medal.  As expected, he has the best TES scores for the short program and free skate.  His short program includes a quad lutz and a quad flip, giving him the highest jump base value of the competition.  His free skate has a quad lutz, quad flip, two quad toes and a quad salchow.  His program components have been improving throughout the season, going from 40 points in the short program to 43 and from 79 to 88 in the free skate.  He has been working with Marina Zoueva this season, but he’s also a classically trained ballet dancer and it is likely that the increase in his scores is partially based on reputation as he’s made his mark in his first senior season.  His program components at Four Continents, were much higher than they were earlier in the season, and he admitted that he was focused on the technical elements and wasn’t able to put out as strong as an artistic performance as he has in the past.  He is definitely a sleeper for the gold medal, as he has the most difficult content and is the only one who’s been able to skate two clean programs this season, but the program components may hold him back if skaters like Hanyu are relatively clean and have a several point lead on him in that segment.  He has the 3rd best short program, 2nd best free skate, and best total scores.

Boyang Jin was the surprise bronze medalist at last year’s World Championships.  He was the first man to land a quad lutz+triple toe combination in competition.  He won a silver medal at Cup of China this season, but failed to qualify for the Grand Prix Final and he finished off the podium at Four Continents.  He has made strides in the performance quality of his skating, but he’s still behind the rest of the top men in this field.  His other main issue has been landing his jumps and completing them cleanly.  He gives a lot of points away with negative grades of execution.  His personal best came at last year’s Four Continents, where he scored 289.83.  His short program includes a quad lutz and a quad toe, while his free skate has a quad lutz, quad loop, quad salchow and two quad toes.  He has the most difficult free skate planned with the base value for the jumps over 95 points.  However, at Four Continents, where he first debuted his new free skate layout, his TES was only 100 points.  With missed jumps and negative GOEs he lost enough points that he was only able to gain 5 points over his planned jump base value with GOEs, three spins, a step sequence and a choreographic sequence.  And his program components really cost him points, as he’s scoring 10 points behind Nathan Chen in that segment.  Unfortunately, even if he landed a perfectly clean program, he might not have enough technical value to offset the deficits on the artistic side.  He has the 6th best short program, 7th best free skate, and 6th best total scores.

Patrick Chan finished 5th at Worlds last year and 4th at Four Continents last month.  He qualified for the Grand Prix Final after winning a pair of gold medals, but only finished 5th overall.  He takes a calculated risk with his short program, only going for one quad toe, which gives him a base value for his jumps 10 points less than Nathan Chen.  That’s a large gap to overcome, but he’s banking on a clean program and strong program components to make up the gap.  Unfortunately, Hanyu, Fernandez, Uno, and Chan can all put out clean short programs with two quads with strong program components.  This strategy works if other’s falter, but if they hit their jumps he might be out of contention for the podium before the free skate even begins.  He only plans two quads in his free skate, both quad toes.  His jump base value is 77 points, just below Fernandez, but nearly 15 points lower than Hanyu and Chen.  Between two programs he has 25 points to make up just in jumps to try and catch Hanyu and Chen.  His skating is effortless and he earns the high program components and GOEs he receives.  His personal best is just under 300 at 295.27 but that was set way back in 2013.  He has the 5th best short program, 4th best free skate, and 5th best total scores.

Jason Brown is in a similar boat to Patrick Chan.  He doesn’t have the technical firepower to compete with the top skaters, but is relying on superior spins, step sequences, and skating skills to push him into contention.  He suffered an injury that kept him out of US Nationals and didn’t allow him to attempt a single quad at Four Continents where he finished 6th.  His personal best is 268.38, set at Skate America this year where he landed a quad in competition for the first time.  His most difficult layout was at Skate America, where he attempted one quad toe in each program.  By pushing his combination to the second half of the short program, he has a slight technical advantage on Patrick Chan, but is still well below the rest of the field. Even with all of his gifts, his free skate planned jump content is 10 points less than Chan’s, 25 points less than Hanyu and Chen.  To try and make it to the podium he needs to find 35 points these skaters don’t have, or he needs a lot of mistakes at the top.  Plus, he’s losing ground in his sweet spot, the program component marks, with Chen beating him on program components in the short program.  Brown is still one of the few skaters to score above 90 in PCS in the free skate.  He has the 6th best free skate and 8th best total scores.

Denis Ten has missed a good chunk of the season due to injury.  He only was able to compete at one Grand Prix event, Trophee de France, where he won silver.  He wasn’t able to compete at Four Continents and he finished just 10th at the Asian Winter Games.  He was 11th at Worlds last season, his worst finish since 2011.  He has one quad toe in his short program and one quad toe in his free skate.  His personal best was set at Four Continents in 2015 when he scored 289.46.  He had the 9th best short program, 9th best free skate, and 7th best total scores.

Maxim Kovtun is the reigning European Silver Medalist.  He finished 18th at Worlds last season.  He finished 7th at his two Grand Prix assignments this season.  His personal best came at Europeans, where he scored 266.80.  He has two quads in each program, one toe and one salchow.  However, the rest of his free skate content is just not strong enough to compete with the top men, and he very rarely puts two clean programs together.  He has the 7th best short program, 10th best free skate, and 10th best total scores.

Mikhail Kolyada is the reigning European Bronze Medalist.  His personal best is 267.97, set at Worlds last year where he placed 4th.  He has a quad toe in his short program and a quad lutz and quad toe in his free skate.  He has the 8th best short program score.

Other skaters looking to crack the top ten at Worlds include Misha Ge (7th at Four Continents), Kevin Reynolds (3rd at Skate Canada), Alexei Bychenko (3rd at Rostelecom Cup), Jorik Hendrickx (4th at Europeans), and Keiji Tanaka (3rd at NHK Trophy).

Adam Rippon currently has the 10th best short program, 8th best free skate and 9th best total scores for the season and placed 6th at the Grand Prix Final, however, suffered an injury that took him out of US Nationals and the rest of this season.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Yuzuru Hanyu

Silver: Nathan Chen

Bronze: Javier Fernandez

 

The competitors:

Slavik Hayrapetyan, ARM:

Brendan Kerry, AUS:

Larry Loupolover, AZE:

Jorik Hendrickx, BEL:

Patrick Chan, CAN:

Kevin Reynolds, CAN:

Boyang Jin, CHN:

Chih-I Tsao, TPE:

Nicholas Vrdoljak, CRO:

Michal Brezina, CZE:

Valtter Virtanen, FIN:

Chafik Besseghier, FRA:

Moris Kvitelashvili, GEO:

Paul Fentz, GER:

Graham Newberry, GBR:

Alexei Bychenko, ISR:

Matteo Rizzo, ITA:

Yuzuru Hanyu, JPN:

Keiji Tanaka, JPN:

Shoma Uno, JPN:

Denis Ten, KAZ:

Deniss Vasiljevs, LAT:

Julian Zhi Jie Yee, MAS:

Michael Christian Martinez, PHI:

Igor Reznichenko, POL:

Jinseo Kim, KOR:

Mikhail Kolyada, RUS:

Maxim Kovtun, RUS:

Javier Fernandez, ESP:

Javier Raya, ESP:

Alexander Majorov, SWE:

Stephane Walker, SUI:

Ivan Pavlov, UKR:

Jason Brown, USA:

Nathan Chen, USA:

Misha Ge, UZB:

2017 Winter Universiade Men’s Results

Short Program

Pl. Qual. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Q TEN Denis KAZ 94.91 50.01 44.90 9.00 8.65 9.10 9.00 9.15 0.00 #19
2 Q TANAKA Keiji JPN 89.05 48.80 40.25 8.10 7.90 8.15 8.00 8.10 0.00 #27
3 Q DMITRIEV Artur RUS 87.18 49.03 38.15 7.65 7.25 7.75 7.75 7.75 0.00 #20
4 Q LAZUKIN Andrei RUS 84.74 45.74 39.00 8.00 7.50 7.75 7.90 7.85 0.00 #2
5 Q RIGHINI Ivan ITA 82.28 43.93 38.35 7.55 7.30 7.80 7.75 7.95 0.00 #15
6 Q MAJOROV Alexander SWE 81.01 41.91 39.10 7.80 7.50 7.95 7.90 7.95 0.00 #35
7 Q SHULEPOV Anton RUS 76.13 41.48 35.65 7.20 6.90 7.15 7.20 7.20 1.00 #25
8 Q BREZINA Michal CZE 75.57 35.72 39.85 8.00 7.75 7.95 8.10 8.05 0.00 #30
9 Q HINO Ryuju JPN 75.23 40.53 34.70 7.15 6.65 6.95 6.95 7.00 0.00 #6
10 Q ZANDRON Maurizio ITA 69.71 37.61 32.10 6.40 6.15 6.40 6.45 6.70 0.00 #11
11 Q RAKIMGALIEV Abzal KAZ 68.25 36.05 32.20 6.55 6.10 6.55 6.50 6.50 0.00 #3
12 Q PAVLOV Ivan UKR 67.27 35.12 32.15 6.45 6.10 6.50 6.50 6.60 0.00 #1
13 Q GUAN Yuhang CHN 67.16 34.71 32.45 6.75 6.30 6.55 6.45 6.40 0.00 #31
14 Q KIM Jin Seo KOR 66.81 34.31 32.50 6.45 6.40 6.50 6.50 6.65 0.00 #26
15 Q PONSART Romain FRA 66.25 31.85 34.40 7.15 6.65 6.80 6.75 7.05 0.00 #13
16 Q LEE June Hyoung KOR 65.08 33.28 32.80 6.60 6.40 6.45 6.65 6.70 1.00 #33
17 Q TESSON Adrien FRA 63.68 31.13 32.55 6.50 6.35 6.45 6.60 6.65 0.00 #32
18 Q HOCQUAUX Simon FRA 59.15 28.05 31.10 6.15 6.05 6.20 6.35 6.35 0.00 #34
19 Q KENNES Thomas NED 59.04 30.24 28.80 5.70 5.40 5.85 5.85 6.00 0.00 #8
20 Q NEUMAN Michael SVK 58.24 30.79 27.45 5.50 5.25 5.50 5.55 5.65 0.00 #16
21 Q TSAO Chih-I TPE 58.13 29.53 28.60 5.70 5.50 5.60 5.90 5.90 0.00 #9
22 Q SPIEGL Ondrej SWE 58.02 27.22 31.80 6.10 6.10 6.40 6.45 6.75 1.00 #10
23 Q KAWAHARA Sei JPN 57.93 27.08 30.85 6.30 6.15 5.95 6.30 6.15 0.00 #18
24 Q DEMIRBOGA Burak TUR 56.33 30.93 25.40 5.40 4.85 5.15 5.05 4.95 0.00 #28
25 PAPP Béla FIN 56.08 28.33 27.75 5.50 5.20 5.75 5.50 5.80 0.00 #5
26 PARRY-EVANS Charlie GBR 55.49 29.24 26.25 5.45 5.15 5.20 5.35 5.10 0.00 #4
27 LIU Runqi CHN 54.63 28.58 27.05 5.75 5.25 5.35 5.45 5.25 1.00 #23
28 PANIKHIN Artur KAZ 54.11 27.21 26.90 5.50 5.25 5.40 5.45 5.30 0.00 #24
29 KOPPEL Samuel EST 53.52 24.62 28.90 5.75 5.70 5.75 5.85 5.85 0.00 #22
30 LEE Dong Won KOR 50.76 28.06 23.70 5.50 4.25 4.65 4.80 4.50 1.00 #29
31 BJORK Marcus SWE 47.69 24.54 23.15 4.80 4.40 4.60 4.75 4.60 0.00 #14
32 TSIBA Michel NED 43.35 19.45 23.90 4.70 4.50 4.80 4.90 5.00 0.00 #7
33 LEE Harry Hau Yin HKG 41.95 21.20 20.75 4.40 4.00 4.10 4.25 4.00 0.00 #17
34 PIKHOVYCH Vladyslav UKR 40.02 20.97 20.05 4.25 3.80 3.95 4.20 3.85 1.00 #36
35 IONIAN Mario-Rafael AUT 36.99 14.99 22.00 4.65 4.20 4.30 4.50 4.35 0.00 #21
36 KLEPOCH Marco SVK 36.53 15.43 23.10 4.85 4.30 4.50 4.80 4.65 2.00 #12

Free Skate

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 TEN Denis KAZ 172.06 82.16 89.90 8.95 8.70 9.00 9.05 9.25 0.00 #24
2 MAJOROV Alexander SWE 165.55 86.55 80.00 8.00 7.85 8.00 8.05 8.10 1.00 #21
3 TANAKA Keiji JPN 163.04 81.84 82.20 8.25 7.90 8.30 8.30 8.35 1.00 #23
4 KIM Jin Seo KOR 153.41 81.31 72.10 7.10 6.85 7.35 7.25 7.50 0.00 #10
5 RIGHINI Ivan ITA 153.19 75.39 77.80 7.65 7.55 7.95 7.80 7.95 0.00 #20
6 HINO Ryuju JPN 150.78 79.58 72.20 7.50 6.90 7.40 7.20 7.10 1.00 #16
7 DMITRIEV Artur RUS 150.64 80.14 74.50 7.55 7.25 7.30 7.55 7.60 4.00 #22
8 BREZINA Michal CZE 149.48 71.38 81.10 8.15 8.05 7.95 8.20 8.20 3.00 #17
9 GUAN Yuhang CHN 141.85 72.95 68.90 6.85 6.45 7.10 7.05 7.00 0.00 #7
10 PONSART Romain FRA 140.92 71.62 69.30 7.05 6.50 7.05 6.95 7.10 0.00 #9
11 RAKIMGALIEV Abzal KAZ 135.98 67.98 68.00 6.90 6.55 6.80 6.90 6.85 0.00 #14
12 LAZUKIN Andrei RUS 135.26 63.76 73.50 7.50 7.20 7.30 7.45 7.30 2.00 #19
13 ZANDRON Maurizio ITA 133.29 65.09 69.20 6.90 6.65 6.85 7.15 7.05 1.00 #13
14 PAVLOV Ivan UKR 133.17 67.67 65.50 6.65 6.30 6.50 6.60 6.70 0.00 #15
15 SHULEPOV Anton RUS 124.51 57.51 69.00 7.10 6.80 6.70 6.95 6.95 2.00 #18
16 LEE June Hyoung KOR 117.45 54.65 63.80 6.45 6.30 6.35 6.40 6.40 1.00 #11
17 TESSON Adrien FRA 117.27 54.17 64.10 6.35 6.10 6.35 6.55 6.70 1.00 #8
18 TSAO Chih-I TPE 116.58 60.38 58.20 6.20 5.50 5.90 5.80 5.70 2.00 #4
19 KAWAHARA Sei JPN 115.93 53.13 62.80 6.40 6.00 6.25 6.35 6.40 0.00 #2
20 KENNES Thomas NED 115.53 58.83 56.70 5.85 5.30 5.80 5.70 5.70 0.00 #3
21 DEMIRBOGA Burak TUR 112.71 61.51 51.20 5.35 4.90 5.20 5.15 5.00 0.00 #6
22 SPIEGL Ondrej SWE 105.46 47.26 59.20 5.85 5.65 5.90 6.05 6.15 1.00 #5
23 HOCQUAUX Simon FRA 101.93 44.63 61.30 6.25 5.90 5.85 6.35 6.30 4.00 #12
24 NEUMAN Michael SVK 97.37 46.17 51.20 5.20 5.10 5.00 5.20 5.10 0.00 #1

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 TEN Denis
KAZ
266.97 1 1
2 TANAKA Keiji
JPN
252.09 2 3
3 MAJOROV Alexander
SWE
246.56 6 2
4 DMITRIEV Artur
RUS
237.82 3 7
5 RIGHINI Ivan
ITA
235.47 5 5
6 HINO Ryuju
JPN
226.01 9 6
7 BREZINA Michal
CZE
225.05 8 8
8 KIM Jin Seo
KOR
220.22 14 4
9 LAZUKIN Andrei
RUS
220.00 4 12
10 GUAN Yuhang
CHN
209.01 13 9
11 PONSART Romain
FRA
207.17 15 10
12 RAKIMGALIEV Abzal
KAZ
204.23 11 11
13 ZANDRON Maurizio
ITA
203.00 10 13
14 SHULEPOV Anton
RUS
200.64 7 15
15 PAVLOV Ivan
UKR
200.44 12 14
16 LEE June Hyoung
KOR
182.53 16 16
17 TESSON Adrien
FRA
180.95 17 17
18 TSAO Chih-I
TPE
174.71 21 18
19 KENNES Thomas
NED
174.57 19 20
20 KAWAHARA Sei
JPN
173.86 23 19
21 DEMIRBOGA Burak
TUR
169.04 24 21
22 SPIEGL Ondrej
SWE
163.48 22 22
23 HOCQUAUX Simon
FRA
161.08 18 23
24 NEUMAN Michael
SVK
155.61 20 24
PAPP Béla
FIN
FNR 25
PARRY-EVANS Charlie
GBR
FNR 26
LIU Runqi
CHN
FNR 27
PANIKHIN Artur
KAZ
FNR 28
KOPPEL Samuel
EST
FNR 29
LEE Dong Won
KOR
FNR 30
BJORK Marcus
SWE
FNR 31
TSIBA Michel
NED
FNR 32
LEE Harry Hau Yin
HKG
FNR 33
PIKHOVYCH Vladyslav
UKR
FNR 34
IONIAN Mario-Rafael
AUT
FNR 35
KLEPOCH Marco
SVK
FNR 36

2016 Trophee de France Men’s Results

Short Program

 Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Javier FERNANDEZ ESP 96.57 51.68 45.89 9.07 9.07 9.00 9.32 9.43 1.00 #6
2 Nathan CHEN USA 92.85 51.74 41.11 8.18 7.89 8.43 8.36 8.25 0.00 #10
3 Denis TEN KAZ 89.21 47.40 41.81 8.57 7.96 8.39 8.32 8.57 0.00 #8
4 Adam RIPPON USA 85.25 43.33 41.92 8.39 8.14 8.50 8.39 8.50 0.00 #1
5 Jorik HENDRICKX BEL 80.34 41.30 39.04 7.75 7.57 7.86 7.86 8.00 0.00 #11
6 Takahito MURA JPN 78.38 39.92 39.46 8.25 7.64 7.79 7.89 7.89 1.00 #4
7 Chafik BESSEGHIER FRA 77.00 40.11 36.89 7.43 7.11 7.46 7.46 7.43 0.00 #3
8 Misha GE UZB 72.49 35.32 38.17 7.57 7.36 7.64 7.71 7.89 1.00 #7
9 Brendan KERRY AUS 70.67 35.67 36.00 7.25 6.96 7.11 7.39 7.29 1.00 #2
10 Ivan RIGHINI ITA 68.42 31.32 37.10 7.43 7.14 7.46 7.50 7.57 0.00 #9
11 Artur DMITRIEV RUS 64.48 29.45 35.03 7.29 6.75 6.96 7.07 6.96 0.00 #5

Free Skate

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Javier FERNANDEZ ESP 188.81 97.53 92.28 9.18 9.14 9.04 9.39 9.39 1.00 #11
2 Adam RIPPON USA 182.28 94.64 87.64 8.68 8.32 8.96 8.75 9.11 0.00 #6
3 Denis TEN KAZ 180.05 93.39 86.66 8.79 8.07 8.93 8.68 8.86 0.00 #10
4 Nathan CHEN USA 171.95 94.59 79.36 8.11 7.61 7.96 8.07 7.93 2.00 #9
5 Takahito MURA JPN 170.04 89.84 81.20 8.46 7.79 8.21 8.07 8.07 1.00 #7
6 Misha GE UZB 156.57 77.63 79.94 7.79 7.61 8.14 8.11 8.32 1.00 #5
7 Artur DMITRIEV RUS 154.22 84.78 69.44 7.25 6.68 6.86 7.07 6.86 0.00 #1
8 Jorik HENDRICKX BEL 150.13 73.13 78.00 7.79 7.54 7.82 7.96 7.89 1.00 #8
9 Chafik BESSEGHIER FRA 148.02 75.66 72.36 7.39 6.93 7.29 7.25 7.32 0.00 #3
10 Brendan KERRY AUS 128.73 58.53 70.20 7.21 6.82 6.89 7.11 7.07 0.00 #4
11 Ivan RIGHINI ITA 117.39 47.81 71.58 7.36 7.04 6.82 7.18 7.39 2.00 #2

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Javier FERNANDEZ
ESP
285.38 1 1
2 Denis TEN
KAZ
269.26 3 3
3 Adam RIPPON
USA
267.53 4 2
4 Nathan CHEN
USA
264.80 2 4
5 Takahito MURA
JPN
248.42 6 5
6 Jorik HENDRICKX
BEL
230.47 5 8
7 Misha GE
UZB
229.06 8 6
8 Chafik BESSEGHIER
FRA
225.02 7 9
9 Artur DMITRIEV
RUS
218.70 11 7
10 Brendan KERRY
AUS
199.40 9 10
11 Ivan RIGHINI
ITA
185.81 10 11

2016 World Championships Men’s Preview

This has truly been an exciting season in men’s figure skating with the limits of the sport being pushed.  It is not uncommon to see two quads in the short program and three or four in the free skate.  But more importantly, these difficult jumps are being combined with the artistic side of skating to truly complete the whole package.  There is already talk of revamping the scoring system for next year as the program components can no longer keep up with the technical scores these men are achieving, even when they are virtually perfect.

Since 2011, Patrick Chan, Yuzuru Hanyu or Javier Fernandez have won the World title, and it is fitting that these three are the top contenders going into these Championships.  Despite how gifted all these skaters are, there has still been a clear delineation between them and a good separation between them and the rest of the pack.

No skater had ever passed the 300 point mark in international competition until Yuzuru Hanyu did this season.  Not only did he pass it, he smashed it, twice, setting an astonishing 330 points at the Grand Prix Final.  He hit all of his difficult elements with positive GOEs and nearly perfect program components and truly showed what perfection can look like in an often imperfect sport.  He has scored over 100 in the short program and over 200 in the free skate with over 100 on the technical side.  If he can come even close to the last two marks he set in competition, this should be a cakewalk for him.  However, he did win the silver at Skate Canada with a score of 259 proving that he is indeed human.  He has the best short program, best free skate and best total scores.

Javier Fernandez trains alongside Hanyu and he made history last season when he became the first Spanish skater to win a World title.  He has long been known for his jumps but is really starting to show off the finer side to his skating.  His Guys and Dolls free skate in particular plays into his wheel house and when he’s on with his jumps, the crowd really gets into the program.  He enters this event as the four time reigning European Champion and he crossed the 300 point mark at this years Championships, becoming only the 2nd skater to do so.  Like Hanyu, he can score over 100 in the short program and over 200 in the free skate with over 100 points on the technical side.  He has the 2nd best short program, 3rd best free skate and 2nd best total scores.

Patrick Chan considered retiring after his 4th place finish at the Grand Prix Final, but stuck with it and won the title at Four Continents last month.  His short program has been his nemesis this season and he’s had to dig himself out of a hole in the free skate to try and make it on to the podium.  Even after a stellar overall performance at Four Continents, he still does not have a short program score that even ranks in the top 10.  This could be very dangerous for him, as he’ll want to be in the final warmup group at Worlds and not competing earlier in the free skate.  He is capable of scoring over 200 points in the free skate with 100 on the technical side, and is one of only three skaters this season to do so.  However, his personal best is still a whopping 7 points lower than Chan’s and 35 points below Hanyu.  He has the 2nd best free skate and 3rd best total scores.

Outside of these three veterans, there are several youngsters knocking on the door and hoping to land their way on the podium.

Boyang Jin has some of the most impressive jumps in skating, landing quad lutz + triple toe combinations with ease, something no other man has done before.  He’s also one of only two skaters attempting four quads in his free skate (the other is Nathan Chen who is out for the rest of the season).  His short program has a quad lutz + triple toe plus a quad toe in the bonus.  His free skate has four quads, including two in the bonus.  His focus is mostly on the jumps and he needs to work on developing transitions, choreography and a connection with his music and the audience.  He made up some ground at Four Continents, setting new personal bests in all segments of competition and nearing the 290 mark, putting him within 5 points of Chan.   He can easily score over 100 points on the TES in his free skate, but it’s the program components that are holding him back from reaching the 200 point mark for the program as a whole.  He has the 3rd best short program, 4th best free skate and 4th best total scores.

Shoma Uno had a great start to his senior debut season, winning the bronze medal at the Grand Prix Final, ahead of Patrick Chan.  While he has yet to score 200 points for his free skate, he has scored over 100 on the technical side.  His short program includes a quad toe in the bonus and his free skate includes two quads, one in combination and one in the bonus.  What Uno does really well, especially for a young skater, is balance the artistry with his technical performance.  He’s already shown signs of the dynamic performance style that the Japanese are becoming known for.  He had a bit of a meltdown at Four Continents, finishing 4th, however, he wasn’t far off of his personal best.  He has the 5th best short program, 5th best free skate and 5th best total scores.

Han Yan is in his third senior season, but has experienced some ups and downs in his career.  He had a solid if unimpressive Grand Prix campaign, finishing 4th and winning bronze.  He was a surprise bronze medal finisher at Four Continents where he set new personal bests in the free skate and total score.  He still has a ways to go to catch the top tier of men at this event, but he could put out another set of strong performances to finish in the top 6 here.  He has the 6th best short program, 7th best free skate and 7th best total scores.

Two Americans will be looking to hold on to the US’s three spots at Worlds for next season in front of their home crowd.

Max Aaron put out two relatively clean programs at US nationals but still settled for a silver medal.  He showed at Skate America that he has all the goods to be a top contender with lightning speed, great jumps and a focus on artistry and performance.  However, he has been chasing that performance all season and hasn’t quite lived up to it again.  He has the 10th best short program, 9th best free skate and 9th best total scores.

Adam Rippon is all artistry all the time and his spins and edges along with his choreography and well renowned in the sport.  However, he took home the US title in January despite not attempting a quad in the short program and botching the quad attempt in his free skate.  He is capable of landing a quad lutz, but it is wildly inconsistent and in his case, not worth the risk.  He doesn’t attempt any other quad jump so he’s banking on that one jump going well to get the points he needs.  His triple axel can also be a bit shaky but he is known for his signature Rippon triple lutz.

The wild card in this event is Denis Ten.  He is the skater most often counted out, but who comes through at the end of the season. He is on the season’s best list, although these scores come from a Challenger Series event which are often slightly overscored.  He withdrew from Four Continents and had a disappointing showing at a Senior B last week.  While it’s hard to count him out, since he’s pulled through so many times in the past, I think this might be the year that he can’t rebound in time to be in top shape for Worlds.  He has the 4th best short program, 6th best free skate and 6th best total scores.

Other skaters looking to factor into the top 10 are European medalists Alexei Bychenko and Maxim Kovtun (who also has the 8th best short program score).  Nam Nguyen was 5th at this event last season, but hasn’t been able to have the same results this year.  He didn’t even qualify to compete here, but another Canadian skater turned down his spot in favor of Nguyen in hopes of Canada being able to earn three spots for next year’s Worlds.

With only two spots available for the Japanese men at this event, two top ten finishers are staying at home. Takahito Mura has the 8th best score of the season, while Daisuke Murakami currently holds the 10th best score of the season.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Yuzuru Hanyu

Silver: Javier Fernandez

Bronze: Patrick Chan

 

Bios of the competitors:

Denis Margalik, ARG: He finished 17th at Four Continents.  He won bronze at JGP Slovakia and placed 8th at JGP Spain.  His personal best is 193.44.  He is 18 years old.

Slavik Hayrapetyan, ARM: He finished 31st at Europeans.  His personal best is 164.03.  He is 20 years old.

Brendan Kerry, AUS: He finished 20th at Worlds last season.  He placed 19th at Four Continents.  He finished 8th at Skate America and 12th at NHK Trophy.  His personal best is 203.48.  He is 21 years old.

Jorik Hendrickx, BEL: He finished 9th at Europeans.  His personal best is 233.47.  He is 23 years old.

Patrick Chan, CAN: He is the reigning Four Continents Champion.  He won gold at Skate Canada and placed 5th at Trophee Eric Bompard to qualify for the Grand Prix Final were he finished 4th.  He is the 2014 Olympic Silver Medalist; 2011, 2012 and 2013 World Champion; 2009 and 2010 World silver medalist; 2009 and 2012 Four Continents Champion and 2007 World Junior silver medalist.  His personal best is 295.27.  He is 25 years old.

Nam Nguyen, CAN: He placed 5th at Worlds last season.  He placed 5th at Skate Canada and 7th at Rostelecom Cup.  He is the 2014 World Junior Champion.  His personal best is 242.59.  He is 17 years old.

Boyang Jin, CHN: He is the reigning Four Continents Silver Medalist.  He won silver at Cup of China and silver at NHK Trophy to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where he placed 5th.  He is the 2015 World Junior Silver Medalist.  His personal best is 289.83.  He is 18 years old.

Han Yan, CHN: He finished 10th at Worlds last season.  He is the reigning Four Continents Bronze Medalist.  He placed 4th at Skate America and won bronze at Cup of China.  He is the 2013 and 2015 Four Continents Bronze Medalist and 2012 World Junior Champion.  His personal best is 271.55.  He is 20 years old.

Michal Brezina, CZE: He placed 15th at Worlds last season.  He placed 10th at Europeans.   He placed 7th at Skate Canada and won bronze at Rostelecom last season.  He is the 2013 European Bronze Medalist and 2009 World Junior Silver Medalist.  His personal best is 243.52.  He is 25 years old.

Chafik Besseghier, FRA: He placed 18th at Worlds last season.  He finished 10th at Trophee Eric Bompard and 9th at NHK Trophy.  His personal best is 224.19.  He is 26 years old.

Franz Streubel, GER: He finished 14th at Europeans.  His personal best is 196.17.  He is 24 years old.

Phillip Harris, GBR: He placed 18th at Europeans.  His personal best is 184.51.  He is 26 years old.

Alexei Bychenko, ISR: He placed 17th at Worlds last season.  He is the reigning European Silver Medalist.  He placed 12th at Skate America and 10th at Rostelecom Cup.  His personal best is 242.56.  He is 28 years old.

Ivan Righini, ITA: He placed 25th at Worlds last season.  He placed 6th at Europeans.  He finished 10th at Cup of China and 8th at Rostelcom Cup.  His personal best is 236.36.  He is 24 years old.

Yuzuru Hanyu, JPN: He is the reigning World Silver Medalist.  He won silver at Skate Canada and gold at NHK Trophy to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where he won gold.  He is the 2014 Olympic Champion, 2014 World Champion, 2012 World Bronze Medalist, 2011 and 2013 Four Continents Silver Medalist and 2010 World Junior Champion.  His personal best is 330.43.  He is 21 years old.

Shoma Uno, JPN: He placed 4th at Four Continents. He won silver at Skate America and gold at Trophee Eric Bompard to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where he won bronze.  He is the 2015 World Junior Champion.  His personal best is 276.79.  He is 18 years old.

Denis Ten, KAZ: He is the reigning World Bronze Medalist.  He placed 9th at Skate America and 4th at Trophee Eric Bompard.  He is the 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist, 2013 World Silver Medalist and 2015 Four Continents Champion.  His personal best is 289.46.  He is 22 years old.

Deniss Vasiljevs, LAT: He finished 12th at Europeans and 8th at Junior Worlds.  He won silver at JGP Latvia and silver at JGP Poland.  His personal best is 214.43.  He is 16 years old.

Julian Zhi Jie Yee, MAS: He placed 15th at Four Continents.  He finished 7th at JGP Latvia and 4th at JGP Spain.  His personal best is 197.42.  He is 18 years old.

Michael Christian Martinez, PHI: He placed 21st at Worlds last season.  He finished 9th at Four Continents.  He placed 6th at Cup of China.  His personal best is 220.36.  He is 19 years old.

June Hyoung Lee, KOR: He placed 19th at Worlds last season.  He finished 16th at Four Continents.  He placed 12th at Skate Canada.  His personal best is 203.92.  He is 19 years old.

Mikhail Kolyada, RUS: He finished 5th at Europeans.  He placed 5th at Rostelecom Cup.  His personal best is 247.97.  He is 21 years old.

Maxim Kovtun, RUS: He placed 7th at Worlds last season and is the reigning European Bronze Medalist.  He won silver at Trophee Eric Bompard and placed 10th at NHK Trophy.  He is the 2015 European Silver Medalist.  His personal best is 247.37.  He is 20 years old.

Javier Fernandez, ESP: He is the reigning World and European Champion.  He won gold at Cup of China and gold at Rostelecom Cup to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where he won silver.  He is the 2013 and 2014 World Bronze Medalist; and 2013, 2014 and 2015 European Champion.  His personal best is 302.77.  He is 24 years old.

Javier Raya, ESP: His personal best is 179.37.  He is 24 years old.

Ivan Pavlov, UKR: He placed 15th at Europeans.  He placed 8th at JGP Slovakia and won bronze at JGP Austria.  His personal best is 202.32.  He is 17 years old.

Max Aaron, USA: He placed 7th at Four Continents.  He won gold at Skate America and placed 7th at Trophee Eric Bompard.  His personal best is 258.95.  He is 24 years old.

Grant Hochstein, USA: He placed 8th at Four Continents.  He placed 4th at Cup of China and 4th at NHK Trophy.  His personal best is 235.63.  He is 25 years old.

Adam Rippon, USA: He placed 8th at Worlds last season.  He placed 4th at Skate Canada and 4th at Rostelecom Cup.  He is the 2010 Four Continents Champion and 2008 and 2009 World Junior Champion.  His personal best is 248.63.  He is 26 years old.

Misha Ge, UZB: He finished 8th at Cup of China.  His personal best is 238.05.  He is 24 years old.

2016 Four Continents Men’s Preview

Even with a top name like Yuzuru Hanyu electing not to compete in this event, it should still be very competitive with six of the top ten scoring skaters of the season participating.  This promises to be an extremely technical event with quads galore.

Shoma Uno qualified for the Grand Prix Final in his first senior season and even took home the bronze medal.  With neither Hanyu nor Fernandez at this event, he enters as the front-runner.  His short program includes a quad toe in the bonus and his free skate includes two quads, one in combination and one in the bonus.  What Uno does really well, especially for a young skater, is balance the artistry with his technical performance.  He’s already shown signs of the dynamic performance style that the Japanese are becoming known for.  He has the 5th best short program, 4th best free skate and 3rd best total scores of the season.

Denis Ten had a very rough start to his Grand Prix season, but this is par for the course for him.  Despite winning an Olympic medal and two Worlds medals, he has only medaled on the Grand Prix once.  He enters this event as the reigning Champion.  While his Grand Prix season wasn’t what he hoped, he did well enough at the Golden Spin of Zagreb to put himself on the season’s best scores list, although Challenger Series events tend to be slightly over scored.  He has the 4th best short program, 5th best free skate and 4th best total scores of the season.

Patrick Chan considered retiring after his 4th place finish at the Grand Prix Final.  After long having the technical and performance advantage in the sport, he missed out on Olympic gold in 2014.  He was the only one attempting two quads in a free skate for years, but now that is the standard and others are attempting three and four.  His short program has been his nemesis this season and he’s had to dig himself out of a hole in the free skate to try and make it on to the podium.  His short program has a quad toe and his free skate has one quad in combination.  He has elected to go for one quad in the free skate to focus on the artistry and skating clean.  That approach worked at the Final as he earned all positive GOEs and Level 4s on his elements, but he still finished 9 points behind Fernandez in the free skate and nearly 20 behind Hanyu.  He has the 3rd best free skate and 5th best total scores of the season.

Boyang Jin has some of the most impressive jumps in skating, landing quad lutz + triple toe combinations with ease, something no other man has done before.  He’s also one of only two skaters attempting four quads in his free skate (the other is Nathan Chen who is out for the rest of the season).  His short program has a quad lutz + triple toe plus a quad toe in the bonus.  His free skate has four quads, including two in the bonus.  His focus is mostly on the jumps and he needs to work on developing transitions, choreography and a connection with his music and the audience.  While his base value in the free skate for technical elements is 7 points lower than Hanyu’s, his technical score was 19 points lower due to lower levels and GOEs.  Plus his program components were 20 points lower.  Skaters like Chan and Ten don’t need as many quads as they have the program components, levels and GOEs to make up the difference.  He has the 3rd best short program, 6th best free skate and 6th best total scores of the season.

Max Aaron put out two relatively clean programs at US nationals but still settled for a silver medal.  After a season where he put renewed focus into his artistry and performance, he seemed to take a bit of a step back and was focusing more on the elements.  If he can regain the performance level he had at Skate America, he should be very competitive here.  He has a quad in his short program and two in his free skate.  He has the 9th best short program, 7th best free skate and 7th best total scores of the season.

Ross Miner put out a stellar performance of his short program to New York State of Mind at US Nationals and had the crowd on their feet before his program even ended.  He lost some steam in the free skate, but he has all the qualities to compete with the best if he can skate two clean programs.  He has the 10th best total score of the season.

Also of note are Takahito Mura who has the 6th best short program score of the season and Han Yan who has the 10th best free skate score of the season.  Grant Hochstein is making his ISU Championship debut after taking 4th at two Grand Prix events this season and at US Nationals.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Shoma Uno

Silver: Patrick Chan

Bronze: Denis Ten

 

Bios of the competitors:

Denis Margalik, ARG: He finished 16th at Four Continents and 12th at Junior Worlds last season.  He won bronze at JGP Slovakia and placed 8th at JGP Spain.  His personal best is 193.44.  He is 18 years old.

Andrew Dodds, AUS: He finished 25th at Four Continents last season.  His personal best is 159.77.  He is 24 years old.

Brendan Kerry, AUS: He finished 20th at Worlds and 17th at Four Continents last season.  He finished 8th at Skate America and 12th at NHK Trophy.  His personal best is 203.48.  He is 21 years old.

Patrick Chan, CAN: He won gold at Skate Canada and placed 5th at Trophee Eric Bompard to qualify for the Grand Prix Final were he finished 4th.  He is the 2014 Olympic Silver Medalist; 2011, 2012 and 2013 World Champion; 2009 and 2010 World silver medalist; 2009 and 2012 Four Continents Champion and 2007 World Junior silver medalist.  His personal best is 295.27.  He is 25 years old.

Liam Firus, CAN: He finished 14th at Four Continents last season.  His personal best is 200.27.  He is 23 years old.

Kevin Reynolds, CAN: His personal best is 250.55.  He is 25 years old.

Boyang Jin, CHN: He is the reigning World Junior Silver Medalist.  He won silver at Cup of China and silver at NHK Trophy to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where he placed 5th.  His personal best is 266.43.  He is 18 years old.

Nan Song, CHN: He placed 26th at World last season.  He placed 9th at Cup of China.  He is the 2014 Four Continents Bronze Medalist and 2010 World Junior Silver Medalist.  His personal best is 236.09.  He is 25 years old.

Han Yan, CHN: He finished 10th at Worlds last season and is the reigning Four Continents Bronze Medalist.  He placed 4th at Skate America and won bronze at Cup of China.  He is the 2013 Four Continents Bronze Medalist and 2012 World Junior Champion.  His personal best is 259.47.  He is 19 years old.

Chih-I Tsao, TPE: He placed 19th at Four Continents and 27th at Junior Worlds last season.  His personal best is 178.46.  He is 18 years old.

Leslie Ip, HKG: His personal best is 144.78.  He is 20 years old.

Harry Hau Yin Lee, HKG: He finished 24th at Four Continents last season.  His personal best is 134.10.  He is 21 years old.

Takahito Mura, JPN: He finished 16th at Worlds and 7th at Four Continents last season.  He placed 10th at Skate America and won bronze at NHK Trophy.  He is the 2014 Four Continents Champion.  His personal best is 255.81.  He is 25 years old.

Keiji Tanaka, JPN: He placed 5th at NHK Trophy.  His personal best is 234.90.  He is 21 years old.

Shoma Uno, JPN: He placed 5th at Four Continents last season and is the reigning World Junior Champion.  He won silver at Skate America and gold at Trophee Eric Bompard to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where he won bronze.  His personal best is 276.79.  He is 18 years old.

Abzal Rakimgaliev, KAZ: He finished 20th at Four Continents last season.  His personal best is 185.81.  He is 23 years old.

Denis Ten, KAZ: He is the reigning World Bronze Medalist and Four Continents Champion.  He placed 9th at Skate America and 4th at Trophee Eric Bompard.  He is the 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist and 2013 World Silver Medalist.  His personal best is 289.46.  He is 22 years old.

Julian Zhi Jie Yee, MAS: He placed 22nd at Four Continents and 19th at Junior Worlds last season.  He finished 7th at JGP Latvia and 4th at JGP Spain.  His personal best is 197.42.  He is 18 years old.

Michael Christian Martinez, PHI: He placed 21st at Worlds last season.  He placed 6th at Cup of China.  His personal best is 220.36.  He is 19 years old.

Se Jong Byun, KOR: He placed 23rd at Junior Worlds last season.  He finished 9th at JGP Latvia and 14th at JGP Spain.  His personal best is 161.25.  He is 17 years old.

Jin Seo Kim, KOR: He finished 15th at Four Continents and 9th at Junior Worlds last season.  He placed 9th at Skate Canada and 9th at Trophee Eric Bompard.  His personal best is 207.34.  He is 19 years old.

June Hyoung Lee, KOR: He placed 19th at Worlds and 18th at Four Continents last season.  He placed 12th at Skate Canada.  His personal best is 203.92.  He is 19 years old.

Max Aaron, USA: He won gold at Skate America and placed 7th at Trophee Eric Bompard.  His personal best is 258.95.  He is 23 years old.

Grant Hochstein, USA: He placed 4th at Cup of China and 4th at NHK Trophy.  His personal best is 235.63.  He is 25 years old.

Ross Miner, USA: He placed 7th at Skate America and won bronze at Rostelecom Cup.  He is the 2012 Four Continents Bronze Medalist.  His personal best is 248.92.  He is 25 years old.

Golden Spin of Zagreb Men’s Results

Short Program

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Deduction
StN.
1 Denis TEN KAZ 94.03 52.18 41.85 8.40 8.10 8.40 8.40 8.55 0.00 #2
2 Gordei GORSHKOV RUS 76.50 42.10 34.40 7.00 6.65 6.95 6.85 6.95 0.00 #9
3 Adam RIPPON USA 72.23 33.18 39.05 8.00 7.55 7.75 7.75 8.00 0.00 #17
4 Alexander JOHNSON USA 71.95 37.80 34.15 6.75 6.65 6.90 6.85 7.00 0.00 #8
5 Adian PITKEEV RUS 70.21 36.46 34.75 7.30 6.60 6.95 6.90 7.00 1.00 #11
6 Moris KVITELASHVILI RUS 68.55 34.45 34.10 6.90 6.60 7.00 6.65 6.95 0.00 #25
7 Michael Christian MARTINEZ PHI 65.66 33.21 32.45 6.50 6.25 6.60 6.40 6.70 0.00 #24
8 Alexander BJELDE GER 64.55 32.70 31.85 6.55 6.00 6.30 6.50 6.50 0.00 #13
9 Javier RAYA ESP 62.86 30.86 32.00 6.40 6.15 6.40 6.40 6.65 0.00 #12
10 Kevin AYMOZ FRA 61.77 29.77 33.00 6.55 6.15 6.80 6.65 6.85 1.00 #10
11 Liam FIRUS CAN 61.29 30.64 31.65 6.50 5.95 6.35 6.40 6.45 1.00 #15
12 Nicholas VRDOLJAK CRO 59.67 33.07 26.60 5.35 5.25 5.25 5.30 5.45 0.00 #20
13 David KRANJEC SLO 59.51 30.81 28.70 5.80 5.45 5.95 5.75 5.75 0.00 #6
14 Paul FENTZ GER 56.07 25.32 30.75 6.30 5.95 6.15 6.10 6.25 0.00 #19
15 Sean RABBITT USA 54.34 26.44 28.90 6.00 5.65 5.75 5.75 5.75 1.00 #16
16 Tomi PULKKINEN FIN 53.72 24.72 29.00 6.10 5.60 5.75 5.75 5.80 0.00 #22
17 Maurizio ZANDRON ITA 53.45 29.35 26.10 5.20 4.90 5.40 5.20 5.40 2.00 #4
18 Abzal RAKIMGALIEV KAZ 52.90 23.70 29.20 5.85 5.50 5.95 5.90 6.00 0.00 #14
19 Matthias VERSLUIS FIN 50.56 24.91 27.65 5.75 5.30 5.65 5.50 5.45 2.00 #5
20 Kwun Hung LEUNG HKG 46.43 21.93 24.50 5.20 4.70 4.90 4.85 4.85 0.00 #3
21 Conor STAKELUM IRL 46.22 23.82 22.40 4.70 4.20 4.60 4.50 4.40 0.00 #1
22 Mattia DALLA TORRE ITA 44.39 18.39 26.00 5.40 5.10 5.20 5.15 5.15 0.00 #18
23 Marco KLEPOCH SVK 43.34 18.74 24.60 5.05 4.70 4.95 4.95 4.95 0.00 #23

Free Skate

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Deduction
StN.
1 Denis TEN KAZ 182.36 96.86 85.50 8.65 8.30 8.55 8.60 8.65 0.00 #18
2 Adam RIPPON USA 165.64 84.74 81.90 8.05 7.85 8.30 8.30 8.45 1.00 #22
3 Adian PITKEEV RUS 153.47 80.97 72.50 7.40 7.05 7.25 7.30 7.25 0.00 #23
4 Gordei GORSHKOV RUS 146.22 74.42 71.80 7.20 7.05 7.25 7.15 7.25 0.00 #21
5 Moris KVITELASHVILI RUS 144.43 74.63 71.80 7.25 7.00 7.10 7.20 7.35 2.00 #19
6 Alexander JOHNSON USA 140.90 69.30 71.60 7.10 7.05 7.15 7.10 7.40 0.00 #20
7 Liam FIRUS CAN 137.82 70.62 69.20 7.25 6.60 6.95 6.85 6.95 2.00 #13
8 Michael Christian MARTINEZ PHI 137.16 71.56 65.60 6.60 6.30 6.60 6.55 6.75 0.00 #12
9 Paul FENTZ GER 133.42 70.92 62.50 6.40 6.05 6.40 6.25 6.15 0.00 #7
10 Tomi PULKKINEN FIN 123.13 61.43 61.70 6.10 5.90 6.20 6.30 6.35 0.00 #9
11 Nicholas VRDOLJAK CRO 122.13 64.83 57.30 5.90 5.55 5.65 5.70 5.85 0.00 #15
12 Sean RABBITT USA 119.75 59.45 61.30 6.20 5.80 6.25 6.15 6.25 1.00 #8
13 Maurizio ZANDRON ITA 116.08 55.28 61.80 6.20 5.95 6.15 6.20 6.40 1.00 #11
14 Kevin AYMOZ FRA 114.89 46.29 68.60 6.70 6.75 6.90 6.90 7.05 0.00 #17
15 Abzal RAKIMGALIEV KAZ 114.19 55.69 59.50 6.00 5.65 5.90 5.90 6.30 1.00 #10
16 Javier RAYA ESP 112.86 48.76 64.10 6.50 6.20 6.35 6.50 6.50 0.00 #14
17 Alexander BJELDE GER 110.66 49.76 62.90 6.55 6.10 6.25 6.30 6.25 2.00 #16
18 Mattia DALLA TORRE ITA 109.53 56.03 54.50 5.45 5.25 5.45 5.45 5.65 1.00 #5
19 David KRANJEC SLO 105.48 47.98 57.50 5.90 5.45 5.80 5.65 5.95 0.00 #6
20 Matthias VERSLUIS FIN 93.62 43.02 51.60 5.35 4.80 5.20 5.15 5.30 1.00 #2
21 Kwun Hung LEUNG HKG 81.21 37.51 46.70 4.90 4.50 4.40 4.80 4.75 3.00 #4
22 Conor STAKELUM IRL 72.12 31.92 42.20 4.55 3.95 4.20 4.25 4.15 2.00 #1
23 Marco KLEPOCH SVK 66.28 27.18 42.10 4.65 4.10 4.15 4.05 4.10 3.00 #3

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Denis TEN KAZ 276.39 1 1
2 Adam RIPPON USA 237.87 3 2
3 Adian PITKEEV RUS 223.68 5 3
4 Gordei GORSHKOV RUS 222.72 2 4
5 Moris KVITELASHVILI RUS 212.98 6 5
6 Alexander JOHNSON USA 212.85 4 6
7 Michael Christian MARTINEZ PHI 202.82 7 8
8 Liam FIRUS CAN 199.11 11 7
9 Paul FENTZ GER 189.49 14 9
10 Nicholas VRDOLJAK CRO 181.80 12 11
11 Tomi PULKKINEN FIN 176.85 16 10
12 Kevin AYMOZ FRA 176.66 10 14
13 Javier RAYA ESP 175.72 9 16
14 Alexander BJELDE GER 175.21 8 17
15 Sean RABBITT USA 174.09 15 12
16 Maurizio ZANDRON ITA 169.53 17 13
17 Abzal RAKIMGALIEV KAZ 167.09 18 15
18 David KRANJEC SLO 164.99 13 19
19 Mattia DALLA TORRE ITA 153.92 22 18
20 Matthias VERSLUIS FIN 144.18 19 20
21 Kwun Hung LEUNG HKG 127.64 20 21
22 Conor STAKELUM IRL 118.34 21 22
23 Marco KLEPOCH SVK 109.62 23 23
WD Michal BREZINA CZE
WD Alexander ZAHRADNICEK FRA

Trophee Eric Bompard Men’s Short Program Results

 Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Ded.
StN.
1 Shoma UNO JPN 89.56 48.71 40.85 8.39 7.93 8.25 8.14 8.14 0.00 #9
2 Maxim KOVTUN RUS 86.82 45.64 41.18 8.21 8.07 8.29 8.25 8.36 0.00 #11
3 Daisuke MURAKAMI JPN 80.24 40.39 39.85 8.07 7.71 7.96 8.04 8.07 0.00 #6
4 Denis TEN KAZ 80.10 39.24 41.86 8.43 8.07 8.25 8.57 8.54 1.00 #10
5 Patrick CHAN CAN 76.10 31.70 44.40 9.04 8.86 8.61 8.96 8.93 0.00 #5
6 Alexander PETROV RUS 74.64 39.28 35.36 7.32 6.79 7.18 7.07 7.00 0.00 #7
7 Max AARON USA 72.91 36.12 37.79 7.86 7.43 7.43 7.50 7.57 1.00 #8
8 Yi WANG CHN 72.08 38.93 33.15 6.75 6.36 6.68 6.61 6.75 0.00 #2
9 Jin Seo KIM KOR 71.24 38.42 33.82 6.82 6.54 6.71 6.75 7.00 1.00 #3
10 Chafik BESSEGHIER FRA 68.36 35.28 33.08 6.68 6.39 6.61 6.79 6.61 0.00 #4
11 Romain PONSART FRA 62.86 31.18 32.68 6.71 6.36 6.43 6.54 6.64 1.00 #1

2015 Trophee Eric Bompard Men’s Preview

Four of the men competing at this event are in the running for the Grand Prix Final while one is making his season debut in hopes of qualifying for the Final.

Patrick Chan won the gold medal in his season debut at Skate Canada.  He finished 2nd in the short program segment at that event, and his short program score does not rank in the top 10 for the season so far.  He doubled his solo lutz and received no credit for the jump, but still scored 80 points.  He had a spectacular free skate, and holds the best free skate score of the season by 4 points.  He had identical technical and program component scores and received no negative GOEs.  His jump content is not as hard as most of the other top men, with only one quad, one triple axel, and no triple + triples.  But he nearly hit the 100 point mark in the TES for the free skate which shows the value that quality can have.  He also has the best total score so far this season.  He needs a gold, silver or bronze medal to qualify for the Final.

Daisuke Murakami received a confidence boost when he finished first in the short program segment of Skate Canada ahead of Patrick Chan and Yuzuru Hanyu.  He finished 3rd in the free skate to take home the bronze medal.  He can improve on his short program by landing a clean quad salchow.  He landed two clean quad salchows in his free skate with positive GOEs.  His biggest areas of improvement in the free skate are his steps and spins and program components.  He has the 10th best short program, 6th best free skate and 7th best total scores of the season.  He needs a gold medal to guarantee his spot in the Final.

Max Aaron was the surprise gold medal winner at Skate America.  He has long been known for his jumps and acknowledged his need to improve on his artistic side and it seems that the work he has put in with Philip Mills is paying off.  He skated a clean short program with a quad salchow + triple toe combination with positive GOES and all Level 3s and 4s.  His free skate has two quad salchows, two triple axels and a triple + triple combination.  He only received negative GOEs on one element.  He has the 3rd best short program, 5th best free skate and 5th best total scores of the season.  He needs a gold, silver or bronze medal to qualify for the Final.

Maxim Kovtun won gold at the Mordovian Ornament earlier this season.  Despite the fact that it seemed to be an over scored event, Kovtun only has the 10th best free skate score of the season.  If he medals at this event, he has a chance to qualify for the Final later this season at NHK Trophy.

Shoma Uno won the silver medal in his Grand Prix debut at Skate America.  He fell on the quad toe in his short program.  It was the only element in which he received negative GOEs and the jump is in the bonus.  His free skate includes two quads and two triple axels.  He has the 4th best free skate and 6th best total scores of the season.  He needs a gold medal to guarantee a spot in the Final.

Denis Ten struggled at his first Grand Prix event of the season, finishing 9th at Skate America.  After that event, he talked about withdrawing from his second event, but it looks like he still plans on competing here. He fell on the quad toe in his short program and under-rotated his triple + triple combo.  His free skate only had one clean jump and three falls.  He can’t qualify for the Final at this event, but if he’s skating like his normal self he could play spoiler.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Patrick Chan

Silver: Shoma Uno

Bronze: Max Aaron

 

Bios of the competitors:

Patrick Chan, CAN: He won gold at Skate Canada.  He is the 2014 Olympic Silver Medalist; 2011, 2012 and 2013 World Champion; 2009 and 2010 World silver medalist; 2009 and 2012 Four Continents Champion and 2007 World Junior silver medalist.  His personal best is 295.27.  He is 24 years old.

Yi Wang, CHN: He placed 9th at Four Continents.  He finished 11th at Cup of China last season.  His personal best is 214.76.  He is 23 years old.

Chafik Besseghier, FRA: He placed 18th at Worlds.  He finished 7th at Skate America and 9th at Trophee Eric Bompard last season.  His personal best is 224.19.  He is 26 years old.

Romain Ponsart, FRA: His personal best is 184.12.  He is 23 years old.

Daisuke Murakami, JPN: He placed 4th at Four Continents.  He won bronze at Skate Canada.  His personal best is 256.47.  He is 24 years old.

Shoma Uno, JPN: He placed 5th at Four Continents and is the reigning World Junior Champion.  He won silver at Skate America.  His personal best is 257.43.  He is 17 years old.

Denis Ten, KAZ: He is the reigning World Bronze Medalist and Four Continents Champion.  He placed 9th at Skate America.  He is the 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist and 2013 World Silver Medalist.  His personal best is 289.46.  He is 22 years old.

Jin Seo Kim, KOR: He finished 15th at Four Continents and 9th at Junior Worlds.  He placed 9th at Skate Canada.  His personal best is 207.34.  He is 18 years old.

Maxim Kovtun, RUS: He placed 7th at Worlds and is the reigning European Silver Medalist.  He won gold at Cup of China and gold at Trophee Eric Bompard last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where he finished 4th.  His personal best is 247.37.  He is 20 years old.

Alexander Petrov, RUS: He placed 6th at Junior Worlds.  He placed 6th at Skate Canada.  His personal best is 231.53.  He is 16 years old.

Max Aaron, USA: He won gold at Skate America.  His personal best is 258.95.  He is 23 years old.

2015 Skate America Men’s Preview

Denis Ten has a habit of struggling through the first half of the season before pulling it together in time for the Championship events.  He has all the elements including soaring triple axels, clean quads and great artistry and interpretation but he can’t always seem to put it all together at the beginning of the year.  Despite winning an Olympic medal, two World medals and a Four Continents Championship, he has only ever won one Grand Prix medal, a bronze, which came last season.  He also is one of the few skaters that hasn’t competed internationally already this season.

Jason Brown finished 4th at Worlds last year despite not having a quad in either program.  It’s a work in progress but he showed at Four Continents last year that it wasn’t ready for competition yet.  He tends to be very consistent and clean, but the triple axel can still give him trouble.  His major weakness right now is the technical score.  This early in the season, those skaters with quads tend to make errors though, which leaves the door open for Jason to sneak in.  His highest finish on the Grand Prix was a silver medal he won at this event last year.

Max Aaron has historically been very strong at his first event of the season, winning the bronze at his first Grand Prix event each of the last two years.  He had the opportunity to compete at Nebelhorn Trophy earlier this year where he won the bronze.

Takahito Mura earned his first trip to the Grand Prix Final last season after winning two medals on the Grand Prix circuit.  He seemed to crumble as the season went on and only finished 16th at Worlds.  His performance at Worlds was 40 points lower than the personal best he had set at Skate Canada earlier in the season.  With the Japanese going down to only two spots at Worlds this year, there will be even more pressure among these talented men to perform.

Han Yan qualified for the Grand Prix Final in his first senior season, but failed to medal last year.  He was able to rally to win the bronze at Four Continents but slipped to 10th place at Worlds.  He can be hit or miss depending on if he hits his jumps.  If he makes a mistake, the program tends to get away from him.

Shoma Uno is the reigning World Junior Champion.  He placed 5th at Four Continents last season in his senior Championship debut and started his season with a 5th place finish at the US International Figure Skating Classic.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Jason Brown

Silver: Denis Ten

Bronze: Han Yan

 

Bios of the competitors:

Brendan Kerry, AUS: He finished 20th at Worlds and 17th at Four Continents.  This is his Grand Prix debut.  His personal best is 194.57.  He is 20 years old.

Han Yan, CHN: He finished 10th at Worlds and is the reigning Four Continents Bronze Medalist.  He placed 6th at Cup of China and 8th at Trophee Eric Bompard last season.  He is the 2013 Four Continents Bronze Medalist and 2012 World Junior Champion.  His personal best is 259.47.  He is 19 years old.

Florent Amodio, FRA: He placed 9th at Worlds and 9th at Europeans.  He placed 6th at Skate Canada and 11th at Trophee Eric Bompard last season.  He is the 2011 European Champion, 2013 European Silver Medalist and 2012 European Bronze Medalist.  His personal best is 250.53.  He is 25 years old.

Alexei Bychenko, ISR: He placed 17th at Worlds and 4th at Europeans.  He placed 11th at Skate America and 7th at Cup of China last season.  His personal best is 220.22.  He is 27 years old.

Takahito Mura, JPN: He finished 16th at Worlds and 7th at Four Continents.  He won gold at Skate Canada and bronze at NHK Trophy last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where he placed 5th.  He is the 2014 Four Continents Champion.  His personal best is 255.81.  He is 24 years old.

Shoma Uno, JPN: He placed 5th at Four Continents and is the reigning World Junior Champion.  This is his Grand Prix debut.  He won silver at JGP Japan and gold at JGP Croatia last season to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final where he won gold.  His personal best is 256.45.  He is 17 years old.

Denis Ten, KAZ: He is the reigning World Bronze Medalist and Four Continents Champion.  He placed 4th at Skate America and won bronze at Trophee Eric Bompard last season.  He is the 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist and 2013 World Silver Medalist.  His personal best is 289.46.  He is 22 years old.

Konstantin Menshov, RUS: He placed 5th at Skate Canada and 4th at Trophee Eric Bompard last season.  He is the 2014 European Bronze Medalist.  His personal best is 237.24.  He is 32 years old.

Adian Pitkeev, RUS: He placed 7th at Europeans and 5th at Junior Worlds.  He placed 6th at Skate America and 6th at Trophee Eric Bompard last season.  He is the 2014 World Junior Silver Medalist.  His personal best is 219.38.  He is 17 years old.

Max Aaron, USA: He won bronze at Skate Canda and finished 7th at Rostelecom Cup last season.  His personal best is 240.22.  He is 23 years old.

Jason Brown, USA: He finished 4th at Worlds and 6th at Four Continents.  He won silver at Skate America and placed 5th at Rostelecom Cup last season.  He is the 2013 World Junior Silver Medalist and 2012 World Junior Bronze Medalist.  His personal best is 263.17.  He is 20 years old.

Ross Miner, USA: He placed 7th at NHK Trophy last season.  He is the 2012 Four Continents Bronze Medalist.  His personal best is 235.37.  He is 24 years old.