2016 Cup of China Pairs Preview

Savchenko/Massot and Tarasova/Morozov have qualified for the Grand Prix Final.  It’s looking like the qualification bar for pairs might be lower than the other events as several teams have medaled at one event but failed to make the podium at another.

Yu and Zhang took home a silver medal from their debut at Skate Canada. While most teams are moving to quads and difficult throw and side by side jumps this team has none of that yet.  However, they did have Level 4 on almost all of their elements, including the twist and death spiral.  They also earned mostly positive GOEs, netting nearly 11 points.  They also had almost all their program components in the 8s, even more impressive for a new team.  They scored over 200 points in the first event of their career together.  They need a gold, silver, bronze or 4th place finish to qualify for the Final.  They have the 6th best short program, 5th best free skate and 5th best total scores.

Iliushechkina and Moscovitch won the bronze medal at Skate Canada.  Their free skate at that event was a little rough with two falls and a missed combination jump.  They do have a triple lutz throw and received Level 4s on everything but the twist and death spiral.  They need a gold or silver medal to qualify for the Final.  They have the 8th best short program and 9th best total scores.

Kavaguti and Smirnov finished 5th at Skate Canada after returning from injury.  They are capable of doing throw quads but didn’t attempt them at that event.  They had problems with both of their side by side jumps in the free skate, but earned all positive GOEs for the duration of the program.  Their program components were low, especially for such an experienced team, with three in the 7 point range.  They need a gold medal to keep themselves in consideration for the Final.  They have the 7th best short program score.

Peng and Jin are a new Chinese team that were formed from the Chinese federation’s dissolution of Peng/Zhang and Yu/Jin.  Yu and Zhang were paired together and were the stronger pair the Federation desired.  However, Peng and Jin are both good skaters in their own right and if they have gelled as a team as well as Yu and Zhang, they should be very competitive here.  If they find themselves on the medal stand, they have a chance of qualifying for the Final next week in Japan.

Della Monica and Guarise finished 6th at Skate Canada.  They cannot qualify for the Final but they could find themselves on the podium.  They have the 8th best free skate score.

The best short program score so far this season is 78.39 with the top 10 all scoring above 67 points.  The best free skate score is 139.91 with the top 10 scoring above 123.  The best total score is 218.30 with the top 10 scoring above 188.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Yu/Zhang

Silver: Iliushechkina/Moscovitch

Bronze: Peng/Jin

 

Bios of the competitors:

Iliushechkina/Moscovitch, CAN: They placed 7th at Worlds and 5th at Four Continents.  They won bronze at Skate Canada.  Their personal best is 199.52.  She is 25 and he is 32.

Peng/Jin, CHN: This is their Grand Prix debut.  She is 19 and he is 22.

Wang/Wang, CHN: They finished 15th at Worlds.  They placed 5th at Skate America and 4th at Cup of China last season.  Their personal best is 186.76.  She is 18 and he is 28.

Yu/Zhang, CHN: They won silver at Skate Canada.  Their personal best is 202.08.  She is 20 and he is 32.

Vartmann/Blommaert, GER: They placed 8th at Europeans.  They finished 6th at Cup of China last season.  Their personal best is 177.04.  She is 27 and he is 24.

Della Monica/Guarise, ITA: They finished 11th at and 6th at Europeans.  They finished 6th at Skate Canada.  Their personal best is 191.98.  She is 27 and he is 28.

Kavaguti/Smirnov, RUS: They finished 5th at Skate Canada.  They are the 2009 and 2010 World Bronze Medalists, 2010 and 2015 European Champions, 2009 and 2011 European Silver Medalists, and 2008 European Bronze Medalists.  She is 34 and he is 32.

Pfund/Santillan, USA: They placed 8th at Skate America last season.  Their personal best is 151.40.  She is 18 and he is 24.

2016 Skate Canada Pairs Preview

Denney and Frazier were out all of last season as she was recovering from knee surgery.  They came back to international competition with a bang, winning the silver at Skate America last weekend.  They had problems with both of their side by side jumps in their free skate.  They received Level 4s on most of their elements.  They have the 6th best short program, 7th best free skate and 6th best total scores.

Duhamel and Radford are the reigning World Champions and they set new personal bests across the board at that event.  They started this season with a gold medal at Finlandia Trophy.  They landed side by side triple lutzes in their free skate at that event.  They were also credited with a throw quad salchow but she fell.  They have the 8th best short program, 3rd best free skate and 5th best total scores.

Iliushechkina and Moscovitch started their season with a silver medal at Nebelhorn Trophy.  They landed a throw triple lutz in their free skate but doubled both of their side by side jumps and missed their combination.  They have the 9th best short program, 9th best free skate and 9th best total scores.

Kavaguti and Smirnov are capable of landing quads and other difficult elements, but they are both older and injury prone and have missed parts of several seasons, including the last one due to injuries.  They won silver at Ondrej Nepela Memorial to start their season.  They have the 4th best short program, 10th best free skate and 7th best total scores.

Della Monica and Guarise won gold at Lombardia Trophy to start their season.  They have the 6th best free skate and 8th best total scores.

Yu and Zhang were both part of successful partnerships the last few years but the Chinese Federation split them up and re-partnered them.  This will be their debut as a team.

The best short program score of the season is 75.24 with the top 10 all scoring 65 points or higher.  The best free skate score is 136.90 with the top ten all scoring 116 or higher.  The highest total score is 208.30 with the top 10 scoring at least 181 points.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Duhamel/Radford

Silver: Denney/Frazier

Bronze: Kavaguti/Smirnov

 

Bios of the competitors:

Duhamel/Radford, CAN: They are the reigning World Champions.  They won gold at Skate Canada and gold at NHK Trophy last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they won silver.  They are the 2015 World Champions, 2013 and 2014 World Bronze Medalists, 2013 and 2015 Four Continents Champions and 2011 Four Continents Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 231.99.  She is 30 and he is 31.

Iliushechkina/Moscovitch, CAN: They placed 7th at Worlds and 5th at Four Continents.  They placed 7th at Cup of China and 5th at NHK Trophy last season.  Their personal best is 199.52.  She is 24 and he is 32.

Jones/Reagan, CAN: Their personal best is 155.48.  She is 20 and he is 26.

Yu/Zhang, CHN: This is their Grand Prix debut.  She is 20 and he is 32.

Della Monica/Guarise, ITA: They finished 11th at and 6th at Europeans.  They finished 5th at Trophee Eric Bompard last season.  Their personal best is 191.98.  She is 27 and he is 28.

Kavaguti/Smirnov, RUS: They won gold at Cup of China and silver at Rostelecom Cup last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they won bronze.  They are the 2009 and 2010 World Bronze Medalists, 2010 and 2015 European Champions, 2009 and 2011 European Silver Medalists, and 2008 European Bronze Medalists.  She is 34 and he is 32.

Denney/Frazier, USA: They won silver at Skate America.  They are the 2013 World Junior Champions.  Their personal best is 192.65.  She is 21 and he is 23.

Russian Nationals Pairs Results

Short Program

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Deduction
StN.
1 Tatiana Volosozhar / Maxim Trankov M / S 83.65 44.70 38.95 9.79 9.57 9.75 9.79 9.79 0.00 #10
2 Yuko Kawaguchi / Alexander Smirnov C / T 77.26 40.00 37.26 9.32 9.07 9.36 9.39 9.43 0.00 #12
3 Yevgeny Tarasov / Vladimir Morozov MOS 77.21 41.23 35.98 9.04 8.79 9.11 9.04 9.00 0.00 #eleven
4 Christine ASTAHOVA / Alex Rogonov MOS 71.89 38.37 33.52 8.32 8.11 8.46 8.50 8.50 0.00 # 7
5 Natalia bully / Alexander Enbert Op 70.60 37.10 33.50 8.43 8.14 8.43 8.43 8.46 0.00 #8
6 Faith Bazarov / MP Andrew CM 67.30 36.41 30.89 7.75 7.54 7.79 7.82 7.71 0.00 #1
7 Sofia Biryukova / Andrew FILONOV Op 62.60 34.53 28.07 7.07 6.79 7.11 7.11 7.00 0.00 # 2
8 Anastasia Gubanov / Alex zope Rx 56.55 31.54 25.01 6.32 6.11 6.29 6.29 6.25 0.00 # 6
9 Alexander Shevchenko / Ivan BEACH MOS 55.36 29.96 25.40 6.50 6.21 6.36 6.39 6.29 0.00 #5
10 Anastasia Poluyanova / Stepan KOROTKOV Rx 54.45 29.95 24.50 6.21 5.93 6.21 6.14 6.14 0.00 #4
eleven Alice EFIMOVA / Alexander Korovin MOS 54.34 27.00 27.34 7.00 6.79 6.68 6.89 6.82 0.00 #9
12 Tatyana Kuznetsova / Semen Stepanov Rx 50.40 25.90 24.50 6.39 6.00 6.18 6.14 5.93 0.00 # 3

Free Skate

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Deduction
StN.
1 Tatiana Volosozhar / Maxim Trankov M / S 145.31 69.17 77.14 9.75 9.54 9.54 9.75 9.64 100 #9
2 Yuko Kawaguchi / Alexander Smirnov C / T 140.38 67.27 74.11 9.32 9.11 9.14 9.39 9.36 100 #10
3 Yevgeny Tarasov / Vladimir Morozov MOS 140.31 66.71 73.60 9.21 9.00 9.25 9.29 9.25 0.00 #eleven
4 Christine ASTAHOVA / Alex Rogonov MOS 134.50 64.26 70.24 8.68 8.54 8.79 8.96 8.93 0.00 #12
5 Natalia bully / Alexander Enbert Op 134.43 66.77 67.66 8.50 8.29 8.50 8.50 8.50 0.00 # 6
6 Faith Bazarov / MP Andrew CM 126.54 63.27 63.27 8.04 7.68 7.93 7.96 7.93 0.00 #5
7 Sofia Biryukova / Andrew FILONOV Op 110.97 54.29 57.68 7.36 7.04 7.11 7.25 7.29 100 #8
8 Anastasia Gubanov / Alex zope Rx 109.73 57.54 52.19 6.57 6.36 6.61 6.61 6.46 0.00 # 7
9 Alice EFIMOVA / Alexander Korovin MOS 106.96 52.62 54.34 7.00 6.61 6.64 6.96 6.75 0.00 #4
10 Anastasia Poluyanova / Stepan KOROTKOV Rx 101.31 52.87 49.44 6.18 6.04 6.25 6.25 6.18 100 # 3
eleven Alexander Shevchenko / Ivan BEACH MOS 99.15 48.69 50.46 6.46 6.07 6.18 6.46 6.36 0.00 # 2
12 Tatyana Kuznetsova / Semen Stepanov Rx 98.05 51.76 46.29 6.00 5.68 5.75 5.79 5.71 0.00 #1

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points KP PP
1 Tatiana Volosozhar / Maxim Trankov M / S 228.96 1 1
2 Yuko Kavaguti / Alexander Smirnov C / T 217.64 2 2
3 Yevgeny Tarasova / Vladimir Morozov MOS 217.52 3 3
4 Christine ASTAKHOVA / Alex Rogonov MOS 206.39 4 4
5 Natalia Zabijako / Alexander Enbert Op 205.03 5 5
6 Faith Bazarova /  Andrew Deputat CM 193.84 6 6
7 Sofia Biryukova / Andrew FILONOV Op 173.57 7 7
8 Anastasia Gubanova / Alex Sintsov Rx 166.28 8 8
9 Alice EFIMOVA / Alexander Korovin MOS 161.30 eleven 9
10 Anastasia Polianova / Stepan KOROTKOV Rx 155.76 10 10
eleven Alexander Shevchenko / Ivan BICH MOS 154.51 9 eleven
12 Tatyana Kuznetsova / Semen Stepanov Rx 148.45 12 12

Grand Prix Final Pairs Results

Short Program

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Ded.
StN.
1 Ksenia STOLBOVA / Fedor KLIMOV RUS 74.84 38.95 35.89 9.04 8.75 9.04 8.96 9.07 0.00 #5
2 Yuko KAVAGUTI / Alexander SMIRNOV RUS 73.64 38.25 35.39 8.71 8.64 9.04 8.96 8.89 0.00 #6
3 Meagan DUHAMEL / Eric RADFORD CAN 72.74 38.76 34.98 8.82 8.71 8.61 8.86 8.71 1.00 #7
4 Julianne SEGUIN / Charlie BILODEAU CAN 71.16 39.25 31.91 7.79 7.75 8.14 8.07 8.14 0.00 #2
5 Xiaoyu YU / Yang JIN CHN 68.63 38.40 30.23 7.64 7.29 7.75 7.57 7.54 0.00 #3
6 Alexa SCIMECA / Chris KNIERIM USA 68.14 36.35 31.79 8.14 7.64 7.96 8.00 8.00 0.00 #4
7 Cheng PENG / Hao ZHANG CHN 65.60 35.24 31.36 7.93 7.57 7.93 7.89 7.89 1.00 #1

Free Skate

 Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Ded.
StN.
1 Ksenia STOLBOVA / Fedor KLIMOV RUS 154.60 79.12 75.48 9.36 9.25 9.64 9.46 9.46 0.00 #7
2 Meagan DUHAMEL / Eric RADFORD CAN 143.93 72.78 71.15 8.93 8.75 8.96 8.86 8.96 0.00 #5
3 Yuko KAVAGUTI / Alexander SMIRNOV RUS 132.95 62.55 72.40 8.93 8.93 8.89 9.36 9.14 2.00 #6
4 Julianne SEGUIN / Charlie BILODEAU CAN 129.82 64.45 66.37 8.18 8.21 8.36 8.36 8.36 1.00 #4
5 Xiaoyu YU / Yang JIN CHN 118.24 60.59 59.65 7.71 7.25 7.43 7.50 7.39 2.00 #3
6 Cheng PENG / Hao ZHANG CHN 117.44 59.23 60.21 7.79 7.43 7.39 7.64 7.39 2.00 #1
7 Alexa SCIMECA / Chris KNIERIM USA 109.28 52.61 59.67 7.68 7.43 7.11 7.64 7.43 3.00 #2

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Ksenia STOLBOVA / Fedor KLIMOV
RUS
229.44 1 1
2 Meagan DUHAMEL / Eric RADFORD
CAN
216.67 3 2
3 Yuko KAVAGUTI / Alexander SMIRNOV
RUS
206.59 2 3
4 Julianne SEGUIN / Charlie BILODEAU
CAN
200.98 4 4
5 Xiaoyu YU / Yang JIN
CHN
186.87 5 5
6 Cheng PENG / Hao ZHANG
CHN
183.04 7 6
7 Alexa SCIMECA / Chris KNIERIM
USA
177.42 6 7

Rostelecom Cup Pairs Results

Short Program

 Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Ded.
StN.
1 Ksenia STOLBOVA / Fedor KLIMOV RUS 75.45 40.05 35.40 8.93 8.61 9.00 8.79 8.93 0.00 #8
2 Yuko KAVAGUTI / Alexander SMIRNOV RUS 71.70 37.62 34.08 8.39 8.39 8.68 8.61 8.54 0.00 #6
3 Cheng PENG / Hao ZHANG CHN 68.10 36.70 32.40 8.11 8.04 8.18 8.21 7.96 1.00 #7
4 Valentina MARCHEI / Ondrej HOTAREK ITA 62.43 32.54 29.89 7.32 7.21 7.57 7.54 7.71 0.00 #3
5 Natalja ZABIJAKO / Alexander ENBERT RUS 60.77 33.00 27.77 7.00 6.75 7.04 6.89 7.04 0.00 #2
6 Tarah KAYNE / Daniel O SHEA USA 58.78 30.00 28.78 7.25 7.04 7.11 7.29 7.29 0.00 #5
7 Kirsten MOORE-TOWERS / Michael MARINARO CAN 51.97 25.74 28.23 7.29 7.04 6.75 7.14 7.07 2.00 #4
8 Hayleigh BELL / Rudi SWIEGERS CAN 46.53 24.38 24.15 6.11 5.89 6.07 6.07 6.04 2.00 #1

Free Skate

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Ded.
StN.
1 Ksenia STOLBOVA / Fedor KLIMOV RUS 139.25 68.35 70.90 8.96 8.71 8.79 8.96 8.89 0.00 #8
2 Yuko KAVAGUTI / Alexander SMIRNOV RUS 136.32 67.50 69.82 8.50 8.50 8.79 8.96 8.89 1.00 #7
3 Cheng PENG / Hao ZHANG CHN 124.94 62.69 63.25 8.14 7.71 7.82 8.00 7.86 1.00 #6
4 Tarah KAYNE / Daniel O SHEA USA 122.45 63.92 58.53 7.36 7.21 7.29 7.43 7.29 0.00 #3
5 Natalja ZABIJAKO / Alexander ENBERT RUS 119.79 60.81 58.98 7.36 7.32 7.43 7.43 7.32 0.00 #4
6 Valentina MARCHEI / Ondrej HOTAREK ITA 115.76 55.14 60.62 7.54 7.29 7.54 7.64 7.89 0.00 #5
7 Kirsten MOORE-TOWERS / Michael MARINARO CAN 106.78 52.79 53.99 6.82 6.64 6.71 6.86 6.71 0.00 #2
8 Hayleigh BELL / Rudi SWIEGERS CAN 83.93 38.73 45.20 5.75 5.64 5.50 5.86 5.50 0.00 #1

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Ksenia STOLBOVA / Fedor KLIMOV
RUS
214.70 1 1
2 Yuko KAVAGUTI / Alexander SMIRNOV
RUS
208.02 2 2
3 Cheng PENG / Hao ZHANG
CHN
193.04 3 3
4 Tarah KAYNE / Daniel O SHEA
USA
181.23 6 4
5 Natalja ZABIJAKO / Alexander ENBERT
RUS
180.56 5 5
6 Valentina MARCHEI / Ondrej HOTAREK
ITA
178.19 4 6
7 Kirsten MOORE-TOWERS / Michael MARINARO
CAN
158.75 7 7
8 Hayleigh BELL / Rudi SWIEGERS
CAN
130.46 8 8

Rostelecom Cup Pairs Preview

Kavaguti and Smirnov squeaked out a gold medal at Cup of China despite having some of the best scores of the season.  They received Level 3s and 4s on all the elements in their short program with no negative GOEs.  They landed a throw quad salchow and a throw quad loop in their free skate, receiving full credit for both.  The only element they received a negative GOE on was their throw quad loop.  They have the best short program, 2nd best free skate and 2nd best total scores.  They need a gold or silver medal to qualify for the Final.

Moore-Towers and Marinaro started their season with a gold medal at Skate Canada.  Their short program was fairly strong, with only a negative GOE on their triple twist.  They received no credit for one of the lifts in their free skate.  While both of their programs have solid elements, they’ll need to either upgrade their side by side jumps or add a quad to keep up at Worlds at the end of the season.  A gold medal would keep them in the running for the Final.

Stolbova and Klimov were a shocking 4th at Skate America.  Their short program was a bit messy with a fall on the throw triple lutz and they received negative GOEs on two other elements.  They had an impressive side by side triple toe + triple toe + double toe in their free skate and received almost all Level 4s on their elements.  They have the 10th best short program, 8th best free skate and 9th best total scores.  They need a gold medal to keep them in the running for the Final.

Peng and Zhang have some uncertainty regarding their performance here in regards to the Final.  An announcement still hasn’t been made as to new qualification procedures, but the World Standings have been updated counting the short program results as final standings.  They finished 4th in the short program at Trophee Eric Bompard but were only a point and a half out of 2nd place. If the short program scores from Trophee Eric Bompard count as final placement, they’ll need a gold medal to keep them in the running for the Final.

Zabijako and Enbert are making their Grand Prix debut after winning the silver medal at Mordovian Ornament.  While their scores there were impressive, it has proven to be a largely over-scored event. They have the 8th best short program, 5th best free skate and 6th best total scores.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Kavaguti/Smirnov

Silver: Stolbova/Klimov

Bronze: Peng/Zhang

 

Bios of the competitors:

Bell/Swiegers, CAN: This is their Grand Prix debut.  She is 19 and he is 28.

Moore-Towers/Marinaro, CAN: They finished 9th at Four Continents.  They won bronze at Skate Canada.  Their personal best is 174.85.  She is 23 and he is 23.

Peng/Zhang, CHN: They finished 4th at Worlds and are the reigning Four Continents Silver Medalists.  They placed 4th in the short program at Trophee Eric Bompard.  Their personal best is 206.63.  She is 18 and he is 31.

Marchei/Hotarek, ITA: They placed 11th at Worlds and 4th at Europeans.  They withdrew from Skate Canada.  Their personal best is 175.39.  She is 29 and he is 31.

Kavaguti/Smirnov, RUS: They placed 5th at Worlds and are the reigning European Champions.  They won gold at Cup of China.  They are the 2009 and 2010 World Bronze Medalists; 2010 European Champions; 2009 and 2011 European Silver Medalists; and 2008 European Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 216.00.  She is 34 and he is 31.

Stolbova/Klimov, RUS: They are the reigning European Silver Medalists.  They finished 4th at Skate America.  They are the 2014 Olympic Silver Medalists, 2014 World Silver Medalists and 2014 European Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 218.68.  She is 23 and he is 25.

Zabijako/Enbert, RUS: This is their Grand Prix debut.  Their personal best is 196.22.  She is 21 and he is 26.

Kayne/O’Shea, USA: They finished 8th at Four Continents.  They finished 6th at Skate America.  They are the 2014 Four Continents Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 181.45.  She is 22 and he is 24.

Cup of China Pairs Results

Short Program

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Ded.
StN.
1 Wenjing SUI / Cong HAN CHN 74.40 40.00 34.40 8.43 8.36 8.68 8.75 8.79 0.00 #8
2 Yuko KAVAGUTI / Alexander SMIRNOV RUS 72.45 39.35 33.10 8.21 7.96 8.43 8.39 8.39 0.00 #7
3 Xiaoyu YU / Yang JIN CHN 70.06 40.14 29.92 7.61 7.11 7.64 7.54 7.50 0.00 #6
4 Xuehan WANG / Lei WANG CHN 69.36 40.24 29.12 7.36 7.00 7.43 7.25 7.36 0.00 #4
5 Mari VARTMANN / Ruben BLOMMAERT GER 63.45 35.76 27.69 6.86 6.79 7.00 7.00 6.96 0.00 #1
6 Kristina ASTAKHOVA / Alexei ROGONOV RUS 59.17 33.49 28.68 7.25 6.96 6.96 7.25 7.43 3.00 #5
7 Lubov ILIUSHECHKINA / Dylan MOSCOVITCH CAN 55.42 27.20 29.22 7.43 7.18 7.14 7.43 7.36 1.00 #2
8 Vanessa GRENIER / Maxime DESCHAMPS CAN 52.41 27.07 25.34 6.43 6.21 6.25 6.46 6.32 0.00 #3

Free Skate

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Ded.
StN.
1 Yuko KAVAGUTI / Alexander SMIRNOV RUS 143.55 72.17 71.38 8.61 8.54 9.11 9.14 9.21 0.00 #7
2 Wenjing SUI / Cong HAN CHN 141.22 71.19 71.03 8.82 8.68 9.00 8.93 8.96 1.00 #8
3 Xiaoyu YU / Yang JIN CHN 127.69 66.02 62.67 7.82 7.61 7.89 7.96 7.89 1.00 #6
4 Xuehan WANG / Lei WANG CHN 117.40 58.19 60.21 7.64 7.32 7.57 7.57 7.54 1.00 #5
5 Kristina ASTAKHOVA / Alexei ROGONOV RUS 114.19 55.22 59.97 7.39 7.14 7.64 7.64 7.68 1.00 #3
6 Lubov ILIUSHECHKINA / Dylan MOSCOVITCH CAN 111.38 52.51 58.87 7.50 7.18 7.32 7.43 7.36 0.00 #2
7 Mari VARTMANN / Ruben BLOMMAERT GER 107.96 52.28 56.68 7.14 6.79 7.11 7.32 7.07 1.00 #4
8 Vanessa GRENIER / Maxime DESCHAMPS CAN 106.93 54.92 53.01 6.64 6.57 6.54 6.75 6.64 1.00 #1

Total

Pl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Yuko KAVAGUTI / Alexander SMIRNOV
RUS
216.00 2 1
2 Wenjing SUI / Cong HAN
CHN
215.62 1 2
3 Xiaoyu YU / Yang JIN
CHN
197.75 3 3
4 Xuehan WANG / Lei WANG
CHN
186.76 4 4
5 Kristina ASTAKHOVA / Alexei ROGONOV
RUS
173.36 6 5
6 Mari VARTMANN / Ruben BLOMMAERT
GER
171.41 5 7
7 Lubov ILIUSHECHKINA / Dylan MOSCOVITCH
CAN
166.80 7 6
8 Vanessa GRENIER / Maxime DESCHAMPS
CAN
159.34 8 8

Cup of China Pairs Preview

Kavaguti and Smirnov had a great comeback season last year after having to sit out the Olympic season.  They won their first European title since 2010 and had their best Worlds finish since 2011.  They have medaled in all 15 Grand Prix events they have entered and qualified for the Final in all six seasons they were eligible.  They started their season with a gold medal at Mordovian Ornament, setting new personal bests in the short program and total scores.  They have the best short program, 2nd best free skate and 2nd best total scores this season.

After making a big splash in their senior debut in 2010, Sui and Han finally lived up to all their potential, winning the silver medal at Worlds.  They are capable of landing throw quads and quad twists.  They started their season with a gold medal at Skate America and can qualify for the Final with a medal here.  They have the 4th best short program, 4th best free skate and 4th best total scores.

Yu and Jin made their senior debuts last year, winning two medals on the Grand Prix and qualifying for the Final.  With limited spots on the Chinese team to Worlds and with Pang and Tong returning to compete at Worlds, Yu and Jin were sent back to Junior Worlds to defend their title.

Wang and Wang finished 5th at Skate America, despite winning medals at both of their Grand Prix events last season.  However, their Skate America score was comparable to their medal winning performance at Cup of China last season.

Astakhova and Rogonov finished 7th at Skate America.  They had much better results at Ondrej Nepela Trophy, where they set the 9th best free skate and 10th best total scores of the season.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Sui/Han

Silver: Kavaguti/Smirnov

Bronze: Yu/Jin

 

Bios of the competitors:

Grenier/Deschamps, CAN: They placed 7th at Skate Canada.  Their personal best is 157.06.  She is 23 and he is 23.

Iliushechkina/Moscovitch, CAN: They placed 13th at Worlds and 6th at Four Continents.  This is their Grand Prix debut.  Their personal best is 173.50.  She is 24 and he is 31.

Sui/Han, CHN: They are the reigning World Silver Medalists and placed 4th at Four Continents.  They won gold at Skate America.  They are the 2012 and 2014 Four Continents Champions and 2010-2012 World Junior Champions.  Their personal best is 214.12.  She is 20 and he is 23.

Wang/Wang, CHN: They placed 5th at Skate America.  Their personal best is 181.97.  She is 17 and he is 27.

Yu/Jin, CHN: They are the reigning World Junior Champions.  They won silver at Cup of China and bronze at NHK Trophy to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they placed 5th.  They are the 2014 World Junior Champions and 2012 World Junior Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 187.79.  She is 19 and he is 21.

Vartmann/Blommaert, GER: This is their Grand Prix debut.  Their personal best is 166.50.  She is 26 and he is 23.

Astakhova/Rogonov, RUS: They finished 10th at Worlds.  They finished 7th at Skate America.  Their personal best is 185.00.  She is 18 and he is 27.

Kavaguti/Smirnov, RUS: They placed 5th at Worlds and are the reigning European Champions.  They won gold at Skate America and silver at NHK Trophy last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they placed 6th.  They are the 2009 and 2010 World Bronze Medalists; 2010 European Champions; 2009 and 2011 European Silver Medalists; and 2008 European Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 214.05.  She is 33 and he is 31.

Mordovian Ornament Pairs Results

Short Program

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Deduction
StN.
1 Yuko KAVAGUTI / Alexander SMIRNOV RUS 76.02 40.58 35.44 8.80 8.65 8.85 9.05 8.95 0.00 #2
2 Natalja ZABIJAKO / Alexander ENBERT RUS 67.64 36.60 31.04 7.60 7.35 8.00 7.95 7.90 0.00 #4
3 Tatiana DANILOVA / Mikalai KAMIANCHUK BLR 49.52 27.44 22.08 5.70 5.10 5.75 5.65 5.40 0.00 #1
4 Arina CHERNIAVSKAIA / Antonio SOUZA-KORDYERU RUS 48.58 25.18 23.40 6.00 5.65 5.65 6.10 5.85 0.00 #7
5 Adel TANKOVA / Evgeni KRASNOPOLSKI ISR 40.54 21.02 20.52 5.25 4.90 5.10 5.25 5.15 1.00 #5
6 Goda BUTKUTE / Nikita ERMOLAEV LTU 40.26 20.98 21.28 5.50 5.15 5.00 5.60 5.35 2.00 #3
7 Maria PALIAKOVA / Nikita BOCHKOV BLR 39.92 18.52 21.40 5.55 5.20 5.10 5.55 5.35 0.00 #6

Free Skate

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Deduction
StN.
1 Yuko KAVAGUTI / Alexander SMIRNOV RUS 138.03 65.51 73.52 9.15 9.05 8.95 9.40 9.40 1.00 #7
2 Natalja ZABIJAKO / Alexander ENBERT RUS 128.58 61.94 66.64 8.35 8.00 8.30 8.45 8.55 0.00 #5
3 Goda BUTKUTE / Nikita ERMOLAEV LTU 101.54 54.98 46.56 5.80 5.40 5.95 6.00 5.95 0.00 #2
4 Arina CHERNIAVSKAIA / Antonio SOUZA-KORDYERU RUS 92.96 46.28 47.68 6.05 5.80 5.70 6.20 6.05 1.00 #4
5 Tatiana DANILOVA / Mikalai KAMIANCHUK BLR 91.72 43.04 49.68 6.40 5.95 6.05 6.35 6.30 1.00 #6
6 Maria PALIAKOVA / Nikita BOCHKOV BLR 88.58 44.42 44.16 5.70 5.20 5.45 5.70 5.55 0.00 #3
7 Adel TANKOVA / Evgeni KRASNOPOLSKI ISR 78.46 38.74 40.72 5.25 4.85 5.10 5.10 5.15 1.00 #1

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Yuko KAVAGUTI / Alexander SMIRNOV RUS 214.05 1 1
2 Natalja ZABIJAKO / Alexander ENBERT RUS 196.22 2 2
3 Goda BUTKUTE / Nikita ERMOLAEV LTU 141.80 6 3
4 Arina CHERNIAVSKAIA / Antonio SOUZA-KORDYERU RUS 141.54 4 4
5 Tatiana DANILOVA / Mikalai KAMIANCHUK BLR 141.24 3 5
6 Maria PALIAKOVA / Nikita BOCHKOV BLR 128.50 7 6
7 Adel TANKOVA / Evgeni KRASNOPOLSKI ISR 119.00 5 7

World Championships Pairs Short Program Results

  Pl. Qual. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Ded.
StN.
1 Q Meagan DUHAMEL / Eric RADFORD CAN 76.98 41.27 35.71 8.96 8.68 9.04 8.93 9.04 0.00 #19
2 Q Qing PANG / Jian TONG CHN 72.59 36.68 35.91 8.89 8.71 9.07 9.00 9.21 0.00 #18
3 Q Wenjing SUI / Cong HAN CHN 71.63 38.89 32.74 8.11 7.93 8.39 8.11 8.39 0.00 #15
4 Q Yuko KAVAGUTI / Alexander SMIRNOV RUS 71.59 36.90 34.69 8.57 8.46 8.71 8.75 8.86 0.00 #13
5 Q Cheng PENG / Hao ZHANG CHN 69.67 36.41 33.26 8.43 8.11 8.39 8.36 8.29 0.00 #16
6 Q Evgenia TARASOVA / Vladimir MOROZOV RUS 67.71 36.49 31.22 7.89 7.64 7.89 7.75 7.86 0.00 #12
7 Q Alexa SCIMECA / Chris KNIERIM USA 65.56 34.67 30.89 7.71 7.50 7.86 7.75 7.79 0.00 #17
8 Q Haven DENNEY / Brandon FRAZIER USA 61.32 31.79 29.53 7.43 7.14 7.43 7.43 7.50 0.00 #14
9 Q Valentina MARCHEI / Ondrej HOTAREK ITA 60.56 31.78 28.78 7.11 6.82 7.32 7.21 7.50 0.00 #6
10 Q Julianne SEGUIN / Charlie BILODEAU CAN 60.53 33.06 27.47 6.89 6.64 6.96 6.89 6.96 0.00 #8
11 Q Lubov ILIUSHECHKINA / Dylan MOSCOVITCH CAN 60.32 31.38 28.94 7.21 7.00 7.25 7.39 7.32 0.00 #1
12 Q Vanessa JAMES / Morgan CIPRES FRA 58.28 30.05 28.23 7.18 6.86 7.07 7.04 7.14 0.00 #10
13 Q Kristina ASTAKHOVA / Alexei ROGONOV RUS 55.55 29.06 27.49 6.86 6.75 6.79 7.00 6.96 1.00 #2
14 Q Nicole DELLA MONICA / Matteo GUARISE ITA 54.48 27.82 26.66 6.79 6.50 6.61 6.71 6.71 0.00 #11
15 Q Mari VARTMANN / Aaron VAN CLEAVE GER 47.76 25.83 23.93 6.21 5.89 5.89 6.04 5.89 2.00 #5
16 Q Amani FANCY / Christopher BOYADJI GBR 46.69 23.98 22.71 5.64 5.39 5.71 5.79 5.86 0.00 #3
17 Maria PALIAKOVA / Nikita BOCHKOV BLR 46.17 24.19 21.98 5.50 5.29 5.54 5.61 5.54 0.00 #9
18 Miriam ZIEGLER / Severin KIEFER AUT 45.99 24.90 22.09 5.46 5.32 5.57 5.61 5.64 1.00 #4
19 Narumi TAKAHASHI / Ryuichi KIHARA JPN 44.54 23.68 21.86 5.61 5.32 5.39 5.54 5.46 1.00 #7