2017 Skate America Pairs Preview

Half of the spots in the Final have already been taken with Sui and Han (30 points), Tarasova and Morozov (30 points) and Stolbova and Klimov (26 points) having already punched their tickets.  James and Cipres sit in 4th place with 24 points, while Astakhova/Rogonov (22 points) and Della Monica/Guarise (20 points) round out the current top 6.

Five of these eight teams have a mathematical chance of qualifying for the Grand Prix Final, but some of these paths are more realistic than others.  Half of these teams also competed against each other at Skate Canada, so this event will be telling in terms of if the standings are shaken up or if teams are solidifying their places.

Duhamel and Radford won gold at Skate Canada.  They need a 1st-4th place finish to guarantee their spot in the Final.  Their short program includes side by side triple lutzes (doubled at Skate Canada) and a triple lutz throw.  At the Autumn Classic International, hey earned positive GOEs on the solo lutzes, earning 7.26 points overall, while they only earned 1.46 points at Skate Canada.  They earned Level 4 on their death spiral, lift, spin, and step sequence.  Their program components were in the high 8s and low 9s.  They had a stellar free skate with a solo triple lutz and a triple salchow + double toe + double toe.  They also landed a throw quad salchow with positive GOEs worth 9.34 points and a throw triple lutz.  They earned Level 4 on their spins, death spiral, and one lift.  Most impressively, they earned all positive GOEs worth 10 points and had program components in the high 8s to low 9s.  They have the 4th best short program, 2nd best free skate, and 4th best total scores.

Savchenko and Massot won the silver medal at Skate Canada.  They need a gold or silver medal to guarantee their spot in the Final.  A bronze medal will also put them ahead of James and Cipres and give them a solid chance of qualifying for the Final if they score above 213.04 points, a hair less than they scored in Canada.  Their short program includes solo triple salchows and a throw triple axel which was fully rotated.  They earned Level 4 on everything and had positive GOEs on everything except for the throw triple axel.  Their program components were in the low to mid 9s.  They have yet to land their side by side jumps in their free skate cleanly.  They have a triple toe + triple toe sequence planned but fell on it at Nebelhorn Trophy and missed the combo in Canada.  The triple salchow was doubled in Germany and singled in Canada.  They have yet to hit the trow triple axel cleanly in their free skate, doubling it at Nebelhorn and changing it to a double at Skate Canada.  They earned Level 4 on their twist, lifts, pairs spin, and death spiral.  Their program components were in the high 8s to mid 9s.  They have the 3rd best short program, 6th best free skate, and 5th best total scores.

Yu and Zhang won a silver medal at Cup of China.  They need a gold or silver medal to qualify for the Final.  They can give themselves a good shot at qualifying for the Final with a bronze medal if they score above 223.16 points, which would be nearly 20 points better than they scored this season.  Their short program includes a solo triple toe and a throw triple loop.  They earned Level 4 on all of their elements, and only earned a slight negative GOE on their side by side jump.  Their program components were in the low to mid 8s.  Their free skate jumps include side by side triple salchows and a triple toe combo that was missed.  They also have a throw triple loop and throw triple salchow.  They earned Level 4 on their pairs spin and all three lifts with program components in the mid 8s.  They have the 7th best short program, 7th best free skate, and 7th best total scores.

Moore-Towers and Marinaro won the bronze medal at Cup of China with a personal best free skate score.  They have the 9th best free skate score.  They need a gold medal to qualify for the Final.  With a silver medal and a score of at least 234.18 (they have never scored over 200) they can give themselves a solid chance of qualifying for the Final.  They have a throw triple loop and solo triple toes in their short program.  They earned Level 4 on the death spiral and pairs spin and had program components in the mid to high 7s. Their free skate includes a solo double axel + single loop + triple salchow combo and triple toes.  They also have a throw triple loop and throw triple salchow.  They earned Level 4 on two of their lifts and the side by side spin.  Their program components were in the low to mid 8s.

Zabiiako and Enbert finished 4th at Skate Canada.  They need a gold medal to qualify for the Final.  At Lombardia Trophy, they received Level 4 for their lift, death spiral, step sequence, and pairs spin and landed a side by side triple toe and a throw triple loop.  They received all positive GOEs and had program components in the mid to high 7s.  Their free skate has a planned triple toe + double toe + double loop combo and a triple salchow, but they have only landed each jump cleanly once in three events, and missed both at Skate Canada.  Their throw jumps are a triple lutz and triple loop.  They earned Level 4 for their twist, side by side spin, and lifts.  Their program components were in the mid to high 7s.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Savchenko/Massot

Silver: Duhamel/Radford

Bronze: Yu/Zhang

 

Bios of the competitors:

Duhamel/Radford, CAN: They placed 7th at Worlds and are the reigning Four Continents Silver Medalists. They won gold at Skate Canada.  They are the 2015 and 2016 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 31 and he is 32.

Moore-Towers, Marinaro, CAN: They placed 7th at Worlds.  They won bronze at Cup of China.  Their personal best is 199.65.  She is 25 and he is 25.

Yu/Zhang, CHN: They finished 4th at Worlds and 4th at Four Continents.  They won silver at Cup of China.  Their personal best is 211.51.  She is 21 and he is 33.

Savchenko/Massot, GER: They are the reigning World Silver Medalists and reigning European Silver Medalists.  They won silver at Skate Canada.  They are the 2016 World Bronze Medalists and 2016 European Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 230.30.  She is 33 and he is 28.

Zabiiako/Enbert, RUS: They finished 12th at Worlds and 5th at Europeans.  They placed 4th at Skate Canada.  Their personal best is 200.75.  She is 23 and he is 28.

Denney/Frazier, USA: They placed 20th at Worlds and 8th at Four Continents.  They finished 7th at Skate Canada.  They are the 2013 World Junior Champions.  Their personal best is 192.65.  She is 22 and he is 25.

Scimeca Knierim/Knierim, USA: They placed 10th at Worlds and 6th at Four Continents.  They finished 5th at NHK Trophy.  They are the 2016 Four Continents Silver Medalists and 2014 Four Continents Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 207.96.  She is 26 and he is 30.

Stellato/Bartholomay, USA: This is their Grand Prix debut.  Their personal best is 165.36.  She is 34 and he is 28.

2017 Cup of China Pairs Results

Short Program

 Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Wenjing SUI / Cong HAN CHN 80.14 42.60 37.54 9.25 9.29 9.50 9.46 9.43 0.00 #5
2 Xiaoyu YU / Hao ZHANG CHN 71.37 38.46 32.91 8.29 8.07 8.18 8.39 8.21 0.00 #4
3 Nicole DELLA MONICA / Matteo GUARISE ITA 63.76 32.90 30.86 7.71 7.61 7.75 7.79 7.71 0.00 #6
4 Kirsten MOORE-TOWERS / Michael MARINARO CAN 62.52 31.89 30.63 7.64 7.54 7.61 7.86 7.64 0.00 #3
5 Valentina MARCHEI / Ondrej HOTAREK ITA 59.53 29.28 31.25 7.75 7.64 7.75 7.96 7.96 1.00 #7
6 Mingyang ZHANG / Bowen SONG CHN 53.15 30.27 22.88 5.71 5.46 5.82 5.71 5.89 0.00 #1
7 Ashley CAIN / Timothy LEDUC USA 53.15 26.20 27.95 7.00 6.79 7.00 7.04 7.11 1.00 #2

Free Skate

 Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Wenjing SUI / Cong HAN CHN 150.93 74.81 76.12 9.46 9.46 9.54 9.61 9.50 0.00 #6
2 Xiaoyu YU / Hao ZHANG CHN 134.17 65.81 68.36 8.75 8.43 8.43 8.61 8.50 0.00 #7
3 Kirsten MOORE-TOWERS / Michael MARINARO CAN 132.00 66.17 65.83 8.36 8.07 8.32 8.21 8.18 0.00 #5
4 Valentina MARCHEI / Ondrej HOTAREK ITA 128.48 63.23 65.25 8.00 7.96 8.25 8.25 8.32 0.00 #2
5 Nicole DELLA MONICA / Matteo GUARISE ITA 126.49 61.47 65.02 8.18 8.07 8.07 8.25 8.07 0.00 #4
6 Ashley CAIN / Timothy LEDUC USA 101.21 47.48 54.73 6.89 6.82 6.75 6.89 6.86 1.00 #1
7 Mingyang ZHANG / Bowen SONG CHN 95.19 50.49 44.70 5.68 5.43 5.61 5.75 5.46 0.00 #3

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Wenjing SUI / Cong HAN
CHN
231.07 1 1
2 Xiaoyu YU / Hao ZHANG
CHN
205.54 2 2
3 Kirsten MOORE-TOWERS / Michael MARINARO
CAN
194.52 4 3
4 Nicole DELLA MONICA / Matteo GUARISE
ITA
190.25 3 5
5 Valentina MARCHEI / Ondrej HOTAREK
ITA
188.01 5 4
6 Ashley CAIN / Timothy LEDUC
USA
154.36 7 6
7 Mingyang ZHANG / Bowen SONG
CHN
148.34 6 7

2017 US Figure Skating Classic Pairs Results

Place Start Name Short Program Free Skating Total Score
Place Score Place Score
1 8 Kirsten MOORE-TOWERS
Michael MARINARO, CAN
1 65.76 2 123.00 188.76
2 7 Alexa SCIMECA KNIERIM
Chris KNIERIM, USA
3 61.32 1 124.76 186.08
3 9 Chelsea LIU
Brian JOHNSON, USA
2 61.46 3 119.94 181.40
4 1 Haven DENNEY
Brandon FRAZIER, USA
7 55.26 4 113.21 168.47
5 6 Paige CONNERS
Evgeni KRASNOPOLSKI, ISR
5 57.92 6 107.46 165.38
6 5 Deanna STELLATO
Nathan BARTHOLOMAY, USA
4 58.24 7 107.12 165.36
7 4 Sydney KOLODZIEJ
Maxime DESCHAMPS, CAN
6 55.54 5 108.78 164.32
8 3 Sumire SUTO
Francis BOUDREAU-AUDET, JPN
8 50.60 8 103.00 153.60
9 2 Paris STEPHENS
Matthew DODDS, AUS
9 27.32 9 57.52 84.84

2016 Canadian Nationals Pairs Results

  1. Duhamel/Radford: 73.03 SP + 148.72 FP = 221.75
  2. Seguin/Bilodeau: 69.73 SP + 141.67 FP = 211.40
  3. Iliushechkina/Moscovitch: 69.50 SP + 134.72 FP = 204.22
  4. Moore-Towers/Marinaro: 59.67 SP + 123.91 FP = 183.58
  5. Grenier/Deschamps: 59.44 SP + 112.07 FP = 171.51
  6. Jones/Reagan: 56.12 SP + 107.11 FP = 163.23
  7. Rau/Arcieri: 53.37 SP + 106.38 FP = 159.75
  8. Bell/Swiegers: 41.35 SP + 98.88 FP = 140.23

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.

Skate Canada Pairs Results

Short Program

 Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Ded.
StN.
1 Meagan DUHAMEL / Eric RADFORD CAN 72.46 38.27 34.19 8.64 8.39 8.61 8.64 8.46 0.00 #8
2 Evgenia TARASOVA / Vladimir MOROZOV RUS 64.00 32.32 31.68 7.96 7.64 7.93 8.07 8.00 0.00 #7
3 Kirsten MOORE-TOWERS / Michael MARINARO CAN 63.17 33.89 29.28 7.21 7.18 7.39 7.50 7.32 0.00 #4
4 Marissa CASTELLI / Mervin TRAN USA 61.85 33.82 28.03 7.00 6.89 7.00 7.11 7.04 0.00 #1
5 Vera BAZAROVA / Andrei DEPUTAT RUS 57.02 29.86 27.16 6.93 6.68 6.75 6.93 6.68 0.00 #3
6 Valentina MARCHEI / Ondrej HOTAREK ITA 54.00 27.89 27.11 6.86 6.54 6.68 6.89 6.93 1.00 #5
7 Miriam ZIEGLER / Severin KIEFER AUT 49.95 27.24 23.71 6.00 5.71 5.93 6.00 6.00 1.00 #6
8 Vanessa GRENIER / Maxime DESCHAMPS CAN 45.45 22.22 23.23 5.96 5.61 5.79 6.04 5.64 0.00 #2

Free Skate

 Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Ded.
StN.
1 Meagan DUHAMEL / Eric RADFORD CAN 143.70 72.91 70.79 8.86 8.64 8.82 9.04 8.89 0.00 #8
2 Evgenia TARASOVA / Vladimir MOROZOV RUS 127.19 63.85 63.34 7.96 7.71 7.89 8.14 7.89 0.00 #7
3 Kirsten MOORE-TOWERS / Michael MARINARO CAN 111.68 53.17 58.51 7.32 7.14 7.29 7.46 7.36 0.00 #6
4 Marissa CASTELLI / Mervin TRAN USA 111.55 53.96 57.59 7.29 7.14 7.04 7.32 7.21 0.00 #5
5 Miriam ZIEGLER / Severin KIEFER AUT 103.34 55.34 48.00 5.93 5.82 6.00 6.21 6.04 0.00 #2
6 Vera BAZAROVA / Andrei DEPUTAT RUS 99.13 48.93 51.20 6.54 6.29 6.29 6.57 6.32 1.00 #4
7 Vanessa GRENIER / Maxime DESCHAMPS CAN 98.70 52.27 47.43 5.93 5.89 5.93 6.18 5.71 1.00 #1
WD Valentina MARCHEI / Ondrej HOTAREK ITA #3

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Meagan DUHAMEL / Eric RADFORD
CAN
216.16 1 1
2 Evgenia TARASOVA / Vladimir MOROZOV
RUS
191.19 2 2
3 Kirsten MOORE-TOWERS / Michael MARINARO
CAN
174.85 3 3
4 Marissa CASTELLI / Mervin TRAN
USA
173.40 4 4
5 Vera BAZAROVA / Andrei DEPUTAT
RUS
156.15 5 6
6 Miriam ZIEGLER / Severin KIEFER
AUT
153.29 7 5
7 Vanessa GRENIER / Maxime DESCHAMPS
CAN
144.15 8 7
WD Valentina MARCHEI / Ondrej HOTAREK
ITA
6

Skate Canada Pairs Preview

After the great pairs upheaval in the off season Duhamel and Radford are one of the only teams at the top of the rankings to survive.  They have won a World Bronze medal each of the last two seasons and have upped their game in the off-season.  They already have some of the most ambitious elements planned with difficult side by side jumps and have added a quad throw to their arsenal.  They set a personal best free skate score already this season at the Skate Canada Autumn Classic and have set themselves up for their 7th consecutive Grand Prix medal.  Despite their success on the Grand Prix circuit, they have never taken home a gold medal.

Sui and Han have had a lot of success in both the junior and senior levels but have struggled with injuries that have kept them from competing a full season and reaching their full potential.  They have been known for their big elements as well as quad throws and quad twists.  They won two medals on the Grand Prix last season but failed to qualify for the Final.

Tarasova and Morozov are competing in their first Grand Prix event after winning a silver medal at the World Junior Championships last season.  They started their season with a silver medal at the Nebelhorn Trophy where they set personal best scores in all segments of the competition.  They have several champions on their team with Robin Szolkowy as their coach and Maxim Trankov as their choreographer.

James and Cipres missed the first part of the season last year due to injury but set personal best scores at Europeans and the Olympics.  They have some difficult elements in their programs including side by side triple + triple combinations.  They started their season with a 4th place finish at Nebelhorn Trophy.

Aaron and Settlage had an excellent showing at their first Grand Prix event last week.  Their King and I free skate is especially charming and they skated both programs cleanly and set personal bests in all segments of the competition.

Moore-Towers and Marinaro are making their international debut.  She is a former Grand Prix Final competitor and finished 4th at Worlds the past two seasons.  He is a former World Junior medalist.

My podium predictions:

Gold: Duhamel/Radford

Silver: Sui/Han

Bronze: Tarasova/Morozov

 

Bios of the competitors:

Duhamel/Radford, CAN: They finished 7th at the Olympics and are the reigning World Bronze Medalists.  They won bronze at Skate Canada and silver Trophee Eric Bompard last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they placed 5th.  They are the 2013 World Bronze Medalists, 2013 Four Continents Champions and 2011 Four Continents Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 210.84.  She is 28 and he is 29.

Jones/Reagan, CAN: This is their Grand Prix debut.  Their personal best is 134.84.  She is 18 and he is 24.

Moore-Towers/Marinaro, CAN: This is their Grand Prix debut.  She is 22 and he is 22.

Sui/Han, CHN: They placed 6th at Worlds and are the reigning Four Continents Champions.  They won silver at Skate Canada and bronze at Trophee Eric Bompard last season.  They are the 2012 Four Continents Champions and 2010-2012 World Junior Champions.  Their personal best is 212.40.  She is 19 and he is 22.

James/Cipres, FRA: They placed 10th at the Olympics, 10th at Worlds and 5th at Europeans.  They finished 5th at Trophee Eric Bompard last season.  Their personal best is 185.48.  She is 27 and he is 23.

Vartmann/Van Cleave, GER: They finished 9th at Europeans.  They placed 7th at Skate Canada last season.  Their personal best is 162.81.  She is 25 and he is 27.

Tarasova/Morozov, RUS: They are the reigning World Junior Silver Medalists.  They won silver at JGP Latvia and won bronze at JGP Estonia last season to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final where they finished 4th.  Their personal best is 178.98.  She is 19 and he is 21.

Aaron/Settlage, USA: They finished 5th at Junior Worlds.  They placed 5th at Skate America.  Their personal best is 160.04.  She is 20 and he is 22.