2017 NHK Trophy Pairs Results

Short Program

PL. Name Nation TSS TES PCS SS TR PE CO IN Deduction StN.
1 Wenjing SUI
Cong HAN
 CHN 79.43 41.74 37.69 9.32 9.32 9.46 9.54 9.46 0.00 #7
2 Ksenia STOLBOVA
Fedor KLIMOV
 RUS 75.05 38.02 37.03 9.25 9.00 9.25 9.32 9.46 0.00 #8
3 Kristina ASTAKHOVA
Alexei ROGONOV
 RUS 70.47 38.32 32.15 7.93 7.93 8.11 8.11 8.11 0.00 #5
4 Alexa SCIMECA KNIERIM
Chris KNIERIM
 USA 65.86 35.20 30.66 7.64 7.36 7.71 7.79 7.82 0.00 #3
5 Julianne SEGUIN
Charlie BILODEAU
 CAN 63.98 31.95 32.03 8.00 7.93 7.86 8.18 8.07 0.00 #6
6 Miriam ZIEGLER
Severin KIEFER
 AUT 62.61 33.27 29.34 7.32 7.11 7.39 7.43 7.43 0.00 #4
7 Sumire SUTO
Francis BOUDREAU-AUDET
 JPN 51.69 26.17 25.52 6.50 6.21 6.32 6.50 6.36 0.00 #2
8 Miu SUZAKI
Ryuichi KIHARA
 JPN 44.83 22.90 22.93 5.93 5.39 5.71 5.89 5.75 1.00 #1

Free Skate

PL. Name Nation TSS TES PCS SS TR PE CO IN Deduction StN.
1 Wenjing SUI
Cong HAN
 CHN 155.10 78.54 76.56 9.43 9.46 9.68 9.64 9.64 0.00 #8
2 Ksenia STOLBOVA
Fedor KLIMOV
 RUS 147.69 72.56 75.13 9.39 9.25 9.36 9.39 9.57 0.00 #7
3 Kristina ASTAKHOVA
Alexei ROGONOV
 RUS 133.17 67.24 65.93 8.18 8.14 8.25 8.39 8.25 0.00 #6
4 Julianne SEGUIN
Charlie BILODEAU
 CAN 130.39 66.26 64.13 7.86 7.86 8.18 8.04 8.14 0.00 #3
5 Alexa SCIMECA KNIERIM
Chris KNIERIM
 USA 126.65 61.91 64.74 8.00 7.93 8.07 8.25 8.21 0.00 #5
6 Miriam ZIEGLER
Severin KIEFER
 AUT 108.52 53.54 56.98 7.36 7.00 6.89 7.25 7.11 2.00 #4
7 Sumire SUTO
Francis BOUDREAU-AUDET
 JPN 104.83 54.04 50.79 6.50 6.21 6.32 6.46 6.25 0.00 #2
8 Miu SUZAKI
Ryuichi KIHARA
 JPN 95.15 47.86 47.29 6.14 5.64 5.89 5.93 5.96 0.00 #1

Total

PL Name Nation SP FS Points
1. Wenjing SUI
Cong HAN
 CHN 1 1 234.53
2. Ksenia STOLBOVA
Fedor KLIMOV
 RUS 2 2 222.74
3. Kristina ASTAKHOVA
Alexei ROGONOV
 RUS 3 3 203.64
4. Julianne SEGUIN
Charlie BILODEAU
 CAN 5 4 194.37
5. Alexa SCIMECA KNIERIM
Chris KNIERIM
 USA 4 5 192.51
6. Miriam ZIEGLER
Severin KIEFER
 AUT 6 6 171.13
7. Sumire SUTO
Francis BOUDREAU-AUDET
 JPN 7 7 156.52
8. Miu SUZAKI
Ryuichi KIHARA
 JPN 8 8 139.98

2017 NHK Trophy Pairs Preview

Sui and Han won gold last week at Cup of China with a new personal best free skate score.  Their short program included a solo triple toe and a throw triple flip with Level 4 on everything but their death spiral.  Their throw triple flip was awarded all +3 GOE, receiving 7.60 points overall.  They had all positive GOEs, racking up 10 points, and had program components in the mid 9s.  They even earned five 10.00 marks coming from three different judges.  Their free skate started with a quad twist and also included a triple toe + double toe + double toe combination and a triple salchow.  Their throws were a triple flip and triple salchow, both which received very high GOEs.  They earned Level 4 on their lifts, and while they did earn a negative GOE on their side by side triple salchows, overall the program was so good, they earned 14 points.  Their program components were in the mid 9s and they received one 10.00 mark.  Despite setting up a sizeable gap between the other competitors and setting a new personal best, they still have some improvement they can make in their free skate, especially in regards to their levels.  They need a gold or silver medal to qualify for the Final, while a bronze would give them a solid chance.  They have the best short program, best free skate, and best total scores.

Stolbova and Klimov won silver at Rostelecom Cup.  At that event, they executed a throw triple flip and a solo triple toe (fall) in the short program.  They earned the most Level 4s of the season with their death spiral, pairs spin, lift, and step sequence.  Their program components were in the high 8s to low 9s, also their highest of the season.  Their free skate featured throw triple flip and throw triple salchow (fall) along with side by side triple salchows and side by side triple toes (fall and missed combo–intended to be triple toe + double toe + double toe).  They earned Level 4 on their lifts, death spiral, and spins and despite the falls, had program components in the high 8s to mid 9s.  They need a gold medal to qualify for the Final, while a silver would keep them in contention.  They have the 6th best short program, 7th best free skate, and 7th best total scores.

Astakhova and Rogonov won a bronze medal at Rostelecom Cup with personal best free skate and total scores.  Their short program included a side by side triple salchow and throw triple flip.  While they had earned Level 4s on all of their elements at both Nepela Trophy and Finlandia Trophy, they only earned Level 4 on their lift, death spiral, and pairs spin in Russia.   In every short program this season, they have earned all positive GOEs, except for one slightly negative GOE at Finlandia.  They earned their best program components in Russia, in the mid 7s.  In the free skate, they hit their triple toe + double toe + double toe combination for the first time this season along with their side by side triple salchows.  They also hit a throw triple flip and throw triple loop.  They earned Level 4 on their lifts and spins, whereas they had received Level 4 on their twists and death spiral at their earlier events.  Their program components were in the high 7s to low 8s.  They need a gold medal to give themselves a solid chance of qualifying for the Final.  They have the 9th best free skate and 8th best total scores.

Seguin and Bilodeau finished 5th at Rostelecom Cup, and likely won’t be able to qualify for the Final, however they could still compete for a medal here.  They hit their side by side triple salchows in the short program along with their throw triple lutz.  They earned Level 4 on their lift, death spiral, and pairs spin but only a Level 2 on their step sequence, which had previously earned Level 4 at the Autumn Classic International.  They had all positive GOEs and their program components were their best of the season, in the mid to high 7s.  They missed their triple toe + double toe combo in the free skate but hit their side by side triple salchows.  They landed their throw triple lutz and throw triple loop.  They earned Level 4 on only one lift and their side by side spins, and only earned a Level 1 on their pair spin.  Their program components were in the mid to high 7s.

Scimeca and Knierim had to sit out most of last season as she battled a life threatening illness that required several surgeries.  They still managed a top 10 finish at Worlds with a new personal best short program score.  If they can medal here, they’ll have a chance to qualify for the Final in a few weeks at Skate America.  This will be their fifth Grand Prix season and they have medaled twice, qualifying them for the Grand Prix Final once.  They kicked off their season with a silver medal at the US International Figure Skating Classic. Their short program included doubled salchows and a throw triple flip.  They earned Level 4 on their lift and death spiral and only a Level 1 on their pairs spin.  Their program components were in the low to mid 7s.  Their free skate did not include their signature quad twist.  They singled their side by side salchows and completed a double toe + double toe sequence.  They did land a throw triple salchow and throw triple flip.  They earned Level 4 on their lifts, death spiral, and pairs spin.  Their program components were in the high 7s to low 8s.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Sui/Han

Silver: Stolbova/Klimov

Bronze: Astakhova/Rogonov

 

Bios of the competitors:

Ziegler/Kiefer, AUT: They finished 18th at Worlds and 9th at Europeans.  They placed 6th at Rostelecom Cup.  Their personal best is 180.60.  She is 23 and he is 27.

Seguin/Bilodeau, CAN: They placed 11th at Worlds.  They finished 5th at Rostelecom Cup.  They are the 2015 World Junior Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 208.30.  She is 21 and he is 24.

Sui/Han, CHN: They are the reigning World Champions and reigning Four Continents Champions.  They won gold at  Cup of China.  They are the 2015 and 2016 World Silver Medalists; 2012, 2014, and 2016 Four Continents Champions; and 2010, 2011, and 2012 World Junior Champions.  Their personal best is 232.06.  She is 22 and he is 25.

Suto/Boudreau-Audet, JPN: They finished 17th at Worlds and 10th at Four Continents.  They placed 8th at Rostelecom Cup.  Their personal best is 164.96.  She is 19 and he is 24.

Suzaki/Kihara, JPN: They placed 13th at Four Continents.  This is their Grand Prix debut.  Their personal best is 130.85.  She is 17 and he is 25.

Astakhova/Rogonov, RUS: They won bronze at Rostelecom Cup.  Their personal best is 199.11.  She is 20 and he is 29.

Stolbova/Klimov, RUS: They finished 5th at Worlds and 4th at Europeans.  They won silver at Rostelecom Cup.  They are the 2014 Olympic Silver Medalists; 2014 World Silver Medalists; 2014 and 2015 European Silver Medalists; 2012 European Bronze Medalists; 2011 World Junior Silver Medalists; and 2010 World Junior Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 229.44.  She is 25 and he is 27.

Scimeca Knierim/Knierim, USA: They placed 10th at Worlds and 6th at Four Continents.  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.

 

2017 Rostelecom Cup Pairs Preview

This is an experienced field, with no teams making their Grand Prix debuts at this event.  The youngest lady in the field is 19 and the oldest is 31.  The youngest man is 23 and the oldest is 33.  Four of the eight teams have crossed the 200 point mark in their careers.

Tarasova and Morozov have a big advantage at this event as they are the only team with a quad in their arsenal: the quad twist.  Their twist earned a Level 3, 2.40 points over a Level 3 triple twist and 2 points over a Level 4 triple twist.  They are also the only team at this event that has earned program components in the 9s this season.  The Russians have a very real chance of sweeping this event, but the other two teams are going to have to step up their game.  Stolbova and Klimov were the surprise silver medalists in Sochi, but have struggled since then.  They took some time off of competing to work on a quad, which is still not in their repertoire and they haven’t been able to find their way onto a major event podium since 2015.  Astakhova and Rogonov set personal best scores in their first Challenger event of the season, however, they still have not scored over 200 points.

Seguin and Bilodeau and Marchei and Hotarek could break up the Russian sweep but neither had the best start to their season, finishing well below their personal best.

Tarasova and Morozov are going into their 4th Grand Prix season.  They have medaled at every event except for the 2015 Trophee Eric Bompard, but they have never won a gold medal.  They qualified for the Grand Prix Final for the first time last season, winning gold.  They started their season with a gold medal at Nebelhorn Trophy.  Their short program includes side by side triple toes and a throw triple loop.  They earned Level 4 for their twist, death spiral, pair spin, and step sequence.  They had all positive GOEs, earning 10 points and had program components in the low to mid 9s.  Their only major error was a one point deduction for a time violation.  Their free skate included a Level 3 quad twist that earned positive GOEs, earning 8.74 points.  Their solo jumps were a triple salchow and a double toe + single toe (will likely be triple + double) and they had a throw triple salchow and throw triple loop.  They earned Level 4 on all their lifts, side by side spins, and their pairs spin.  They only earned a slight negative GOE on their combination jump, and earned 10 points.  Their program components were gain in the low to mid 9s and they again lost a point for a time violation.  They have the best short program, best free skate, and best total scores.

Astakhova and Rogonov are entering their 4th year on the Grand Prix and have won two bronze medals in their career.  They started their season with a silver medal at Ondrej Nepela Trophy where they set new personal best scores in the short program and overall and they placed 5th at Finlandia Trophy.  Their short program included a side by side triple salchow and a throw triple lutz.  They earned Level 4 on all of their elements with all positive GOEs, earning them 5 points.  Their program components ranged from 7.10 to 7.50.  Their free skate includes side by side triple toe + double toe + double toe (under-rotated) and a triple salchow with a throw triple lutz and throw triple loop.  They earned Level 4 on their twist, lifts, pair spin, and death spiral.  Their program components were in the mid 7s.  At Finlandia Trophy, they again earned Level 4 on all of their elements and had positive GOEs on everything except for a slight negative GOE on the throw triple lutz.  Their program components were slightly lower with their transitions mark at 6.92.  Their free skate lost some ground when their combination jump was doubled and under-rotated and their solo salchow was also doubled.  They earned Level 4 on their twist, two lifts, and spins with program components in the high 6s to mid 7s.  They have the 8th best short program score and 8th best total score.

Seguin and Bilodeau are starting their 3rd season on the Grand Prix.  They have won three medals and qualified for the Final each of the last two seasons.  They won a bronze medal at the Autumn Classic International earlier this season.  They only received credit for side by side double salchows in their short program but they had a nice throw triple lutz.  They earned Level 4 for their lift and step sequence.  They earned 5 points from GOE and had program components in the mid 7s.  Their free skate included a triple toe + double toe and a triple salchow for their solo jumps and a throw triple lutz and a throw triple loop.  They earned Level 4 on two of their lifts and their side by side spins.  They only received a negative GOE on the combination jump and had program components in the mid to high 7s.  They have the 6th best free skate and 10th best total scores.

Stolbova and Klimov are entering their 7th Grand Prix season, but their first since 2015.  They have won five medals, and qualified for the Final twice, medaling both times.  They won a bronze medal at Finlandia Trophy earlier this season.  Their short program includes a solo triple toe and a throw triple lutz.  They earned Level 4 for their pair spin, lift, and step sequence.  They earned positive GOEs on everything except for their twist and had program components in the mid to high 8s.  Their free skate left a lot of points n the table as they received no credit for one lift or their pairs spin.  They received a education for an interruption as well as two falls.  The program started nicely with a throw triple lutz and side by side triple toe + double toe + double toes and a triple salchow.  They also managed a solid throw triple salchow at the very end of the program.  They earned Level 4 on their side by side spins and despite the errors, still managed to have program components in the mid 7s to high 8s.  They have the 6th best short program score.

Marchei and Hotarek are one of the oldest teams competing, but will only be in their third season on the Grand Prix as a team.  They have never won a medal, but came close last season at this event, placing 4th.  They started their season with a bronze medal at Lombardia Trophy.  Their short program included a side by side double salchow (intended triple) and a throw triple lutz.  They earned Level 4 for their lift and step sequence and had program components in the low to high 7s.  Their free skate again had issues with the side by side jumps as the toe was doubled and the triple salchow had a fall, under-rotation and missed combo, leaving a lot of points on the table.  Their triple loop and triple lutz throws were clean and the earned Level 4 on their side by side spin and two of their lifts.  Their program components were in the mid to high 7s.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Tarasova/Morozov

Silver: Stolbova/Klimov

Bronze: Seguin/Bilodeau

 

Bios of the competitors:

Ziegler/Kiefer, AUT: They finished 18th at Worlds and 9th at Europeans.  They placed 6th at Trophee de Paris and 6th at NHK Trophy last season.  Their personal best is 180.60.  She is 23 and he is 27.

Seguin/Bilodeau, CAN: They placed 11th at Worlds.  They won gold at Skate Canada and finished 5th at Rostelecom Cup last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they finished 5th.  They are the 2015 World Junior Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 208.30.  She is 20 and he is 24.

Marchei/Hotarek, ITA: They finished 9th at Worlds and 6th at Europeans.  They placed 8th at Skate America and 4th at Rostelecom Cup last season.  Their personal best is 203.92.  She is 31 and he is 33.

Suto/Boudreau-Audet, JPN: They finished 17th at Worlds and 10th at Four Continents.  They placed 7th at NHK Trophy last season.  Their personal best is 164.96.  She is 19 and he is 23.

Astakhova/Rogonov, RUS: They placed 5th at Skate America and won bronze at Rostelecom Cup last season.  Their personal best is 191.12.  She is 20 and he is 29.

Stolbova/Klimov, RUS: They finished 5th at Worlds and 4th at Europeans.  They are the 2014 Olympic Silver Medalists; 2014 World Silver Medalists; 2014 and 2015 European Silver Medalists; 2012 European Bronze Medalists; 2011 World Junior Silver Medalists; and 2010 World Junior Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 229.44.  She is 25 and he is 27.

Tarasova/Morozov, RUS: They are the reigning World Bronze Medalists and reigning European Champions.  They won bronze at Skate America and silver at Trophee de France last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they won gold.  They are the 2015 and 2016 European Bronze Medalists and 2014 World Junior Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 227.58.  She is 22 and he is 24.

Castelli/Tran, USA: They placed 7th at Skate America and 5th at Trophee de France last season.  Their personal best is 176.38.  She is 27 and he is 27.

2017 World Championships Pairs Preview

Sui and Han missed the first half of the season as she had surgery last spring.  They are the reigning World Silver Medalists and reigning Four Continents Champions.  Their personal best came at Four Continents, where they scored 225.03.  They have a quad twist in their free skate, but what is most impressive about their programs is the quality of the elements they execute.  They routinely receive +2 and +3 GOE, giving them bonus points on their base score.  This quality performance gives them the best element score in a short program this season.  They have the 2nd best short program, 4th best free skate, and 2nd best total scores.

Stolbova and Klimov also missed the first half of the season due to injury.  They finished 4th at Worlds last season, and 4th at Europeans this year.  Their personal best was set at the Grand Prix Final last season, where they scored 229.44.  Technically there is nothing that stands out in their programs.  They don’t have quads or difficult side by side combinations.  This doesn’t give them a lot of wiggle room and they’ll have to execute everything cleanly to make up for the lack of technical firepower.  The only real difference between them and gold at Europeans was their technical score in the short program after they made errors on the side by side jumps.  They have the 7th best short program, 5th best free skate, and 6th best total scores.

Savchenko and Massot had to sit out the middle of the season, missing the Grand Prix Final, due to injury.  They took home gold in their two Grand Prix assignments and are the reigning World Bronze Medalists and European Silver Medalists.  They set a personal best at Europeans, scoring 222.35.  They had to water down some of their content at Europeans as they were making their way back from the earlier injury.  However, they are capable of landing throw triple axels in the short program and free skate and they have a throw quad salchow planned for the end of their free skate.  It’s a risky move putting such a difficult element as the last thing in the program as it is the last impression the judges have, however, if it’s landed well, it can greatly inflate the program components as the overall impression of the program will likely be higher.  Even with the watered down content, their passionate free skate at Europeans earned the the highest score of the season in program components and the second highest in technical elements.  They have the 4th best short program, best free skate, and 3rd best total scores.

Yu and Zhang have made the most of their new pairing, winning a gold and silver on the Grand Prix and silver at the Grand Prix Final.  They set their personal best at the Final, scoring 206.71.  They finished 4th at Four Continents.  They recently upgraded to a quad twist in their free skate.  They are still a new team and are learning how to perform together in a program.  This is reflected in the steady rise in their program components, staring around 29 points and moving to 33 points in the short program, and going from 65 to 68 points in the free skate.  They have the 5th best short program, 9th best free skate, and 8th best total scores.

Duhamel and Radford are the two-time reigning World Champions and Four Continents Silver Medalists.  They won two gold medals on the Grand Prix and bronze at the Grand Prix Final.  Their personal best was set at Worlds last year when they scored 231.99.  They have difficult programs planned with a throw triple axel in the short program and a throw quad salchow in their free skate.  They haven’t had as much success with these elements, so it will be interesting to see if they include them to prepare for the Olympic season, or if they go for more guaranteed elements and a clean program to try and hold on to their title.  They are fairly successful at their side by side triple lutzes in both programs.  Most teams are attempting a triple toe in their short programs worth 4.30 points, while the lutz is worth 6.00.  They have the 3rd best short program, 6th best free skate, and 5th best total scores.

Tarasova and Morozov didn’t really come in to the season as a team that was on the radar.  They finished 5th at Worlds last year, but were 10 points from the podium.  They won a bronze and silver on the Grand Prix and then were the surprise winners of the Grand Prix Final.  They claimed their first European title in January with a personal best score of 227.58.  In general, the elements of their program are not super difficult, with the exception of the quad twist in their free skate (which they did not include at Europeans), but they have quality.  Everything they do earns positive GOEs.  While their programs are a little bit paint by the numbers, they are clean and have the classic Russian look that earns them high program component marks.  The biggest difference in their success this season has been getting consistency in the free program.  At Skate America, they earned only 49.84 points in the free skate for TES, but they earned 72.82 points at Europeans.  They have the best short program, 2nd best free skate, and best total scores.

James and Cipres had the best performance of their careers to take home the bronze medal from Europeans with a personal best 220.02.  They also won a bronze medal at Trophee de France.  Their biggest improvement has been in the program components.  At Skate America, their free skate earned only 59 points in that segment, while they earned 71.57 at Europeans.  They have the highest technical score in a free skate this season.  They have dialed back some of their side by side content this season but do plan a quad salchow in their free skate.  They do a lower value Group 5 lift in their free skate, which is worth a half point less than other teams are doing.  It’s a small thing, but that half point in base value could make a difference in a tight competition.  They have the 6th best short program, 3rd best free skate, and 4th best total scores.

Seguin and Bilodeau have had a bit of an up and down season.  They won gold at Skate America and then placed 5th at Rostelecom Cup.  Their personal best is 208.30, but was set at a Challenger Cup series, and they have yet to come close to that score in any other event.  Like James and Cipres, one of the Group 5 lifts in their free skate is a lower base value, although theirs is a full point less.  They have the 7th best free skate and 7th best total scores.

Iliushechkina and Moscovitch are the reigning Four Continents Bronze Medalists.  They won two bronze medals on the Grand Prix.  They have steadily been making improvements in their scores throughout the season, but the biggest thing holding them back is the side by side jumps in their free skate which they’ve yet to hit cleanly.  They have the 9th best short program, 10th best free skate, and 9th best total scores.

Zabiiako and Enbert finished 5th at Europeans.  They won silver at Rostelecom Cup and finished 4th at the Grand Prix Final, coming in as a first alternate.  Their technical score in the free skate is a bit behind the other teams as they are doing a throw double axel.  This is worth at least a half a point less in the throws than any of the other top teams.  However, if they decide to go for the full triple axel, that element would give them an extra three points in base value.  They have the 10th best short program score.

Also trying to crack the top ten are Scimeca Knierim and Knierim (6th at Four Continents) and Denney and Fraizer  (silver at Skate America).

Peng and Jin have the 8th best short program, 8th best free skate, and 10th best total scores, but there were only two spots for Chinese teams at Worlds this year.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Savchenko/Massot

Silver: Sui/Han

Bronze: Tarasova/Morozov

2016 Grand Prix Final Pairs Results

Short Program

 Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Evgenia TARASOVA / Vladimir MOROZOV RUS 78.60 43.49 35.11 8.68 8.61 9.00 8.71 8.89 0.00 #2
2 Xiaoyu YU / Hao ZHANG CHN 75.34 41.83 33.51 8.54 8.18 8.36 8.43 8.39 0.00 #6
3 Meagan DUHAMEL / Eric RADFORD CAN 71.44 38.44 34.00 8.61 8.39 8.43 8.57 8.50 1.00 #3
4 Cheng PENG / Yang JIN CHN 70.84 38.70 32.14 7.93 7.75 8.21 8.07 8.21 0.00 #1
5 Natalia ZABIIAKO / Alexander ENBERT RUS 65.79 34.40 31.39 7.86 7.64 7.89 7.93 7.93 0.00 #4
6 Julianne SEGUIN / Charlie BILODEAU CAN 60.86 31.49 31.37 7.82 7.79 7.64 8.00 7.96 2.00 #5

Free Skate

 Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Evgenia TARASOVA / Vladimir MOROZOV RUS 135.25 66.05 69.20 8.64 8.54 8.68 8.68 8.71 0.00 #6
2 Meagan DUHAMEL / Eric RADFORD CAN 134.55 65.99 68.56 8.57 8.50 8.46 8.68 8.64 0.00 #4
3 Xiaoyu YU / Hao ZHANG CHN 131.37 63.64 68.73 8.64 8.43 8.61 8.64 8.64 1.00 #5
4 Julianne SEGUIN / Charlie BILODEAU CAN 125.99 62.69 64.30 8.04 7.93 8.04 8.00 8.18 1.00 #1
5 Natalia ZABIIAKO / Alexander ENBERT RUS 122.53 61.27 61.26 7.71 7.46 7.61 7.82 7.68 0.00 #2
6 Cheng PENG / Yang JIN CHN 112.35 54.97 59.38 7.54 7.32 7.21 7.61 7.43 2.00 #3

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Evgenia TARASOVA / Vladimir MOROZOV
RUS
213.85 1 1
2 Xiaoyu YU / Hao ZHANG
CHN
206.71 2 3
3 Meagan DUHAMEL / Eric RADFORD
CAN
205.99 3 2
4 Natalia ZABIIAKO / Alexander ENBERT
RUS
188.32 5 5
5 Julianne SEGUIN / Charlie BILODEAU
CAN
186.85 6 4
6 Cheng PENG / Yang JIN
CHN
183.19 4 6

2016 Rostelecom Cup Pairs Preview

Savchenko and Massot had a superb first international season as a team.  They were not able to compete on the Grand Prix but took home medals from both the European Championships and the World Championships.  They are capable of doing quads and scored well over 200 points last season.  They started their season with a gold medal at the Nebelhorn Trophy.  They have the 3rd best short program, 5th best free skate and 3rd best total scores.

Seguin and Bilodeau made a big splash last year in their first senior season, qualifying for the Grand Prix Final.  Injuries kept them from being able to compete in the Championship events at the end of the year.  They seem to be picking up right where they left off, winning a gold medal at Skate America.  They have the 4th best short program, 2nd best free skate and 2nd best total scores.

Zabiiako and Enbert finished 5th at this event last season.  They started their season with a bronze medal at Ondrej Nepela Trophy.  They nearly crossed the 200 point threshold at Mordovian Ornament last season, but were not able to best those scores at any of their later competitions.  They have the 10th best short program score.

Marchei and Hotarek use the strength of their singles skating to their advantage in their side by side elements in their programs.  They finished 8th at Skate America a few weeks ago.  Their score there was lower than any of their major events last season, so they are definitely capable of performing better.  They have the 10th best free skate score.

Astakhova and Rogonov finished 5th at Skate America.  While they did not set any new personal best scores, they did score higher than at any of their major events last season.

The best short program score of the 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 120.  The best total score is 218.30 with the top 10 above 185.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Savchenko/Massot

Silver: Seguin/Bilodeau

Bronze: Zabiiako/Enbert

 

Bios of the competitors:

Ruest/Wolfe, CAN: This is their Grand Prix debut.  Their personal best is 159.28.  She is 22 and he is 21.

Seguin/Bilodeau, CAN: They won gold at Skate America.  They are the 2015 World Junior Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 208.30.  She is 19 and he is 23.

Savchenko/Massot, GER: They are the reigning World Bronze Medalists and European Silver Medalists.  This is their Grand Prix debut.  Their personal best is 216.17.  She is 32 and he is 27.

Marchei/Hotarek, ITA: They placed 14th at Worlds and 5th at Europeans.  They placed 8th at Skate America.  Their personal best is 182.61.  She is 30 and he is 32.

Butkute/Ermolaev, LTU: They finished 17th at Worlds and 11th at Europeans.  This is their Grand Prix debut.  Their personal best is 149.84.  She is 17 and he is 25.

Astakhova/Rogonov, RUS: They placed 7th at Europeans.  They finished 5th at Skate America.  Their personal best is 185.00.  She is 19 and he is 28.

Efimova/Korovin, RUS: This is their Grand Prix debut.  She is 17 and he is 22.

Zabiiako/Enbert, RUS: They finished 5th at Rostelecom Cup last season.  Their personal best is 196.22.  She is 22 and he is 27.

 

 

 

2016 Skate America Pairs Free Skate Results

Free Skate

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Julianne SEGUIN / Charlie BILODEAU CAN 130.82 66.56 64.26 7.96 7.71 8.21 8.14 8.14 0.00 #5
2 Haven DENNEY / Brandon FRAZIER USA 125.36 61.22 64.14 7.93 7.75 8.11 8.11 8.18 0.00 #7
3 Tarah KAYNE / Danny O’SHEA USA 115.57 58.21 58.36 7.36 7.18 7.32 7.36 7.25 1.00 #2
4 Marissa CASTELLI / Mervin TRAN USA 110.78 54.13 57.65 7.32 7.25 7.00 7.25 7.21 1.00 #1
5 Evgenia TARASOVA / Vladimir MOROZOV RUS 110.70 49.84 61.86 8.04 7.61 7.61 7.79 7.61 1.00 #8
6 Kristina ASTAKHOVA / Alexei ROGONOV RUS 110.18 53.57 57.61 7.29 7.04 7.18 7.29 7.21 1.00 #3
7 Vanessa JAMES / Morgan CIPRES FRA 108.87 52.60 59.27 7.50 7.25 7.11 7.68 7.50 3.00 #6
8 Valentina MARCHEI / Ondrej HOTAREK ITA 107.20 51.48 55.72 6.96 6.82 6.86 7.07 7.11 0.00 #4

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Julianne SEGUIN / Charlie BILODEAU
CAN
197.31 3 1
2 Haven DENNEY / Brandon FRAZIER
USA
192.65 2 2
3 Evgenia TARASOVA / Vladimir MOROZOV
RUS
185.94 1 5
4 Vanessa JAMES / Morgan CIPRES
FRA
174.65 4 7
5 Kristina ASTAKHOVA / Alexei ROGONOV
RUS
174.52 5 6
6 Tarah KAYNE / Danny O’SHEA
USA
173.50 8 3
7 Marissa CASTELLI / Mervin TRAN
USA
171.95 7 4
8 Valentina MARCHEI / Ondrej HOTAREK
ITA
169.69 6 8

2016 Skate America Pairs Short Program

Group 1

Marchei/Hotarek, ITA: 33.97 TES + 28.52 PCS = 62.49 

  • They both put a hand down on the side by side triple lutzes
  • Decent twist
  • She could stretch her front leg more on the first lift but great control from her changing positions to her back with no hand support
  • Cartwheel into a throw triple lutz with a great ride out on the landing
  • They could both use more flexibility on some of their side by side spin positions but they have good timing
  • She really shines in this program and it plays to everything she does well performance wise
  • A little loss of unison in places in the look of their step sequence
  • Getting a little flat and slow at the end of the death spiral

Tarasova/Morozov, RUS: 41.54 TES + 33.70 PCS = 75.24 and into 1st place 

  • Gorgeous triple twist and he catches her way above his head and sets her down with ease
  • Side by side triple salchows
  • Great throw triple loop with nice height and speed in and out of it
  • Good death spiral position for her
  • Great over the head entry into a hip hold with a great split position for her
  • I love that even though there is a significant height difference between them, she skates so big you don’t see it during their performance
  • Pretty good unison throughout their side by side spins
  • This music is so much fun and they do a great job with the choreography but I would love a little more performance

Kayne/O’Shea, USA: 30.83 TES + 28.10 PCS -1.00 = 57.93 and into 3rd place 

  • Nice death spiral position holding the arch throughout
  • Nice twist but catching her a little low
  • Triple salchows just a little down on one side for her
  • Nice transitional lift to really highlight the music
  • Cartwheel into a throw triple lutz but she never had a chance to get her feet under her on the landing
  • I love the choreography in this program and the commitment they put into their performance
  • Nice stretch in the lift positions
  • Pretty good unison on the side by side spins
  • Overall the program just seemed to need a bit more speed and power through their blades which would have helped with the jump landings and the GOEs on a lot of the elemements

James/Cipres, FRA: 34.84 TES + 30.94 PCS = 65.78 and into 2nd place 

  • Pretty clean catch on the triple twist but they could use a bit more height
  • Good side by side triple salchows
  • Dive into a nice throw triple flip with both arms over her head–great highlight moment
  • A bit of a stall in the first lift but it didn’t effect the movement of her position
  • Nice death spiral but she really flattens out after the change of hand
  • I like the intricacy of their patterns in the step sequence
  • Good positions and unison through the first half of their side by side spins, lost it a little bit, but got it back

 

Group 2

Seguin/Bilodeau, CAN: 35.96 TES + 30.53 PCS = 66.49 and into 2nd place 

  • She is just adorable and her costume is gorgeous!
  • Really nice triple twist in the air but he catches her just a bit on his shoulder
  • She had a nice triple loop but he popped and had a messy landing
  • They needed to be clean to catch the Russians and they won’t be able to do that today
  • Good throw triple flip
  • Off on the unison of their side by side spins
  • A bit slow on the lift but nice positions
  • Good death spiral position from her with a nice exit out of it
  • I think a little bit more speed and some more intricate choreography in the transitions in and out of elements will give them more of a senior look but I think this program has a lot of room to grow

Denney/Frazier, USA: 37.49 TES + 29.80 PCS = 67.29 and into 2nd place 

  • Really nice entry to the triple twist with a good ease to the element
  • Good throw triple loop with a nice ride out on the landing
  • She two foots the landing on the side by side triple salchow
  • Nice death spiral position for her
  • Interesting arm variations on some of their spins done with nice unison
  • They have such an ease and freedom to their skating that is really nice to watch
  • Great positions for them in the lift with a sideways twisting one arm position for her

Castelli/Tran, USA: 31.20 TES + 29.97 PCS = 61.17 and into 6th place 

  • Nice triple twist but not super clean on the catch
  • Good side by side triple salchows but not in perfect unison
  • Nice throw triple salchow
  • I don’t love the opening music to this program as it’s a totally different tenor and feeling then Fallin and then they transition back to this upbeat music where they’re clapping…it just doesn’t work for me and it’s hard to really get into the program and connect with their story
  • Nice backwards entry into their lift but they had to bring it down very early
  • Very cool double hitchhike turn into their death spiral
  • They definitely left a lot of points on the table with this program and the performance is not there yet which may be due to the stop and go nature of the music

Astakhova/Rogonov, RUS: 35.32 TES + 29.02 PCS = 64.34 and into 5th place 

  • Pretty good triple twist to open their program
  • She steps out of their side by side triple salchows
  • She squeaks out the free leg on the throw triple flip
  • I think sometimes they use skating in opposite directions of the rink to be a transition and I would like to see them go for some more choreography
  • Backward entry to one handed lift and a flip around to a split position
  • Very slow death spiral
  • Pretty good unison on the side by side spins with a great stretched sit position and nice toe point
Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Evgenia TARASOVA / Vladimir MOROZOV RUS 75.24 41.54 33.70 8.42 8.25 8.58 8.38 8.50 0.00 #2
2 Haven DENNEY / Brandon FRAZIER USA 67.29 37.49 29.80 7.50 7.25 7.50 7.46 7.54 0.00 #6
3 Julianne SEGUIN / Charlie BILODEAU CAN 66.49 35.96 30.53 7.71 7.38 7.50 7.75 7.83 0.00 #5
4 Vanessa JAMES / Morgan CIPRES FRA 65.78 34.84 30.94 7.71 7.50 7.79 7.75 7.92 0.00 #4
5 Kristina ASTAKHOVA / Alexei ROGONOV RUS 64.34 35.32 29.02 7.29 7.13 7.29 7.29 7.29 0.00 #8
6 Valentina MARCHEI / Ondrej HOTAREK ITA 62.49 33.97 28.52 7.17 6.88 7.21 7.17 7.21 0.00 #1
7 Marissa CASTELLI / Mervin TRAN USA 61.17 31.20 29.97 7.54 7.46 7.42 7.58 7.46 0.00 #7
8 Tarah KAYNE / Danny O’SHEA USA 57.93 30.83 28.10 7.13 7.00 6.96 7.08 6.96 1.00 #3

2016 Skate America Pairs Preview

Of the four disciplines at this event, this is probably the weakest field but two teams are coming back from injuries that kept them out of most or all of last season.  As a group they have two European medals, one Four Continents medal, and three Junior Worlds medals (including one gold).  One of the Grand Prix Final finishers from last season is competing here along with two top 10 finishers from Worlds.

The best short program so far this season is 74.24 with the top 10 all scoring above 64 points.  The top free skate score is 136.90 with the top 10 all above 114.  The top total score is 208.30 with the top 10 all above 179.  They will skate the short program on Friday, October 21st and the free skate on Saturday, October 22nd.

Seguin and Bilodeau had a great start to their first senior season last year, winning two bronze medals and qualifying for the Grand Prix Final.  However, injuries kept them out of the Championship events.  They started their season with a gold medal at the Autumn Classic International where they set new personal bests across the board.  While their free skate does not have any extremely difficult technical elements, they earned all positive GOEs and program components in the 8s giving them a very solid score, despite not having some of the tricky elements other teams will be attempting.  They have the 2nd best short program, best free skate and best total scores.

James and Cipres won the silver medal at the Autumn Classic International with personal best free skate and total scores.  They have a triple toe + double toe + double toe combo in their free skate along with a throw quad salchow.  They had three elements which earned negative GOEs and their program components were lower than the Canadians by a hair.  They have the 9th best short program, 2nd best free skate and 3rd best total scores.

Tarasova and Morozov have already taken home a gold medal this season from Ondrej Nepela Trophy.  They have a quad twist in their free skate but they missed their combo jump at Nepela and their program components were lower, including some in the 7s.  They are the highest ranked team from Worlds competing at this event.  They have the 3rd best short program, 5th best free skate and 4th best total scores.

Marchei and Hotarek took home a silver medal from Lombardia Trophy.  They only have a double twist in their free skate but they are both strong singles skaters and try and make up the deficit in their jumps.  They have solo triple lutzes and triple salchow +double toes planned and she does a throw triple lutz as well.  They have the 7th best free skate and 10th best total scores.

Kayne and O’Shea have not competed yet this season, but they put out two clean programs to win their first US National title last year.  They went on to place 4th at Four Continents with personal best short and total scores but couldn’t hold on to the momentum at the World Championships.  Their short program was new for the last half of the season and they are keeping it this year, which should help them get a little more consistency as that was their problem spot in the Championship events.

Castelli and Tran won bronze at the Autumn Classic International where they set a new personal best short program score.  Their free skate has been a tough spot for them so far this season.  At the Autumn Classic their side by side triple toes were downgraded, she double the throw flip, they missed the combo on their side by side jumps and their program components were as low as 6s.  They have the 5th best short program score.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Seguin/Bilodeau

Silver: Tarasova/Morozov

Bronze: James/Cipres

 

Bios of the competitors:

Seguin/Bilodeau, CAN: They won bronze at Skate America and bronze at Trophee Eric Bompard last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they finished 4th.  They are the 2015 World Junior Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 208.30.  She is 19 and he is 23.

James/Cipres, FRA: They placed 10th at Worlds and 4th at Europeans.  They won silver at Trophee Eric Bompard and placed 6th at NHK Trophy last season.  Their personal best is 198.90.  She is 29 and he is 25.

Marchei/Hotarek, ITA: They placed 14th at Worlds and 5th at Europeans.  They placed 6th at Rostelecom Cup last season.  Their personal best is 182.61.  She is 30 and he is 32.

Astakhova/Rogonov, RUS: They placed 7th at Europeans.  They finished 7th at Skate America and 5th at Cup of China last season.  Their personal best is 185.00.  She is 19 and he is 28.

Tarasova/Morozov, RUS: They placed 5th at Worlds and are the reigning European Bronze Medalists.  They won silver at Skate Canada and placed 7th at Trophee Eric Bompard last season.  They are the 2015 European Bronze Medalists and 2014 World Junior Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 206.27.  She is 21 and he is 23.

Castelli/Tran, USA: They finished 6th at Four Continents.  They placed 4th at Skate Canada and 6th at Trophee Eric Bompard last season.  Their personal best is 175.08.  She is 26 and he is 26.

Denney/Frazier, USA: They are the 2013 World Junior Champions.  Their personal best is 183.84.  She is 20 and he is 23.

Kayne/O’Shea, USA: They finished 13th at Worlds and 4th at Four Continents.  They finished 6th at Skate America and 4th at Rostelecom Cup last season.  They are the 2014 Four Continents Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 182.02.  She is 23 and he is 25.

2016 Autumn Classic International Pairs Results

FPl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Julianne SEGUIN / Charlie BILODEAU CAN 208.30 1 1
2 Vanessa JAMES / Morgan CIPRES FRA 198.90 3 2
3 Marissa CASTELLI / Mervin TRAN USA 173.62 2 3
4 Camille RUEST / Andrew WOLFE CAN 159.28 4 4
5 Kyu Eun KIM / Alex Kang Chan KAM KOR 123.24 5 5
6 Paris STEPHENS / Matthew DODDS AUS 96.84 6 6
WD Jessica PFUND / Joshua SANTILLAN USA