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 Results

Short Program

 Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Evgenia TARASOVA / Vladimir MOROZOV RUS 76.88 39.94 36.94 9.29 9.07 9.39 9.25 9.18 0.00 #8
2 Ksenia STOLBOVA / Fedor KLIMOV RUS 71.39 36.36 36.03 9.14 8.89 8.82 9.07 9.11 1.00 #7
3 Valentina MARCHEI / Ondrej HOTAREK ITA 68.48 36.13 32.35 7.96 7.79 8.29 8.11 8.29 0.00 #5
4 Kristina ASTAKHOVA / Alexei ROGONOV RUS 67.14 36.54 30.60 7.61 7.54 7.68 7.71 7.71 0.00 #4
5 Julianne SEGUIN / Charlie BILODEAU CAN 67.06 35.99 31.07 7.82 7.57 7.86 7.82 7.75 0.00 #6
6 Miriam ZIEGLER / Severin KIEFER AUT 59.35 30.93 28.42 7.14 6.86 7.18 7.18 7.18 0.00 #3
7 Marissa CASTELLI / Mervin TRAN USA 54.37 27.07 28.30 7.14 6.89 7.04 7.14 7.18 1.00 #2
8 Sumire SUTO / Francis BOUDREAU-AUDET JPN 48.93 24.12 24.81 6.32 6.11 6.11 6.29 6.18 0.00 #1

Free Skate

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Evgenia TARASOVA / Vladimir MOROZOV RUS 147.37 73.79 74.58 9.36 9.11 9.46 9.29 9.39 1.00 #8
2 Ksenia STOLBOVA / Fedor KLIMOV RUS 133.04 62.23 72.81 9.11 9.07 8.79 9.29 9.25 2.00 #7
3 Kristina ASTAKHOVA / Alexei ROGONOV RUS 131.97 67.46 64.51 8.00 7.89 8.11 8.14 8.18 0.00 #6
4 Valentina MARCHEI / Ondrej HOTAREK ITA 125.15 62.70 64.45 7.93 7.86 8.14 8.14 8.21 2.00 #5
5 Julianne SEGUIN / Charlie BILODEAU CAN 119.10 57.69 61.41 7.71 7.50 7.64 7.82 7.71 0.00 #4
6 Marissa CASTELLI / Mervin TRAN USA 116.16 57.54 58.62 7.36 7.14 7.29 7.46 7.39 0.00 #2
7 Miriam ZIEGLER / Severin KIEFER AUT 115.71 57.49 58.22 7.32 7.11 7.32 7.32 7.32 0.00 #3
8 Sumire SUTO / Francis BOUDREAU-AUDET JPN 87.87 39.14 48.73 6.25 6.00 6.00 6.14 6.07 0.00 #1

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Evgenia TARASOVA / Vladimir MOROZOV
RUS
224.25 1 1
2 Ksenia STOLBOVA / Fedor KLIMOV
RUS
204.43 2 2
3 Kristina ASTAKHOVA / Alexei ROGONOV
RUS
199.11 4 3
4 Valentina MARCHEI / Ondrej HOTAREK
ITA
193.63 3 4
5 Julianne SEGUIN / Charlie BILODEAU
CAN
186.16 5 5
6 Miriam ZIEGLER / Severin KIEFER
AUT
175.06 6 7
7 Marissa CASTELLI / Mervin TRAN
USA
170.53 7 6
8 Sumire SUTO / Francis BOUDREAU-AUDET
JPN
136.80 8 8

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

2017 European Championships Pairs Results

Short Program

 Pl. Qual. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Q Evgenia TARASOVA / Vladimir MOROZOV RUS 80.82 44.50 36.32 9.00 8.93 9.25 9.11 9.11 0.00 #17
2 Q Vanessa JAMES / Morgan CIPRES FRA 74.18 41.42 32.76 8.14 7.96 8.39 8.25 8.21 0.00 #18
3 Q Aliona SAVCHENKO / Bruno MASSOT GER 73.76 38.67 36.09 9.00 8.86 9.00 9.07 9.18 1.00 #13
4 Q Ksenia STOLBOVA / Fedor KLIMOV RUS 73.70 39.47 36.23 9.14 8.86 9.00 9.18 9.11 2.00 #15
5 Q Natalia ZABIIAKO / Alexander ENBERT RUS 72.38 40.36 32.02 8.07 7.75 8.14 7.93 8.14 0.00 #10
6 Q Valentina MARCHEI / Ondrej HOTAREK ITA 66.53 36.01 30.52 7.54 7.36 7.82 7.64 7.79 0.00 #11
7 Q Anna DUSKOVA / Martin BIDAR CZE 65.90 38.31 28.59 7.29 6.89 7.18 7.21 7.18 1.00 #14
8 Q Nicole DELLA MONICA / Matteo GUARISE ITA 63.97 34.63 30.34 7.61 7.39 7.54 7.75 7.64 1.00 #16
9 Q Miriam ZIEGLER / Severin KIEFER AUT 57.14 32.29 25.85 6.57 6.39 6.39 6.46 6.50 1.00 #12
10 Q Tatiana DANILOVA / Mikalai KAMIANCHUK BLR 53.27 31.50 21.77 5.54 5.14 5.61 5.54 5.39 0.00 #2
11 Q Lola ESBRAT / Andrei NOVOSELOV FRA 52.51 28.97 23.54 6.00 5.75 5.82 5.93 5.93 0.00 #7
12 Q Zoe JONES / Christopher BOYADJI GBR 52.32 29.72 22.60 5.68 5.36 5.71 5.68 5.82 0.00 #9
13 Q Minerva Fabienne HASE / Nolan SEEGERT GER 51.27 28.53 22.74 5.79 5.50 5.82 5.68 5.64 0.00 #6
14 Q Rebecca GHILARDI / Filippo AMBROSINI ITA 50.71 28.10 22.61 5.75 5.32 5.82 5.61 5.75 0.00 #3
15 Q Lana PETRANOVIC / Antonio SOUZA-KORDEIRU CRO 49.25 28.91 21.34 5.46 5.07 5.32 5.43 5.39 1.00 #1
16 Q Arina CHERNIAVSKAIA / Evgeni KRASNOPOLSKI ISR 47.92 27.55 21.37 5.46 5.07 5.36 5.39 5.43 1.00 #8
17 Ioulia CHTCHETININA / Noah SCHERER SUI 47.52 27.13 20.39 5.04 4.89 5.14 5.21 5.21 0.00 #4
18 Goda BUTKUTE / Nikita ERMOLAEV LTU 44.79 24.96 21.83 5.64 5.21 5.32 5.57 5.54 2.00 #5

Free Skate

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Aliona SAVCHENKO / Bruno MASSOT GER 148.59 73.15 75.44 9.36 9.18 9.54 9.57 9.50 0.00 #13
2 Evgenia TARASOVA / Vladimir MOROZOV RUS 146.76 72.82 73.94 9.36 9.14 9.29 9.21 9.21 0.00 #15
3 Vanessa JAMES / Morgan CIPRES FRA 145.84 74.27 71.57 8.79 8.86 9.11 9.04 8.93 0.00 #16
4 Ksenia STOLBOVA / Fedor KLIMOV RUS 142.81 70.81 73.00 9.18 8.86 9.11 9.29 9.18 1.00 #14
5 Natalia ZABIIAKO / Alexander ENBERT RUS 128.37 63.91 64.46 8.18 7.79 8.07 8.18 8.07 0.00 #12
6 Valentina MARCHEI / Ondrej HOTAREK ITA 125.40 62.60 62.80 7.79 7.68 7.93 7.96 7.89 0.00 #11
7 Anna DUSKOVA / Martin BIDAR CZE 123.19 65.77 58.42 7.36 7.07 7.43 7.36 7.29 1.00 #9
8 Nicole DELLA MONICA / Matteo GUARISE ITA 117.02 56.10 60.92 7.61 7.43 7.46 7.82 7.75 0.00 #10
9 Miriam ZIEGLER / Severin KIEFER AUT 108.49 55.58 52.91 6.75 6.36 6.50 6.82 6.64 0.00 #6
10 Tatiana DANILOVA / Mikalai KAMIANCHUK BLR 98.28 51.58 47.70 6.14 5.68 5.96 6.07 5.96 1.00 #8
11 Rebecca GHILARDI / Filippo AMBROSINI ITA 97.77 54.18 43.59 5.64 5.25 5.50 5.54 5.32 0.00 #1
12 Minerva Fabienne HASE / Nolan SEEGERT GER 96.13 51.80 45.33 5.86 5.39 5.68 5.79 5.61 1.00 #4
13 Lola ESBRAT / Andrei NOVOSELOV FRA 93.21 45.16 49.05 6.29 5.93 6.11 6.21 6.11 1.00 #7
14 Zoe JONES / Christopher BOYADJI GBR 91.10 45.15 45.95 5.82 5.54 5.64 5.86 5.86 0.00 #5
15 Lana PETRANOVIC / Antonio SOUZA-KORDEIRU CRO 90.84 48.56 43.28 5.43 5.18 5.36 5.46 5.61 1.00 #3
16 Arina CHERNIAVSKAIA / Evgeni KRASNOPOLSKI ISR 85.40 46.80 39.60 5.11 4.82 4.89 5.11 4.82 1.00 #2

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Evgenia TARASOVA / Vladimir MOROZOV
RUS
227.58 1 2
2 Aliona SAVCHENKO / Bruno MASSOT
GER
222.35 3 1
3 Vanessa JAMES / Morgan CIPRES
FRA
220.02 2 3
4 Ksenia STOLBOVA / Fedor KLIMOV
RUS
216.51 4 4
5 Natalia ZABIIAKO / Alexander ENBERT
RUS
200.75 5 5
6 Valentina MARCHEI / Ondrej HOTAREK
ITA
191.93 6 6
7 Anna DUSKOVA / Martin BIDAR
CZE
189.09 7 7
8 Nicole DELLA MONICA / Matteo GUARISE
ITA
180.99 8 8
9 Miriam ZIEGLER / Severin KIEFER
AUT
165.63 9 9
10 Tatiana DANILOVA / Mikalai KAMIANCHUK
BLR
151.55 10 10
11 Rebecca GHILARDI / Filippo AMBROSINI
ITA
148.48 14 11
12 Minerva Fabienne HASE / Nolan SEEGERT
GER
147.40 13 12
13 Lola ESBRAT / Andrei NOVOSELOV
FRA
145.72 11 13
14 Zoe JONES / Christopher BOYADJI
GBR
143.42 12 14
15 Lana PETRANOVIC / Antonio SOUZA-KORDEIRU
CRO
140.09 15 15
16 Arina CHERNIAVSKAIA / Evgeni KRASNOPOLSKI
ISR
133.32 16 16
Ioulia CHTCHETININA / Noah SCHERER
SUI
FNR 17
Goda BUTKUTE / Nikita ERMOLAEV
LTU
FNR 18

2016 World Championships Pairs Free Skate Recap

Duhamel and Radford put out the performance of their careers to Adele’s Hometown Glory to claim their second consecutive World title.  They executed the most technically difficult content of the event with side by side triple lutzes and a throw quad salchow.  They earned a base value of 64.40 points and with all positive GOEs, their technical score was 79.46.  While they did not have the highest program components of the event, they did earn five 10.00 marks from the judges.  Their program really came alive toward the second half and was definitely a crowd favorite.

Short program leaders Sui and Han slipped to 2nd place despite posting season’s best free skate and total scores.  They hit a quad twist and she fell on a fully rotated throw quad salchow.  They also lost ground when she doubled the side by side salchows.  They received negative GOEs on two elements and finished nearly 10 points behind the Canadians in the technical mark.  While they received no 10.00 marks on program components, they did slightly edge Duhamel and Radford overall on that mark and showed more commitment to the performance and maturity than they have in the past.

Savchenko and Massot won the bronze medal in their first trip to the World Championships as a team.  They hit a gorgeous triple twist that earned all +3 GOE from the judges and a side by side triple toe + triple toe sequence.  Their only major error came when she doubled the side by side salchows.

Pulling up to 4th overall was Grand Prix Final Champions Stolbova and Klimov.  They had a technically difficult program planned with a side by side triple toe + triple toe + double toe combination but she singled the final jump.  Their throw jumps were absolutely gorgeous and were highlights of their program.  They lost some technical ground when she fell on the side by side triple salchows.

Canada had three teams place in the top 10 and secured three spots at next year’s World Championships.  Russia had three teams in the top 6 and also earned three spots at Worlds next year.  China just missed out on retaining their three spots and will only have two next year in Helsinki.

Duhamel/Radford, CAN: 79.46 TES + 74.35 PCS = 153.81 Total: 231.99

  • Nice triple twist
  • Side by side triple lutzes right on the musical change
  • Nice throw quad salchow–a very low landing but she stands up on it
  • Good triple toe + double toe + double toe
  • Good unison on the side by side spins
  • Throw triple lutz nicely done
  • Really nice transitional moment for them into the pairs spin–this program really comes alive in the second half after the elements are done, and I’d love to see them have this same emotion and execution throughout
  • Nice change of direction rotational lift into a lunge carry feature to perfectly highlight the last big swell of the music
  • That was the best program they’ve skated all season!
  • The only thing that took away from this program was the swearing and I wish they would have used the edited version of Hometown Glory
  • They are just shy of the World record and it’s going to take a lot to top them today

Sui/Han, CHN: 70.18 TES + 74.44 PCS -1.00 = 143.62 Total: 224.47

  • Big quad twist, super fast rotation, and a nice clean catch
  • Nice side by side triple toe + double toe
  • Huge quad salchow throw but she falls on the landing
  • Great carry feature with her balancing on his neck, straight up in the air
  • She singled the side by side triple salchows
  • Nice throw triple flip but just a hair forward on the landing
  • I like the mature look that their skating has taken on and they really attempt to perform the program

Savchenko/Massot, GER: 69.54 TES + 72.41 PCS = 141.95 Total: 216.17

  • Huge, unbelieveable triple twist, with delayed rotation and so much hang time
  • Side by side triple toe + triple toe sequence, a little wild on the first set
  • She doubles the side by side triple salchow
  • She’s in a very awkward sideways almost fetal position in the death spiral
  • Her air positions are just exquisite with full stretch through the legs and nice toe point
  • Two footed the throw triple lutz
  • Great one handed entry into their second lift
  • Big throw triple salchow to end the program
  • Much better than their outing at Europeans
  • I found this music to be very interesting at first but grating by the end and didn’t really work for them

Stolbova/Klimov, RUS: 69.90 TES + 71.60 PCS -1.00 = 140.50 Total: 214.48

  • Nice height on the triple twist but a bit of a crash on the landing
  • Great side by side triple toe + triple toe combination but she walks through the third jump
  • Big throw triple lutz with a clean landing
  • She falls on the side by side triple salchows
  • Really nice throw triple salchow
  • Good unison on the side by side spins
  • They’re skating to a very cool piece of music with a nice intensity to it but their performance is coming off a bit cold and blank as opposed to truly matching the feeling of the music

Tarasova/Morozov, RUS: 69.16 TES + 66.11 PCS -1.00 = 134.27 Total: 206.27

  • Huge triple twist with a very nice, clean catch
  • He puts a hand down on the side by side triple salchows
  • Nice side by side triple toe + double toe + double toe
  • Awkward positions in the first lift and she loses her foot so they likely won’t get credit for the feature
  • Good throw triple loop and she really hangs on to that landing
  • Really nice death spiral position, but a little awkward getting out of it
  • Pretty nice unison on the side by side spins but they both need more stretch through their free legs
  • Great throw triple salchow with a beautiful landing position

Volosozhar/Trankov, RUS: 54.85 TES + 73.83 PCS = 128.68 Total: 205.81

  • Good air position on the triple twist but a little difficult on the catch
  • He steps out of the side by side triple salchows and can’t complete the combo
  • Good throw triple lutz but she’s forward on her toe pick on the landing
  • Nice side by side triple toes
  • Big throw triple loop and she has to really fight to hang on to the landing
  • This program just didn’t do it for me and they didn’t feel totally invested in it

Iliushechkina/Moscovitch, CAN: 65.40 TES + 65.95 PCS = 131.35 Total: 199.52

  • Nice triple twist
  • Good side by side triple toe + double toe
  • Nice throw triple lutz
  • Really interesting first lift with her arched over his hand and holding on to his shoulder
  • She popped the side by side triple salchow into a single
  • She has absolutely gorgeous air positions in these lifts
  • They have such a nice light, effortless quality to their skating that is perfectly highlighted by the Rachmaninoff music
  • Good throw triple loop
  • Pretty good unison on their side by side spins
  • Good stretch for her in the carry feature in the final lift but they have a bit of trouble getting the rotation started at the end of the lift

Moore-Towers/Marinaro, CAN: 63.17 TES + 61.67 PCS = 124.84  Total: 190.90

  • Big throw triple twist and not a bad catch
  • Side by side triple toe + double toe–he puts his hand down on the first and steps out of the second and can’t completed the third
  • Big throw triple loop
  • Very off on their side by side spins and I’d like to see more stretch from them on the positions
  • I find their interpretation and connection to Romeo and Juliet to be stronger than James and Cipres
  • Side by side triple salchow and she just grazes her hand on the landing
  • Really nice throw triple salchow
  • Really nice cartwheel pressing her right up into a star position, well timed with the music

Scimeca/Knierim, USA: 57.69 TES + 62.00 PCS -1.00 = 118.69 Total: 190.06

  • Big throw quad twist, a little crashy on his shoulder on the landing
  • Nice side by side triple salchows
  • Big throw triple salchow, she two foots the landing and has to put a hand down
  • He pops the side by side toes and she falls on hers
  • She steps out of the throw triple lutz
  • Nice entrance to their lift with her arm tucked behind her back and opening to a nice star position
  • Off on the unison in places in their side by side spins
  • Not quite the performance they were hoping for after such a strong showing at Four Continents

James/Cipres, FRA: 59.91 TES + 60.23 PCS -1.00 = 119.14 Total: 185.83

  • I find their costume choices to be interesting as he is wearing a more traditional Romeo and Juliet outfit but hers is a more modern take that doesn’t necessarily scream Juliet
  • Really nice opening triple twist
  • Side by side triple toe + triple toe combination, he stepped out of the second jump and they were very off on their timing
  • Nice throw quad salchow in the air but she two foots the landing and falls
  • Great unison on their side by side spins and nicely highlighted by the music
  • Good side by side triple salchows
  • A little forward on the landing of the throw triple flip but she hangs on
  • Great split position from her in the carry feature on their final lift and nice strength as he drops to a lunge and brings her right down to their ending pose

Della Monica/Guarise, ITA: 59.01 TES + 59.48 PCS = 118.49  Total: 183.81

  • Side by side triple salchows
  • Nice triple twist with a clean catch
  • Side by side triple toe + double toe combination–they both complete it, but their timing was completely off which will effect the GOE
  • Big throw triple loop but she has to two foot the landing
  • She has an absolutely gorgeous death spiral position
  • I’d like to see them have a more genuine connection with each other, the places where they are choreographed to come in and touch and have a moment seem forced and stiff
  • Nice split position from her in the carry feature on their final lift
  • Throw triple salchow two footed the landing but nice ice coverage

Peng/Zhang, CHN: 61.67 TES + 60.78 PCS = 122.45  Total: 182.46

  • Nice clean triple twist
  • Side by side triple toe + double toe
  • Huge throw triple loop with nice ice coverage
  • She under-rotates and two foots their side by side salchow
  • They are so far away on their side by side spins that the camera had to pan out to get them both in the frame
  • Nice throw triple salchow in the air but she doesn’t really check out and get a nice landing position and has to step out of it
  • These lifts would be more effective if she had more stretch through her air positions

Kayne/O’Shea, USA: 61.26 TES + 58.70 PCS -1.00 = 118.96 Total: 178.23

  • Triple twist with her arm over the head but not quite enough height for a clean catch
  • Good side by side triple salchows
  • I love the choreographic transitions in this program and how they really play to the music
  • Nice throw triple salchow
  • Great side by side double axel sequence
  • Really impressive entrance from behind his back into the throw triple lutz but she can’t control the rotation and falls
  • Pretty good unison on their side by side spins
  • Nice reverse rotation on their lift with a cartwheel dip exit
  • They have such a great connection between them and it really plays well to this particular version of Music of the Night

Marchei/Hotarek, ITA: 56.70 TES + 55.27 PCS -1.00 = 110.97 Total: 170.73

  • Great side by side triple lutzes
  • Triple twist
  • The exit out of the first lift seemed a bit slow and tentative
  • Really nice throw triple loop
  • She doubled the first salchow in their three jump combo and he fell and couldn’t complete any of the other jumps
  • Off on the unison in their side by side spins
  • Nice back entry to their second lift and a change of position with no hands
  • She gets some great air positions in the lifts, especially considering she is so new to pairs
  • Throw triple flip just a little forward on the landing but she hangs on
  • I find the music cuts in this Saturday Night Fever program to be a little jarring but the elements are placed well within the music

Wang/Wang, CHN: 56.17 TES + 57.16 PCS -2.00 = 111.33 Total: 168.65

  • Nice triple twist with a clean catch
  • Side by side triple toe a little off on the timing; she falls and cannot complete the combo
  • Side by side double salchow
  • I’d like to see her work on her lines in and out of the elements and really stretching through the free leg and getting a bit more height
  • Nice throw triple salchow with a great ride out on the landing
  • Good throw triple loop but just a tad forward with her chest on the landing
  • Really unexpected exit from their second lift with her going through his legs after he sets her down
  • Really great unison on their side by side spins
  • They only had one fall, but received an additional deduction as his tie came undone and he had to throw it off the ice

Esbrat/Novoselov, FRA: 42.76 TES + 43.70 PCS -2.00 = 84.46 Total: 137.24

 

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CH IN Ded.
StN.
1 Meagan DUHAMEL / Eric RADFORD CAN 153.81 79.46 74.35 9.18 9.11 9.54 9.25 9.39 0.00 #14
2 Wenjing SUI / Cong HAN CHN 143.62 70.18 74.44 9.32 9.18 9.25 9.39 9.39 1.00 #13
3 Aliona SAVCHENKO / Bruno MASSOT GER 141.95 69.54 72.41 9.11 8.86 9.21 9.00 9.07 0.00 #15
4 Ksenia STOLBOVA / Fedor KLIMOV RUS 140.50 69.90 71.60 8.96 8.86 8.89 9.04 9.00 1.00 #10
5 Evgenia TARASOVA / Vladimir MOROZOV RUS 134.27 69.16 66.11 8.32 8.18 8.32 8.29 8.21 1.00 #12
6 Lubov ILIUSHECHKINA / Dylan MOSCOVITCH CAN 131.35 65.40 65.95 8.29 8.07 8.43 8.25 8.18 0.00 #11
7 Tatiana VOLOSOZHAR / Maxim TRANKOV RUS 128.68 54.85 73.83 9.21 9.14 9.07 9.36 9.36 0.00 #16
8 Kirsten MOORE-TOWERS / Michael MARINARO CAN 124.84 63.17 61.67 7.54 7.57 7.86 7.71 7.86 0.00 #7
9 Cheng PENG / Hao ZHANG CHN 122.45 61.67 60.78 7.75 7.57 7.57 7.64 7.46 0.00 #8
10 Vanessa JAMES / Morgan CIPRES FRA 119.14 59.91 60.23 7.61 7.39 7.46 7.61 7.57 1.00 #6
11 Tarah KAYNE / Daniel O SHEA USA 118.96 61.26 58.70 7.32 7.11 7.43 7.36 7.46 1.00 #4
12 Alexa SCIMECA / Chris KNIERIM USA 118.69 57.69 62.00 7.93 7.71 7.54 7.89 7.68 1.00 #9
13 Nicole DELLA MONICA / Matteo GUARISE ITA 118.49 59.01 59.48 7.29 7.32 7.46 7.54 7.57 0.00 #5
14 Xuehan WANG / Lei WANG CHN 111.33 56.17 57.16 7.11 7.00 7.11 7.25 7.25 2.00 #3
15 Valentina MARCHEI / Ondrej HOTAREK ITA 110.97 56.70 55.27 6.86 6.61 7.07 6.93 7.07 1.00 #2
16 Lola ESBRAT / Andrei NOVOSELOV FRA 84.46 42.76 43.70 5.64 5.39 5.29 5.64 5.36 2.00 #1

 

Pl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Meagan DUHAMEL / Eric RADFORD
CAN
231.99 2 1
2 Wenjing SUI / Cong HAN
CHN
224.47 1 2
3 Aliona SAVCHENKO / Bruno MASSOT
GER
216.17 4 3
4 Ksenia STOLBOVA / Fedor KLIMOV
RUS
214.48 5 4
5 Evgenia TARASOVA / Vladimir MOROZOV
RUS
206.27 6 5
6 Tatiana VOLOSOZHAR / Maxim TRANKOV
RUS
205.81 3 7
7 Lubov ILIUSHECHKINA / Dylan MOSCOVITCH
CAN
199.52 8 6
8 Kirsten MOORE-TOWERS / Michael MARINARO
CAN
190.90 10 8
9 Alexa SCIMECA / Chris KNIERIM
USA
190.06 7 12
10 Vanessa JAMES / Morgan CIPRES
FRA
185.83 9 10
11 Nicole DELLA MONICA / Matteo GUARISE
ITA
183.81 11 13
12 Cheng PENG / Hao ZHANG
CHN
182.46 12 9
13 Tarah KAYNE / Daniel O SHEA
USA
178.23 14 11
14 Valentina MARCHEI / Ondrej HOTAREK
ITA
170.73 13 15
15 Xuehan WANG / Lei WANG
CHN
168.65 15 14
16 Lola ESBRAT / Andrei NOVOSELOV
FRA
137.24 16 16

2016 World Championships Pairs Preview

Volosozhar and Trankov should be the favorites going into this event.  They’ve had a bit of a rough start returning to competition with injuries, but they have won every event they entered, including the European Championships in January.  They don’t have any quad elements in their arsenal, however they rely on high levels and positive GOEs along with strong program components to make up the difference.  But, their free skates have been a problem spot this season with lots of little errors that have cost them points.  Despite their winning record, they do not hold the top scores of the season.  They have the best short program, 6th best free skate and 2nd best total scores.

Sui and Han took a big step up in their gold medal winning performance at Four Continents, setting new personal bests in all segments of competition.  They hit a quad twist and a clean throw quad salchow in their free skate and received positive GOEs on all but one element.  They could still work on bringing up their levels but their program components are right there with the best.  They have the 2nd best short program, 4th best free skate and 3rd best total scores.

Duhamel and Radford didn’t lose a single event last season en route to their first World title but they have had some trouble living up to the expectations of being favorites.  They took home the silver medal from the Grand Prix Final and have yet to come up against Volosozhar and Trankov and Savchenko and Massot in competition.  They had to withdraw from Four Continents due to illness.  They have a throw quad salchow but it’s not always reliable and they’ve held off throwing it in their free skate if their short program wasn’t clean, which has often been the case this season.  They have the 7th best short program, 2nd best free skate and 4th best total scores.

Savchenko and Massot finally received clearance to compete this past fall, and started off at several Senior B events.  In their European debut, they won the silver medal, but they had several problems at that event, including botching two lifts in their free skate and receiving no credit.  They are still a fairly new team with little international experience and their last two events have not been as strong as their first two.  They do have the 3rd best short program, 5th best free skate and 6th best total scores, but these scores were set at a Challenger Series event.

Stolbova and Klimov sat out of Worlds last year to work on quads in order to position themselves for World and Olympic titles in the future.  It looked as if this strategy might not have paid off as they started their season with a 4th place showing at Skate America.  They rebounded with a gold medal at Rostelecom Cup before setting personal best free skate and total scores to claim gold at the Grand Prix Final.  Injuries kept them out of the Russian Nationals and the European Championships and they may not be able to obtain the same level they had in December.  Despite their success at the Final, they did not attempt any quads there.  They relied on a difficult three jump side by side combo in addition to obtaining positive GOEs on all of their elements.  They have the 5th best short program, best free skate and best total scores.

Tarasova and Morozov were able to repeat as European Bronze Medalists this year, but they haven’t had performances to truly put them in contention for a World medal.  Their personal best is just shy of 200 points and they are most likely looking for a top 10 finish.  They have the 6th best short program and 10th best total scores.

Scimeca and Knierim have had a breakthrough season, qualifying for their first Grand Prix Final.  They let the pressure of expectations get to them and lost their US title in January, despite being the heavy favorite going in to the event.  They were able to rebound and surpass expectations at Four Continents, winning the silver medal.  They set personal bests in the free skate and total score, and surpassed 200 points.  They have a huge quad twist in their free skate, but their success is dependent on the side by side jumps which have been inconsistent all year long.  If they hit them, they can be very competitive, but it’s not an element you can count on.  They have the 10th best short program, 7th best free skate and 7th best total scores.

Peng and Zhang are late additions to this event.  They were alternates to the Grand Prix Final and were able to attend replacing the injured Sui and Han.  They did not compete at Four Continents last month, but were given the nod to compete at Worlds over Yu and Jin.  They took home 4th place at this event last season, but don’t seem poised to be able to repeat that feat here.

Notable teams with scores in the top 10 who are not competing include Kavaguti and Smirnov (injured, 5th best total score), Seguin and Bilodeau (injured, 8th best total score) and Yu and Jin (9th best total score).

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Volosozhar/Trankov

Silver: Sui/Han

Bronze: Stolbova/Klimov

 

Bios of the competitors:

Ziegler/Kiefer, AUT: They finished 18th at Worlds last season.  They placed 9th at Europeans.  They placed 6th at Skate Canada and 8th at Trophee Eric Bompard.  Their personal best is 153.29.  She is 22 and he is 25.

Danilova/Kamianchuk, BLR: They placed 10th at Europeans.  Their personal best is 147.36.  She is 22 and he is 28.

Duhamel/Radford, CAN: They are the reigning World Champions.  They won gold at Skate Canada and gold at NHK Trophy to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they won silver.  They are the 2013 and 2014 World Bronze Medalists, 2013 and 2015 Four Continents Champions and 2011 Four Continents Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 221.53.  She is 30 and he is 31.

Iliushechkina/Moscovitch, CAN: They placed 13th at Worlds last season.  They placed 5th at Four Continents.  They placed 7th at Cup of China and 5th at NHK Trophy.  Their personal best is 180.63.  She is 24 and he is 31.

Moore-Towers/Marinaro, CAN: They won bronze at Skate Canada and placed 7th at Rostelecom Cup.  Their personal best is 174.85.  She is 23 and he is 24.

Sui/Han, CHN: They are the reigning World Silver Medalists and Four Continents Champions.  They won gold at Skate America and silver at Cup of China.  They are the 2012 and 2014 Four Continents Champions and 2010-2012 World Junior Champions.  Their personal best is 221.91.  She is 20 and he is 23.

Peng/Zhang, CHN: They finished 4th at Worlds last season.  They placed 4th at Trophee Eric Bompard and won bronze at Rostelecom Cup to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they finished 6th.  They are the 2015 Four Continents Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 206.63.  She is 18 and he is 31.

Wang/Wang, CHN: They placed 5th at Skate America and 4th at Cup of China.  Their personal best is 186.76.  She is 17 and he is 27.

Esbrat/Novoselov, FRA: She is 18 and he is 26.

James/Cipres, FRA: They placed 9th at Worlds last season.  They finished 4th at Europeans.  They won silver at Trophee Eric Bompard and placed 6th at NHK Trophy.  Their personal best is 185.55.  She is 28 and he is 24.

Savchenko/Massot, GER: They are the reigning European Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 214.42.  She is 32 and he is 27.

Tankova/Krasnopolski, ISR: They finished 13th at Europeans.  Their personal best is 119.00.  She is 15 and he is 27.

Della Monica/Guarise, ITA: They finished 14th at Worlds last season.  They placed 6th at Europeans.  They finished 5th at Trophee Eric Bompard.  Their personal best is 191.98.  She is 26 and he is 27.

Marchei/Hotarek, ITA: They placed 11th at Worlds last season.  They finished 5th at Europeans.  They placed 6th at Rostelecom Cup.  Their personal best is 182.61.  She is 29 and he is 32.

Suto/Boudreau Audet, JPN: They placed 9th at Four Continents.  Their personal best is 145.33.  She is 18 and he is 22.

Butkute/Ermolaev, LTU: They finished 11th at Europeans.  Their personal best is 149.84.  She is 16 and he is 24.

Stolbova/Klimov, RUS: They finished 4th at Skate America and won gold at Rostelecom Cup to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they won gold.  They are the 2014 Olympic Silver Medalists, 2014 World Silver Medalists and 2014 and 2015 European Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 229.44.  She is 24 and he is 25.

Tarasova/Morozov, RUS: They placed 6th at Worlds last season and are the reigning European Bronze Medalists.  They won silver at Skate Canada and placed 7th at Trophee Eric Bompard.  They are the 2015 European Bronze Medalists and 2014 World Junior Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 198.46.  She is 21 and he is 23.

Volosozhar/Trankov, RUS: They are the reigning European Champions.  They won gold at Trophee Eric Bompard.  They are the 2014 Olympic Champions; 2013 World Champions, 2011 and 2012 World Silver Medalists; and 2012, 2013 and 2014 European Champions.  Their personal best is 237.71.  She is 29 and he is 32.

Chtchetinina/Scherer, SUI: Their personal best is 114.60.  She is 20 and he is 23.

Kayne/O’Shea, USA: They finished 4th at Four Continents.  They finished 6th at Skate America and 4th at Rostelecom Cup.  They are the 2014 Four Continents Silver Medalists.  Their personal best is 182.02.  She is 22 and he is 25.

Scimeca/Knierim, USA: They placed 7th at Worlds last season and are the reigning Four Continents Silver Medalists.  They won silver at Skate America and bronze at NHK Trophy to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they finished 7th.  They are the 2014 Four Continents Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 207.96.  She is 24 and he is 28.

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