2014 Trophee Eric Bompard Ladies Preview

Two Russian ladies have already qualified for the Grand Prix Final and two more could join them after this week.  Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and Anna Pogorilaya have both earned 28 points to qualify.

Elena Radionova put in a commanding free skate performance at Skate America to take home the gold medal.  She rattled off her triples with ease and while her artistry is not the same as the older competitors, she is a joy to watch on the ice.  Her free skate score is the best of the season and her total score is the second highest.  She set personal best free skate and total scores at Skate America.  She needs a 1st-4th place finish to qualify for the Final.

Julia Lipnitskaia took home the silver medal from Cup of China with a disappointing performance.  She finished nearly 35 points below her personal best.  Her jumps in her free skate were an issue and often times looked small.  She has admitted to struggling with the post Sochi pressure and her usual consistency seems to be gone.  She missed the medal ceremony in China as well and had to apologize and pay a fine.  She has had the shortest turnaround between events of any of the top competitors and will really need to put her last competition behind her.  Her short program has the highest marks of the season, proving that when she’s on, she can still be the best.  She needs a gold or silver medal to qualify for the Final.

Ashley Wagner took home the silver medal from Skate Canada.  I really like her choice of Moulin Rouge for a free skate this year and think the musical selections will be electric if she’s skating a clean program and will lift her up if she’s had mistakes.  She was a bit tentative in her first outing and didn’t have the full attack she gives a program.  She’s skating more conservatively this year and not putting the triple + triple in her free skate so she’ll need all the program components points to keep up with the Russians.  She needs a gold or silver medal to qualify for the Final.

Samantha Cesario and Courtney Hicks had nearly identical scores at their first Grand Prix outings.  Cesario finished 4th at Skate America while Hicks finished 4th at Skate Canada.  Cesario has an impressive triple loop + triple loop combination but doesn’t have as many triples as the top skaters and relies on her artistry.  Hicks is a powerhouse with lots of height in her jumps but doesn’t have the same artistic expression.  Both shined in their free skates and have scores in the top 10 this season.  They need a gold medal to qualify for the Final.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Elena Radionova

Silver: Julia Lipnitskaia

Bronze: Ashley Wagner

 

Bios of the competitors:

Veronik Mallet, CAN: She placed 13th at Four Continents.  She finished 10th at Skate Canada.  Her personal best is 159.67.  She is 20 years old.

Eliska Brezinova, CZE: She finished 18th at Worlds and 15th at Europeans.  She placed 11th at Rostelecom Cup.  Her personal best is 145.15.  She is 18 years old.

Laurine Lecavelier, FRA: She placed 13th at Europeans.  She finished 11th at JGP Latvia and 9th at JGP Belarus last season.  This is her Grand Prix debut.  Her personal best is 139.42.  She is 18 years old.

Mae Berenice Meite, FRA: She placed 10th at the Olympics, 15th at Europeans and 5th at Europeans.  She finished 9th at Skate America.  Her personal best is 174.53.  She is 20 years old.

Haruka Imai, JPN: She placed 4th at Four Continents.  She placed 8th at Skate America.  Her personal best is 175.40.  She is 21 years old.

Maria Artemieva, RUS: She placed 10th at Rostelecom Cup.  Her personal best is 144.72.  She is 21 years old.

Julia Lipnitskaia, RUS: She placed 5th at the Olympics, is the reigning World Silver Medalist and the reigning European Champion.  She won silver at Cup of China.  She is the 2012 Junior World Champion and 2013 World Junior Silver Medalist.  Her personal best is 209.72.  She is 16 years old.

Elena Radionova, RUS: She is the reigning World Junior Champion.  She won gold at Skate America.  She is the 2012 World Junior Champion.  Her personal best is 195.47.  She is 15 years old.

Anna Ovcharova, SUI: She finished 20th at Worlds.  This is her Grand Prix debut.  Her personal best is 147.52.  She is 18 years old.

Samantha Cesario, USA: She placed 8th at Four Continents.  She finished 4th at Skate America.  Her personal best is 174.58.  She is 21 years old.

Courtney Hicks, USA: She finished 5th at Four Continents.  She placed 4th at Skate Canada.  Her personal best is 174.51.  She is 18 years old.

Ashley Wagner, USA: She finished 7th at the Olympics and 7th at Worlds.  She won silver at Skate Canada.  She is the 2012 Four Continents Champion and 2007 and 2009 World Junior Bronze Medalist.  Her personal best is 194.37.  She is 23 years old.