2014 Trophee Eric Bompard Men’s Preview

Javier Fernandez has already qualified for the Grand Prix Final, but there are still 5 spots up for grabs.

Tatsuki Machida started off the season with a commanding performance at Skate America.  His quads were spot on and his performance was leaps and bounds ahead of last season.  Machida’s score is the highest of the season and is 20 points ahead of the next best competitor here.  He needs a 1st-4th place finish to qualify for the Final.

Maxim Kovtun won gold at Cup of China.  However, his free skate had several errors and he likely benefited from the crash of Han Yan and Yuzuru Hanyu that took both competitors out of the running for a gold medal.  His short program is the 4th best this season but his free skate does not make the top 10.  Even if he cleans up his free skate, he’ll have trouble catching Machida but he could come much closer to the gold medal.  He needs a 1st-4th place finish to qualify for the Final.

Richard Dornbush brought a solid free skate to Cup of China to claim the bronze medal, his first ever medal on the Grand Prix.  He hit his quads and several other impressive jumps with nice artistry in his Coldplay program but it started to unravel in the final minute.  He has had problems skating two clean programs and will need to improve his consistency and not make mistakes late in the program.  He did not best the marks he set earlier this season at Lombardia Trophy and still has room to score higher at this event.  He needs a gold medal to qualify for the Final.

Denis Ten had a disappointing outing at Skate America where he finished 4th.  He has always started his season off slowly and had problems hitting the jumps, but seems to surge later on.  Despite winning two World medals and an Olympic medal, he has yet to medal on the Grand Prix.  He needs a gold medal to qualify for the Final.

There is a potential tiebreaker situation if Machida or Kovtun place 4th, Denis Ten wins gold and Takahito Mura places 4th next week in Japan (along with other skaters also qualifying).  In this instance the tiebreaker would be broken by the highest total score with the top two qualifying for the Final.

Han Yan cannot qualify for the Final but is in the mix for the medal stand.  He was in third place after the short program at Cup of China but collided with Yuzuru Hanyu in the warmup.  Both skaters were disoriented and struggled to stand and walk following the incident but went on to skate.  He was clearly suffering during his program and had popped jumps and falls that left him in 6th place.  If he has recovered he will be in the medal conversation.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Tatsuki Machida

Silver: Maxim Kovtun

Bronze: Denis Ten

 

Bios of the competitors:

Han Yan, CHN: He finished 7th at the Olympics and 7th at Worlds.  He placed 6th at Cup of China.  He is the 2013 Four Continents Bronze Medalist and 2012 World Junior Champion.  His personal best is 246.20.  He is 18 years old.

Florent Amodio, FRA: He placed 18th at the Olympics and 13th at Europeans.  He placed 6th at Skate Canada.  He is the 2011 European Champion, 2013 European Silver Medalist and 2012 European Bronze Medalist.  His personal best is 250.53.  He is 24 years old.

Chafik Besseghier, FRA: He placed 9th at Worlds and 12th at Europeans.  He finished 7th at Skate America.  His personal best is 224.19.  He is 25 years old.

Tatsuki Machida, JPN: He placed 5th at the Olympics and is the reigning World Silver Medalist.  He won gold at Skate America.  He is the 2010 Four Continents Silver Medalist.  His personal best is 282.26.  He is 24 years old.

Denis Ten, KAZ: He is the reigning Olympic Bronze Medalist and placed 4th at Four Continents.  He placed 4th at Skate America.  He is the 2013 World Silver Medalist.  His personal best is 266.48.  He is 21 years old.

Maxim Kovtun, RUS: He placed 4th at Worlds and 5th at Europeans. He won gold at Cup of China.  His personal best is 247.37.  He is 19 years old.

Konstantin Menshov, RUS: He is the reigning European Bronze Medalist.  He placed 5th at Skate Canada.  His personal best is 237.24.  He is 31 years old.

Adian Pitkeev, RUS: He is the reigning World Junior Silver Medalist.  He placed 6th at Skate America.  His personal best is 216.24.  He is 16 years old.

Richard Dornbush, USA: He finished 5th at Four Continents.  He won bronze at Cup of China.  His personal best is 237.28.  He is 23 years old.

Douglas Razzano, USA: He placed 8th at Skate America.  His personal best is 199.57.  He is 26 years old.

Adam Rippon, USA: He placed 8th at Four Continents.  He placed 10th at Skate Canada.  He is the 2010 Four Continents Champion and 2008 and 2009 World Junior Champion.  His personal best is 241.24.  He is 25 years old.