Figure Skating’s last competition of the year is happening this week in Quebec City, as all of the big names in the sport taking part in the ISU’s Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. It will be hard to figure out who will come out on top, but one thing is for sure, look for the best competition to take place this weekend. Here’s who we think will come out on top.
Men – After winning his last two competitions (Skate Canada & Trophee Eric Bompard in Paris), Canada’s Patrick Chan stands to come out on top in his home country. Barring any missteps on the ice, Chan should be able to take Gold. However, look for solid competition from Japan’s Daisuke Takahashi and American Jeremy Abbott. Both have one Grand Prix victory each this season. Who to look out for? Javier Fernandez of Spain who took silver in his two Grand Prix competitions this season.
1. Patrick Chan (CAN)
2. Daisuke Takahashi (JPN)
3. Jeremy Abbott (USA)
Ladies – The big surprise this young season is 14 year old Elizaveta (Liza) Tuktamisheva of Russia. In her first Senior Grand Prix, she grabbed the top spot in both Skate Canada and Trophee Eric Bompard. In the latter, she defeated current number #1 Carolina Kostner of Italy and American Alissa Czyny. Her competition will get tougher, as Japanese skater Akiko Suzuki stand to give her a run for the gold. (Mao Asada was a last minute scratch due to an illness in the family.) Look for an exciting competition and a preview of the upcoming Worlds in 2012.
1. Elizaveta Tuktamisheva (RUS)
2. Akiko Susuki (JPN)
3. Alissa Czyny (USA)
Pairs – The current number #1 ranked pairs team Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy had a misstep at the NHK Trophy in Sapporo, Japan; finishing 3rd to the Russian team of Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov. But they regained their form and won at Rostelecom Cup in Moscow last month. Look for the Chinese pair of Dan & Hao Zhang and the Japanese team of Narumi Takahashi & Mervin Tran to give them trouble. One dark horse is Megan Duhamel & Eric Radford who took bronze in their two Grand Prix events this season.
1. Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy (GER)
2. Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov (RUS)
3. Dan & Hao Zhang (CHN)
Dance – This is the other big competition of the weekend, with all 6 teams participating having the potential of winning Gold. Meryl Davis & Charlie White have stepped up to the increased competition and were able to prove their worth as the defending world champs, winning each of their competitions. Their primary competition may not be the French team of Nathalie Pechalat & Fabian Bourzat or Canadians Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir. It may be in their back yard with fellow Americans Maia & Alex Shibutani, who won their first Grand Prix event in Japan last month.
1. Meryl Davis & Charlie White (USA)
2. Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir (CAN)
3. Maia & Alex Shibutani (USA)