Podium Picks – Canadian Nationals

Men:
Analysis: The Canadian men will send three to London, Ontario later this year.  With all the trouble reigning World Champion Patrick Chan has had during the Grand Prix season, he can be rest assured that he’ll be able to successfully defend his Canadian championship.  However, he can’t slouch on the competition.  His only main competition will be Kevin Reynolds (ranked 22nd in the world), who struggled in Grand Prix competition this season. The return of former Canadian champ Emanuel Sandhu will be highly anticipated, but the judges will be scrutinizing his program, as has most skaters who make a comeback after such a long layoff. 
Who to watch for: Ottawa’s Nan Nguyen is making his senior debut this season. Jeremy Ten will be coming back from a two year layoff due to injuries.  
1. Patrick Chan
2. Kevin Reynolds
3. Emanuel Sandhu
Ladies:
Analysis: The biggest story in this category is Kartlyn Osmond, the surprise winner of this season’s Skate Canada.  Her first competition as a Senior skater, she surprised the judges and is the favorite to win it all this weekend.  She’ll have to take on veterans Amélie Lacoste, Kate Charbonneau and Veronik Mallet.   Of the three, Lacoste is the one skater that will give Osmond the toughest task.  One skater that won’t be competing is Cynthia Phaneuf, who announced her retirement from competitive skating. 
Who to watch for: US Junior Bronze medalist Alexe Gilles has decided to skate for Canada.  Also, Adriana DeSantis will be looking to make one last performance in her long skating career.
1. Kaetlyn Osmond
2. Amélie Lacoste
3. Kate Carbonneau
Pairs:
The retirement of Jessica Dube & Sebastien Wolfe leaves only six teams vying for two spots at Worlds.  The favorites are Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford, who faired well this season at Skate Canada and Trophee Bombard (2ndeach) before falling to a 4th place finish at the Grand Prix final. Paige Lawrence & Rudi Swiegers came close twice to making the podium at Skate Canada and Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, finishing 4th each time.  But the team that may make a strong move could be Kirsten Moore-Towers & Dylan Moscovitch, who finished 2nd at the NHK Trophy, but fell to 5th at the Grand Prix Final.
Who to watch for: Margaret Purdy & Michael Marinaro will skate in their first Nationals as seniors. They won the Junior Grand Prix competitions in Lake Placid and Sochi. 
    
1. Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford
2. Kirsten Moore-Towers/Dylan Moscovitch
3. Paige Lawrence/Rudi Swiegers
Ice Dance:
Analysis: Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir are the class of the Ice Dancing category, with their rivalry against Americans Davis and White sure to be the story in London later this year.  But they can’t get too comfortable, as they do have some heavy competition at home.  Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje finished strong this Grand Prix season with a 1st place finish at the O. Nepela Memorial in Bratislava and two 3rdplace finishes at Skate America and Cup of China.  Along with her twin sister Alexe, Piper Gilles also decided to skate for Canadawith her new partner, Paul Poirier. They both faired well in Grand Prix competition, finishing 4th at Skate Canada and 6th at Trophee Bombard.
Who to watch for: Look for the team of Nicole Orford & Thomas Williams, who will look to improve on their poor performances at this Grand Prix season.  Also look for Alexandra Paul / Mitchell Islam to make a move for the podium.
1. Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir
2. Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje
3. Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier
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Next week, US Nationals!
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About smoothjazzandmore

I'm a TV producer and an Internet radio broadcaster. I also write for my blogs (An Op-Ed Blog and a Football Blog) here at WordPress.
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