Podium Picks – Trophee Eric Bompard

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After two weeks in the Far East, the Grand Prix circuit heads to the “city of lights”. Trophee Eric Bompard is Paris’ annual skating competition, where the best of the best compete for slots in the ISU Grand Prix Final. There’s only one competition until the Grand Prix Final in Fukuoka, Japan this December and many skaters will be under the gun to qualify.

Men

Han YanAnalysis: Canada’s Patrick Chan was nearly flawless in his Skate Canada win a few weeks ago and will look to continue his hot streak. His main competition will be from Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu, who finished second to him at Skate Canada and Cup of China gold medalist Han Yan of China. 2013 European silver medalist Florent Amodio of France will look to “wow” the home crowd.

Skaters to Watch: Michal Brezina of the Czech Republic is having a disappointing Grand Prix season, finishing 4th at Skate Canada and will need to step up his game if he wants to qualify for the GP Final. American Jason Brown having a very good GP season, despite finishing 5th at Skate America, his first senior GP.

Smooth’s Pick –
1. Patrick Chan (CAN)
2. Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN)
3. Han Yan (CHN)

Ladies

Anna PogorilayaAnalysis: After a narrow loss to Japan’s Mao Asada at Skate America, Ashley Wagner looks to dominate the field this weekend. The 4th ranked skater in the world will compete against a wide selection of skaters including Italy’s Valentina Marchei and Russia’s Adelina Sotinkova, who won silver at Cup of China. Other competitors include Christina Gao of the USA and Amelie Lacoste of Canada.
Skaters to Watch: Russia’s Anna Pogorilaya surprised many with her gold medal performance at Cup of China last week, her first senior Grand Prix competition. This week, we’ll find out if that victory was a fluke. Also, look for a spirited performance by France’s Mae-Berenice Meite.

Smooth’s Pick –
1. Ashley Wagner (USA)
2. Anna Pogorilaya (RUS)
3. Valentina Marchei (ITA)

Pairs

Meagan Duhamel and Eric RadfordAnalysis: Two-time World Pairs Champions Qing Pang and Jian Tong are the clear favorites to win Trophee Eric Bompard this weekend. Their main competition will be from Canadians Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford who finished 2nd at Skate Canada and Russia’s Vera Bazarova and Juri Larionov. The 2012 European silver medalists are skating in their first competition this season.

Skaters to Watch: Americans’ Caydee Denney and John Coughlin had a solid skate in their first competition after an injury to Coughlin, finishing 4th at Skate America. France’s Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres will also be eyeing the podium as well.

Smooth’s Pick –
1. Qing Pang and Jian Tong (CHN)
2. Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (CAN)
3. Vera Bazarova and Juri Larionov (RUS)

Ice Dance

Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian BourzatAnalysis: Olympic Ice Dance Champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir dominated Skate Canada a few weeks ago, but they’ll be tested with a challenge by Two-time European Champions, Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat of France, who won Cup of China two weeks ago. Russia’s Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov will look to improve on their fourth-place finish from NHK Trophy last week.

Skaters to Watch: Other contenders this weekend include Nelli Zhiganshina and Alexander Gazsi of Germany and 2013 World Junior silver medalists Gabriella Papadakis and Guilleaume Cizeron of France, who are debuting at the senior Grand Prix level.

Smooth’s Pick –
1. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (CAN)
2. Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat (FRA)
3. Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov (RUS)

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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.
This entry was posted in Figures skating, Olympics, Skating, Sochi, Winter Olympics and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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