Smooth’s Podium Picks – Four Continents Championships 2016

logo_a

Chinese Taipei is the site for this year’s Four Continents Figure Skating Championships. The country, formerly named Taiwan has hosted the 4CC twice before in 2011 and in 2014. Three of four reigning Four Continents Champions are back to defend their titles.

Here are our picks!

ISU+Four+Continents+Figure+Skating+Championships+TL6zxtcVLFSx

Kazakhstan’s Denis Ten faces a huge challenge to defend his 4CC title. 

Men

Analysis – 24 skaters will be competing this weekend, including the reigning Four Continents Champion Denis Ten of Kazakhstan.  He’ll have his hands full with the surging Patrick Chan of Canada looking to continue his hot streak. Ten comes with a season’s best of 276.39 points to Taipei.  He’ll also face Japan’s Shoma Uno, who is coming off a bronze medal from the Grand Prix Final.  China’s Boyang Jin is the other possible podium placer.  If you’re looking for Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu, you’re out of luck. He’ll be prepping for Worlds in Boston next month.

Skaters to Watch – Three skaters that will peak your interest this weekend.  Defending Four Continents bronze medalist Han Yan of China is coming off a disappointing Grand Prix season having not made the final. American Max Aaron just won his 2nd US title. Japan’s Takahito Mura the USA’s Ross Miner are both former medalists in this event.

Smooth’s Picks

  1. Patrick Chan (CAN)
  2. Denis Ten (KAZ)
  3. Shoma Uno (JPN)
11174997_913128208708966_1688851098282504654_n

Japan’s Satoko Miyahara looks to grab gold to go along with silver from last year.

Ladies

Analysis – The compact field includes some great skaters who will contend.  At the top of the list is Japan’s Satoko Miyahara.  She took silver last year and will be considered the favorite. Her main competition should come from American Gracie Gold, who is coming off a big win at US Nationals.  Japan’s Rika Hongo took bronze last year and is a threat for a higher seed.  Canadian Alaine Chartrand performed her best skate at last month’s Nationals, winning her first championship.

Skaters to Watch – A few disappointments this weekend.  American Polina Edmunds (boot problem) was a last minute scratch along with Canadian Gabby Daleman (foot injury). In their places are Karen Chen and Kaetlyn Osmond.  Other contenders include China’s Zijun Li (CHN), and 2014 Four Continents Champion Kanako Murakami of Japan.  American Mirai Nagasu is a wild card and will challenge for the podium.

Smooth’s Picks

  1. Satoko Miyahara (JPN)
  2. Rika Hongo (JPN)
  3. Gracie Gold (USA)
Tarah+Kayne+Danny+O+Shea+2014+Prudential+Figure+qdWmY7Z6R9Vl

Americans Tarah Kayne & Daniel O’Shea are out to prove last month’s US Championship was no fluke.

Pairs

Analysis – The reigning World Champions, Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford are coming off a less than stellar defense of their Canadian championship. They’re still considered the heavy favorites this weekend and are aiming at defending their 4CC title. Their main challengers are China’s Wenjing Sui & Cong Han and Xiaoyu Yu & Yang Jin.  Americans Alexa Scimeca & Chris Knierim are coming off a stunning upset at last month’s US Nationals, where they had to settle for 2nd. Still, they’re a threat to take a podium spot.

Skaters to Watch – Newly crowned US champions Tarah Kayne & Daniel O’Shea will be hard pressed to show last month’s win was no fluke.  They’ll have to do much better than their 4th place (Moscow) finish in international competition.   Canadians Lubov Iliushechkina & Dylan Moscovitch gets the knod by Skate Canada to compete this weekend after a 3rd place finish at Nationals.  Americans Marissa Castelli & Mervin Tran finished 3rd at US Nationals to earn a spot to Taipei.  Canadians Julianne Seguin and Charlie Bilodeau were last minute scratches due to injury.

Smooth’s Picks

  1. Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford (CAN)
  2. Wenjing Sui & Cong Han (CHN)
  3. Xiaoyu Yu & Yang Jin (CHN)
2014+Prudential+Figure+Skating+Championships+wqoS-L0L-Lel

Americans Madison Chock & Eban Bates look to rebound from a disappointing loss at US Nationals.

Ice Dance

Analysis – Canadians Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje will be gunning for their third straight 4CC title.  They haven’t lost in competition this year and are the odds on favorites this weekend.  But there are two teams that could spoil it. Americans Maia & Alex Shibutani finally broke through and won their first US Ice Dance title, defeating Madison Chock & Evan Bates. Despite the loss Chock & Bates still hold a slight edge and still could leapfrog with a better performance this weekend. Americans Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue reached the top of the podium in 2014 and could reach it this weekend.

Skaters to Watch – Canadians Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier have tasted the podium before in 2014 with a silver medal, though it may be a tougher challenge this weekend.  Japan’s Kana Muramoto & Chris Reed will get their first challenge as newly crowned National champions.

Smooth’s Picks

  1. Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje (CAN)
  2. Madison Chock & Evan Bates (USA)
  3. Maia & Alex Shibutani (USA)
Advertisements

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 4CC, Figure Skating, Figures skating, Four Continents, Ice Skating, International Skating Union, Skating, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s