Smooth’s Podium Picks – NHK Trophy 2018

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The fourth leg of the Senior Grand Prix series heads to Hiroshima, Japan; where three more skaters could qualify for the Grand Prix Final next month.

sp-skating-a-20180128-870x646Men – (Full Lineup)

The favorite this weekend is the hometown skater, Shoma Uno, who could punch his ticket into the Grand Prix Final with a victory. He captured Skate Canada with a come-from-behind win. As far as his main rivals, Russian Sergei Voronov, who took home bronze at Skate America. Italy’s Matteo Rizzo finished outside the podium in 4th place at Skate America and has a chance this weekend to make the podium. American Vincent Zhou also has a shot at the podium, as he skated in 5th at Skate America.

Smooth’s Picks –
1. Shoma Uno (JPN)
2. Sergei Voronov (RUS)
3. Vincent Zhou (USA)

Skaters to Watch: Kevin Reynolds (CAN), Dimitri Aliev (RUS), Deniss Vasiljevs (LAT)

satoko-miyaharaLadies – (Full Lineup)

The field is very solid and stands to be one of the best this weekend. The favorite is Japan’s Satoko Miyahara, who won Skate America and can clinch a spot in the Grand Prix Final next month. Liza Tuktamysheva of Russia can also clinch a spot with a victory, as she won at Skate Canada. Japan’s Mai Mihara makes her Grand Prix season debut this weekend. She had 2 fourth place finishes last season in Grand Prix action. Also making her debut this weekend is Maria Sotskova, who finished 2nd at last season’s Grand Prix Final.

Smooth’s Picks –
1. Satoko Miyahara (JPN)
2. Liza Tuktamysheva (RUS)
3. Maria Sotskova (RUS)

Skaters to Watch: Mariah Bell (USA), Courtney Hicks (USA), Mae Berenice Meite (FRA), Eunsoo Lim (KOR)

natalia2bzabiiako2band2balexander2benbert2bof2brussia_spPairs – (Full Lineup)

Only 8 teams are fielded for this weekend. The favorites are Natalia Zabiiako & Alexander Enbert of Russia. They captured gold in Helsinki last weekend and look to qualify for the Final. China’s Chen Peng & Yang Jin had a 2nd place finish at Skate Canada and could qualify for the final with a win. Canadians Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro needs a big win this weekend for an outside chance at the GP Final. They were 3rd at Skate Canada.

Smooth’s Picks –
1. Natalia Zabiiako & Alexander Enbert (RUS)
2. Chen Peng & Yang Jin (CHN)
3. Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro (CAN)

Teams to Watch: Alexa & Chris Knierim (USA), Tarah Kayne & Danny O’Shea (USA),

dsc_4838-editIce Dance – (Full Lineup)

A last minute injury forced out France’s Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron from this weekend’s competition. That leaves the field wide open. Russia’s Tiffani Zagorski & Jonathan Guerreiro is the narrow favorite to make the podium this weekend. They finished 3rd at Skate America. The United States can take the other two podium spots. Kaitlin Hawayek & Jean-Luc Baker are the reigning 4CC champs and had their best Grand Prix finish at NHK Trophy back in 2014, where they made the podium in 3rd place. Rachel & Michael Parsons are former Junior Grand Prix Champs, but their best competition had them place 7th at Rostelecom Cup in 2016.

Smooth’s Picks –
1. Kaitlin Hawayek & Jean-Luc Baker (USA)
2. Tiffani Zagorski & Jonathan Guerreiro (RUS)
3. Rachel & Michael Parsons (USA)

Teams to Watch: Lilah Fear & Lewis Gibson (GBR), Shiyue Wang & Xinyu Liu (CHN)

Last Week’s Results

Men – 2/3
Ladies – 1/3
Pairs – 2/3
Ice Dance – 1/3

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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 Figure Skating, Figures skating, Ice Skating, International Skating Union, NHK Trophy, Skating and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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