Smooth’s Podium Picks – Rostelecom Cup 2018

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Round four of the Senior Grand Prix series heads to Moscow and the possibility of two different sweeps of the podium for Russia. One category could be a definite, but the other is quite unsure. More skaters could qualify for the Grand Prix Final with one more stop to go.

messing-keegan-20181722-1180Men (Full Lineup) – Last year, Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu was upstaged by Nathan Chen’s outstanding performance and had to settle for 2nd place. This year, the two-time Gold medalist looks to get what was taken from him in Moscow. He’s the overwhelming favorite this weekend, but there are other skaters who look to challenge him. Canada’s Keegan Messing (Photo) will be his biggest competitor coming off a 2nd place finish at Skate Canada last month. A 1st or 2nd place finish could put him in the final. Russia’s Mikhail Kolyada finished 3rd at last year’s Rostelecom Cup and looks to get back to the podium. American Alexei Krasnozhnon performs in his native Russia this weekend and looks to do better than his 7th place finish at Helsinki.

Smooth’s Pick –

1. Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN)
2. Mikhail Kolyada (RUS)
3. Keegan Messing (CAN)

Skaters to Watch: Julian Zhi Jie Yee (MAS), Andrei Lazurkin (RUS)

gracie-gold-opens-up-about-professional-help-socialLadies (Full Lineup) – The question this weekend is whether Russian ladies can sweep the podium. The “deep bench” of skaters is led by Olympic champion, Alina Zagitova, who easily won the Grand Prix of Helsinki and can punch her ticket to Vancouver. Teammates Sofia Samodurova (3rd, Skate America) and Polina Tsurskaya (7th, Skate America) could make that sweep of the podium a reality. However, Elizabet Tursynbayeva of Kazakhstan could break it up with a good showing this weekend. American Gracie Gold (Photo) makes her return to Grand Prix action after two years away for the sport. Her last appearance in Moscow was in 2012, where she finished 2nd. Mako Yamashita of Japan finished 2nd at Skate Canada and can also make the podium with a big performance.

Smooth’s Pick –

1. Alina Zagitova (RUS)
2. Sofia Samodurova (RUS)
3. Elizabet Tursynbayeva (KAZ)

Skaters to Watch: Yuna Shiraiwa (JPN), Eunsoo Lim (KOR).

nicole-della-monica-and-matteo-guarise-1Pairs (Full Lineup) – Eight teams compete this weekend. At the top of the list is Russia’s Evgenia Tarasova & Vladimir Morozov, who dominated Skate America with a 1st place win. Teammates Alisa Efimova & Alexander Korovin were right behind in 2nd place and look for another podium spot. Daria Pavliuchenko & Denis Khodykin finished 3rd in Helsinki and could make it a sweep on the podium in pairs, as well. A few teams could top that from happening. Italy’s Nicole Della Monica & Matteo Guarise (Photo) were 2nd in Helsinki and look to make the Grand Prix Final with a win. Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya & Harley Windsor of Australia had a disappointing Senior GP debut, finishing 7th at Skate Canada and look for a better showing this weekend.

Smooth’s Pick –

1. Evgenia Tarasova & Vladimir Morozov (RUS)
2. Alisa Efimova & Alexander Korovin (RUS)
3. Daria Pavliuchenko & Denis Khodykin (RUS)

Teams to Watch: Ashley Cain & Timothy LeDuc (USA) 3rd at Skate America, Deanna Stellato & Nathan Bartholomay (USA)

carreira-ponomarenko-8261Ice Dance (Full Lineup) – Only nine teams are competing this weekend, with Americans Madison Chock & Evan Bates pulling out due to injury. That makes Russia’s Alexandra Stepanova & Ivan Bukin the team to beat. They won their 1st Grand Prix title at Helsinki and can make the Final with a win. A few teams could make their first podium this weekend. They include Sara Hurtado & Kirill Khaliavin of Spain, who were 4th in Helsinki, Americans Christina Carreira & Anthony Ponomarenko (Photo) who were 5th in Helsinki and Natalia Kailszek & Maksym Spodyriev of Poland, who were 8th at NHK Trophy last weekend.

Smooth’s Pick –

1. Alexandra Stepanova & Ivan Bukin (RUS)
2. Sara Hurtado & Kirill Khaliavin (ESP)
3. Christina Carreira & Anthony Ponomarenko (USA)

Teams to Watch: Allison Reed & Saulius Ambrulevicius (LTU), Misato Komatsubara & Tim Koleto (JPN)

Last Week’s Results

Men – 2/3
Ladies – 0/3
Pairs – 2/3
Ice Dance – 3/3 (CALLED IT!)

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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, Grand Prix, Ice Skating, International Skating Union, Rostelecom Cup, Skating and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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