Luckily for us fans, we have one more event left in the 2016-17 season before we have to face the summer months without skating, and even more terrifying, face the Olympic season. Here's a run down of what to expect from WTT as well as a few of my predictions. Click here for the ISU event page and click here for the IceNetwork schedule.
Event Format: All disciplines compete a short and long program/dance and earn points for where they finish in the standings. (1st place gets you 12 points, 2nd place gets you 11 points and etc.) Skaters earn points for their finish in both the short and long program, but the scores are not added to each other; you essentially get a fresh start in the free program. Points from each skater's short and long program are added together for a team total and determine the winner.
Overall, this competition tends to favor the teams with stronger singles skaters. France and China are out of the mix almost immediately due to that fact and also that their dance teams will also likely finish low in the standings. The big four skating powers (RUS, CAN, USA, JPN) will be fighting it out for the podium.
Due to their relative strength in all the disciplines, I predict Team Russia will end up on the top of the podium. The likelihood that Team Japan's men will finish 1-2 in both segments leads to a solid silver medal finish, especially combined with Mai Mihara's consistency. The race will be incredibly close for the U.S. and Canada to make it to the podium; the battle between Daleman/Chen/Wagner and Weaver/Poje and Chock/Bates will really be the factor here. Though it will be close, I think Team USA will pull it out for the bronze medal.
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