This pairs field = things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmm. The pairs field is incredibly shallow this season, and that is reflected in this field here. There are several up-and-coming teams looking to make some career progress in the push towards 2018. I’ll be real with you, any of these teams could totally bomb or totally surprise. So your picks are just as good as mine. *shrugs*
While we have only seen them compete once together as a team, YU/ZHANG seem to be the favorite to win here. They are skating at home after a very good debut event at Skate Canada. They will need the consistency they displayed in Canada to take the gold here, and with that, a spot at the Grand Prix Final. Which really wouldn’t be a bad way to start your career together.
ILIUSHECHKINA /MOSCOVITCH are my tentative pick for silver. I say tentative because their side by side jumps are liabilities, but they have a nice overall quality to their skating. The bronze they picked up at Skate Canada was a really important step forward in their career. A silver here would put them in a great spot for another step forward- the Grand Prix Final.
Dealing with an injury, KAVAGUTI/SMIRNOV had a rough start at Skate Canada. While I like them as team more than the Canadians, the injury has been tough on their results. I’m hoping they can break through and skate well here for the bronze medal.
The other new Chinese pair of PENG/JIN also have podium potential here. They are skating at home, against their former partners who just won a medal at Skate Canada. You hope there’s some motivation in that to do well, but they are so new as a team that some growing pains would be perfectly understandable. I hope they have a solid debut as a team.
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Reviews, predictions and opinions in the magical, sparkly and dramatic field of figure skating.