Storylines to Watch: It’s all about national rivalries in the ladies field, with two skaters each from Russia, Japan and the United States. Each lady will be skating against her rival and will be extra motivated to have a strong showing before their respective national championships. Which skater from each country will beat their rival and place higher?
The X Factor: In my opinion, the results of this entire competition rest on the shoulders of Mao Asada. If we see a performance like her Cup of China short program and/or her Japan Open long program, the other ladies will be battling over silver and bronze. However, if she skates like she did at NHK, she won’t even make the podium in this incredibly packed field.
My reasoning: I think it’s a battle between the baby Russians for the top spot, as they’ve both thrown down high scores this season. Evgenia has been the most consistent but I think Elena can carry the PCS necessary to get on top of her Russian teammate if both are clean. I am praying we see a stronger Mao Asada here, with at least one successful triple axel. If she can keep close to Gracie in the technical mark, I think she’ll get the PCS to keep a medal spot here.
The battle of the American ladies is such a heated rivalry and I just hope we see comparable performances (i.e. either both do well or both not so well) so we get a quality preview before Nationals. It’s amazing to put a skater like Miyahara last, but this field is so intense. In my opinion, she’s the one most at jeopardy to get both low TES and PCS marks.
I cannot wait to watch this field! I will be live tweeting it and I hope you join in!
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Reviews, predictions and opinions in the magical, sparkly and dramatic field of figure skating.