Who’s In: Gracie Gold (28 points), Evgenia Medvedeva (28 points) and Elena Radionova (26 points) have solidified their spots in Barcelona.
Who’s Got A Shot Competing This Week: Mao Asada (15 points), Ashley Wagner (15 points), Satoko Miyahara (11 points), Anna Pogorilaya (9 points)
Who’s Waiting in the Wings: Rika Hongo (20 points) and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (18 points). Elizaveta also is eligible for a special bid to the Final if she ends up in 7th overall.
NHK Competition Analysis: If I have any “advice” to give this week, it would be not to underestimate Mao Asada at home. Japanese fans are so enthusiastic in general, but to have one of their most beloved skaters back in competition, at home, after winning Cup of China (197.48) -and I expect her to be skating well- they are going to go nuts for her. Ashley Wagner’s first event score (202.52) is actually higher than Mao’s, but I don’t think Japan will be as PCS friendly for Ash as Canada was. I would still like to see her get 200 points at this event and skate strong here.
Satoko Miyahara will also be skating at home, and I expect her PCS to be kinder here than what they were at Skate America (188.07). She needs to land on the podium to get to the Final, and I would like to see her make it there after her breakthrough at Worlds last season. Anna Pogorilaya will be looking to get back to the Final with a second place finish or higher. It is certainly possible with her jumping firepower, but she even struggled with that at her first event (Cup of China 184.16).
My Podium Predictions: GOLD- Asada SILVER- Wagner BRONZE- Miyahara
FOURTH- Pogorilaya FIFTH- Leonova SIXTH- Hicks
That Would Make the Final Of:
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