WHO IS IN: Elena Radionova, RUS- 30 points; Anna Pogorilaya, RUS- 28 points; Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, RUS - 28 points; Julia Lipnitskya, RUS- 26 points
ON THE BUBBLE:
Ashley Wagner, USA 24 points
SKATING THIS WEEK:At the last event in the series (NHK Trophy), there are four ladies in contention for a spot at the Final: Gracie Gold, Satoko Miyahara and Kanako Murakami (all with 11 points) and Polina Edmunds with 9 points.
THE SCENARIOS:For Gold, Miyahara and Murakami, a win gets them a guaranteed spot in the Final with 26 points. If one of those 3 wins and one of those three skaters also gets 2nd place, the second place winner would be in a tiebreak situation for the Final with Ashley Wagner at 24 points. In that scenario, a third place would not be good enough to qualify those skaters for the Final.
Polina Edmunds needs to win to have a chance for the Final. That would put her at 24 points, a tie with Ashley Wagner.
THE TIEBREAK: In the event of a tie, the total number of points each skater accumulated over their two events is used to decide a winner. After their first event, Ashley Wagner had a point advantage over the other four contenders: 4.25 points over Satoko Miyahara, 6.62 points over Gracie Gold, 16.61 points over Kanako Murakami and 24.73 points over Polina Edmunds. However, Wagner's scores were lower at her second event and leave the door open for Gold and Miyahara to outscore her.
BOTTOM LINE: Gracie Gold is favored to win and could easily grab a spot at the Final with a 1st or 2nd place finish. Ashley Wagner is most vulnerable point-wise if Gold and Miyahra go 1-2. Polina Edmunds and other competitors could break into the top three and really mix things up.
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