Okay, so how do I see this all breaking down in the end?
I think there will be some changes at the top. Not gonna lie, Gracie, I don’t trust you to hold onto a 0.33 lead over the Russians.
I predict Elizaveta Tuktamysheva will skate consistently in the long program (as she has all season) to overtake Gracie to win the gold medal. Liza will probably be hungry after her triple axel fall and complete her comeback season with a win. The judges have loved her LP all year, and I see her getting high enough marks to get 12 points for Team Russia.
This could go either way, but I think Elena Radionova will pull up into silver medal position over Gracie Gold. Elena has been incredibly consistent this season and I think she’ll be firing on all cylinders. We know she is capable of scoring big in the free skate, and she can certainly do it here. At the end of the day, I think she’s less likely to make a mistake than Gracie.
Gracie Gold’s short program lead gives her a good cushion to stay on the podium but I just don’t trust her to skate well enough in last position (the skate order is reverse of the SP finishes) to stay on top of it. She struggles under pressure and skating after other performers have gotten big scores; here she skates after both Russians who are almost guaranteed to put up good numbers. I am thinking she’ll have some confidence after the short and skate well but make at least one mistake to end up in third.
To get on the podium, Ashley Wagner needs a big mistake from Radionova or several mistakes from Gracie and I just don’t think that will happen. I really hope Ashley takes the momentum from the short program, though and runs with it. With a solid skate, she should be safely in fourth place. I’m hoping for a clean 3-3 and bunch of the diva sass she’s known for to send her Moulin Rouge program off on a good note.
I think Satoko Miyahara will rebound from her rough short to overtake Kanako Murakami for fifth. Murakami should be safely in sixth place with a decent skate.
Below the top six, I see those placements mostly remaining, but I’d like to see Mae Berenice move up a spot over her French teammate.
One last post later today with my predictions for the rest of the event, and then we all get to sit back and watch it all happen : )
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