Notes on my podium predictions from the last post:
Ladies- I am interested to see Elizaveta Tuktamysheva try her triple axel again in competition. This should give us a good look at how consistent she can be with this big jump. I think Elena Radionova will be in better form than her long program at Worlds, but will again get silver. I picked the Americans to finish ahead of Satoko Miyahara here simply because I think they will be seeking big-time redemption after their disappointing Worlds. I gave Gracie Gold an edge for bronze over Ashley, as she had a stronger long program at Worlds that should give her some confidence. I wouldn't be surprised if Gracie faltered though, and Ashley or Satoko landed on that podium.
Men- Yuzuru Hanyu should easily win in the men's event; there just is no one else competing in his scoring category. I hope he is a bit more prepared in Tokyo than he was at Worlds with more training time behind him. I think a Russian will come in second; (either one will do IMO). They've been good most of the season but struggled at Worlds, so hopefully they bounce back. USA has a great chance at a medal in the men's event if Jason Brown can skate clean. Japan could easily grab a medal here also, but their men have been iffy as of late.
Pairs- The top three I picked should easily be the three on the podium with clean skates. I expect Duhamel and Radford to be clean and consistent for gold, as they have been all season. It could be the Russians in second, but Sui/Han are coming off a wonderful World Championships and I look for them to continue that here and win silver. I do not see Scimeca and Knierim getting on the podium unless some big mistakes are made at the top.
Dance- I hope Papdakis and Cizeron respond well to being the new World Champs and skate well here to cap off their fantastic season with another gold. You can bet that Weaver and Poje will be out for blood after only coming in third at Worlds. I think they'll be hungry and skate well for silver. The Americans, Chock and Bates, should easily round out the top three, but could beat the Canadians again to get a higher step on the podium.
Can't wait to see how it all shakes out this week! I'll be watching and hope you will, too!
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