Like many skating fans, I am wearily counting down the days until the Wold Championships in Shanghai! I am passing the time by blogging some of my thoughts on each discipline as we gear up for the biggest competition of the year- Starting with ice dance...
What a race this will be! This competition features some North American talent in unbeaten Canadians Weaver/Poje and the top two Americans- Chock/Bates and the Shib Sibs-pitted against reigning European gold and silver medallists Papadakis/Cizeron and Capellini/Lannotte. Here's a season review for the top ten dance teams competing at Worlds:
Weaver/Poje (CAN)- It's been a golden season for these two with first place finishes at both of their GP events, the GP Final, Canadian Nationals and the Four Continents crown to boot. Second last year, they are favorites to win their first World title, having posted the highest ISU total score this season of 181.14.
Papdakis/Cizeron (FRA)- What a breakout season for these two! They won two GP events and claimed the bronze medal at the GP Final before winning a national championship and their first European title. Their season best score is just over one point behind the Canadians at 179.97. Their free dance is truly something special and they could definitely upset for the gold.
Chock/Bates (USA)- The leading American team won two GP events and a National title but have come in second behind the Canadians at the GP Final and the Four Continents Championships. They are certainly favorites for the podium, however, and could easily win their first World medal. Their ISU season best score is 176.18.
Cappellini/Lannote (ITA)- Last year's World Champions will have a tough run defending their title this season with such a competitive field. This team won a bronze on the GP circuit and were second at the European Championships to Papadakis and Cizeron. Their ISU seasons best score is 171.52.
Shibutani/Shibutani (USA)- The Shib Sibs have been having a good season so far, but can't seem to find a breakthrough. They won two Grand Prix silvers, placed fourth at the GP Final, were second at US Nationals and finished third at the Four Continents Championships. Maia and Alex have a mean set of twizzles and will certainly be aiming for the podium, but perhaps a top five finish may be more realistic.
Hubbell/Donahue (USA)- The third American team competing at Worlds has two GP bronze medals to their name as well as a bronze at the US National Championships. They were tied in points to make the last spot at the Grand Prix final, but their scores weren't high enough to grab the spot. Their ISU season best score is 166.74.
Guiginard/Fabri (ITA)- Another Italian team came in sixth at the European Championships this year. They were fourteenth at the World Championships last year, and can certainly improve on that performance this year. Their season best score is 166.46.
Gilles/Poirier (CAN)- This duo won a silver medal on the Grand Prix circuit and qualified for the Grand Prix Final. They came in 2nd to Weaver and Poje at the Canadian nationals and placed fourth at Four Continents Championships. They came in eighth at last year's championships and with a good performance this year, they could improve on that.
Stepanova/Bukin (RUS)- Alexandra and Ivan won a bronze medal at Skate America, the Russian National Championships and the European Championships. Their seasons best score is 160.95 and they look to place in the top 10 at this year's competition.
Ilinykh/Zhigashin (RUS)- Considering it's their first season together, this team has had a great season. They qualified for the Grand Prix final after winning a silver at the Rostelecom Cup. They won the Russian National Championship and placed 4th at the European Championships. They need more time together, but Elena is one of my favorite performers and they have lots of potential.
Stay tuned for my pairs, mens, and ladies previews this week and next! I will follow those up with podium picks, reviews and more. It's my goal to watch all of the events live so catch my live tweets on my Twitter page and tweet with me!
Worlds IceNetwork Streaming Schedule
ISU Entries Listing
About the Blog:
Reviews, predictions and opinions in the magical, sparkly and dramatic field of figure skating.