Good lord, calling this competition is like solving a complex math equation with WAY too many variables. I feel like it has been a wildly inconsistent season for the men, with each competitor having a huge question mark next to their name. Each have had moments of brilliance and moments of utter disaster. Each one could show up and kill the competition or shoot themselves in the foot. I’m puzzled as to who to pick, but let’s try to work through it together shall we?
Denis Ten (KAZ)- Denis has always struggled with consistency and this season was no exception. He struggled in the Grand Prix series, managing only a bronze at Trophee Bompard. However, at the Four Continents Championships he was beyond brilliant and posted the highest score by any man this season. You never know what you are going to get with Denis, but at his best, he certainly is a favorite for gold. ISU Season Best Score: 289.46
Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN)- Yuzuru suffered from injuries early in the fall, and of course had that terrible crash at Cup of China. He won the silver medal at that competition, though, and fourth at the NHK Trophy. He competed well to win the Grand Prix Final title and a National Championship. He did not compete at Four Continents, so hopefully some rest has prepared him well for Worlds. As the defending champ, he's certainly a frontrunner to take the title again this year. ISU Season Best Score: 288.16
Javier Fernandez (ESP)- This season's European Champ, Javier won silver Skate Canada and gold at Rostelecom Cup before earning silver at the Grand Prix Final behind Hanyu. Javier has struggled with jump consistency this season, and not just on his quad. A two-time World bronze medallist, I am sure Javi is hoping to improve upon that this time around. He has to clean up those jumps to have a shot at that, but he is definitely a favorite for the podium. ISU Season Best Score: 269.09
Joshua Farris (USA)- Josh recovered from a disappointing Grand Prix season to have a breakout performance at the US Nationals, where he won a bronze medal. He followed it up with another wonderful performance at Four Continents Championships to win silver. For Worlds, he's planning to add a quad to his short program, and he needs it to have enough points to podium here. A medal for him is not out of the question, but I think others would need to make mistakes or he would need to have the performance of his life. ISU Season Best Score: 260.01
Han Yan (CHN)- Han Yan was the other skater involved in that terrible Cup of China crash with Hanyu. Most recently, Han came in third at The Four Continents Championships. He's got beautiful jumping technique but can fall apart under pressure. Clean, he's got a good chance at the top five. ISU Season Best Score: 259.47
Takahito Mura (JPN)- Mura has certainly had an up and down season. He qualified for the Grand Prix final after winning Skate Canada and getting bronze at the NHK Trophy. Then, he came in fifth at his National Championships and only was picked for the World team after another skater retired. At his last competition, he was seventh (Four Continents). His season's taken a turn for the worse at his last two events, but he can definitely be near the top if he can skate like he did at the beginning of the season. ISU Season Best Score: 255.81
Sergi Vornov (RUS)- Vornov's season looks great on paper: Rostelecom Cup Silver, NHK Trophy Silver, bronze at the Grand Prix Final, 2nd at the Russian Nationals and third at the European Championships. This will be his sixth appearance at a World Championships and he's sure looking good at the age of 27. ISU Season Best Score: 252.00
Maxim Kovtun (RUS)- Much like his Russian teammate, Maxim had a great Grand Prix season, winning both of his events and coming in fourth at the Grand Prix Final. He is the current Russian National Champion and European silver medallist. He is planning not one- but two- quads just in his short program so he has a lot of technical firepower that could land him near the top, but he's also got a bit of a consistency problem. ISU Season Best Score: 243.35
Jason Brown (USA)- Jason is the Skate America silver medallist, US National Champion, and came in 6th at the Four Continents Championships where he attempted, but did not complete, his first quad in competition. To me, the quad for Jason isn't quite competition ready, and without it, he's not really going to be a contender here, point-wise. Perhaps he's made some progress on it since, but even so, I don't see him getting on the podium in such a strong field. ISU Season Best Score: 243.21
Michael Brezina (CZE)- Michael won the Rostelecom Cup Bronze and came in fifth at the European Championships. He greatly struggles with consistency from competition to competition and doesn't have the planned technical content of most of the other skaters. This is his sixth Worlds appearance, but his best finish (4th) was in 2010 and 2011. ISU Season Best Score: 241.23
And these are just a few of the men who could see the top ten. There's still Adam Rippon, Misha Ge, and Nam Nygen who could also break into the last two skating groups but I have to stop now- my head is spinning. This will certainly be interesting to watch!
About the Blog:
Reviews, predictions and opinions in the magical, sparkly and dramatic field of figure skating.