Monday, April 12

The Chinese skaters did well at 4CC, but didn't have any skaters at Worlds. What do you think of them and how long until they have a couple spots?

They had three pairs and then one skater in each discipline otherwise. Yan Liu looked to be on her way up at the 2006 Olympic Games, but then really hasn't progressed as far as her basic skating or speed or choreography goes since then. And she used to always land all of her triples, something she's had a lot of trouble with the last few seasons. She's getting up there in age, but I don't see anyone else really pushing to take her spot if she does retire, so we may see her for another four years, and probably in that same 15-24 range. I'd say they stay at the one spot for a while.

There are a few men coming up the ranks that have potential. I think the problem there was that Jialang Wu was given many chances as the Chinese sole entry to the big events, but really bombed several of those outings. He had a great short program at his first Worlds but I'm pretty sure fell on three Axel jumps in his free skate, and then at his second Worlds he didn't make the free skate, that was in 2009- the Olympic qualifying Worlds. Then he finished 19th at Nebelhorn and wasn't even close to qualifying one of the six final spots for Vancouver.. Jinlin Guan is a very artistic skater but if he doesn't get a triple Axel, he's not going to be near the top 10 either. Nan Song is the World Junior silver medalist and had the best result of he Wu, and Guan at Four Continents this year. He's probably the one to watch for.

The third Chinese pair at Worlds (that didn't qualify for the free skate) was at Worlds a few years ago and finished something like 12th or 13th, so they've probably stagnated or regressed as well. But I think China wants their future to be in the World Junior Champions as well as Zhang/Zhang for the next Olympic cycle. However, the question mark with Sui/Han is going to be how they grow in the next few years.

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