Saturday, March 9

2013 World Championship Prediction - Men

A brief synopsis of the season so far and then my prediction for the men at the 2013 World Championships.

Top Medal Contenders

Patrick Chan (CAN) - Chan is skating in his home country as the two-time defending World Champion. He has had a subpar season at best, only finishing 3rd at the Grand Prix Final. Will he get it together for London?

Javier Fernandez (ESP) - Fernandez upset Chan on his home ice early in the season at Skate Canada and also won the European Championship in January. However, a lackluster short program at the Grand Prix Final kept him off the podium, even with a three-quadruple jump free skate.

Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) - Hanyu started the season with a bang, twice setting the record for the highest score ever in a short program. However, he has had troubles with his free skate in the last few competitions, most recently dropping behind Kevin Reynolds overall to win silver at Four Continents.

Daisuke Takahashi (JPN) - Mixed bag of a season for the former World Champion. He won the Grand Prix Final over all three of the former men, but then completely unraveled at Four Continents to finish in 7th place overall. Daisuke has trouble fully-rotating his quadruple jump attempts, and he will be in serious trouble if the trend continues in London.

Others to Watch

Max Aaron (USA) - The surprise winner of the US National Championship followed it up with a second-best free skate at Four Continents, finishing in fourth place overall after a fall in the short program. The quadruple Salchow seems so effortless for him.

Florent Amodio (FRA) - A bit of an outside shot for Amodio, but he has been getting stronger and stronger as the season has progressed. Florent bested Fernandez in the short program at the European Championship.

Michal Brezina (CZE) - 'Mr. Fourth Place', as he would describe himself, finally moved onto the podium at the European Championships with a second-place free skate.

Brian Joubert (FRA) - The elder statesman of the group continues to show he isn't done just yet. He finished fourth at the World Championships last year and repeated the placement at Europeans this season. While a medal is unlikely, Brian has shown tremendous consistency in placement at the World Championships over the last ten (yes- ten!) seasons and could have an outside chance at a medal.

Ross Miner (USA) - One of the more consistent skaters lately for the United States, Ross had his (overdue?) 'off' performance at Four Continents. However, his scores at NHK Trophy earlier in the season give him the eighth-best competition score of the season of the men competing in London.

Takahito Mura (JPN) - A skater with gorgeous quality, Mura boosted himself into the top levels of Japanese skating by winning the Trophee Eric Bompard earlier this season and was able to get onto the podium at the National Championship to earn a ticket here.

Kevin Reynolds (CAN) - Biggest upset of the year when he won Four Continents with an amazing performance in the free skate. Reynolds, like Takahashi, sometimes has trouble getting the full rotation in his jumps, but he managed just fine in his last competition.

Wildcards

Some will either end up fifth or eighteenth. Some are fresh faces and unpredictable. These are the guys that really make predictions a headache sometimes.

Maksim Kovtun (RUS)
Nan Song (CHN)
Denis Ten (KAZ)
Tomas Verner (CZE)

MY PREDICTION

Enough talk. You know you're here for this part.

1. Yuzuru Hanyu- I think he'll be able to hold it together and grab the title here.
2. Patrick Chan- Finally shows greater consistency but just not enough for gold.
3. Javier Fernandez- Very high expectations from many people, solid skating for a medal but mistakes keep him from gold.
4. Florent Amodio- On an upwards trend.
5. Daisuke Takahashi- Really concerned about underrotation potential. It could bury him here.
6. Michal Brezina
7. Kevin Reynolds
8. Max Aaron
9. Brian Joubert
10. Ross Miner
11. Nan Song
12. Takahito Mura
13. Maksim Kovtun

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

ITA about Takahashi's UR problem.

My take is that he should try only one quad throughout the two programs. His success rate has been like 30% this season. He earns only 4.5 points when he underrorates and steps out. What's more, his 3A has been giving him a lot of trouble this season.

Let's be realistic. He is currently fighting for the top 5. To take an advantage of his high PCS, he needs to be clean.

Anonymous said...

Hi tony, I agree with your prediction for the podium. Yuzuru seems to be a good SP person and could have a high score and a big point lead that could save him to win overall. He might not win the free skate but i think he has the edge. Patrick has to be solid in the SP to be there with Yuzuru as Chan's FS is the best out there in my opinion. I agree about Javier he has niggling landing problems when he is not on, not sure he can go clean here. I think Kevin after 4CC is on high and will perform well and I think Max Aaron too. Although not in contention I am looking forward to seeing Misha Ge, Caluza and one of your favourites Tony - Viktor Pfiefer. I also enjoy Denis Ten's FS to The Artist he has great steps and nuances which remind me of Kurt Browning but not sure which Denis Ten is going to show up!!, be a great competition I think!! Regards Russell

Anonymous said...

Hi according to the practice reports, Patrick did a perfect run-through of his SP, including 4-3! Good for him!! I also heard that Takahashi and Javi did not do well. I am a bit concerned about Javi, considering what happened at NHK and the increasing pressures after his victory at Euros. So many ppl put him as the favorite and that can affect his consistency. But I really hope that he will pull it together here. Re Takahashi, I was hoping to hear some positive news about his quads, but IF it is still not there, I hope that Morosov will intervene and help him make a strategic decision.

Anonymous said...

I wish if Yuzuru had withdrawn. I understand that an 18-year-old athlete who's determined to win the title would not have thought about withdrawal. But JSF should have intervened and called the alternative. If all Daisuke, Mura, and Yuzuru cannot place well enough to earn the three spots, some Japanese fans will bash Yuzuru frantically. Think about what happened to Miki Ando after the Olys. People bashed her so frantically that I was worried that she might think of committing a suicide. Like Miki, Yuzuru is a type of person who reads all letters sent to him.