Saturday, March 9

2013 World Championship Prediction - Ladies

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

Medal Contenders

Ten ladies with a chance at the podium? I think so. The depth right now is really remarkable, and a far cry from the last several seasons.

Mao Asada (JPN) - Mao has revitalized her career this season, winning every competition she has entered, including the Grand Prix Final and Four Continents Championship. She plans a triple Axel in both programs as well as a triple-triple combination in her short program. Like Takahashi in the men, she's going to likely need to fully rotate the triple Axel to have a chance at gold.

Gracie Gold (USA) - Total outside shot to be near the top, but if she can get both of her programs to be consistent in one competition, who knows what could happen. Her free skate at the US National Championship was a total jump clinic.

Yuna Kim (KOR) - Coming back after missing the 2012 season, Kim proved that she again will be a threat after delivering a great free skate at an early-season international.

Carolina Kostner (ITA) - Carolina has re-added the triple Lutz to her free skate this season and is also attempting the triple flip-triple toe combination. She looks good for a medal, but she's going to have to put it all together once again to reign once more as champion.

Kanako Murakami (JPN) - A mistake with counting jumps cost Murakami a shot at the Grand Prix Final earlier in the season, but she delivered a solid competition at the Four Continents Championship. Remember, she was in 2nd place in the short program at Worlds last season.

Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN) - After taking the skating world by storm earlier this season, Osmond faltered in the Four Continents Championship. Will she be able to rebound in front of a home-country audience in her first trip to Worlds?

Adelina Sotnikova (RUS) - Sotnitkova won the short program at the European Championships and narrowly lost the gold to Carolina Kostner overall. She's looking more and more solid as the season progresses.

Akiko Suzuki (JPN) - After a dip in the middle of the season that included a 4th-place finish at her own National Championship, Suzuki rebounded to win the silver medal with a great performance at the Four Continents Championship. She also won bronze at the Grand Prix Final and many people believe she out-skated Asada at NHK Trophy, where she was second.

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) - Like Sotnikova, Tuktamysheva is building as the season goes. She qualified for the Grand Prix Final and won the free skate at Europeans, as well as earning gold at Russian Nationals. A strong short program is important for Elizaveta here, as it may be difficult to rebound from outside the final group in the free skate on her quest for a medal.

Ashley Wagner (USA) - Strong showings earlier in the season, but Wagner fell twice in the free skate at her two most recent competitions, the Grand Prix Final and US Nationals. Without a triple-triple combination in the short program, Ashley may have to dig herself out of a deficit as many of the other ladies are planning one.


Alena Leonova (RUS) - Simply put, who knows where she will end up. She's had a disastrous season to say the least and is lucky to even be here, even though she's the reigning silver medalist.

Zijun Li (CHN) - Tremendous potential and had a great showing at the Four Continents Championship. Has a solid shot at the top 10 here.

My Prediction

1. Yuna Kim
2. Carolina Kostner
3. Mao Asada
4. Akiko Suzuki
5. Adelina Sotnikova
6. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva
7. Ashley Wagner
8. Kanako Murakami
9. Kaetlyn Osmond
10. Gracie Gold
11. Zijun Li
12. Alena Leonova
13. Valentina Marchei
14. Kexin Zhang
15. Viktoria Helgesson


Anonymous said...

Go Yuna Kim!
She is an amazing skater and a solid performer!!

jongwon Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jongwon Lee said...

Do you have Laetitia Hubert's 2000-2001 season videos?
If you have them, could you uplaod them?
Sorry for my lack of English skill....

Anonymous said...

I agree with your prediction. Yu-Na is most likely to deliver clean or nearly clean programs.

I also predict that Yu-Na and Caro both will earn the highest PCS based on their skating skills and mature interpretations.

I would like Mao to skate faster. She also tends to drop choreos as the season progresses. Sadly, the first half of her Free Skate at 4CC was almost empty. I thought her PCS higher than what's put on the ice.

Mao BV is great on paper, but she has landed only three clean triples in Free Skate at every ISU competitions she's entered. I'd be pleasantly surprised if she lands more triples, and would be disappointed if she podiums with a 3-triple program again, as she's done so throughout this season.

Akiko, Liza, and Adelina earned high PCS at their most recent events (with Akiko's being the highest), and now have great chances of being on the podium.

I wouldn't count out Ashley, b/c she talks about putting 3-3.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tony, I had to agree with PJ Kwong recently on a podcast I think it is Caro's to lose. I always cringe when someone use's the famous Bolero, but Carolina's interpretation and program deliverance is a class of beauty, she has put the lutz and flip back in the program and if she delivers what she can deliver I think she will take the title again!. All depends on her SP though!

Akiko for me has the best overall program in terms of originality and musiclaity, she is usually Miss consistent and after a mid slump got it together for 4CC, I like the way she performs and makes the crowd happy when she skates with her lovely smile, it is just a joy to watch. Her personality is second to none. A long shot i know but I hope she gets Silver this time.

Mao has the most beautiful classical programs this year to Swan Lake, it suits her really well and has one of her best seasons so far. The triple Axel will be key for Mao if she nails that in the SP I think she can lead after the short and build on that in the Free and she could be the triple champion, but not sure can go clean in FS to do that. I am pipping her for bronze.

Yu Na great to see he back!! she adds more spice to the competition and like most observers we are not sure how she is going to do here!! anywhere from 1st to 7th, she seems at more ease with herself and her joy of skating is back. I think she will be more ready for Sochi than this Worlds I think. she will be contesting the minor medals because of the lack of competitions gold just might be out of reach!!

Ashley, a beautiful program, i love her power mixed with grace, so transformed over the past couple of seasons I can only see Ashley in a top 5 finish this year!!

But I agree with you Tony great depth this year!! probably the best ever. A bit like 2007 when Caro, Kimmie, Miki, YuNa and Mao were all in for a chance. Regards Russell

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous Way to give praise to every top contender at World but one... FYI, Mao had a total of 7 fully rotated triples at her last competition. Have your forgotten the SP? (She got deducted for the edge on her lutz but it is still considered a fully rotated jump). She didn't win the competition just based on her long program. And it isn't like everyone else was that consistent and producing much more clean triples over the two programs throughout the season.

Anyways, good luck to all the skaters at Worlds! It will definitely be an exciting event this year.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Mao has had clean SPs except for COC where she under-rotated 3F. Mao rotated her flutzes twice out of four attempts in her FS. Based on the statistics, I was pointing out her consistency issue which is more serious than other contenders, and personally, I don't enjoy the situation where a winner has so few clean triples. I also pointed out the fact that she has the tendency to drop her choreos as the season progresses. This was quite noticeable at 4CC where she was focused on the big tricks, and I didn't agree with the way her PCS increased by one point from GPF.
Lastly, I don't enjoy being pressured to praise. Praises should come naturally. I said that I would be pleasantly surprised if she delivers.

Anonymous said...

To the Anon at 3:50, could you please point out specific examples of Mao dropping choreography? I just rewatched her 4CC and GPF performance side-by-side, and I thought the choreography was almost identical...maybe I missed something?