Wednesday, November 3, 2010

ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating: Cup of China Preview

Here is an update on Fantasy Skating from Skategate and myself.
                         **Skategate  **BackStage Barbie

NHK Trophy Rank:        61             228
Skate Canada Rank:     150           147
Overall Rank:                91             126
Total Points:                 3906         3878

Now that the ISU's Grand Prix season is underway, we should continue to see stronger programs from here on out as skaters will have had more time to prepare for the later events than the first two. Icenetwork.com's live streaming schedule for Cup of China is as follows:

Friday, Nov. 5
2:45 a.m.: Short dance
4:30 a.m.: Ladies short program
6:25 a.m.: Men's short program
8:25 a.m.: Pairs short program
Saturday, Nov. 6
2:00 a.m.: Free dance
3:55 a.m.: Ladies free skate
6:05 a.m.: Men's free skate
8:25 a.m.: Pairs free skate

In Ice Dance, expect Faiella & Scali of Italy and Pechalat & Bourzat of France to battle it out for the top spot. We'll also see a lot of young Chinese teams here, and while they are very strong in pairs, they have yet to prove themselves in Ice Dance. In Ladies, we'll get our first glimpse this season of American Mirai Nagasu and one of Japan's top ladies Miki Ando. Both have the potential for greatness but each has a penchant for letting their nerves take over. In Mens I expect Brian Joubert of France to win easily if he can keep his head about him, Japan's Takahiko Kozuka or Czech Republic's Tomas Verner could have the potential to overtake him if he falters. Finally, in Pairs, with China's Shen & Zhao retired, their former teammates Pang & Tong have no match in the world. In fact, they are so far ahead of the other pairs in this competition that they were not even included in this week's fantasy skating competition. Iliushechkina & Maisuradze seem to be Russia's next top team so I expect them to make the podium here at Cup of China. I am hoping that Evora & Ladwig of the United States can skate a clean short and long and take that third spot on the podium. If they can put together two clean programs, they have some of the highest elements scores in the world and have the potential to compete with the world's best.

Here is a list of those competing in the event and the fantasy picks from Skategate and myself:
**Skategate   **BackStage Barbie   **Shared Picks

Pairs:
1) Kaleigh Hole/Adam Johnson (Canada)
2) Huibo Dong/Yiming Wu (China)
3) Qing Pang/Jian Tong (China)
4) Wenjing Sui/Cong Han (China)
5) Nicole Della Monica/Yannick Kocon (Italy)
6) Lubov Iliushechkina/Nodari Maisuradze (Russia)
7) Amanda Evora/Mark Ladwig (USA)
8) Caitlin Yankowskas/John Coughlin (USA)

Ladies:
1) Diane Szmiett (Canada)
2) Bingwa Geng (China)
3) Quizing Zhu (China)
4) Miki Ando (Japan)
5) Akiko Suzuki (Japan)
6) Min-Jeong Kwak (Korea)
7) Aleno Leonova (Russia)
8) Joshi Helgesson (Sweden)
9) Amanda Dobbs (USA)
10) Kristine Musademba (USA)
11) Mirai Nagasu (USA)

Men:
1) Peitong Chen (China)
2) Jinlin Guan (China)
3) Jialiang Wu (China)
4) Tomas Verner (Czech Republic)
5) Brian Joubert (France)
6) Peter Liebers (Germany)
7) Samuel Contesti (Italy)
8) Takahiko Kozuka (Japan)
9) Tatsuki Machida (Japan)
10) Sergei Voronov (Russia)
11) Ross Miner (USA)
12) Brandon Mroz (USA)

Dance:
1) Kharis Ralph/Asher Hill (Canada)
2) Xueting Guan/Meng Wang (China)
3) Xintong Huang/Zue Zheng (China)
4) Xiaoyang Yu/Chen Wang (China)
5) Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat (France) 
6) Nora Hoffmann/Maxim Zavozin (Hungary)
7) Federica Faiella/Massio Scali (Italy)
8) Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev (Russia)
9) Isabella Cannuscio/Ian Lorello (USA)
10) Madison Hubbell/Keiffer Hubbell (USA)

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