Monday, October 24, 2011

2011 Skate Canada: Men's Preview

Skate America 2011 is in the books and the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series will make its second stop this weekend in Mississauga, Ontario for Skate Canada. The Men's competition will be particularly exciting as it features the past two World champions and some other key players. I'll be blogging sporadically during the events, but tweeting and re-tweeting as much as possible. The men take the ice at 7:30pm EST on Friday October 28th for the short program and 7:10pm EST on Saturday October 29th for the free.
Some skaters have a hard time winning, but 2011 World Champion Patrick Chan (CAN) has a hard time losing. If you like to predict winners, he is a good bet because he racks up so many points on Grade of Execution (GOE) and Program Components that he's been known to win even with falls. He is a superstar and he should have an extra edge on home ice. His major competition will come from Daisuke Takahashi (JPN) who is also a World Champion, from 2010. He is probably the most stylish male skater on the scene today and is a crowd favorite, even away from Japan. He struggled technically last season and suffered a freak blade problem that kept him off the World podium. He'll be looking for redemption here and signs of whether or not to continue to 2014. Adam Rippon (USA) is another major player looking for redemption. He started 2010 well with a Skate Canada bronze and gradually fell off resulting in a disaster at US Nationals. He is claiming to have a solid Quad Lutz and if he can successfully land that, he could topple Takahashi. Javier Fernandez (ESP) sparked interest with a solid 2010 Grand Prix and blew us away with 2 quads and a top-ten finish at 2011 Worlds. Ross Miner (USA) was also a shocker late last season, taking bronze at US Nationals and 11th at Worlds and either of these up-and-comers could sneak onto the podium. Don't forget perennial favorite Kevin Van Der Perren (BEL) who has killer quads and is back for another season after contemplating retirement. He pulled off a silver at Skate America last weekend, but this seems to be a much tougher field. We'll see if he threatens for the podium again. Denis Ten (KAZ), though he wasn't perfect, surprised us at Skate America with a 5th place finished and will hope to build upon that this week. Reigning World Junior Champion Andrei Rogozine (CAN) will hope to make a splash as well.

My Podium Predictions:
1) Patrick Chan (CAN)
2) Daisuke Takahshi (JPN)
3) Adam Rippon (USA)

Competitive History:

Elladj Balde (CAN)-10th 2011 Nebelhorn Trophy, 7th 2008 JGP Final, 3rd 2008 JGP South Africa, 2nd 2010 JGP Mexico City; PB: 184.89 at 2010 JGP South Africa

Patrick Chan (CAN)-1st at 2011 Worlds, 1st at 2011 Grand Prix Final, 2nd at 2010 Rostelecom Cup, 1st at 2010 Skate Canada; PB 280.98 at 2011 Worlds

Javier Fernandez (ESP)-4th 2011 Nebelhorn Trophy, 10th at 2011 Worlds, 9th at 2010 Rostelecom Cup, 5th at 2010 Skate Canada, 5th at 2010 Coup de Nice; 218.26 at 2011 Worlds

Alexander Majorov (SWE)-4th 2011 Finlandia Trophy, 28th at 2011 Worlds, 1st at 2011 Nordics, 1st at 2010 NRW Trophy, 1st at 2010 Ice Challenge; PB: 195.71 at 2011 Worlds

Ross Miner (USA)-11th at 2011 Worlds, 7th at 2010 Cup of China, 9th at 2010 NHK Trophy; PB: 217.93 at 2011 Worlds

Adam Rippon (USA)-4th at 2010 America, 3rd at 2010 Skate Canada; PB: 233.04 at 2010 Skate Canada

Andrei Rogozine (CAN)-1st 2011 World Juniors, 3rd 2010 JGP Final, 1st 2010 JGP Japan, 1st 2010 JGP France; PB: 200.13 at 2011 World Juniors 

Daisuke Takahashi (JPN)-5th at 2011 Worlds, 1st at 2011 Four Continents, 4th at 2010 Grand Prix Final, 1st at 2010 Skate America, 1st at 2010 NHK Trophy; PB: 264.41 at 2008 Four Continents

Denis Ten (KAZ)-5th at 2011 Skate America, 9th 2011 Nebelhorn Trophy, 14th at 2011 Worlds, 1st at 2011 Winter Asian Games, 11th at 2010 Skate America, 12th at 2010 NHK Trophy; PB: 211.43 at 2009 Worlds

Kevin Van Der Perren (BEL)-2nd at 2011 Skate America, 2nd 2011 O Nepela, 17th at 2011 Worlds, 4th at 2011 Europeans, 6th at 2010 Skate America, 8th at 2010 NHK Trophy, 5th at 2010 Nebelhorn Trophy; PB: 219.36 at 2009 Europeans 

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