Tuesday, November 22, 2011

2011 Rostelecom Cup: Ladies Preview

This ladies event is a little difficult to predict because it's full of either young or inconsistent skaters, only 3 of the 10 having won a medal in their first Grand Prix of the season. The ladies skate their short Friday November 25th at 7:00 a.m. EST and their free on Saturday November 26th at 7:00 a.m. EST.
Mao Asada (JPN), coming off of a disastrous 2010-2011 season, looked fantastic at NHK Trophy where she finished just about a point out of first, and I think she can win here. If she goes clean with her technical elements she can beat the pants off of this field with her program components. Any medal will put her in the final. Adelina Sotnikova (RUS) did not make the Grand Prix debut we expected, though she finished a respectable 3rd in China. A Silver will likely be enough to secure her a spot in the final, though a Gold would guarantee it. Alena Leonova (RUS), Bronze medalist in Japan looks to qualify for the Final as well, though she also needs Silver, likely Gold, to secure a spot. I'm not a fan of her programs, but when she goes clean, the judges reward her accordingly. The American trio of Rachael Flatt (USA), Christina Gao (USA) & Agnes Zawadzki (USA) did not start out the season as they hoped, but because the final is now out of reach, they can skate all out and have nothing to lose. They all have podium potential if they put together two strong program and other make mistakes. Kiira Korpi (FIN) also had a rough start to the season and is in the same boat as the Americans in that she can skate full out without having to worry about qualifying for the Final. Her skating is so understated and she is a complete joy to watch.

My Podium Predictions:
1) Mao Asada (JPN)
2) Adelina Sotnikova (RUS)
3) Alena Leonova (RUS)

Competitive History:

Mao Asada (JPN)-2nd at 2011 NHK Trophy, 6th 2011 Worlds, 2nd 2011 Four Continents, 5th 2010 Trophee Eric Bompard, 8th 2010 NHK Trophy, 1st 2010 Worlds, 2nd 2010 Winter Olympics; PB: 205.50 at 2010 Winter Olympics

Sofia Biryukova (RUS)-1st 2011 Finlandia Trophy, 6th 2010 Rostelecom Cup, 6th 2010 Coup de Nice, 7th 2010 Finlandia Trophy; PB: 153.05 at 2010 Rostelecom Cup

Rachael Flatt (USA)-10th at 2011 Skate Canada, 12th 2011 Worlds, 4th 2011 Four Continents, 6th 2010 Grand Prix Final, 2nd 2010 Skate America, 2nd 2010 NHK Trophy; PB: 182.49 at 2010 Winter Olympics

hristina Gao (USA)-5th at 2011 Cup of China, 4th 2011 World Juniors, 6th 2010 JGP Final, 2nd 2010 JGP Germany, 2nd 2010 JGP Austria; PB: 167.14 at 2010 JGP Czech

Haruka Imai (JPN)-4th at 2011 Skate America, 3rd 2011 Gardena Spring Trophy, 2nd 2011 Asian Winter Games, 6th 2010 Trophee Eric Bompard, 5th 2010 Skate Canada, 1st 2010 O Nepala; PB: 155.29 at 2010 Four Continents

Kiira Korpi (FIN)-6th at 2011 NHK Trophy, 9th 2011 Worlds, 3rd 2011 Europeans, 1st 2010 Trophee Eric Bompard, 4th 2010 NHK Trophy, 2nd 2010 Finlandia Trophy, 1st 2010 Nebelhorn Trophy; PB: 169.74 at 2010 Trophee Eric Bompard at 2010 Trophee Eric Bompard

Amelie Lacoste (CAN)-6th at 2011 Skate Canada, 16th 2011 Worlds, 9th 2011 Four Continents, 5th 2010 Skate America, 3rd 2010 Skate Canada; PB: 156.26 at 2010 Skate Canada

Alena Leonova (RUS)-3rd at 2011 NHK Trophy, 4th at 2011 Skate Canada, th 2011 Worlds, 5th 2011 Europeans, 9th 2010 Cup of Russia, 3rd 2010 Cup of China, 1st 2010 Coup de Nice, 3rd 2010 Finlandia Trophy; PB: 183.92 at 2011 Worlds

Adelina Sotnikova (RUS)-3rd at 2011 Cup of China, 1st 2011 World Juniors, 1st 2010 JGP Final, 1st 2010 JGP England, 1st 2010 JGP Austria; PB: 178.97 at 2010 JGP Austria

Agnes Zawadzki (USA)-8th at 2011 NHK Trophy, 3rd 2011 World Juniors, 4th 2010 Rostelecom Cup, 6th 2010 Skate Canada; PB: 161.07 at 2011 Worlds 

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