Monday, November 14, 2011

2011 Trophee Eric Bompard: Men's Preview

We've reached the final continent of the 2011 Grand Prix of Figure Skating, Europe, for Trophee Eric Bompard. This Men's field has been talked about as being one of the finest assembled for a single Grand Prix in recent years. I'd like to say that these outstanding skaters will not disappoint, but even if they do, there will be other guys just as good ready to jump onto the podium. For those of us in the US, it's a blessing that we won't have to watch the events in the middle of the night. The men skate their short at 9:00 a.m. EST on Friday November 18th and their free skate at 7:30 a.m. EST on Saturday November 19th. I'll be LIVE BLOGGING all the events on my site so come back and visit and I'll talk to you then!
In this field of greats, reigning World Champion Patrick Chan (CAN) is the clear front-runner, especially after the withdrawal of Evan Lysacek. In true Chan fashion, he took gold at Skate Canada even with mistakes. His ability to pull points in GOE and PCS, even with falls, makes him a great bet to take the title here. Nobunari Oda (JPN) was quadless at Cup of China, but still took Silver, even with an array of small mistakes. He'll be on the podium if he doesn't beat himself off of it. Adam Rippon (USA) has the 10th highest score of the season, and the 4th highest of this field, even though he made his fair share of errors at Skate Canada. With his great artistry and technique, he could  even take Silver if he can land his Quad Lutz and skate two clean sets. Let's see who to discuss next, oh yes, Nan Song (CHN) this surprise Bronze medalist at his home Grand Prix. This guy is a technical machine and he capitalized on the mistakes of some contenders to grab a medal and will certainly factor into this competition with his huge Quad Toe and positive GOEs across the board on jumps. Michal Brezina (CZE) won Skate America but his score is not among the top ten this season, so what does that tell you? He skated a phenomenal short but absolutely fell apart in the free. He does have Quads if he chooses to show them, so he has major scoring potential if he can go clean, though that rarely happens. Florent Amodio (FRA) is a glorified hot mess in my opinion, who happens to rack up some major points when he is clean, which he was not at Skate America. Even if he skates without major mistakes, it is my opinion that he is outclassed in this field of men, many of whom have a real sense of artistry and not coach Morozov's brand of sequin-clad flitting and flailing.

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

Competitive History: 

Florent Amodio (FRA)-9th at 2011 Skate America, 7th 2011 Worlds, 1st 2011 Europeans, 6th 2010 Grand Prix Final, 2nd 2010 Trophee Eric Bompard 3rd place 2010 NHK Trophy; PB: 229.68 at 2011 Worlds

Chafik Besseghier (FRA)-2nd at 2011 Cup of Nice, 11th at 2011 O Nepela, 6th at 2011 Triglav Trophy, 5th at 2011 Winter Universiade, 5th at 2010 Trophee Eric Bompard; PB: 185.69 at 2010 Trophee Eric Bompard

Michal Brezina (CZE)-1st at 2011 Skate America, 2nd 2011 Nebelhorn Trophy, 4th 2011 Worlds, 8th 2011 Europeans, 1st 2011 Bavarian Open, 2nd 2010 Golden Spin of Zagreb, 7th 201 Nebelhorn Trophy; PB: 236.06 at 2010 Worlds 

Patrick Chan (CAN)-1st at 2011 Skate Canada, 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 

Alexander Majorov (SWE)-9th at 2011 Skate Canada, 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

Nobunari Oda (JPN)-2nd at 2011 Cup of China, 6th 2011 Worlds, 1st 2011 Winter Universiade, 2nd 2010 Grand Prix Final, 2nd 2010 Skate America, 2nd 2010 Skate Canada; 244.56 at 2006 NHK Trophy

Kevin Reynolds (CAN)-7th at 2011 Cup of China, 7th at 2011 Skate America, 20th 2011 Worlds, 11th 2011 Europeans, 4th 2010 Trophee Eric Bompard, 4th 2010 Skate Canada; PB: 218.62 at 2010 Skate Canada

Adam Rippon (USA)-4th at 2011 Skate Canada, 4th at 2010 America, 3rd at 2010 Skate Canada; PB: 233.04 at 2010 Skate Canada 

Nan Song (CHN)-3rd at 2011 Cup of China, 22nd 2011 Worlds, 9th 2011 Four Continents, 3rd 2011 Asian Winter Games, 6th 2010 Trophee Eric Bompard, 10th 2010 Skate America; PB: 226.75 at 2011 Cup of China

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