Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Grand Prix Final: Ladies Preview

She's baaaaaaack. After a disastrous 2010 Grand Prix, World Champion Mao Asada is gradually returning to top form. Though she has yet to do 2 clean programs at one event, she is showing her fighting spirit and I believe in her, enough to think she can topple the only double Gold winner of this Grand Prix season, Elizaveta Tuktamisheva. Liza has been outstanding, but she's also been almost 100% clean in all 4 programs thus far, which the other ladies cannot say. Because she lacks the maturity and elegance of the other ladies, Liza is beatable if other skaters go clean. Akiko Suzuki is another feel-good story this season, becoming one of the oldest ladies ever to win a Grand Prix at NHK Trophy. She receives very high PCS marks if she can land the jumps. Carolina Kostner & Alissa Czisny have had very comparable seasons, each winning one event and medaling in the other. Both are elegant and mature, but often make silly mistakes and beat themselves out of titles. Alena Leonova is not my favorite and that is no secret. I respect that she does the best she can with what she is given but her choreography is crap, in my opinion. You can shoot me if I'm wrong, but I say she is the only lady who has no shot of winning this thing.

Placement Predictions:
1) Mao Asada (JPN) Season's Highest GP Score 184.19
2) Elizaveta Tuktamisheva (RUS) Season's Highest GP Score 182.89
3) Akiko Suzuki (JPN) Season's Highest GP Score 185.98
4) Carolina Kostner (ITA) Season's Highest GP Score 182.12
5) Alissa Czisny (USA) Season's Highest GP Score 179.15
6) Alena Leonova (RUS) Season's Highest GP Score 180.45

Competitive History: 

Mao Asada (JPN)-1st at 2011 Rostelecom Cup, 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 (NHK Trophy, Rostelecom Cup)

Alissa Czisny (USA)-3rd at 2011 Trophee Eric Bompard, 1st at 2011 Skate America, 5th 2011 Worlds, 5th 2011 Four Continents, 1st 2010 Grand Prix Final, 3rd 2010 Trophee Eric Bompard, 1st 2010 Skate Canada; PB: 182.25 at 2011 Worlds (Skate America, Trophee Eric Bompard)

Carolina Kostner (ITA)-2nd at 2011 Trophee Eric Bompard, 1st at 2011 Cup of China, 2nd at 2011 Skate America, 3rd 2011 Worlds, 1st 2011 Gardena Spring Trophy, 2nd 2011 Europeans, 3rd 2010 Skate America, 1st 2010 NHK Trophy; PB: 184.68 at 2008 Worlds (Skate America, Cup of China, Trophee Eric Bompard)

Alena Leonova (RUS)-2nd at 2011 Rostelecom Cup, 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 (Skate Canada, NHK Trophy, Rostelecom Cup)

Akiko Suzuki (JPN)-1st at 2011 NHK Trophy, 2nd at 2011 Skate Canada, 7th 2011 Four Continents, 1st 2011 Triglav Trophy, 5th 2010 Grand Prix Final, 2nd 2010 Rostelecom Cup, 2nd 2010 Cup of China; PB: 185.98 at 2011 NHK Trophy (Skate Canada, NHK Trophy)

Elizaveta Tuktamisheva (RUS)-1st at 2011 Trophee Eric Bompard, 1st at 2011 Sktae Canada, 2nd 2011 World Junior Championships, 1st 2010 Junior Coup de Nice, 2nd 2010 Junior Grand Prix Final, 1st JGP Romania, 1st JGP Germany; PB: 182.89 at 2011 Trophee Eric Bompard (Skate Canada, Trophee Eric Bompard)

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