Saturday, January 14, 2012

European Championship: Pair's Preview

Moving to the pairs competition, battle for gold will be between Savchenko Szolkovy (GER) and Volosozhar/Trankov (RUS) (the other elite's pair from Russia Kavaguti/Smirnov have withdrawn due to injury). The German and the Russian couple faced early this season in the grand prix final won by Savchenko/Szolkowy for two points. Because of the technical ability of both, it is really hard to foresee who is going to win. Although, the fact that Savchenko/Szolkowy is a couple since many years, while Volosozhar/Trankov started to compete together last season, could help the German team to win their fifth European Championship.

Aiming for a third place finish, there are two couples: Bazarova/Larionov (RUS) and Berton/Hotarek (ITA). Bazarova/Larionov are a truly talented pair who gained bronze medal at European Championships last year. Their trademarks are lifts and throw jumps (even for the extreme light of Vera Bazarova) but they had often struggled with their side by side jumps.

Bazarova/Larionov national championship free skate

Berton/Hotarek are a newly formed couple (they did their debut at worlds 2010 in Torino0 but they have already took the scene in major competitions. For the first time in their career and in Italian figure skating history, they earned the bronze medal at Cup of Russia, just after savchenko/Szolkovy and Kavaguti/Smirnov. Their technical content is full of valuable elements, such as spins, steps and side by side triple toeloop. What could hurt them in this competition is the lack of triple twist, element they are working on.

Berton Hotarek national championship free skate

Podium picks:
Gold: Savchenko/Szolkowy
Silver: Volosozhar/Trankov
Bronze: Bazarova/Larionov 

1 comment:

  1. Splitting hairs but Smirnov had surgery after an appendectomy not necessarily an injury per se. With that said the pair’s event will be pretty uneventful; the Germans and Russians will be either one or two. Bazarova and Larionov will once again get a medal because a top pair wasn’t able to take part, just like last year. The Italians will be 4th and the other Russians will be 5th. I can’t imagine H/W have got that much better to take 5th unless the Russians really mess up.