Monday, October 14, 2013

Skate America schedule and Preview

Skate America is going to be the opening event of the six grand prixs of this season. The event will take place from 18th to 20th October in Detroit (GMT -4.00). Here is a provisional schedule:

Friday 18th
19.00: Men short program and short Dance
Saturday 19th
12.00: Pairs short program and Ladies short program
19.00: Men free skate and free Dance
Sunday 20th
14.30: Pairs free skate and Ladies free skate

The event will start off with the men competition, in which Daisuke Takahashi of Japan is the frontrunner. However, considering hius weak performance at Japan Open few weeks ago, Takahashi could leave the door open to others on the way to the top of the podium.
Denis Ten, the unexpected silver medal from the last worlds, coul be a tough competitor. He is one of the most complete male athlete of this time but inconsistency has always taken him away from medal finishes since London 2013. This competition will be a first chance to prove that his Canadian triumph wasn't a fluke.
Takahiko Kozuka may as well put some pressure on his compatriot. After having struggled throughtout the last season, he had a brilliant performance at Japan Open finishing in second (behind a mesmerizing Fernandez) proving solidity on quads.
It will be inteesting to see what the US men can come up with, as the battle for the Olympic qualification is wide open. Max Aaron is the favourite among the American athletes in this competition, and will probably remain the leader as far as his quads stay still.
EDITED: Denid Ten has withdrawn due to illness

As for the ladies, Mao Asada is the ultimate frontrunner. She looked in great shape at Japan Open and in this competition she won't find anyone who could match her artistry and technical prowess at the same time.
Talking about technical prowess, the young Russian girls could make the competition tough for the defending skate America champion Ashley Wagner. 
Elena Radionova and Elizaveta Tuktamisheva will represent Russia in this first event. While Tuktamisheva has struggled at Finlandia Trophy and could me not at her best, Radionova, here debuting in a senior A competition, looks as strong as ever (she did win at Nebelhorn Trophy against Miki Ando).
Ashley Wagner had a strong beginning to the season as well, hittin a triple flip-triple toe at Japan Open. Besides, at this stage Ashley Wagner is bound to be credited a considerably high components score, so that if she does anything she plans to do, she will restrain the Russian skaters.

The pairs and the dance events will be more predictable. Volosozhar/Trankov and Davis/White are in a lock for gold in their own discipline as bot teams will face their main contestants no sooner than the grand prix final.
Among the pairs, the Canadians Moore-Towers/Moscovitch will assure themselves the silver medal while Denney/Coughlin and Castelli/Shnapir will fight for the third place.
In the dance events Cappellini/Lanotte and the Shibutanis are medal contenders.

Men: 1. Denis Ten, 2.Daisuke Takahashi, 3. Takahiko Kozuka
Ladies: 1. Mao Asada, 2. Ashley Wagner, 3. Elena Radionova
Pairs: 1. Volosozhar/Trankov, Moore-Towers/Moscovitch, 3. Castelli/Shnapir
Dance: 1. Davis/White, 2. Cappellini/Lanotte, 3. Shibutani/Shibutani

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