Sunday, October 27, 2013

World silver medalists Carolina Kostner and Denis Ten to compete at Cup of China

The Cup of China is the third of the grand prixs of the season. The competition will feature three of the silver world medalists and will be a key to understand how the Olympic season may unfold.

Denis Ten, Carolina Kostner and Savchenko/Szolkowy are the frontrunners and the favourites for a gold finish, but the competition won't be easy for them.

Denis Ten will attend his only grand prix event here, as he withdrew from Skate America due to illness. Worlds 2013 were the only major international competition where Ten did medal, not because he ever lacked potential, but his unconsistency, that may reappear, has prevented him from success. Quality is definetely what brings him to the top of the elite male skaters and could win this competition by skating relatively safe.
Takahiko Kozuka is competing in Beijing too and, as Ten, was assigned to Skate America where he didn't shine and won't probably qualify for the final. Other competitors will be Florent Amodio, Maxim Kovtun, Kevin Reynolds, who, if he competes as he did at Worlds, could make his several quads count towards a medal, and Han Yan, bronze medalist at the 2013 Four Continents.

Carolina Kostner will make her season debut this week, presenting for the first time her new programs on Humoresque (short) and Sheherazade (free). The 2012 world champion has had her finest seasons in this last quadriennal and aims to do something special in her final year in the competitive scene. Olympics seasons have never been a hit for her (9th in 2006 and 16th in 2010), therefore her goal is to compete in Sochi according to her standards and the grand prixs will be a first clue. In any case, that has to be considered that Cup of China may not require her to showcase her complete technical package, as she has an edge on the others components wise.
Besides, her major competitors here, Kanako Murakami and Adelina Sotnikova, haven't started the season incredibly strong; Murakami is known for building up her condition as the season goes on, while Sotnikova is going for a very demanding jumping content (she is trying triple lutz-triple loop) in a bid to be prepared to fight for an olumpic spot.
Take an eye out for Zijun Li, who mesmerized at the World championships last year and who has been pretty consistent throughout the entire last season.

Men: 1. Denis Ten, 2. Takahiko Kozuka, 3. Han Yan
Ladies: 1.Carolina Kostner, 2. Zijun Li, 3. Adelina Sotnikova

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