The ladies event at NHK Trophy will be highlighted by the presence of Mao Asada who, after winning Skate America three weeks ago, has become the first lady to win all of the six grand prix events in her career. Moreover, considering that she could pull off a similar competition as she did in her first grand prix, she is a big favorite even on home ice. Her triple axel is not a completely solid element for her yet and she still has some issues with under-rotating jumps, but her performances are successful overall and she is much more mature and appreciated by the judges as far as components score is concerned.
There will be other two Japanese ladies at NHK: Akiko Suzuki and Satoko Miyahara. For Akiko Suzuki this is going to be the second grand prix, having skated at Skate Canada where she got the silver medal behind Julia Lipnitskaia. She skated strong overall, despite some mistakes that caused her the gold medal and is looking for at least a silver medal here. Satoko Miyahara, instead, is debuting internationally in the senior circuit. Satoko has a tendency to under-rotate her jumps, but when she hits them she become a very pleasant and artistic skater.
Elena Radionova and Gracie Gold will be aiming for a medal as well. Elena , competing in the senior circuit for the first year, has won the bronze medal at Skate America. Although she might be considered the most promising skater among the young Russians, she is not at consistent as others and the gap in the components score with the veterans ladies is, in case of an overall clean competition, bound not to be made up. Gracie Gold surprised everyone gaining a brilliant score in the short program despite having had a tough early season due to coaching changes. Frank Carroll seems to have done a great job with her and she might improve visibly after a couple of weeks.PODIUM PICKS:
Gold: Mao Asada
Silver: Akiko Suzuki
Bronze: Gracie Gold