Can’t believe it’s the last grand-prix event of the season! This year the grand-prix serie was dramatic and a lot depends on this last one event. That is why the main intrigue of the NHK Trophy is who will get into the grand-prix final in Barcelona. The competition will be so exciting to watch, so here is my list of the most intriguing things:
- Yuzuru Hanuy skating at home
Yuzuru Hanyu will definitely do everything he can to please the home crowd and to win this event. And he’s a favorite to win here (no matter how many quads Boyang Jin will do). But I wonder how clean his performances will be? Can we expect another World-record in the short program? And of course don’t miss the Pooh rain)
2. How many quads Boyang Jin will do?
Boyang Jin’s debute on the senior level was very impressive! And we all expect that his second grand-prix event will be no less impressive. Of course he has almost zero chance to beat Hanuy in Japan, but the place lower than second will be a bad result for him. Don’t miss the historical combination 4lutz-3 toeloop! Breathtaking how easy he do it! The intrigue is how many clean quads he will manage to do in the free program.
3. Maxim Kovtun in Final again?
Maxim Kovtun was surprisingly good at his previous grand-prix. Unfortunately we didn’t have a chance to see him in the free program but Kovtun seems to be a lucky guy, as ISU decided to calculate the points for the TEB’s participants based on the short program. With the second place at Trophee Eric Bombard, and not a tough competition for the bronze at NHK Trophy Kovtun has great chances to be in grand-prix final again) Seems, Maksim Kovtun is still a Russian hope in men’s skating.
4. Mao Asada
Mao Asada by herself is a reason to watch any competition she takes part in. Her skating are gorgeous, her programs are great. Watching her skating you can forget about the sport and competition, you can just enjoy the beauty of figure skating, of mature, feminine figure skating. But of course she’s an absolute favorite to win here and the ice will be fully covered with flowers.
5. Can Ashley Wagner book tickets to Barcelona?
Diva Ashley Wagner brightly won grand-prix at Canada, so here she can place from 1st to 4th to get into the final. I doubt that Ashley can beat Mao in Japan but place lower than second will be a failure. So, I hope she will skate both her programs clean, with lots of energy and emotions. She’s a great performer, a personality on ice and a fighter. Melt that ice Ashley and get into the Final with a strong performance!
6. Can Anna Pogorilaya be on the podium?
With first and second places being almost booked by Asada and Wagner the main fight will be for bronze. Can Anna Pogorilay win it? She definetly can because she has everything to do it. Everything depends on her, how ready she will be mentally and whether she will deal with her nerves. I also hope that she will change that terrible dress for the free program that spoils all impression of actually a nice choreo.
7. The scores for Duhamel and Radford
The main intrigue of the pair event at NHK Trophy was killed with a withdrawal of Volosozhar and Trankov. So, now the only question is whether Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford can skate their both program clean and how many will they get. Whether their scores will be higher than Stolbova and Klimov’s home scores?
8. Can Shibutani win?
It’s the best chance for Maia and Alex Shibutani to win the grand-prix event. I hope they won’t miss it. I also hope they will not only win the event but get the scores close to Chock and Bates’s) It’ll make the grand-prix final and especially a US National Championship so exiting to watch!) Maia and Alex have great free dance and it definetly worth watching!
9. Grand-prix final for Hubbell and Donohue?
With the first place at Trophee Eric Bompard (based on the short dance) Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue have great chances to get into the grand-prix final and that will mean that three US pairs will skate in final! What is definetly a huge sucess for American ice dances! Hubbell and Donohue have breathtaking short dance, as for me the best among all unclassical waltzes of the season. We haven’t seen their free dance from the b-events at the begining of the season, so they have plenty of time to polish it, so, I’m exсIting to see it in a competition environment!
10. Bobrova and Soloviev still a Russian hope in ice dance?
I can’t say that the previous grand-prix event was sucessfull for Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev (they were third), but still they have a chance to get into the grand-prix final. Everything depends on scores they will get. They need not only to place no lower than second but also get the scores higher than Sinitsina&Katsalapov and Gilles-Poirier. I think it will be hard but possible for them. If they want to show that they are still the Russian No.1 in ice dance they need to be in Final!