She has the right mentality and is incredibly well rounded, I'm pretty sure about this one.
I really hope she will get better choreography this year. But she has had a tough season last year and hopefully she'll nail her elements, in which case she should easily get the silver.(who else really liked this dress?)
Honestly I don't like Leonova's skating at all. But her performance skills are impressive and being a student of Morozov she will almost definitely get huge PCS marks in every aspect.....sigh.
She seems to be gaining momentum all year and I hope the judges finally wake up and give her proper PCS marks, if her choreography is as good it usually is.
Her technique is so sound I doubt even a growth spurt could halt her. And her layback has improved based on what I saw off season. I wish her extension and choreography would improve but if it doesn't her jumps will be good enough to get on the podium.
Her technique has improved incredibly. She's not done yet and her slow skating skills and spins can make her seem quite laboured sometimes. That triple loop-triple loop combination will take her far and her short program this year is descent.
The Cup of China
Well the judges showed they liked her at junior worlds, I mean I'm sorry but 125 is ridiculously high. She has great spins and good posture, and the jumps are descent so as long as she doesn't grow too much she should be ok. With Carolina Kostner gone and Kiira Korpi being the replacement her jumps and spins will win this for her.
This one should be controversial. I love Mao, she's my favourite of the three but she's looked so fragile recently, I hope I'm wrong and that she hits the triple axel hard and maybe includes a triple-triple.
Good to be able to give her an imaginary medal. I love Mirai, but last year was without a doubt terrible from her, she was really boring to watch which is the opposite of her usual spark and energy in her programs. She could very well win this event but right now the good skate she had at Glacier Falls isn't enough to convince me. Her spins seem slower, but on the jump side she has her triple flip and double axel-triple toe back. She also seems not to flutz as much and has a long program that could work for her, the short is a bit Rachael Flatt-ish. Good luck to her, but nothing short of a silver medal here will get me and her skating federation to place any hope in her again.
The Cup of Russia
Well this competitions is basically battle of the youth. (or in Leonova's case battle of those who still skate like children) Adelina has a huge home field advantage. I really hope she can make it happen here as that'd be a huge confidence boost, and remind her federation Julia isn't the only wunderkind.
I think this is the perfect competition for her as she has the jumps to keep up with the sightly younger skaters, and she has the experience and the judges know her. As long as she doesn't have any meltdowns she should get a medal, or let the double axel get her.
Honestly Gracie doesn't have any experience on a full on senior level competition. The judges will hit her PCS because she's new on top of the fact that she won't have an awful lot of polish(not many can change so much so quickly). She is very consistent though, so she may make it to the Grand Prix final if others falter.
The most consistent of the three, Elizaveta has serious technical fire power and if Mishin doesn't destroy the programs she gets she is capable of getting a good second mark. One thing that could be the deciding factor is the levels on the spins, when going up against Ashley Wagner, Julia Lipnitskaya, and Zhang Kexin you need to at least get the levels to keep them at bay.
I can't help feeling that she'll bomb the short then win the free to marginally lose the gold(or is that the plot to Ice Princess?). She has good packaging, and as mentioned before is very well rounded.
Well, well, looks like Carolina's withdrawal benefits Julia hugely, to the point of going from 8th on my list as the second alternate to the Grand-Prix Final to the top six which gives her a place there. We may start seeing some bobbles on her jumps now that she's getting used to an extra few inches and an extra thirty seconds too. Plus nerves could come into play here too, nothing is set in stone with one so young, inexperienced and midget-like.
Hopefully her spins won't look quite as awkward here because other then that there isn't much to say. She's a brave skater and I really want her to get her seven-triple-skate-of-my-life thing. Plus if she wins here twice in a row it's like giving her federation the finger, which they deserve.
Oh Mao, the only reason I had her in second was because the field below her is very weak(in the judges "Biased against new comers eyes anyway". Even if she falls apart her PCS will fight most of the battle for her.
Changed my mind about this one. Zijun is a beautiful, well rounded skater with good choreography and I honestly can't wait to see what she does with Dark Eyes which is sensual and mature which contrasts to her usual style which will probably be shown in Cinderella; lyrical, joyous and youthful. It will show great diversity and her combination of strong skating skills, spins, choreography(?) and jumps could easily earn her the bronze in this field of new comers all scrambling for the bronze, especially if she rotates her triple flip-triple toe.
So if I get everything right the standings would be
- Akiko Suzuki
- Adelina Sotnikova
- Elizaveta Tuktamisheva
- Ashley Wagner
- Julia Lipnitskaia
- Mao Asada
- Caroline Zhang
- Gracie Gold
- Alena Leonova
- Li Zijun
- Mirai Nagasu