2016 World Figure Skating Championships: My Predictions
With the calendar finally flipping over into March and the Cricket Club posting a glimpse of Yuzu back on his home ice, it’s two definite signs…Worlds are getting close!!!! Last year I posted an entry with my top ten predictions for Worlds, and I found it amusing to see how accurate (or inaccurate) I was for each skater. Well, at least I got the podium names correct last year, albeit Yuzu wasn’t on top (cries silently).
So, I am going to try this again this year, and see if I can improve on my success rate. Like Yuzu says, you can always find something new to improve on! This year, the top three are not quite as obvious. It has only been twelve months but wow, the “who’s who in the zoo” in the skating world has changed!! Junior skaters making their debuts as full season senior skaters this season are not just graduating into seniors, they are fighting for podium spots!! So, this makes this years’ Worlds predictions all the more challenging.
I will do this the same way I did last year. First, I am listing what I would love to see, my “Perfect 2016 Worlds dream results”, then I will chat about my more realistic predictions.
Dream Worlds Top Ten results for me would be:
- Yuzuru Hanyu
- Boyang Jin
- Patrick Chan
- Shoma Uno
- Han Yan
- Javier Fernandez
- Denis Ten
- Maxim Kovtun
- Nam Nguyen* or Adian Pitkeev*
- Max Aaron
* Ok, neither Nam nor Adian make their respective World Teams, but “if” they did, this is where I would have slotted them this year.
What makes this so crazy are all of the “ifs”. If everyone skates their best, if someone makes a mistake, if Patrick skates clean and if Javier makes a mistake, if, if, if. It can drive a person crazy!!
So, in order to make my more realistic Worlds Top Ten predictions, I have tried to take the “ifs” out of the equation, and assume everyone has their best skates, but it’s hard. That nasty little two letter word keeps creeping into my thoughts! While I assume everyone will skate their best, I’m not basing my predictions on adding up any potential perfect TES scores calculation and making this analytical, that takes the fun out of it. I’m just making these predictions from how I would place the field if they all just skated well.
- GOLD: Yuzuru Hanyu. What a World (no pun intended) of difference a year makes. From a drama and injury filled 2014-2015 season to a record breaking season that literally will go down in history. After his brilliant skates at NHK, the big question was “Can Yuzu do it again?” Well, we certainly didn’t have to wait long to find out the answer to that question! Of course, even if Yuzu didn’t have his record setting season this year, I would still predict that he will win Worlds! Yuzu didn’t take small steps forward this season, he took giant leaps forward, and he took the entire skating world with him!!
- SILVER: Javier Fernandez. I believe Javier will end up on the podium even if he doesn’t skate perfectly. However, I am sure many have noticed that I put Javier in 6th place in my dream top ten. I do not dislike Javier and his skating, I just enjoy other skaters more.
- BRONZE: Boyang Jin. His potential TES will keep him up there with the big boys even though he has plenty of room to improve on his skating and choreography. Imagine what the future holds for this kid. I enjoy watching him skate, not just to see “Boing Boing Jin” (as Kurt Browning calls him) jump, he has a bit of charisma that draws me in. If Boyang skates cleanly, no doubt he will be on the podium, and I think he can. “Boing Boing” has been improving with each competition.
- Patrick Chan. If Patrick skates like he did his free program at 4CC, and this time, puts down 2 clean performances instead of just one, I think he and his skating skills score will land him in 3rd or 4th. If he isn’t perfect, I expect him to drop a few placements quickly given the field around him. Ah, there is that “if” word again!!
- Shoma Uno. The only reason why Shoma will end up in 5th place is because of the log jam at the top. I have mentioned a couple of times in previous blog posts about something odd on Shoma’s landings and I couldn’t place my finger on what the issue was. Well, Kurt Browning actually validated my thoughts and mentioned the issue during his commentary of Shoma’s 4CC performance. Shoma lands his jumps with his shoulder open, and not square on his landings. While his soft knees often save him, in long run, this is not good and hopefully his team will help him fix this. Thanks for the explanation Kurt – I knew there was something!
- Maxim Kovtun. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I’m not a big fan of Maxim’s, but I’m wishing him well. My prediction is that he will pull it together at this Worlds, I think he is due for a break out event. I’m a little influenced by his “I Can’t Dance” short program which I think is hilarious. He is finally trying to put some personality into his programs. Let’s see what he brings in Boston.
- Han Yan. My wish for Han is 2 clean programs to see his true potential, which I think will slot him into 7th. He was the face of men’s skating in China, and now is almost being left in the dust by Boyang. He is still so young, and hopefully he will be able to keep up with the rest of the pack.
- Denis Ten. Normally I would place Denis higher because he is much more talented than a 9th place finish. However, his season has been filled with injury and he hasn’t shown any consistency this year.
- Max Aaron. Max is so unpredictable. The thing that scares me about Max is the deep groove he puts in the ice when he takes off on his quad salchow. I sure hope no other skates gets caught in the deep ruts he leaves in the ice. He did about 6 of these right in front of me at Skate America, it made me nervous for other skaters. I do not think he has the program quality to place any higher than 9th even if he skates perfectly.
- Hmmm, I have no idea who to put in 10th spot here…so I guess 9 will have to do.
My wish for the 2016 Worlds: I hope that both Japan and Canada will place well enough to each earn 3 spots back for next years Worlds. Japan has a realistic chance, but I do not believe Canada does. It scares me to think about what happens if Patrick doesn’t place well, how many spots will Canada have for next year. (no offense to Canada #2: Liam Firus)
OK, only 3 weeks to go! I’m nervous already!
Go Yuzu Go!! Doki Doki!