Wednesday is usually my favourite day to go skating myself, mainly because the evening session is not as crowded as on weekends. With Euros being underway and me trying to catch a bit of live coverage here and there, the only thing that’s missing are some decent preview posts. Wanna see me cobbling together another last minute one? You’ve come to the right place!
The Pairs Event:
Besides the obvious battle for gold between Savchenko/Szolkowy and Volosozhar/Trankov, there will also be the question of who’ll get the bronze. As two of the most likely candidates, Bazarova/Larionov, had to withdraw from the event, we are looking at Kavaguti/Smirnov, then Stolbova/Klimov and, maybe, Berton/Hotárek as aspirants for that position.
In some ways, Kavaguti/Smirnov have struggled for some time now, while they did have technical and injury related problems, at times it also felt like they had been passed by and are not perceived as top-contenders, anymore. Which is really a shame because I had just warmed up to them in the 2011-2012 season and, at the moment, they are one of the most enjoyable pairs for me. They still have the potential to score big and can even challenge for silver or gold if the frontrunners make mistakes.
Barring major problems, a podium placement should be doable. Should these, however, occur we have to look at the next two pairs to fill that spot. S/K took the bronze at last year’s Europeans with a comfortable point cushion on B/K, but it should be a much closer fight this year. B/K have two GP bronzes from this season and the potential to score just as high if everything works well.
Neither Volosozhar/Trankov nor Savchenko/Szolkowy have managed to fully convince me with their programmes this season. While S/S’s short is decently enjoyable as a generic upbeat short programme Nr. 65874, their LP doesn’t work at all for me. I’m not even sure Bolero is that suited to pairs skating, but if you tackle it, you have to build your concept in a meaningful way around the repetitiveness, the basic rhythm and the building intensity. I do hope they did make some changes to make it a bit more engaging and convincing programme.
New costumes! A step in the right direction :)
Both teams will score big in the PCS department, on the technical side V/T, if consistent, have a slight advantage due to their triple Salchows and their formidable twist. It will be interesting to see how both teams score in direct competition to each other. It is also impossile to say how the recent sad event in Mr. Trankov's life will affect him regarding his performance. So, apart from wishing him well, there's no need to discuss this any further.
Result prediction, also known as wishful thinking:
K/S, V/T, S/S, S/K, BH
Other matters of interest in the Pairs event?
Watch the 2nd German Pair, they have just come back from an injury he had and are at the moment probably the perceived fourth pair in their country as they lost nationals against the promising Prölß/Blommaert, who can't compete for age reasons; and Hausch/Wende are still injured but potentially 2nd in Germany.