Monday, 2 November 2009

NHK Trophy Preview

So Cup of China's over, and we're already looking to the next event, which is the NHK Trophy in the adorably named Big Hat arena in Nagano, Japan. Here's a preview of who you're going to see and how they're likely to do.


The mens event is definitely going to be where all the excitement is. All eyes will be on Daisuke Takahashi, who's returning to competition after a season off due to knee surgery. Another skater going for gold will be Brian Joubert, who'll be keen to recover from the disapointment that was Trophee Eric Bompard. Joubert has stated that he plans to keep competing after 2010 as he wants to win every Grand Prix event. He only has NHK and Cup of China to go so he'll be hoping to cross Japan off his list here. The American men coming to this event are also very strong; Johnny Weir will be trying to improve after his poor showing in Russia, whilst Adam Rippon will attempt to capitalise on his bronze medal from Trophee Eric Bompard this season. Jeremy Abbott will also have a shot at the podium, as will Japan' Takahiko Kozuka. The European contigency includes the always entertaining Kristoffer Berntsson and Michal Brezina from the Czech Republic.


The ladies event will be focused, naturally, around the Japanese girls; both Miki Ando and Yukari Nakano are scheduled to compete. Other competitors who might do well here are Alena Leonova, Ashley Wagner and Sarah Meier, who missed the Grand Prixs last year due to injury. Also challenging will be Laura Lepisto, who looked strong at the Japanese Open earlier in the season.


The pairs event will really be a battle between Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov, and Pang/Tong. The bronze medal will most likely be taken by Rena Inoue/John Baldwin, if they can land that throw triple axel as well as they did in Paris. It'll also be interesting to see how the young American team of Caydee Denney / Jeremy Barrett do - they did really well last season.

Ice Dance

Ice dance is probably the most clear-cut in terms of results; most people would predict Davis and White to top the podium, with John and Sinead Kerr in second and Vanessa Crone and Paul Poirier in third. The Ukrainian couple, Anna Zadorozhniuk / Sergei Verbilo, could also cause an upset; they came in fourth in China this weekend.

Post your own predictions in the comments below!