I get the feeling that this event is wide open. No European women has really stepped up to the plate this season and really delivered. It's been a hodge-podge of ho-hum performances for the majority of these ladies. Therefore, I think there are lots of ladies we should keep an eye on. I have no idea how this will pan out.
Kiira Korpi, Laura Lepisto, and Susanna Pöykiö - The Finnish team is the strongest boasting the reigning Champion Laura Lepisto. Also, all three of these ladies have medaled at this event at one time or another. I guess if I had to predict a winner for this event I'd go with Laura but even her performances this season have just been so-so. Laura's so-so performances, however, have been better than Korpi or Pöykiö's sub-par performances. Despite the pervasive mediocrity, a Finnish sweep is possible.
Elene Gedevanishvili - The little Georgian spitfire has been known from time to time to dazzle crowds. Recently she's downgraded the technical content in her programs. She'll need to add the difficulty back in to be a top contender.
Jenna McCorkell - The British National Champ has never finished higher than 8th at this event but as wide open as it is she has as good chance as anyone to be competitive. She'll have to get her head around landing triple jumps consistently though.
Julia Sebestyen - One of three previous champions competing here, I might consider her the biggest threat to Lepisto. Her biggest issue this season has been rotating jumps. She's a gifted jumper and when she's on technically she's impressive. Trouble is, often she doubles her jumps. If she can rotate her jumps she has a great shot at reclaiming her title.
Carolina Kostner and Valentina Marchei - The Italian subplot is one of the more interesting stories. Ever since Kostner's L.A. meltdown, her stock has been sinking. Poor performances on the Grand Prix didn't help her case. Then she lost Italian Nationals to Valentina Marchei with only one available Italian berth at the Olympics (due to Kostner's disastrous free). I don't believe (someone please let me know if they have) the Italian Federation has picked which of these ladies will compete in Vancouver. Cat fight on ice for an Olympic run?
Alena Leonova and Ksenya Makarova - Luckily for Alena Leonova she's not in the same scrappy situation as Kostner. While Alena also lost Russian Nationals to Ksenya Makarova, Alena has the good fortune of having qualified two berths to Vancouver for Russia after a solid free skate in L.A. Still, she needs to get the ball back moving her direction after some rough skates as of late if she wants to be a contender. Earlier in the season she looked solid, she needs to get back to that form.
Sarah Meier - The Swiss Champ has been struggling with injuries off and on for some time keeping her from training consistently and being a podium threat. For her, I think, she's just wanting to get through two programs without major fault and get her feet under her before Vancouver (officially I think she must still hit a score threshold to qualify for the Olympics but it shouldn't be an issue). But again, in this open field, if she can manage two solid skates she may find herself in the medal equation.
Tuğba Karademir - While probably not a medal threat or contender, I just love to root for Tuğba. Also, an update. If you weren't following the story, Tuğba Karademir's parents were having trouble getting tickets to see her skate in Vancouver. However, a corporate benefactor stepped in and fixed the situation. Good news there!