It's actually one of my favorite competitions of the year. I love seeing all the young up-and-coming talent out there. I love to look at them and go "Oh, there's one to watch for the future!" I also love that the competition, like a lot of Junior events, is far less predictable. There tends to be more volatility in the standings making for an exciting event.
Upon returning from the Olympics I found out that Ross Miner and Ashley Wagner withdrew, one for injury and the other to just give one of said up-and-comers a shot (quite generous on Ashley's part I think).
Rather than having a clear set of predictions for Junior Worlds, I see one to beat, that person or teams biggest threat, followed by the remaining challengers. Who am I looking at?
Team to Beat - Monko and Khaliavin (RUS)
Biggest Threat - Ilinykh and Katsalapov (RUS)
Other Challengers - Alessandrini and Vaturi (ITA), Pushkash and Guerreiro (RUS), Shibutani and Shibutani (USA)
One to Beat - Kanako Murakami (JPN)
Biggest Threat - Christina Gao (USA)
Other Challengers - Anna Ovcharova (RUS), Polina Shelpen (RUS), Kiri Baga (USA)
One to Beat - Denis Ten (KAZ)
Biggest Threat - Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN)
Other Challengers - Nan Song (CHN), Kento Nakamura (JPN), Artur Gachinski (RUS), Grant Hochstein (USA), Armin Mahbanoozadeh (USA)
Team to Beat - Sui and Han (CHN)
Biggest Threat - Takahashi and Tran (JPN)
Other Challengers - Hole and Johnson (CAN), Zhang and Wang (CHN), Simpson and Miller (USA), Zhang and Toth (USA)
Interesting week ahead...
A look back at Day One...