Saturday, March 06, 2010

The Little Big One

Junior Worlds or "The Little Big One" as I like to call it is upon us. The event kicks off next week in The Hague, Netherlands.

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...

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