Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Trophee Eric Bompard Ladies Preview

This event features three gold medalists who all bring different attributes to the table and who's scores are very close this season.  Any little mistake could make the difference between gold and bronze.

Carolina Kostner has an improved elegant style this season, great speed and good packaging.  She has also shown consistency this season winning the silver medal in her first event and the gold in her second.  She has also skated clean programs and put up some of the best scores of the season.  She has already qualified for the Final but could improve her standing with a gold medal.

Elizaveta Tuktamisheva became the first lady to win a gold medal in her Grand Prix debut when she took home the top prize from Skate Canada.  She has lots of technical difficulty including easy triple-triple combinations and a double axel + triple toe combination.  She has also landed triple axels in practice but isn't including them in her programs.  She also showed that nerves don't bother her as she showed a calm demeanor on the ice.  She has one of the top scores and still has room to improve as she didn't hit all the jumps in her free skate and can improve her presentation scores.  She needs a medal of any color to guarantee a spot in the Final.

Alissa Czisny started this season with a gold medal as well, finishing ahead of Carolina Kostner despite errors in her free skate.  She is known for her elegant style and great spins and has worked to improve her consistency in her jumps.  She has shown that when she makes a mistake, she can rebound and finish her program strong.  She is also working on her technical content by adding a triple + triple combination to her free skate.  She needs a medal of any color to guarantee a spot in the Final.

Viktoria Helgesson skated an elegant free skate to win the bronze medal at Skate America.  She skated clean and showed great style but her score likely won't hold up in this tough of a field.  She needs a gold medal to guarantee a spot in the Final and a silver medal to stay in the running.

Kanako Murakami's 6th place finish at Cup of China took her out of contention for the Grand Prix Final but she still can sneak in for a medal here.  She is showing a refined style this season and increased musicality but her jumps failed her.  She is definitely a contender here with her triple + triple combinations if she can skate clean.

My podium predictions:
Gold: Carolina Kostner
Silver: Alissa Czisny
Bronze: Elizaveta Tuktamisheva

Bios of the competitors:
Lena Marrocco, FRA: She placed 10th at NHK Trophy and 12th at Trophee Eric Bompard last season.  Her personal best is 122.03.  She is 16 years old.

Mae Berenice Meite, FRA: She finished 14th at Worlds and 9th at Europeans.  She placed 7th at NHK Trophy.  Her personal best is 150.44.  She is 17 years old.

Yretha Silete, FRA: She finished 11th at Junior Worlds.  She placed 4th at JGP France and 6th at JGP Germany last season.  Her personal best is 134.03.  She is 17 years old.

Carolina Kostner, ITA: She is the reigning World bronze medalist and European silver medalist.  She won silver at Skate America and gold at Cup of China.  She qualified for the Grand Prix Final last season and won silver.  She is the 2008 World silver medalist and 2005 World bronze medalist; 2010, 2008 and 2007 European Champion; 2009 European silver medalist; 2006 European bronze medalist; and 2003 World Junior bronze medalist.  Her personal best is 184.68.  She is 24 years old.

Kanako Murakami, JPN: She finished 8th at Worlds.  She placed 6th at Cup of China.  She qualified for the Grand Prix Final last season and won bronze.  Her personal best is 184.68.  She is 16 years old.

Elizaveta Tuktamisheva, RUS: She is the reigning World Junior silver medalist.  She won gold at Skate Canada.  She qualified for the JGP Final last season and won silver.  Her personal best is 177.38.  She is 14 years old.

Sonia Lafuente, ESP: She finished 25th at Worlds and 12th at Europeans last season.  She placed 10th at Skate Canada and 7th at Trophee Eric Bompard last season.  Her personal best is 143.60.  She is 19 years old.

Viktoria Helgesson, SWE: She finished 17th at Worlds and 6th at Europeans.  She won bronze at Skate America.  Her personal best is 161.79.  She is 23 years old.

Alissa Czisny, USA: She finished 5th at Worlds and Four Continents.  She won gold at Skate America.  She qualified for the Grand Prix Final last season and won gold.  Her personal best is 182.85.  She is 24 years old.

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