Thursday, December 8, 2011

Grand Prix Final Ladies Preview

Elizaveta Tuktamisheva won both of her events this season and became the first lady to win gold in her Grand Prix debut.  She is also the only lady to enter this event undefeated.  She showed incredible calm under pressure and her only mistakes have been doubling a jump in each of her free skates.  She has both a triple+triple and a double axel + triple toe and she loves performing and it shows when she's on the ice.  She's defeated several veterans already this season, but she has yet to win the free skate, so she's left a door open.  She has the 5th best short program, 3rd best free skate and total scores of the season.

Carolina Kostner won two silvers and a gold medal on the circuit this season.  Her programs are very well put together this season and she's even including a triple + triple to up her technical ante.  Her biggest battle has been with Alissa Czisny who won a gold and a bronze this season.  They edged each other by tenths of a point at the two events they competed together.  Both are known for their artistry, including spins and skating skills.  Neither have been perfect yet this season, but are a joy to watch on the ice.  Kostner has the 6th best short program and 4th best free skate and total scores of the season.  Czisny has the 3rd best short program, 2nd best free skate and 6th best total score of the season.

Akiko Suzuki won a gold and silver this season, beating Tuktamisheva in the free skate at Skate Canada and Mao Asada at NHK Trophy.  She has a freedom on the ice that is infectious and her program choices really capture that feeling and showcase her to her full potential.  She's also fairly consistent with her jumps and has all the goods to make the podium after falling short last season.  She has the best short program, 5th best free skate and best total score of the season.

Alena Leonova pulled it together when it counted and defeated countrymate Adelina Sotnikova at home to win the silver medal at Cup of Russia and the last spot in the Final.  Her programs this season are more reserved than in the past, but after switching to Morozov her programs feature more downtime and posing than in the past.  She also has a triple + triple in her arsenal.  Her biggest downfall is her consistancy.  She can have great performances but can also have subpar outings.  She has the 4th best short program, 6th best free skate and 5th best total score of the season.

Mao Asada withdrew from the event.

My podium predictions:
Gold: Elizaveta Tuktamisheva
Silver: Carolina Kostner
Bronze: Akiko Suzuki

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