Patrick Chan looks to rebound in Russia | Figure Skating | CBC Sports

Figure SkatingPatrick Chan looks to rebound in Russia

Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 | 03:31 PM

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Canada's Patrick Chan returns to action at this week's Grand Prix event in Moscow. (Geoff Robins/AFP/Getty Images) Canada's Patrick Chan returns to action at this week's Grand Prix event in Moscow. (Geoff Robins/AFP/Getty Images)

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The Rostelecom Cup (formerly known as the Cup of Russia) takes place this weekend and I am secretly wondering what surprises will be revealed in a Grand Prix season that has had more than its fair share so far.

The men's competition is going to be the most interesting, with the matchup between Canada's Patrick Chan and Skate America winner Takahiko Kozuka front and centre.
The Rostelecom Cup (formerly known as the Cup of Russia) takes place this weekend and I am secretly wondering what surprises will be revealed in a Grand Prix season that has had more than its fair share so far.

The men's competition is going to be the most interesting.

Front and centre is the matchup between Canada's Patrick Chan and Skate America winner Takahiko Kozuka. On a good day, I think it would go to Chan. The problem is, Chan is off to a slow start this season while Kozuka looks poised and ready.

Toss into the mix Johnny Weir, Nobunari Oda, Konstantin Menshov and Denis Ten and I think we have all kinds of scenario possibilities in the race for the podium.



Dance: Virtue & Moir sensational

I have no doubt that Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are headed to their second Grand Prix title this season. Their short dance is sensational. Their free dance, to Carmen, is beyond description it is so good. I guess what I'm saying is, "Does it really matter who else is competing?"

If I had to pick who else might be looking for a podium finish, I would say that I'm hoping that American ice dancers Maia and Alex Shibutani have upped their technical ante this season and can hold up against Russians Elena Ilynikh and Nikita Katsalapov.

Pairs: Lawrence & Swiegers intriguing


I feel the same way about the pairs event. Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia are the thoroughbreds in this race and will take the title.

There are two other teams that I want to see in competition - Canada's Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers, with their athleticism and speed, versus Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov and their classical Russian style. Both teams bring something interesting and a little different to the table.

Ladies: Leonova seeks redemption

In looking at the ladies' field, there are two names that jump off the page at me right way - Russia's Adelina Sotnikova and Japan's Kanako Murakami. Both have competed in one Grand Prix event already. Both earned bronze medals. Both are former world junior champions.

Yet neither had the skate she was looking for in her first outing and, presumably, would like to go on record as being able to compete with the "big girls."

I don't think it will be a walk in the park, if American skaters Gracie Gold or Agnes Zawadski have anything to say about it.

Kiira Korpi cannot be relied on to keep her nerves under control. But wouldn't it be great if she put together two solid performances back to back?

The other woman looking for redemption is the 2012 world silver medallist Alena Leonova. In her first outing of the season at Skate America, she was shaky, resulting in a disastrous seventh-place finish. Hopefully, up is the only way for her to go.

Pj's gold medal picks

Men:
Takahiko Kozuka, Japan
Ladies: Adelina Sotnikova, Russia
Dance: Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, Canada
Pairs: Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, Russia

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