Internationaux de France 2021 – Predictions

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Women

While it is a battle of the Russians at the top of the podium again this week, it seems like an obvious choice to have reigning world champion and winner of Gran Premio D’Italia, Anna Shcherbakova, predicted to win again. Kostornaia has not had the season she wants so far and a win would really turn that around, but she’s continued to struggle in practices this week.

There will be an intense battle to close out the podium, with Wakaba Higuchi and Yeonjeong Park coming off a 1st and 2nd respectively at Cup of Austria last week, but both with total scores far lower than their bests. If they can perform to their potential they will be highlights of this competition. Kseniia Sinityna will be looking to improve upon her 5th place finish at Skate America, and Haein Lee has the talent but not always the consistency to fight her way to the top half of the pack- she finished 7th at Skate Canada.

Speaking of consistency, Americans Karen Chen and Mariah Bell will be looking for strong results here in their quest for one of three U.S. women’s Olympic spots. Chen has had issues skating cleanly this season, a necessary requirement when fighting amongst skaters with higher technical content. Bell has changed both of her programs since the summer, so it’ll be interesting to see if she can recapture some of the magic that’s made her so popular in the past.

Elli’s predictionsLois’s predictionsSarah’s predictions
1Anna ShcherbakovaAnna ShcherbakovaAnna Shcherbakova
2Alena KostornaiaAlena KostornaiaWakaba Higuchi
3Yeonjeong ParkWakaba HiguchiAlena Kostornaia
4Wakaba HiguchiKseniia SinitsynaYeonjeong Park
5Haein LeeYeonjeong ParkKseniia Sinitsyna

Don’t count out: Karen Chen, Mariah Bell

Men

Yuma Kagiyama overcame a huge deficit after a poor short program at Gran Premio D’Italia to take the title, a demonstration of how talented he is and a surefire favourite to be on the top of the podium again here. Jason Brown, consistently one of the most beautiful skaters in the world, will be nipping at his heels if Kagiyama is to make mistakes.

Sato is likely to be in the mix for the podium after a strong 4th place finish at Skate America even after injuring his shoulder during practice there. Messing will be looking to improve upon his 5th place at Skate Canada after a Free Skate marred with errors.

We’ve all chosen different predictions for fifth, demonstrative that anything can happen in these competitions. Vasiljevs had a strong 4th place finish in Italy, although he doesn’t have the highest technical content he’s always there if other men are inconsistent. Mozalev has struggled to skate clean so far this season, but if he delivers on his planned content he’ll be right there fighting at the top. Adam had a lacklustre result at Skate America and will be looking for a much better performance at his home Grand Prix.

Usually, 2019 GPF medalist Kevin Aymoz would be a factor here, but after withdrawing from Skate America, clearly not yet fully recovered from injuries, we just can’t see him having skates here that will put him in the mix.

Elli’s predictionsLois’s predictionsSarah’s predictions
1Jason BrownYuma KagiyamaYuma Kagiyama
2Yuma KagiyamaJason BrownJason Brown
3Keegan MessingShun SatoShun Sato
4Shun SatoKeegan MessingKeegan Messing
5Andrei MozalevDeniss VasiljevsAdam Siao Him Fa

Don’t count out: Anyone. It’s men.

Pairs

With Chinese team Peng/Jin withdrawing from this competition several weeks ago, this competition’s results can really throw the cat amongst the pigeons for who’s going to earn a spot in the Grand Prix Final. Russia’s Boikova/Kozlovskii should be clear favourites, but they have yet to really hit their full potential with this season’s programs. Americans Knierim/Frazier will be looking to earn their first (real) Grand Prix medal as a team after finishing 4th at Skate America last month.

Battling it out around the podium should also be Artemeva/Nazarychev, who earned bronze at their first Grand Prix in Italy, and Canadians James/Radford who had disappointing skates at Skate Canada and placed 4th there.

It’s likely that Italian team Ghilardi/Ambrosini will round out the top 5, barring any major errors.

Elli’s predictionsLois’s predictionsSarah’s predictions
1Aleksandra Boikova / Dmitrii KozlovskiiAleksandra Boikova / Dmitrii KozlovskiiAleksandra Boikova / Dmitrii Kozlovskii
2Iuliia Artemeva / Mikhail NazarychevAlexa Knierim / Brandon FrazierAlexa Knierim / Brandon Frazier
3Alexa Knierim / Brandon FrazierIuliia Artemeva / Mikhail NazarychevVanessa James / Eric Radford
4Vanessa James / Eric RadfordVanessa James / Eric RadfordIuliia Artemeva / Mikhail Nazarychev
5Rebecca Ghilardi / Filippo AmbrosiniRebecca Ghilardi / Filippo AmbrosiniRebecca Ghilardi / Filippo Ambrosini

Ice dance

Don’t expect any shocking winners at the top of the podium this week. Papadakis/Cizeron are going for their 6th home Grand Prix title. Despite Canadians Gilles/Poirier edging out their competitors for best Rhythm Dance score at Skate Canada, that was quickly overtaken the following week by Papadakis/Cizeron in Italy. Stepanova/Bukin are likely to be considerably further behind but are essentially a lock for bronze in this field.

Then things get a little more interesting. The middle of the pack here can definitely change all depending on performance on the day. Finnish team Turkkila/Versluis may only have received their spot as a replacement just over a week ago but have been consistently strong at all of their competitions so far this season. French team Lopareva/Brissaud are very strong technically but are still establishing themselves in the judges’ eyes. Russians Morozov/Bagin will appear in their second Grand Prix this season and will be looking to make a bigger impression than last time. Lithuanians Reed/Ambrulevicius are a team with a great connection and dedication to their programs but sometimes let themselves down technically, clean skates could definitely put them in that top 5.

Elli’s predictionsLois’s predictionsSarah’s predictions
1Gabriella Papadakis / Guillaume CizeronGabriella Papadakis / Guillaume CizeronGabriella Papadakis / Guillaume Cizeron
2Piper Gilles / Paul PoirierPiper Gilles / Paul PoirierPiper Gilles / Paul Poirier
3Alexandra Stepanova / Ivan BukinAlexandra Stepanova / Ivan BukinAlexandra Stepanova / Ivan Bukin
4Juulia Turkkila / Matthias VersluisAnnabelle Morozov / Andrei BaginAllison Reed / Saulius Ambrulevicius
5Evgeniia Lopareva / Geoffrey BrissaudJuulia Turkkila / Matthias VersluisEvgeniia Lopareva / Geoffrey Brissaud

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