Rostelecom Cup 2021 – Predictions

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Women

It seems like a foregone conclusion that Valieva will win the second Grand Prix of her Senior Career, the reigning Free Skate and Total Score record holder should have no problem winning on home turf. The rest of the lineup has the potential to be a little more unpredictable because while the Russians clearly have a domestic advantage, they’re also coming off a couple of difficulties: Tuktamysheva reportedly had a high fever on her return from Skate Canada and it’s unclear how much training she missed and Khromykh, whilst the winner of Warsaw Cup, lost the Free Skate to fellow competitor Ekaterina Kurakova after failing to complete her quads.

If there are any major mistakes by the Russian women, Belgium’s Loena Hendrickx, bronze medalist in Italy, will be right behind them ready to capitalize on the opportunity. She doesn’t have any ultra-c elements but is coming off a win at Belgian Nationals last week.

After that things could go any way, this competition is made up of women who either don’t have a huge history of success on the Grand Prix or whose consistency is in question. Mariah Bell will be looking to improve on her score from last week in France, but without a triple-triple combo her technical score will hit a lower ceiling. Rino Matsuike’s 6th at NHK Trophy was a little lower than some would’ve predicted and she’ll want a better result here. Viktoriia Safonova, so technically strong but lacking some performance quality, will be making a case for the top 5.

Elli’s predictionsLois’s predictionsSarah’s predictions
1Kamila ValievaKamila ValievaKamila Valieva
2Maiia KhromykhElizaveta TuktamyshevaElizaveta Tuktamysheva
3Elizaveta TuktamyshevaLoena HendrickxMaiia Khromykh
4Loena HendrickxMaiia KhromykhLoena Hendrickx
5Mariah BellRino MatsuikeViktoriia Safonova

Don’t count out: Madelina Schizas, Ekaterina Kurakova

Men

We all collectively assume Mikhail Kolyada will win the competition, although he hasn’t had the most reliable of skates so far this season. His presentation skills will put him above the rest of the field here though. Compatriots Kondratiuk and Semenenko will be aiming for the podium as well, Kondratiuk is the more inconsistent of the two, but Sememenko is coming off a small injury from practice at Skate Canada last month.

Matteo Rizzo’s results this season have been a tale of two halves, usually involving a flawed Short Program and a stellar comeback in the Free Skate. If he can put together two clean skates, he has an edge in experience and presentation over Semenenko and Kondratiuk.

Kazuki Tomono always seems to be just on the fringe of success. He has high-scoring elements and rarely ever bombs a skate, but has just enough mistakes to keep him out of podium contention.

While unlikely to be in the run for podium places, be on the lookout for the Georgian domestic fight between veteran Kvitelashvili and newcomer Nika Egadze, who’s coming off 3 consistently scored results this season, an area Kvitelashvili struggles with.

Elli’s predictionsLois’s predictionsSarah’s predictions
1Mikhail KolyadaMikhail KolyadaMikhail Kolyada
2Mark KondratiukMatteo RizzoEvgeni Semenenko
3Matteo RizzoEvgeni SemenenkoMark Kondratiuk
4Evgeni SemenenkoMark KondratiukMatteo Rizzo
5Kazuki TomonoKazuki TomonoKazuki Tomono

Don’t count out: Morisi Kvitelashvili, Michal Brezina

Pairs

Reigning World Champions Mishina/Galliamov should have no issue winning here, however they have lost to fellow competitors Pavliuchenko/Khodykin in two consecutive Nationals. The latter struggled at Skate Canada, their preparation for the season thwarted by illness and injury, but they will hopefully have cleaned up some of their mistakes with a few more weeks of training.

Things get a little more muddied from there. Kadyrova/Balchenko only have a couple of competitions of international experience but have the talent to make the podium. However, their programs are not quite as captivating as they were last season. Lu/Mitrofanov have been going from strength to strength since last season and had a strong finish at NHK Trophy despite a few presentation issues at the end of their Free Skate. If they keep steady, they’re definitely fighting for a bronze.

Moore-Towers/Marinaro will be hoping for a better result than they had at Skate Canada where issues with their lifts, the biggest point-scoring elements, dropped them down to 6th.

Elli’s predictionsLois’s predictionsSarah’s predictions
1Anastasia Mishina / Aleksandr GalliamovAnastasia Mishina / Aleksandr GalliamovAnastasia Mishina / Aleksandr Galliamov
2Daria Pavliuchenko / Denis KhodykinDaria Pavliuchenko / Denis KhodykinDaria Pavliuchenko / Denis Khodykin
3Iasmina Kadyrova / Ivan BalchenkoKirsten Moore-Towers / Michael MarinaroAudrey Lu / Misha Mitrofanov
4Kirsten Moore-Towers / Michael MarinaroAudrey Lu / Misha MitrofanovIasmina Kadyrova / Ivan Balchenko
5Audrey Lu / Misha MitrofanovIasmina Kadyrova / Ivan BalchenkoKirsten Moore-Towers / Michael Marinaro

Ice dance

Everyone knows Sinitsina/Katsalapov are coming into this as the favourites and will be looking for the usual domestic points boost to bring them into closer contention with rivals Papadakis/Cizeron heading into the Grand Prix Final. Something dramatic would have to happen to see Guignard/Fabbri finish anywhere other than second, also booking their spot in the Final.

Bronze is likely to be a battle between Canadians Fournier Beaudry/Sorensen and Spaniards Hurtado/Khaliavin. The Canandians tend to have a points edge but Hurtado/Khaliavin train in Russia so could see more love from this judging panel.

We all differ in our 5th place predictions. Americans Hawayek/Baker are debuting at this competition, having missed out on the earlier part of the season due to injury. Russians Skoptcova/Aleshin are coming off a strong win at Denis Ten Memorial Challenge and were 3rd at Nationals last year. Expect their results to be higher than in years past. Khudaiberdieva/Bazin are performing in their first international Grand Prix together and will be looking to make an impression ahead of the National Championships with Olympic spots on the line. Khudaiberdieva has a way of getting the audience to fall in love with her, we’ll see if the judges follow their lead.

Elli’s predictionsLois’s predictionsSarah’s predictions
1Victoria Sinitsina / Nikita KatsalapovVictoria Sinitsina / Nikita KatsalapovVictoria Sinitsina / Nikita Katsalapov
2Charlene Guignard / Marco FabbriCharlene Guignard / Marco FabbriCharlene Guignard / Marco Fabbri
3Laurence Fournier Beaudry / Nikolaj SorensenSara Hurtado / Kirill KhaliavinLaurence Fournier Beaudry / Nikolaj Sorensen
4Sara Hurtado / Kirill KhaliavinLaurence Fournier Beaudry / Nikolaj SorensenSara Hurtado / Kirill Khaliavin
5Kaitlin Hawayek / Jean-Luc BakerAnastasia Skoptcova / Kirill AleshinElizaveta Khudaiberdieva / Egor Bazin

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