As soon as no less than Putin himself declared the government would foot the bill for Worlds we knew it was going to be Russia. Gossip suggest Finland was considered as well, but really, it was going to be Russia.
Obviously this is a big advantage to the Russian skaters, though as it happens, there are no obvious Russian candidates for gold. Plenty for medals, but none for the big ones. Artur Gachinski is still too young, Bobrova & Soloviev(and/or Ilinych & Katsalapov) will need at least another year, and Leonova & Makarova remain on the second tier, with most of the skaters who aren’t Mao or Yu-Na, at best. Perhaps pairs is an exception, but Kavaguti & Smirnov are definitely not the favorites, and Volosozhar & Trankov, meanwhile, are still a complete unknown in how they’ll stock up compared to the Germans and Chinese. Perhaps if they land their jumps and the other pairs don’t.
Perhaps, in fact, the biggest beneficiaries are Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir, who have another month to catch up. Since all the skaters have had their timing thrown off, any further advantages will go to whom adapts best to the current situation, and as reschedulings are so rare(in fact, have any ever happened before this?), we can’t know who’s going to do that until they’ve done it. Skaters known for their general consistency, however, are better bets.
One hopes, meanwhile, that the Japanese skaters do very well indeed. Their two reigning World Champions both have as good a chance as any to repeat, and a sweep of either individual podium is not impossible(though Yu-Na Kim would have to make multiple mistakes, and Patrick Chan would probably have to melt down).