Nebelhorn Olympic Qualifying, Ice Dance

Ice Dance Entries from countries not yet qualified:

1 Danielle OBRIEN / Gregory MERRIMAN AUS
2 Kira GEIL / Tobias EISENBAUER AUT
3 Lesia VOLODENKOVA / Vitali VAKUNOV BLR
5 Xintong HUANG / Xun ZHENG CHN
6 Gabriela KUBOVA / Matej NOVAK CZE
7 Irina SHTORK / Taavi RAND EST
8 Olesia KARMI / Max LINDHOLM FIN
9 Angelina TELEGINA / Otar JAPARIDZE GEO
11 Dora TUROCZI / Balazs MAJOR HUN
12 Allison REED / Vasili ROGOV ISR
13 Cathy REED / Chris REED JPN
14 Pilar MAEKAWA MORENO / Leonardo MAEKAWA MORENO MEX
15 Justyna PLUTOWSKA / Peter GERBER POL
17 Federica TESTA / Lukas CSOLLEY SVK
18 Sara HURTADO / Adria DIAZ ESP
19 Ramona ELSENER / Florian ROOST SUI
20 Alisa AGAFONOVA / Alper UCAR TUR

17 pairs for 5 spots might not sound as bad as the singles, at least, but when one considers that Huang & Zheng are unlikely not to take one of them, and then look over at some of the contenders for the other four, this discipline may see the most broken hearts here, with:

Cathy & Chris Reed: I came extremely close to penciling these two in with Huang & Zheng, but with all the trouble they’ve had lately, I really don’t think they’re locks
Sara Hurtado & Adria Diaz: Had serious hopes of qualifying at Worlds, though ultimately that didn’t happen
Alisa Agafonova & Alper Ucar: Also had hopes of qualifying at Worlds after showing their potential at Europeans, though a bad short kept them out of the free
Irina Shtork & Taavi Rand: Competing four years ago thanks to the berth his brother and his American-born partner earned and then couldn’t use themselves; have improved enough since to potentially earn it themselves this time
Danielle O’Brien & Gregory Merriman: Tragically were forced out of Nebelhorn last time by illness when they would’ve no doubt made it then; they’ve gotten better since but so has the field, and maybe by more than them
Gabriela Kubova & Matej Novak: In contrast to Shtork & Rand, he and previous partner(whom they beat out to make it here) qualified a berth last time, then couldn’t use it when she broke her arm, but they were stronger together than they’ve been with their current partners so far
Angelina Telegina & Otar Japaridze: Last qualifier with his previous partner last time, and he got her citizenship too, but they too might find the field has passed them by, as might even
Allison Reed & Vasily Rogov: His previous partner and her new one, but even if they make it, there’s the citizenship issue, and though they talk as if that’s not a problem, even if it isn’t, when they didn’t make the free at Worlds last year there’s the demanding Israeli Olympic Committee to consider…

After the Reeds & Hurtado & Diaz, I really don’t know which of the above to pick for the last two. Perhaps O’Brien & Merriman, and Agafonova & Ucar. Then the rest will have to wait to see if Lithuania gives their team the needed citizenship, or even if Germany uses both their spots.

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