Nebelhorn Olympic Qualifying, Pairs

Pairs Entries from countries not yet qualified:

1 Miriam ZIEGLER / Severin KIEFER AUT
2 Maria PALIAKOVA / Nikita BOCHKOV BLR
3 Elizaveta MAKAROVA / Leri KENCHADZE BUL
5 So Hyang PAK / Nam I SONG PRK(no video available)
6 Natalja ZABIJAKO / Alexandr ZABOEV EST
10 Stacey KEMP / David KING GBR
11 Andrea DAVIDOVICH / Evgeni KRASNOPOLSKI ISR
12 Narumi TAKAHASHI / Ryuichi KIHARA JPN
13 Magdalena KLATKA / Radoslaw CHRUSCINSKI POL
14 Tatiana NOVIK / Andrei NOVOSELOV (TBC) ROU
16 Veronica GRIGORIEVA / Aritz MAESTU ESP
17 Ronja ROLL / Gustav FORSGREN SWE
18 Olga BESTANDIGOVA / Ilhan MANSIZ TUR
19 Julia LAVRENTIEVA / Yuri RUDYK UKR

14 pairs competing for an initial four spots, though there may be at least one more later on, since in France they have two pairs for two spots, but one of them in a citizenship situation apparently the current French government is unlikely to be willing to bail them out of. It’s few enough pairs to consider them all:

Miriam ZIEGLER / Severin KIEFER: A new pair: she competed in the Olympics in singles four years ago, qualifying here at Nebelhorn, while he and his previous partner competed in a lot of places, but didn’t necessarily do very well at them and didn’t make it to Worlds; he’ll want better luck with her, maybe
Maria PALIAKOVA / Nikita BOCHKOV: A former Russian skater with his partner skating for Belarus(I suspect the citizenship issues here will be taken care of); weaker than the above
Elizaveta MAKAROVA / Leri KENCHADZE: Actually were good enough for Worlds, though not for the free there
So Hyang PAK / Nam I SONG: No international record; a pretty much unknown quantity
Natalja ZABIJAKO / Alexandr ZABOEV: Another new partnership, her umpteenth one, with him actually being from the Czech Republic(Estonia’s pretty good at giving citizenship, but they don’t have dual citizenship, meaning he’d have to give his Czech citizenship up); her record is much stronger than his
Stacey KEMP / David KING: Qualified at Worlds last time around, but have not had their best years since
Andrea DAVIDOVICH / Evgeni KRASNOPOLSKI: While his former partner tries to qualify in singles, he shows up with a former singles skater; he has to hope she’s at least as good as her, if not better
Narumi TAKAHASHI / Ryuichi KIHARA: If they are half as good as she was with Mervin Tran, they should have no problem here
Magdalena KLATKA / Radoslaw CHRUSCINSKI: Came in last at Worlds, though at least they made it there
Tatiana NOVIK / Andrei NOVOSELOV: Former Russian pair that apparently has countryhopped. Good enough it could serve them well, if they can get that TBC removed…
Veronica GRIGORIEVA / Aritz MAESTU: Not sure whether she’s Spanish or not, no idea what that citizenship situation might be like, but he and his previous partner weren’t very strong at all
Ronja ROLL / Gustav FORSGREN: Have been together a very long time, but not that strong either
Olga BESTANDIGOVA / Ilhan MANSIZ: Easily win the prize for weirdest story of the competition: he’s a former soccer player who learned to skate at 33 for a Skating With Celebrities type show in 2008, she was his long-retired partner who started dating him, they continued skating after winning the show then in 2011 announced they were going to try to make the Olympics, and now they are here. No international record, but this just doesn’t seem like a likely pair to pull this off…
Julia LAVRENTIEVA / Yuri RUDYK: Came very close to getting qualifying scores for Worlds last year, when they had a very good first senior season, very much a rising pair

…so that probably comes out to Takahashi & Kihara, Novik & Novoselov(assuming they make it there), Lavrentieva & Rudik, and Kemp & King. But if another spot becomes available, it’ll be interest to see whose first alternate.

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