And now Florent Amodio has had it for the year, apparently without replacement, a very, very sad but very, very understandable decision, especially since if he went and failed to preserve the two spots, he’d have hell to pay which he doesn’t really need right now(France has probably lost them now, but nobody will blame Besseghier, hopefully). Trying to handicap the fields still standing:
Men: This looks to be between Hanyu and Fernandez on paper, but they’re both capable of giving it away. Even if they both make the podium, bronze is even wider open. It could easily go to Kozuka, Machida, Yan, Kovtun, or even Abbott or Reynolds, but lately none of those except Machida has been at all consistent. On paper I’d go with Hanyu, Fernandez, Machida, but really, I have no idea. My crazy hope is that Jeremy wins bronze, of course, especially since I’m fairly certain Max can at least top ten.
Ladies: I’ve got the feeling Mao’s going to deliver at her final competition. Also, Lipnitskaia’s going to be determined to get on the podium in this one, and if she skates clean, the only person likely to beat her in this field is Mao. Bronze is more open, but after her Olympics, I’ll go with Carolina for Asada, Lipnitskaia, Kostner. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if Gold sneaked past the last either.
Pairs: And on paper Savchenko & Szolkowy should win their epilogue, and I think they will too; they had to really blow it for Stolbova & Klimov to pass them in Sochi. But the latter will get a lot of boosting from the judges with V & T not competing, which against this field they might not even need anyway. For the bronze, I have flipped the coin between the two Canadian teams, and have predicted Duhamel & Radford to repeat(maybe they could even beat S & K in the short? That would be nice for that program), for Savchenko & Szolkowy, Stolbova & Klimov, Duhamel & Radford.
Ice Dance: This is probably I & K’s to lose, but I’ve got the feeling they might actually lose it; P & B are breathing down their necks, and are they really ready to handle the pressure of the first Worlds where they expected to win, when they’ve never even been the favorites for the podium before? In fact, looking at the rest of the field, I think they could slip down to bronze or even off the podium completely. But after everyone’s performance at the Olympics, I’m going to go with my heart and say that while I & K hold on to the bronze(perhaps narrowly over Cappellini & Lanotte, and much to the anger of their fans) they are beaten to the silver by Weaver & Pojé, who can also benefit by finally being the top Canadians and possibly the judges feeling guilty, so a podium of Pechalat & Bourzat, Weaver & Pojé, Ilinykh & Katsalapov.