NHK Trophy 2016: Pairs Review

NHK Trophy in Japan was the last stop on the Grand Prix circuit this season. For the third consecutive year, Duhamel/Radford won the event. We also saw strong performances from the two Chinese pairs at the competition. Let’s take a look at what happened. Continue reading “NHK Trophy 2016: Pairs Review”

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Cup of China 2016: Pairs Review

At Cup of China, the pairs competition is usually all about the top Chinese pairs. And it was never more so than this year, when we saw new teams Yu/Zhang and Peng/Jin compete against each other for the first time.

These 2 new pairs are the product of a partner swap that the Chinese federation made last spring, when they broke up the successful teams of Peng/Zhang and Yu/Jin and required them to switch partners. This partner swap was controversial, and I think many fans were anxious to see how the ex-partners would look at this event.

For now, the answer is that both new teams looked really strong at Cup of China. And as much as I feared there might be drama, there wasn’t any. All parties involved actually looked happy, or at least at ease, during warmups and in the kiss-n-cry. And the new teams’ results pretty much speak for themselves, and are very promising for the future. Even with #1 Chinese pair Sui/Han out due to injury, the Chinese pairs dominated this event, finishing 1-2-4.

While it’s too soon to call the partner swap a success, we at least know that both teams have gotten off to a very good start, and show promise for the future. For the skaters’ sake, I’m happy about that. Continue reading “Cup of China 2016: Pairs Review”

Trophee de France 2016: Pairs Review

The pairs event at Trophee de France featured some some big names, but I was disappointed to see a field of only 6 pairs (instead of the allotted 8). Two French pairs who were originally assigned to the event withdrew quite late, and were not replaced. Since pairs skaters already have the lowest number of entries in Grand Prix events, it was really disappointing to see 2 slots go unused. With only 6 pairs entered, Savchenko/Massot easily dominated the event. Continue reading “Trophee de France 2016: Pairs Review”

Rostelecom Cup 2016: Pairs Review

Last season, Aliona Savchenko/Bruno Massot burst onto the scene with an unexpected World bronze medal. Savchenko/Massot showed huge potential in their debut season. This season, their task is to fulfill that promise and establish themselves as gold-medal contenders at Worlds and Olympics. They took a step forward this week by winning Rostelecom Cup. Meanwhile, Russian pair Natalia Zabijako/Alexander Enbert—also in only their second season–turned heads by winning silver at their home Grand Prix. Let’s look at the action in Moscow. Continue reading “Rostelecom Cup 2016: Pairs Review”

Skate Canada 2016: Pairs Review

Skate Canada was the first Grand Prix event for two-time World champions Duhamel/Radford. Their presence automatically raised the level of this competition; but there were quite a few other good pairs in the field as well. Overall, this was a better-skated pairs event than at Skate America, with some close competition for the medals. Let’s see what happened. Continue reading “Skate Canada 2016: Pairs Review”