The Centennial on Ice is an ISU sanctioned International competition that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the first ISU World Championships which were held in 1896 in St. Petersburg, Russia. The competition will be held in the St. Petersburg Sports and Concert Complex in St. Petersburg, Russia. The event is being organized by the Russian Figure Skating Federation and Turner Sports. A total of $250,000 will be awarded the medalists and participants. Most of the competitors were invited and contracted well in advance of the competition, and invitations were not necesssarily based on their competition record this season. The competition begins one week before the Champions Series Final, and many of the competitors will be heading to Paris for that competition following the completion of the Centennial competition. Because the event will be extensively covered by Turner Sports, and due to the excessive cost and difficulty of getting timely results from Russia we will not be posting results during this competition. Complete results will be posted when we receive them following the event.
Our crystal ball is soooo confused by the constantly changing lineup for this made for cable event that it doesn't know what to do. Based on the above competitors, we gaze through the smoke and say...
With her main competition waiting for her in Paris we have Kwan the easy favorite, followed by Slutskaya and Bonaly fighting over second and third. After the top three, the odds favor Liashenko and Szewczenko for fourth and fifth. Although she hasn't had a great year so far, Markova has the equipment to win a medal in this group, and maybe a home crowd will inspire her. And then there is Bobek who would like to redeem herself - this will be her only real chance to do that until at least until next summer. Bobek also has the equipment to medal in this group, but the big question is, will she be ready?
The crystal ball likes Urmanov in the men's event, and then gives Eldredge and Galindo a chance for medals. The international judges haven't seen Rudy in a long time, so its hard to see where they might place him; but his programs have a style we think will appeal to the international judges, and if he skates as well as he did at Nationals he could end up ahead of Eldredge again. Also, it is important for him to skate well here so that at Worlds the judges will consider him a serious contender. A bad skate and he risks being viewed as a "one hit wonder". Kulik and Zag' could slip in for a medal if any of the others falter and give them the chance. After his mediocre showing at Europeans, Candeloro will have to fight to crack the top five.
In pairs the lazy bet is that things end up basically like at Europeans, with the addition of Shishkova/Naumov competitive for the gold.
First and last are easy to pick in the dance event, Grischuk/Platov on top and Mrazova/Simecek on the bottom. If they are ready, we like Moniotte and Lavanchy for the silver, leaving Krylova/Ovsyannikov and Anissina/Peizerat fighting for third. With the home country advantage, we pick Krylova/Ovsyannikov to take third.
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