With Bereznaia and Shliakokhov sidelined by her injury, Meno and Sand will compete in
the pairs event as first substitues.
In the ladies event, Markova, Slutskaya, and Bonaly all have 12 points. Normally only six ladies would compete, but both Markova and Slutskaya have identical records in the Champions Series, so both will skate in the event. Bonaly had a 5th place finish in the Series vs. fourth place finishes for the other two so she is the first substitute.
In the ladies' event our crystal ball sees Michelle Kwan as the favorite with her main competition Lu Chen. Following her strong showing at Europeans, Slutskaya has the best shot at third, but could be challenged by Chouinard and Yokoya. With mediocre seasons and dissappointing results at Europeans, Markova and Butyrskaya do not seem competitive for medals in this group.
The men's event is particularly interesting since Stojko and Urmanov have not competed all that often in the last year, and, although he skated well in the Series events, Eldredge's new program was not ready for Nationals. Unless he has polished it considerably in the interim, the crystal ball sees him having a tough time in Paris. The crystal ball sees Stojko as the favorite, with Urmanov giving a serious challenge, then Eldredge in third.
In pairs Shishkova/Naumov should have an easy time of it, followed by Elstova/Bushkov, Meno/Sand, and finally Wotzel/Steuer pulling up the rear.
Grischuk/Platov are an easy pick to win the dance event, but after that things get pretty murky. Krylova/Ovsyannikov and Anissina/Peizerat are closely matched, and Bourne/Kraatz have not competed that often in the last year. The crystal ball shrugs it's shoulders and says Bourne/Kraatz in second, Krylova/ Ovsiannikov in third, and Anissina/Peizerat in fourth.
Following the competition in St. Petersburg, the crystal ball is having second thoughts. Now it sees a major cat fight between Chen, Kwan, Slutskaya, and Butyrskaya. This one should be interesting.
With Eldredge having more time to prepare by not skating in St. Petersburg, and Urmanov struggling there, the crystal ball now gives Eldredge a better chance for second, and sees Urmanov and Kulik duking it out for third.
Return to Title Page