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[2017/18] Senior Men of the Grand Prix circuit

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He Zhang (CHN) (20 y.o.) (World Standings #109)

 

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A Chinese skater, who has won six ISU Junior Grand Prix medals and competed at four Junior World Championships placing as high as 6th.

Currently coached by Xin Zhang, his former coaches were Xin Liu and Shanwei Guan

He Zhang was born on November 5th, 1996.

He Zhang was expected to compete at last year’s Cup of China, but he withdrew and didn’t compete last season at all. He took part in the 2017 Cup of Nice and was able to produce a very good SP, landing 4S, 3A and 3Lz3T combination and coming second in this section. He lost the momentum in the FS, though, and was eighth in it, placing 6th overall.

According to his ISU biography, his personal best overall score is 196.20, his best SP score is 70.85, his best FS score is 129.38, all achieved when he was a junior skater. But his Cup of Nice results were considerably higher – 81.75 in the SP and 130.96 in the FS, resulting in 212.71 overall. We wish him well in his senior GP debut!

His SP seems to be Puttin’ On The Ritz

His FP is Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov

 

 

Alexander Majorov (26 y.o.) (SWE) (World Standings #35)

 

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A Swedish skater, four times National champion, the 2017 Winter Universiade bronze medallist, the 2011 World Junior bronze medallist.

Alexander is coached by his father, Alexander Majorov Sr.

Alexander was born on July 19th, 1991, in St.Petersburg, Russia. His father, Alexander Majorov Sr, was the first coach to Alexei Yagudin, the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic champion. Alexander’s brother, Nikolaj, is also a skater.

An athletic and powerful skater, Alexander hasn’t still been among the top senior men skaters, but his presence is unmistakable. His goal this year was to make it to the Olympic Games, let’s hope we see him there. He can jump 4T and 3A.

His personal best overall score is 228.97 at the 2016 Warsaw Cup, his best SP score is 83.81 at the 2014 Olympic Games, his best FS score is 150.07 at the 2016 Warsaw Cup.

His SP is Bang Bang

His FP is Man with the Golden Arm, From Russia With Love and Peter Gunn Theme.

His programs were choreographed by Irina Majorova and Marica Sandström Lindh

 

 

Kevin Reynolds (CAN) (27 y.o.) (World Standings #29)

 

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A Canadian skater, the 2013 Four Continents champion, four times Canadian national medallist, the first man to have landed two quadruple jumps in the short program, and five quadruple jumps in the short program and free program, which he achieved in the 2013 Four Continents Championship.

Kevin is coached by Joanne MacLeod. He started skating at the age of five and started training with Joanne at 9. One of the most recognisable and lovable skaters, Kevin is one of the skaters who can proudly wear the badge of beating Yuzuru Hanyu – he won his 2013 Four Continents title over Yuzu. He’s been struggling with quite a few injuries, though, so lately his performance level has somewhat lowered down, but he was able to finish 9th at the World Championships in a highly competitive field. He can jump 4S and 4T, has tried 4Lo quite few times, never landing it clean and rotated.

His personal best overall score is 253.84 at the 2017 World Championship, his best SP score is 85.16 at the 2013 World Championship, his best FS score is 172.21 at the 2013 Four Continents Championship.

This season, he has taken part in Finlandia Trophy where he placed 11th.

His SP is Whiplash OST choreographed by Shae Lynn Bourne,

His FP is The Armed Man: The Mass For Peace choreographed by Mark Pillay

 

 

Han Yan (CHN) (21 y.o.) (World Standings #27)

 

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A Chinese skater, a three-time Four Continents bronze medalist (2013, 2015, 2016), the 2017 Asian Winter Games bronze medalist, 2013 Cup of China champion, 2012 World Junior champion, and a two-time (2009, 2010) Chinese national champion.

Coached by Mingzhu Li, previously coached by Shuguang Jia

Han Yan was born on March 6th, 1996, and started to skate when he was 5. After he won the 2012 World Junior championship, many people expected him to be a major competition to the likes of Yuzuru Hanyu as soon as he started his senior career in the autumn of 2013, as Yan Han can compete with anyone in the quality of his jumps, especially 3A, his expressivity and his wonderful skating skills. These hopes were substantiated in the season of 2013-2014, when Yan Han won the Cup of China gold medal and made it to the Grand Prix Final in Fukuoka, and finished in the respectable 7th place in the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2014 World Championship.

Unfortunately, ever after the infamous Cup of China collision with Yuzuru, his skating career went rather downhill and he’s been dogged with injuries, but his recent outing at the Cup of Nice, which he won decisively, seems to show he’s got lots of competitive fire in him for now. Undoubtedly, we will see him at the 2018 Olympic Games, so for now we wish him to do well in the Grand Prix events.

According to the ISU biography, his personal best overall score is 271.55 at the 2016 Four Continents Championship, his best SP score is 90.14 at the 2013 Cup of China and his best FS score is 181.98 at the 2016 Four Continents. In the 2017 Cup of Nice, he went over these figures in the SP, accumulating 94.29 points.

His SP is A Thousand Years

His FP is I’ll Take Care Of You

Both programs have been choreographed by Lori Nichol

 

 

Grant Hochstein USA (World Standings #27 y.o) (World Standings #23)

 

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An American skater, the 2016 Nebelhorn Trophy bronze medallist and he finished fourth twice in the US National Championships (2016, 2017). He has finished in the top ten at three ISU Championships, including the 2016 World Championships. He won silver at a Junior Grand Prix event in Budapest in 2009.

Currently coached by Peter Oppegard and Karen Kwan-Oppegard. His former coaches were Lindsay O'Donoghue and Maria Moscato.

Grant was born on July 17th, 1990. Grant started practising taekwondo as a child but switched to figure skating when he was nine years old, inspired by the performances of Michelle Kwan at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games. His younger sister Veronica is a competitive skater as well. Grant coaches as well does competitive skating himself.

This is the second Grand Prix event for Grant, his first was the Rostelecom Cup or Cup of Russia, where he got 206.09 points (67.56 for his SP and 138.53 for his FS) and placed 11th  overall.  

His personal best total score is 237.25 at the 2016 World Championship in Boston, his personal best SP score is 81.94 at the 2017 Four Continents Championship, his personal best FS score is 162.44 at the 2016 World Championships.

His SP is Your Song (from Moulin Rouge) choreographed by Peter Oppegard

His FP is All I Ask Of You and Music Of The Night (from The Phantom Of The Opera) choreographed by Peter Oppegard

 

 

Vincent Zhou (USA) (17 y.o.) (World Standings #21)

 

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An American skater, the 2017 World Junior champion, 2017 Bavarian Open champion, and 2017 U.S. national silver medallist.

Vincent is coached by Tammy Gambill, Drew Meekins, Tom Zakrajsek

Vincent was born on October 25th, 2000, and is the youngest skater in this competition. He started to skate at 5 years old. He comes from a talented family – his mother is a computer scientist who worked in Silicon Valley, his sister plays the violin. Vincent is a brilliant student and received he Presidential Award for Educational Excellence from President Obama. Yuzuru Hanyu is, along with Patrick Chan, Brian Boitano, Michael Weiss and Richard Dornbush, is among his skating idols.

Vincent is an accomplished jumper who can jump an impressive array of quadruple jumps, which has been instrumental in his being able to finish 1st in the 2017 World Junior Championship.

His personal best is 258.11 at the 2017 World Junior Championship, his best SP score is 80.53 at the Junior Grand Prix event in Yokohama and his best FS is 179.24 at the 2017 World Junior Championship.

This is Vincent’s first senior season and he started it well at Finlandia Trophy, where he placed 2nd with the overall result of 250.01.

His SP is Chasing Cars

His FP is Moulin Rouge OST

Both programs were choreographed by Jeffrey Buttle

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Keiji Tanaka JPN (22y.o) (World Standings #20)

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A Japanese skater, the 2016 NHK Trophy bronze medallist, 2017 Winter Universiade silver medallist, 2011 World Junior silver medallist, and 2017 Japanese national silver medallist.

Currently coached by Yusuke Hayashi, Utako Nagamitsu and Sayaka Yodo.

He was born on November 22nd, 1994. He started skating in 2002. He trains in Osaka and Kurashiki. He turned senior in the season of 2014-2015.

His personal best total score is 248.44. his personal best SP score is 80.49, his personal best FS score is 167.95, all of which were achieved at the 2016 NHK Trophy.

He sadly missed his first GP event at the Rostelecom Cup due to an injury, so we're looking forward to his performances here. 

His SP is "The Prophet" by Gary Moore

His FP is Fellini films medley

Both of Keiji’s programs were choreographed by Massimo Scali

 

 

Alexander Petrov (RUS) (18 y.o.) (World Standings #16)

 

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A Russian skater, the 2016 CS Nebelhorn Trophy champion and the 2016 Russian National bronze medalist. On the junior level, he is the 2014–15 Junior Grand Prix Final bronze medalist and the 2015 Russian Junior National champion.

Currently coached by Alexei Mishin, his former coaches were Tatiana Mishina, Svetlana Francuzova, Oleg Tataurov

Alexander was born on April 26th, 1999, and started skating at 5. He is a lyrical and musical skater, but has been struggling with acquiring a quad. He’s been trying 4T for quite a while, but his success rate hasn’t been terribly high. This is going to be his first outing in the senior Grand Prix events, so wishing him good luck! He took part in Finlandia Trophy, where he placed 9th overall.

His personal overall best score is 243.47, his best SP score is 81.29, his best FS score is 162.18, all set at the 2017 World Junior Championship.

His SP is Sabre Dance

His FP is Chicago and I’m Gonna Live Till I Die by Frank Sinatra

both choreographed by Tatyana Prokofyeva

 

 

Max Aaron (USA) (25 y.o.) (World Standings #14)

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An American skater, the 2013 U.S. national champion, the 2015 Skate America champion, the 2011 U.S. national junior champion

Currently coached by Tom Zakrajsek and Becky Calvin, his previous coach was Doug Ladret

Maxwell Theodor Aaron was born on February 25th, 1992, and he began skating as a hockey skater at the age of four and took up figure skating at 9 to improve his skating skills. He continued to pursue both sports until 2008, when he was injured. His powerful and athletic skating along with his open-hearted charisma have charmed quite a lot of fans, but he’s been quite inconsistent too.

His personal best overall score is 261.56 at the 2017 US International Classic, his best SP score is 87.03 at the 2015 Tallinn Trophy, his best FP score is 175.50 at the 2017 US International Classic.

His SP is Bring Him Home/One Day More (from Les Miserables) by Claude-Michel Schönberg, his FP is Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber, both choreographed by Katherine Hill.

 

 

Boyang Jin (CHN) (20 y.o.) (World Standings #6)

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A Chinese skater, a two-time World bronze medallist (2016–2017), the 2016 Four Continents silver medallist, the 2017 Asian Winter Games silver medallist, and a four-time (2014–2017) Chinese national champion.On the junior level, he is the 2015 World Junior silver medallist and the 2013 JGP Final champion.

Currently coached by Zhaoxiao Xu and Caishu Fu, his previous coach was Xiujing Chen

Boyang Jin was born on October 3rd, 1997 and started to skate at the age of seven and a half. He soon developed as a jumping talent and a technical wiz – Boyang Jin became the first skater to ever land a quad lutz-triple toe loop combination in international competition,the first skater to have landed four quad jumps in a free skate and six quads in a competition. He’s been kept relatively low by his less than stellar skating skills, but he’s been working hard on catching up in that respect as well, so it’ll be exciting to see how he develops.

He’s got a brilliant set of personal bests – his best overall score is 303.58, his best SP score is 98.64 and his best FS score is 204.94, all set by his clean skates at the 2017 World Championship, where he won his second World bronze medal. He started the season well by winning the 2017 Finlandia Trophy.

His SP is Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

His FP is Star Wars soundtrack

 Both of his programs were choreographed by Lori Nichol.

 

 

 

Mikhail Kolyada RUS (22 y.o) (World Standings #4)

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A Russian skater, the 2017 European bronze medallist and 2017 Russian national champion. He has won six senior international medals, including two on the ISU Challenger Series.

He’s been coached by Valentina Chebotareva ever since he was five. He has also been uncommonly loyal to his choreographer Olga Kliushnichenko – the fact which drew harsh criticism on him last season.

He was born on February 18th, 1995. He won Junior Nationals in 2013 and ended up 6th at the Junior World Championship the same year. 2014-2015 should have been his first senior season, but he broke his right ankle in 2014, which led to two surgeries and five months off ice, so he withdrew from the GP events and Russian Nationals. The season of 2015-1016 proved to be a rough experience at first, but to everyone’s surprise, he ended up 4th at Boston World Championship ahead of such skaters as Patrick Chan and Shoma Uno.

This instantly made him the principal hope of the ailing Russian male skating. He’s arguably the closest Russian skaters have got to the idea of an all-round skater – his beautiful skating skills, flexibility in spins, musicality and charisma, his powerful jumps (especially his trademark 3Lz) made him stand out among the rest of the field. But he struggled throughout last season with the new jump he tried to incorporate in his program – 4Lz.

He lives and trains in St. Petersburg.

His personal best total score is 279.41, his personal best SP score is 95.37, and his personal best FS score is 185.27. He achieved his best SP and combined total results at the 2017 World Team Trophy in Tokyo, and the best FS result at the 2017 Rostelecom Cup.

This is the second GP event for Mikhail – he placed third in the Rostelecom Cup after Nathan Chen and Yuzuru Hanyu with a total score of 271.06. If he should place high enough, he has a hope of making it to the final, but his chances are pretty slim.

His SP is Piano Concerto no. 23, Adagio movement, by Mozart + Tango choreographed by Olga Kliushnichenko

His FP is Elvis Presley medley choreographed by Olga Kliushnichenko

 

 

Javier Fernandez (ESP) (World Standings #3)

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A Spanish skater, a two-time World champion (2015, 2016), a five-time European champion (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017), a three-time Grand Prix Final medalist (2014–15, 2015–16, 2011–12), and a seven-time Spanish national champion. He is the second man after Yuzuru to break the 100-point barrier in the short program, the 200-point barrier in the long program, and the 300-point barrier in the total score. He’s the first Spanish skater to ever achieve so much success in figure skating – and in 2016, they were recognised when he received the Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sports Merit by the Spanish government

Currently sharing training sessions with Yuzu under the watchful eyes of Brian Orser and Tracy Wilson, Javi is also coached by Daniel Peinado. His previous coaches were C. Sanz, J. Lafarga, Nikolai Morozov, Ivan Saez

Javi is a charismatic and artistic skater with the flair for comedy on ice, and is a skilled and powerful jumper, landing beautiful 4S and 4T. He has landed a few 4Lo in shows too, but seems to have decided against introducing the jump into his competitive programs, thus choosing safety and security over risk.

His personal best overall score is 314.93 at the 2016 World Championship, his best SP score is 109.05 at the 2017 World Championship, his best FS score is 216.41 at the 2016 World Championship.

Javi has beaten Yuzu at the 2017 Autumn Classic International with a total of 279.07 points.

His SP is Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin soundtrack) choreographed by Antonio Najarro

His FP is Man of La Mancha choreographed by David Wilson.

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On 10/29/2017 at 3:57 PM, Yatagarasu said:

Tally so far

 

 

Men
  1. Shoma UNO (JPN) 15
  2. Nathan CHEN (USA) 15
  3. Yuzuru HANYU (JPN) 13
  4. Jason BROWN (USA) 13
  5. Mikhail KOLYADA (RUS) 11
  6. Alexander SAMARIN (RUS) 11
  7. Misha GE (UZB) 9
  8. Patrick CHAN (CAN) 9
  9. Moris KVITELASHVILI (GEO) 7
  10. Jorik HENDRICKX (BEL) 7

 

So, based on CoC we now have:

 

Kolyada 11 + 15 = 26  (qualified)

Uno 15 + ?

Chen 15 + ?

Hanyu 13 + ?

Brown 13 + ?

Jin 13 + ?

Samarin 11 + ?

Aaron 11+ ?

Ge 9 + ?

Zhou 9 + ?

Chan 9 + 0 = 9

Kvitelashvili 7 + ?

Hendrickx 7 + ?

Yan 7 + ?

 

(Someone should do a more organised list :embSwan:)

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Tally so far

 

 

Men
  1. Mikhail KOLYADA (RUS) 26
  2. Shoma UNO (JPN) 15
  3. Nathan CHEN (USA) 15
  4. Yuzuru HANYU (JPN) 13
  5. Boyang JIN (CHN) 13
  6. Jason BROWN (USA) 13
  7. Max AARON (USA) 11
  8. Alexander SAMARIN (RUS) 11
  9. Vincent ZHOU (USA) 9
  10. Misha GE (UZB) 9
  11. Patrick CHAN (CAN) 9

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2 minutes ago, Fay said:

this year's GP events are full of surprises... 

 

If someone had told me I'd be seeing a tally with no Javier there because he's below 9 points post his first GP I would have laughed! Ice is indeed slippery.

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3 minutes ago, Yatagarasu said:

 

If someone had told me I'd be seeing a tally with no Javier there because he's below 9 points post his first GP I would have laughed! Ice is indeed slippery.

Yeah, a two-time world champion bombing so badly has been quite a damper.... :( 

 

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What I am fearing the most is that ISU will use Patrick's and Javi's current situation as more 'reason' for the proposed change of rules. You know, those "Look at these excellent skaters falling behind because the quads tilted the playing field so badly against them", "we don't want FS to be more of rewarding in tech and left those with excellent skating skills unmotivated", etc. bullpucky. 

Sorry, I am talking myself down, and probably dragging people with me. I am done, I promise.

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OK, the Grand Prix series has produced quite a few surprises this season with two favourites bombing and eliminating their chances of making it to the GPF - Patrick Chan could theoretically have fought for the second or first place at NHK Trophy and made it to the final, but he's sadly out of shape and has run out of motivation, so he opted to withdraw from the series. Javier Fernandez has had the worst performance in years - let's hope it's all due to his stomach problems, not some injury - so he has very little hope of making it to Nagoya too. 

Meanwhile, we're starting with the fourth competition of the series... 

 

NHK Trophy 2017

 

NHK Trophy is an international senior figure skating event which began in 1979 and joined the ISU Grand Prix series in 1995, the series’ inaugural year.  This year’s competition will be held in Osaka.

There has been quite a reshuffling of men skaters taking part in NHK Trophy: Patrick Chan withdrew after his Skate Canada subpar performance, and now Daisuke Murakami had gone down with pneumonia and has been replaced by Kazuki Tomono. So let's introduce the competitors once again. 

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Hiroaki Sato (21 y.o.) (World Standings #118)

 

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A Japanese skater, who won three international medals in 2013-2016. He was born on December 6th, 1995.

Currently coached by Masanori Sasaki, his previous coach was Kuniko Yamazaki.

This is the first time Hiro will be taking part in a senior Grand Prix event. He’s been trying to jump 4T and 3A, but he’s been struggling with those! We wish him to have a good skate and enjoy this outing!

His personal best overall score is 184.78 at the 2017 Lombardia Trophy, his best SP score is 59.94 at the 2015 Junior World Championship, his best FS score is 126.84 at the 2017 Lombardia Trophy.

His SP is Totem

His FP is The Barber of Seville

Both programs were choreographed by Misao Sato

 

 

Kazuki Tomono (19 y.o.) (World Standings 58)

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A Japanese skater, the 2016-2017 Junior National champion, the 2016 Slovenia Junior Grand Prix bronze medallist. He finished 9th at the Junior World Championship last season.

Kaziki is coached by Taijin Hiraike.

He was born May 15th, 1998, and started skating in 2006. This is his first senior season. He’s been trying to land 4S and he’s got good 3A under his belt, so let’s see how he copes with his first senior GP event.

His personal best overall score is 225.30, his best SP score is 69.88, his best FS score is 155.42, all of them achieved at the 2017 US International Classic where he came 5th.

His SP is Zigeunerweisen by Pablo de Sarasate

His FP is Westside Story

 

 

Keegan Messing (CAN) (25 y.o) (World Standings #49)

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A Canadian skater, two times International Cup of Nice champion (2011 and 2012) and Nebelhorn Trophy 2012 bronze medallist. He also won bronze medals at the 2016 Golden Spin of Zagreb and the 2017 SC Autumn Classic International.

Currently coached by Ralph Burghardt.

Keegan was born on January 1992 and started skating when he was 3. Messing has dual citizenship, American and Canadian. He started off skating for the US and won his Cup of Nice golds and Nebelhorn Trophy for this country. In 2014, he switched to competing for Canada.

His technical arsenal includes 4T and 4T2T combination, Keegan is also a fast spinner and has got good flow and tremendous speed on the ice, but he’s been inconsistent in landing his jumps, which hampered his career. Nonetheless, he’s fun to watch as he clearly enjoys skating and he’s chosen music to channel his flair for comedy.

This is the second GP event for Keegan – initially, he was to take part in only one, but thanks to Patrick Chan withdrawing from NHK Trophy, he got in. He performed quite well in his SP and was 5th after it, but he had many technical issues in his FS after trying to land 4Lz and finished 8th in the competition with the overall score of 217.75, considerably lower than his personal best. We wish him good luck in his second GP event.

His personal best accumulative score is 248.30, his best SP score is 86.33, his best FS score is 161.97, all these were achieved at the 2017 SC Autumn Classic International.

His SP for this season is Singing in the Rain  

His FS is Chaplin choreographed by Lance Vipond

 

 

Nam Nguyen  (CANADA) (19 y.o) (World standings #28)

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A Canadian skater of Vietnamese origin, 2014 Junior World Champion, 2015 Canadian national champion, 2014 Skate America bronze medallist.

Currently coached by Tracey Wainman and Gregor Filipowski in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada. Last season, he was coached by David Glynn in San Jose, and in 2012-2016 he trained with Brian Orser and Tracy Wilson in Toronto Cricket Club along with Yuzuru and Javier Fernandez.

Nam was born on May 20th, 1998 and started skating in 2003. When growing, his skating idols were Evgeni Plushenko, Stephane Lambiel, and Jeffrey Butler. He also looked up to Yuzu and Javi as his skating inspirations.

This is the second event for Nam, he finished 7th at the Rostelecom Cup with the overall score of 238.45. He’s still fighting his underrotation issues, but he’s getting back to shape, so let’s see how he performs in comparison to Keegan Messing, his potential rival for the Pyongchang spot.

His technical arsenal includes 4T, 4S and 3A.

His personal best total score is 242.59 at the 2015 World Championship. His best SP score is 79.62 at 2016 Skate America. His best FS score is 164.86 at 2015 World Championship.

His SP is Over The Rainbow choreographed by

His FP is An American in Paris+ Love Is Here To Stay choreographed by David Wilson

 

 

Michal Brezina (CZE) (27 y.o.) (World Standings #24)

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A Czech skater, the 2013 European bronze medalist, 2011 Skate America champion, 2009 World Junior silver medalist, and 2010 Czech national champion,  the winner of the 2014-15 ISU Challenger Series.

Currently coached by Rafael and Very Aratyunan and Nadezhda Kanaeva. He was previously coached by K. Fajfr, V. Petrenko, P. Starec, K. Divin and A. Knothova

Michal was born on March 30th 1990. He comes from a skating dynasty: He is the son of Rudolf Březina, a figure skating coach. His younger sister, Eliška Březinová, competes in ladies' single skating. He was initially interested in ice hockey, but on his father's advice started pursuing figure skating. He showed his potential early on and got as high as winning a Grand Prix event in 2011, but his inconsistency led him to lose that early momentum, unfortunately. He's a joy to see when he's on, but lately his programs have been rather messy. He has landed 4T and 4S in competitions. 

This is the second event for Michal – his first one was Skate Canada, where he landed all his  jumps and placed 6th overall. We’re happy to see Michal not giving up and persevering. 

His personal best overall score is 243.52 at the 2013 European Championship, his best SP score is 87.67 at the 2012 World Championship and his best FS score is 163.68 at the 2013 European Championship. 

His SP is Kodo (Japanese Drums) choreographed by Pasquale Camerlengo

His FP is Human/ Stand by Me  choreographed by Benoit Richaud. 

 

 

Sergei Voronov (30 y.o.) (World Standings #23)

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A Russian skater, a two-time European medalist (2014 silver, 2015 bronze), the 2014–15 Grand Prix Final bronze medalist, a two-time World Junior medalist (2006 silver, 2007 bronze), and a two-time Russian national champion (2008, 2009).

Currently coached by Inna Goncharenko, his previous coaches were Eteri Tutberidze, Sergei Dudakov, Nikolai Morozov, M. Voitsekhovskaia, Alexei Urmanov, Galina Kashina and Rafael Arutunian

Sergei is the veteran of this competition – he was born on October 3rd, 1987. He started to skate in 1991, and went through a long and tortuous process of growth and disappointment, but never gave up the sport. He isn’t the most technically advanced or the most artistic skater in the world, but he certainly does have fun if the skate is good enough. His heyday was probably the season of 2014-2015, when he won two silver medals at the Grand Prix events (the Rostelecom Cup and NHK Trophy) and made it to the 2014 Grand Prix Final in Barcelona, where he ended up being 3rd. At the start of this season, he improved his personal best score and won the Challenger Series Minsk Arena Ice Star.

His personal best overall score is 252.55 at the 2014 European Championship, his best SP score is 90.33 at the 2014 Rostelecom Cup, his best FS score is 171.35 at the Challenger Series Minsk Arena Ice Star.

His SP is Adios Nonino by Astor Piazzolla

His FP is Sarabande Suite

Both his programs were choreographed by Misha Ge.

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Deniss Vasiljevs LAT (18 y.o.) (World Standings #20)

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A Latvian skater, the youngest skater at this competition, the 2017 Cup of Tyrol champion, the 2015 CS Tallinn Trophy bronze medallist, and a two-time Latvian national champion. Vasiljevs is the first Latvian skater to win medals in the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating (silver at JGP Riga and JGP Torun in 2015). 

Currently coached by Stephane Lambiel. His former coaches were Alexei Urmanov, Ingrida Snieskiene, and Elena Ivanova.

Deniss was born on August 9th, 1999. He started skating in 2002. As he was sick, his parents decided to involve him in a sport and he ended up choosing figure skating. His figure skating idols were Stephane Lambiel, Patrick Chan, Daisuke Takahashi and Javier Fernandez.

This is the second GP event for Deniss – he placed 8th in the Rostelecom Cup: he was 6th after the SP, but was unable to skate a clean FS and came ninth in this section.

His personal best total score is 239.00, his personal best SP score is 81.73, and his personal best FS score is 157.27, all of which were achieved at the 2017 World Championship.

His SP is Recondita Armonia by Puccini  

His FP is Put The Blame On Mame, Anyone To Love  

Both his programs were choreographed by Stephane Lambiel

 

 

Dmitri Aliev RUS (18 y.o) (World Standings #17)

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A Russian skater, the 2017 World Junior silver medalist, the 2016–17 Junior Grand Prix Final champion, the 2015–16 Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalist, a two-time medalist at the 2016 Youth Olympics (bronze in the men's singles discipline and gold in the team event), and a two-time (2016, 2017) Russian national junior champion.

Currently coached by Evgeni Rukavicin, his former coaches were Lidiya Rodionova and Vyacheslav Maksimov.

Dmitri was born on June 1st, 1999, and started skating in 2005. He trained in Ukhta until he moved to train with Evgeni Rukavicin in St. Petersburg. He’s a late starter compared to most Russian male skaters and couldn’t master his triples for quite a long time, but his musicality and his expressiveness make him stand out among the rest of the field. He’s been developing by leaps and bounds these couple of years, and though he’s dogged by inconsistency issue, he’s a dire threat to other top Russian men. He’s also developing his technical arsenal and could be a contender at this GP event.

This is the second GP event for Dmitri – at the Rostelecom Cup he was 3rd after the SP, but he ran out of steam in his FS and came 7th after his FS and placed 6th overall. Let’s see how he performs in his second GP event – this young man has mastered and tried 4Lz in competition.  

His personal best total score is 247.31 at the 2017 Junior World Championship, his personal best SP score is 88.77 at the 2017 Rostelecom Cup, and his personal best FS score is 163.83 at the 2017 Junior World Championship.

His SP is Masquerade Waltz by Aram Khachaturian

His FP is To Build A Home by Cinematic Orchestra

Both his programs were choreographed by Olga Glinka

 

 

Adam Rippon (27 y.o.) (World Standings 10)

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An American skater, the 2010 Four Continents champion and 2016 U.S. national champion. Earlier in his career, he won the 2008 and 2009 World Junior Championships, the 2007–08 Junior Grand Prix Final, and the 2008 U.S junior national title.

Currently coached by Rafael Arutunian, Vera Arutunian, Nadia Kanaeva, his previous coaches were Jason Dungjen, Yuka Sato, Brian Orser, Ghislain Briand, N. Morozov, E. Sergeeva

Adam was born on November 11th, 1989, and started to skate quite late when he was 10. He’s also the only male skater to have won the Junior World Championship twice. He’s a lyrical skater with nice choreography and some trademark moves like the way to jump his triple lutzes with both hands above his head (the move is colloquially known as rippon) and his layback spins, but he’s been held low by his inability to jump quads. He’s been trying to jump and land 4Lz for quite a while, but he hasn’t really tried many of the others.

Last year, he had to withdraw from competitions due to a fracture, but now he’s ready to join the fray and try and make it to Pyongchang.

His personal best overall score is 267.53 at the 2016 Trophee de France, his best SP score is 87.86 at the 2016 US International FS Classic, his best FS score is 182.28 at the 2016 Trophee de France.

His SP is Advice Of Tomorrow/Let Me Think About It choreographed by Jeffrey Buttle

His FP is Arrival Of The Birds choreographed by Benji Schwimmer.

 

 

Alexei Bychenko (29 y.o.) (World Standings 9)

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An Israeli skater,  He is the 2016 European silver medalist and 2016 Rostelecom Cup bronze medalist. Winner of the 2016 Golden Spin of Zagreb.

Currently coached by Galit Chait Moracci, Roman Serov, Nikolai Morozov, his former coaches were Craig Maurizi, Vakhtang Murvanidze, Galina Kukhar, Elena Amosova

Alexei was born on February 5th, 1988 and began skating in 1993. Up to 2010, he represented Ukraine, but then he moved to the USA and decided to skate for Israel. He’s the first Israeli skater to win medals at the European championship. Last year, he was able to win two spots for Israel at the Winter Olympic Games in Pyongchang.

His personal best overall score is 255.52, his personal best SP score is 86.81, his best FS score is 168.81, all of the set at the 2016 Rostelecom Cup

His SP is Chambermaid Swing

His FS is Bolero

Both of his programs were choreographed by Galit Chait Moracci

 

 

Jason Brown (USA) (22 y.o.) (World Standings #8)

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An American skater, 2015 National Champion, 2011 Junior Grand Prix Final champion, twice Junior World Championship medallist (2013 silver, 2012 bronze). He’s also a 2014 Sochi Olympic Games Team Event bronze medallist.

Jason started to skate at the age of three and has been coached by Kori Ade since he was 5.

He certainly stands out among other skaters: while he has been struggling with acquiring quads (he’s jumped 4T a few times, but they have mostly been underrotated), his other skills – his incredible flexibility, his ability to weave in beautiful and difficult and dense transitions into his program, his musicality and his enjoyment of everything he does – have never failed to impress judges and viewers alike and kept him relatively high in the rankings of senior skaters.

This is the second GP event for Jason – he placed second in his first one, Skate Canada International with the overall score of 261.14, thus he stands a good chance of making it to the Grand Prix Final.

His personal best overall score is 273.67, his best SP score is 94.32, both set at the 2017 World Team Trophy, his best FP score is 182.63 at the 2016 Skate America

His SP is The Room Where It Happens (From Hamilton)

his FP is Inner Love

Both his programs were choreographed by Rohene Ward

 

 

Yuzuru Hanyu (22 y.o.) (World Standings 1)

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The 2014 Sochi Olympic Games champion, two times World Champion (2014 and 2017), a four-time Grand Prix Final champion (2013–2016), a three-time Four Continents Championship silver medallist (2011, 2013, 2017), the Junior World champion, the 2009 Junior Grand Prix Final champion, and a four-time Japanese national champion (2012–2015). He has also medalled at three other World Championships, taking bronze in 2012, and silver in 2015 and 2016.

Yuzuru has broken world records eleven times, and currently holds the world records for the highest short program, free skating, and combined total scores. He is the first man to have broken the 100-point barrier in the men's short program, the 200-point barrier in the men's free skating, and the 300-point barrier in the combined total score, as well as being the first Asian figure skater competing in men's singles to win the Olympic gold. At the age of nineteen, he was the youngest male skater to win the Olympic title since Dick Button in 1948. At the 2015–2016 Grand Prix Final, he broke the record for the largest victory margin, with 37.48 points. At the 2016 CS Autumn Classic International, Hanyu became the first skater in history to successfully land a quadruple loop in competition. He is the first men's singles skater from Asia to win multiple World Championships. He also became the first skater to complete three quadruple jumps in the second half of a free skating program, at the 2017 World Team Trophy.

Yuzuru trains with Brian Orser and Tracy Wilson at Toronto Cricket Club.

His first GP outing ended in a traditional silver for him – he placed second after Nathan Chen, but his overall result of 290.77 is an immense progress from previous years. He also landed his first 4Lz in competition – with a positive GOE, even though the landing can still be improved. There’s no doubt who this planet will be rooting for in this competition.

He’s got an otherworldly set of personal bests: his total score is 330.43 achieved at the 2015 Grand Prix Final and his SP score is 112.72 at Skate Canada Autumn Classic 2017, and his FS score is 223.20 set at the 2017 World Championship.

His SP is Chopin Ballade No. 1 choreographed by Jeffrey Buttle

His FP is Seimei choreographed by Shae Lynn Bourne

 

 

 

 

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Yuzuru aside, much like Zhenya, this is another close battle. Will Rippon land the 4Lz? My inclination is to say no, it did not look even remotely good and then there's the shoulder injury. So I'd say Jason is probably the closest to 2nd which guarantees him the GPF, huge success - and probably the one person in it without a quad.

But then who gets 3rd? How recovered is Aliev? Questions, questions.

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I'd put Jason on the 2nd place, too, but I don't know for the life of me who's gonna take the 3rd place ... so hard .... and again I will lean on practice reports to make an opinion ...

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Jason will make the GPF over Vincent even though Vincent could very well beat Jason again at Nationals. But it gives Jason a huge push for making the team (since it's not just about Nationals results and all now). So that would be very exciting for him.

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5 hours ago, Yatagarasu said:

Yuzuru aside, much like Zhenya, this is another close battle. Will Rippon land the 4Lz? My inclination is to say no, it did not look even remotely good and then there's the shoulder injury. So I'd say Jason is probably the closest to 2nd which guarantees him the GPF, huge success - and probably the one person in it without a quad.

But then who gets 3rd? How recovered is Aliev? Questions, questions.

Aliev's problem is that he lacks stamina - and I do wonder if you can deal with that so soon. 

And I wondered whether this is a competition to watch without getting nervous. Possibly not...

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