Pick 3 teams.
Savchenko & Szolkowy
Volosozhar & Trankov
Kavaguti & Smirnov
Pang & Tong
Zhang & Zhang (if they skate)
Bazarova & Larionov
Moore-Towers & Moscovitch
Yankowskas & Coughlin
Evora & Ladwig
Takahashi & Tran
Duhamel & Radford
Pick 3 teams.
I think the only lock for a medal are the Germans. It sounds like the Zhangs wont be at Worlds so I really see the other 2 medals coming from the top 2 Russians and Pang & Tong. I give Bazarova & Larionov an outside shot of upsetting for a bronze maybe. If Volosozhar & Trankov skate as well as at Nationals though they definitely will medal regardless of how the others all skate, and will win if the Germans are off at all.
Savchenko & Szolkowy, Kavaguti & Smirnov and Pang & Tong.
I voted S/S, V/T, and K/S. I think it's probably going to be in that order. Euros showed that S/S can make technical mistakes and still beat K/S. The same will probably apply to S/S vs. V/T as well as some people have been complaining that V/T's programs are artistically kind of empty. I think V/T will finish ahead of K/S partly because of them being touted as the new Russian #1. The two teams seem roughly equal in terms of technical ability. Unfortunately, I think Pang and Tong haven't been skating their best this year and will be left off the podium.
S&S are a lock and I'm gonna say P&T medal too. How many years have the Chinese been on the podium? It seems unthinkable to not have one of their pairs on the World podium and they ARE the reigning champions.
I would prefer to wait until V&T have been given an international score before I give them a medal at Worlds but yeah, they have a great chance. If K&S skate clean and finish 4th, which is a distinct possibility given the scoring at Euros, the fallout will be really interesting. I suspect they'll be calling for Yuko's head on a platter yet again, there will be rumors of Smirnov getting a new partner, and Moskvina will be trying to get her hands on V&T. She's too powerful for the Russian fed to just outright dump one of her pairs, and a very good one too.
I really don't think S/S are a lock. If they skate clean they will and should win, but they have shown they can make stupid mistakes. P/T haven't been skating well, and K/S did not get the political support they normal have. I'm firmly convinced V/T will have political support. The judges will give it to S/S if they skate well because they do deserve it. But I'm not so sure they will give it to them if S/S had mistakes like they had at Euros.
I've frankly been torn between who I was going to support V/T or S/S for Sochi. I still adore S/S but I'm becoming convinced they are just never going to be the best competitors.
The only teams who are in a fight for the top three spots are last year’s medalists P/T, S/S, K/S and V/T they rest are a long shot in the extreme. Z/Z aren’t going to worlds so they won’t be considered.
The season’s top three scores are:
V/T haven’t performed enough together to know how they will do but she has made mistakes in the past and he has fallen at least 3 times on jumps I can remember and who can forget the infamous fall on the throw last year. They could also perform fine and win the whole thing.
Both S/S and K/S did pretty well at Europeans considering the conditions at the rink; that can be contributed to why the spins and lifts were bad. K/S are still not 100% healthy. Yuko will also be performing at home.
P/T have the third highest score this season with a distant 189.93. They are going to need to really pull it out if they do well at worlds. I think they are going to 4CC?
One thing you can bank on...the rink at worlds will be warmer!
I picked Pang & Tong to be the ones to be pushed off the podium. I see the Germans in the centre with gold flanked by the 2 Russian pairs with V/T over K/S for sure unless V/T have some problems and K/S have none. The only ones I give an outside shot at a surprise are B/L, but only if their teammates have problems will the judges score them that to medal.
S/S for gold
K/S and P/T fight for silver and bronze
hoping Sui and Han for fourth