Top International Pairs Post 2014?
I am pretty excited to see what happens after this season with the pairs scene. For so long it seems like the same 6 or 7 pairs have been medaling everywhere (V/T, S/S, K/S, B/L, Stolbova/Klimov, Pang/Tong, MT/M, D/R...)- 1) do you think most of these teams will retire, and 2) who do you see becoming the new Worlds and Euros medalists in the wake of that? I could see Berton/Hotarek, Sui/Han, and James/Cipres moving up quite a bit, assuming they stick around, along with Hao Zhang and his current partner. Also it will be nice for US pairs to at least have a prayer of qualifying 3 teams now. Some of the Russian junior teams are fairly good, although many of them were pretty rocky at Nationals this year...so we'll see...
Among US pairs, there's quite a few teams with nice potential coming up- Kayne/O'Shea, Z/B, Leng/Leduc, Denney/Frazier...and if Donlan/Speroff can get themselves to Elaine Zayak or Christy Krall like I've been praying for, I think good things could happen there too.
Last edited by haribobo; 01-15-2014 at 04:32 AM.
Volosozhar & Trankov have said in recent interviews they plan to continue until 2018, even if they win the OGM (which they probably will). So they will probably dominate the next 4 years, as it is hard to see any of the current up and coming pairs reach the level of their current arch rivals- Savchenko & Szolkowy. Beyond them though I think Duhamel & Radford, Moore Towers & Moscovitch, Sui & Han, Peng & Zhang, Berton & Hotarek, Stolbova & Klimov will all be major contenders for medals. Not sure about Barazova & Larionov, I think they are on the way down.
- Rep Power
I think Sui and Han are history, she will have to find a bigger partner. I agree with saying Bazarova and Larionov are on the way down, they had their shot last and this season and they seemed to have squandered it. Changing coaches didn't seem to help as of yet.
Unfortunately I don't see any pairs past 2014 that are really exciting. May be some will emerge in a couple of years. If V&T continue post 2014, great. Otherwise there will be a huge void, somewhat similar to what happened in 1995 to 1997. There were no great pairs; just mediocre ones. From 98 they picked up again. So may be we can expect a dip in 2015-2017, then some quality pairs could come up in 2018.
I think Pang & Tong may retire. Also S&S (not sure what they have said about their plans). I think the top two Canadian pairs will continue and do well. I hope Kawaguchi Smirnov will be around for at least one year past Sochi. I miss them. I am not impressed with any of the junior Russian pairs, after watching the Russian nationals. In seniors, B&L have been a big disappointment. Stolbova-Klimov are just OK, but they may improve. At least they are not going downhill. I think Berton-Hotarek will stick around till 2018 and become a factor.
In the US pairs I don't see anyone doing great, but in a mediocre field they could come out with some medals.
Sui-Han have been a disappointment. May be Zhang with his new partner will do well. I can't imagine China not remaining strong in pairs, with the money they have invested.
Sadly, pairs are just not that good anymore. If V&T stick around, that could provide motivation to others to catch up.
I agree that B/L are on their way down. S/K are on their way up, B/H will stay around for awhile longer. I think MT/M and D/R will dominate for one or two seasons and then retire. Castelli/Shnapir may develop some confidence from going to the Olympics and become just a bit better, so might Zhang/Bartholomay. I see Peng/Zhang as a HUGE team in the coming quad.. look how much they've improved already, especially her.
Meagan had previous said they will continue as long as their bodies hold-up. I guess ultimately it will depend on what they think of their chances to achieve higher goals, and whether Eric has the same drive and ambition as Meagan. If the top teams retire and those who are poised to replace them do not appear to be as serious of a threat, D/R may see the 2018 Olympic podium in their future and push onward.
Meanwhile MT/M are still fighting to get their title back, and possibly more. Other than the one Canadian Nationals and a couple US Classics, they have not reached the top tier of the podium often. I think they likely would want to accomplish more before they retire, if possible. Kirsten is young, so their future may fall on whether Dylan is willing to continue.
Speaking of D/R, there is a full page promotional ad in today's 24 hour commuter newspaper. I have noticed there has been an increased effort to promote Figure Skating to the public at large within Canada (or at least the Toronto area). That would be a good thing I am not seeing as much publicity for other winter sports, other than Hockey.
flip to page 5 by clicking on the top right page corner. Double click the page to zoom in/out... http://eedition.toronto.24hrs.ca/epaper/viewer.aspx
P.S. I have uploaded the Pairs medalist LP videos + Purich & Tran's SP & LP in the "Canadian Nationals 2014 video collection" thread.
Last edited by rvi5; 01-15-2014 at 04:09 PM.
Do you have a link to the article? I've read the translated Russian interview with Mozer where she said she hopes to convince them to stay on for at least a couple of years after Sochi so that they can realise their potential, but i've always thought Max wants to finish this season.
Originally Posted by judgejudy27
I think that Purich/Tran will start to become contenders. I really enjoyed watching him skate in Ottawa.
Berton Hotarek have the ability to be magical as well.