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  1. #1

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    Russian pairs season 2014-2015

    There have been a few new pairs this season and I am very curious who will come on top. Unfortunately we will have to wait till December for Russian nationals to have them all compete against each other, but we could start guessing in which order they will end up.

    My guess (assuming that no one is injured and no one is allowed to skip the nationals to prepare for Europeans):

    The easy bit:

    1. Tatiana Volosozhar / Maxim Trankov (it seems that they are not retiring, so for me clearly number 1)
    2. Ksenia Stolbova / Fedor Klimov
    3. Yuko Kavaguti / Alexander Smirnov (not sure if they should be n. 3 or 4. They will be 33 and 30 years old, so maybe if A/M become consistent they may beat them soon.)
    4. Julia Antipova / Nodari Maisuradze

    Now there are 3 newly created pairs(Bazarova/Deputat, Astakhova/Rogonov, Zabijako/Larionov), one pair that have been struggling for 2 seasons with injury (Gerboldt/Enbert), 5 junior pairs that have been pretty good at the JGP and junior worlds last season and are forced to move to seniors (Tarasova/Morozov, Vygalova/Zakroev, Fedorova/Miroshkin, Gainetdinova/Bich, Chernivskaya/Souza-Kordyeru), and one newly created junior pair (Davankova/Bobrov - the better junior pairs have traditionally been competing at senior nationals). And we have only 7 spot remaining because they usually have only 12 pairs at Russian nationals, so some of them will stay at home.

    So my guess again:

    5. Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (I think they may step up the next season)
    6. Vera Bazarova / Andrey Deputat
    7. Maria Vygalova/Egor Zakroev
    8. Lina Fedorova/Maxim Miroshkin
    9.Kristina Astakhova/ Alexei Rogonov
    10. Kamila Gainetdinova/Ivan Bich
    11. Katarina Gerboldt / Aleksander Enbert
    12. Natalia Zabijako /Yuri Larionov - Natalia is definitely much lower level than all the other pairs and Larionov can't do the job for both. She has to do her bit.

    Arina Chernivskaya/Antonio Souza-Kordyeru - I think they won't qualify. They are the weakest juniors that are moving to seniors.
    Vasilisa Davankova/Maxim Bobrov - I think this coming season they may decide to concentrate on gelling together and training junior length programs and skip senior nationals.

    What are your predictions?

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    I agree with your top 3. I am not sure Antipova-Maisuradze can hold off some of the younger pairs. If she starts having puberty issues, they could be in for some tough times. I expect Bazarova-Duputat to develop fairly quickly. I don't see Tarasova-Morozov passing them next year. T&M, Vygalova-Zakroev, Fedorova-Miroshkin and will be roughly equal, based on what I saw last year. At least one of these teams will pass Gerboldt & Enbert, IMO, regardless of what Vasiliev says of them. I wouldn't even put Z&L on the list for next year, since they cannot compete.

    So my ranking would be:

    1.V&T
    2.S&K or K&S (at least next year)
    3.K&S or S&K (at least next year)

    4.B&D
    5.A&M
    6,7,8 (tie) T&M, F&M, V&Z
    9.G&E
    10.G&B

    I don't want to rank past 10, but I expect Davankova-Bobrov to develop in a couple of years and get in the mix.

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    I feel so bad for Kavaguti & Smirnov for missing the Olympics I doubt they can make it to 2018. Moskvina said it was almost a tragedy for Kavaguti who sacrificed so much for the Olympic dream.

    I hope Bazarova & Deputant do well. She turned out to be much stronger than people thought.

    But... I hope Aliona & Bruno win Olympic Gold in 2018

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post

    I don't want to rank past 10, but I expect Davankova-Bobrov to develop in a couple of years and get in the mix.
    You left out new pairs Natalia Zabijako /Yuri Larionov and Kristina Astakhova/ Alexei Rogonov. Are you writing them off already?

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    Free Enbert!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xela M View Post
    I feel so bad for Kavaguti & Smirnov for missing the Olympics I doubt they can make it to 2018. Moskvina said it was almost a tragedy for Kavaguti who sacrificed so much for the Olympic dream.

    P
    But they went to Vancouver, they also have world medals and Euro titles. WHilst they have been robbed over the years and were unlucky with injury, her sacrifice has been rewarded IMO. I wonder how difficult it is to revert back to a Japanese Passport?
    Allezfred?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    I agree with your top 3. I am not sure Antipova-Maisuradze can hold off some of the younger pairs. If she starts having puberty issues, they could be in for some tough times. I expect Bazarova-Duputat to develop fairly quickly. I don't see Tarasova-Morozov passing them next year. T&M, Vygalova-Zakroev, Fedorova-Miroshkin and will be roughly equal, based on what I saw last year. At least one of these teams will pass Gerboldt & Enbert, IMO, regardless of what Vasiliev says of them. I wouldn't even put Z&L on the list for next year, since they cannot compete.

    So my ranking would be:

    1.V&T
    2.S&K or K&S (at least next year)
    3.K&S or S&K (at least next year)

    4.B&D
    5.A&M
    6,7,8 (tie) T&M, F&M, V&Z
    9.G&E
    10.G&B

    I don't want to rank past 10, but I expect Davankova-Bobrov to develop in a couple of years and get in the mix.

    There is absolutely no way K&S are challenging S&K. S&K posted better results last year than K&S ever did their whole careers, and way better than they have since 2010. An old and already past their primes (before the injury) K&S arent suddenly going to come back and beat a team that some think can challenge V&T soon. After their last season the Russian fed. will also firmly be behind S&K.

    I think it is much more likely A&M will overtake K&S as the #3 Russian team next year. They showed great promise in their skating at worlds this year. I doubt the Russian fed. has any real use for K&S moving forward and am surprised they are even continuing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hanca View Post
    You left out new pairs Natalia Zabijako /Yuri Larionov and Kristina Astakhova/ Alexei Rogonov. Are you writing them off already?
    In my post I mentioned that Z&L are not eligible to compete until they sit out a year (or 18 months), so no point in ranking them.

    It's too early to predict A&R since I have hardly watched her, and he had tough times with the beautiful Martiusheva. It's too early to rank them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    In my post I mentioned that Z&L are not eligible to compete until they sit out a year (or 18 months), so no point in ranking them.

    It's too early to predict A&R since I have hardly watched her, and he had tough times with the beautiful Martiusheva. It's too early to rank them.
    True, but Z&L can't compete only internationally; they don't need to sit out domestic competitions too. They may at first because they need to do some work together, but I would be surprised if both Z&L and A&R did not compete at Russian nationals in December.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by angelflies View Post
    There is absolutely no way K&S are challenging S&K. S&K posted better results last year than K&S ever did their whole careers, and way better than they have since 2010. An old and already past their primes (before the injury) K&S arent suddenly going to come back and beat a team that some think can challenge V&T soon. After their last season the Russian fed. will also firmly be behind S&K.

    I think it is much more likely A&M will overtake K&S as the #3 Russian team next year. They showed great promise in their skating at worlds this year. I doubt the Russian fed. has any real use for K&S moving forward and am surprised they are even continuing.
    Unfortunately you may be right about K&S. Their best chance to win an Olympic medal was in Vancouver. I thought they were undermarked in the SP there. S&K are young and have lots of room to develop. I still have reservations about them becoming #1 in the world, particularly if V&T are still competing and Aliona's new partnership works out. The Chinese have some strong young pairs now that could overtake them.

    I may be the only one that does not see a promise in A&M. She is too young compared to him. He may become too old by the time she reaches her prime. There will be many other pairs in Russia- as you listed- that could push them down.

    I am thinking (hoping?) that B&D would develop fast, and could become #3 after the 2015 worlds.

  11. #11
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    V&T as easy #1 for atleast another couple years before S&K maybe (or maybe not) improve enough to challenge them some. Not sure who will be #3, but I agree K&S wont be challenging for anything more than being #3 again.

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    Vassiliev thinks Gerboldt & Enbert can win the 2018 Oly Gold. He must be already going into the old and senile phase of his life, scary given that he is only about 50. They have been dropping down behind younger teams almost since they debuted as a promising team. They are close to retiring or splitting I think.

    I can see Vassiliev being desperate to have a top Russian team again given that his best team is some cute Italian team that barely qualifies for free skates at events, and doesnt even train with him or pay him full time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ripingroar37 View Post
    Vassiliev thinks Gerboldt & Enbert can win the 2018 Oly Gold. He must be already going into the old and senile phase of his life, scary given that he is only about 50. They have been dropping down behind younger teams almost since they debuted as a promising team. They are close to retiring or splitting I think.

    I can see Vassiliev being desperate to have a top Russian team again given that his best team is some cute Italian team that barely qualifies for free skates at events, and doesnt even train with him or pay him full time.
    To be fair, what do you expect him to say when asked? I don't think that "No, they are absolutely useless but I have no one better so I am wasting my time hoping that one day someone with more talent will turn up on my doorstep" would be very encouraging to G/E.

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    He could say Della Monica & Guarise will win the 2018 Olympic gold. Their odds are probably even better than G&E, LOL!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ripingroar37 View Post
    He could say Della Monica & Guarise will win the 2018 Olympic gold. Their odds are probably even better than G&E, LOL!
    Yes, but he was asked about the future of G/E, not Della Monica & Guarise! But never mind, now he has Bazarova-Deputat, he doesn't have to pretend that G/E are that brilliant. He can squeeze the medal out of another pair (although very likely not gold).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    Unfortunately you may be right about K&S. Their best chance to win an Olympic medal was in Vancouver. I thought they were undermarked in the SP there.
    You thought their best chance at a medal was after less than 4 years together? Actually their best chance for a medal was this year but injuries happen. I doubt they will skate until 2018 but they still have a couple of good years in them. They have been doing shows for months now and look good. My biggest complaint was not moving to another coach. I think Moskvina holds them back. She dresses them like B/S, give them music Dmitriev and partner have used, refuses to fix their twist, re-uses the same old lifts and didn't even push their jumps, like having them do a 2A+3T. Kavaguti looks much more elegant than she did before and hopefully she continues do develop her grace, but Moskvina won't push them anymore ahead then they already are.

    I think A/M will do very well at least until 2018 then she can find a new partner, that happens all the time. If they develop their speed and continue to work on the quad twist and quad throws they will do great, they are gelling nicely.

    I don't think Yuri and Vera will develop fast with their new partners. Vera may do better without Yuri and with Vasiliev but I don't see with team as medal contenders for 2018 but maybe for 2022

    I don't see hope for G/E at all, I never really did.

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    I don't see any hope for G/E either (although I don't expect Vasiliev to be THAT honest to admit it to the media).

    I don't think Yuri's partnership will lead anywhere to get to Europeans/Worlds. Too much work ahead and too many good/promising partnerships in Russia. Add to it his age (it is not like if they have unlimited time) and all I can see is several B competition for a few years and retirement.

    I think Vera's partnership has a chance to develop. She has always had some problems with jumps, but even with those she managed to be very close to gold at GPF last season, so if Deputat gets reliable with jumps, they could manage to grab the third Russian spot in the future (although I don't think it will be in the next season yet). They would have to beat Kavaguti-Smirnov which I can imagine would be doable because last season Bazarova-Larionov were having much better results than Kavaguti-Smirnov. With Kavaguti-Smirnov, their age goes against them. I see their results gradually going down. They will still be pretty decent but not quite on the top.

    Antipova/Maisuradze and Tarasova/Morozov will be also strong contenders for the third spot. A/M have the advantage of the size difference. They already have the quad twists and I can see her doing throw quad in the future. Unfortunately I am not that sure about their SBS jumps. At various competitions during the season they were doing doubles instead of triples and although they did have the triples when it counted, that indicates that there were/are some problems with it. There is also the question, has she gone through the puberty? That may affect her jumps.

    Tarasova/Morozov have the technical content, but they are still somehow 'unfinished'. A bit like Stolbova/Klimov were 4 years ago. S/K were pretty successful at junior level but their transition to seniors was not that smooth. T/M may have the same - although they have the technical content, they have no wow factor yet. If they manage to do their elements a bit bigger, improve their general skating (more speed) and develop consistency, within 2-3 years they could be a very strong pair.

    So although my prediction for season 2014-2015 will be 1.Volosozhar/Trankov, 2.Stolbova/Klimov, 3.Kavaguti/Smirnov, 4. Antipova/Maisuradze, I can see how in the coming years Kavaguti/Smirnov may drop (or retire if they start having too many injuries) and Antipova/Maisuradze, Tarasova/Morozov and Bazarova/Deputat will fight for the third spot and their trip to Europeans/worlds.

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    If I'm right next season Stolbova/Klimov and Antipova/Maisuradze will get 2 Grand Prix spots each. Bazarova/Deputat could get a split couple spot or grand prix russia spot. Kavaguti/Smirnov and Federova/Miroshkin could get one grand prix spot for World standings. Tarasova/Morozov and Vigalova/Zakroev could get one grand prix spot for top 24 season best score.

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    Volosozhar & Trankov will dominate. I could see Stolbova & Klimov struggling to live up to the 2014 standards, but will still remain solidly Russian #2 for now anyway. After that it is hard to say. I am not sure how the Russian fed. view Kavaguti & Smirnov and their comeback or if Moskvina even has much influence in Russian pairs anymore. Like with skaters, new coaches move in and supplant old legends, and V&T's coaches after producing the gold and silver winners in Sochi are probably seen as the new hot shots in town. Vasiliev probably also has more clout in Russian than an aging/near retired Moskina right now. I am not sure how much Artur yet has as a coach. I expect politics and coaching power will come highly into placings after the top 2 though.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    Volosozhar & Trankov will dominate. I could see Stolbova & Klimov struggling to live up to the 2014 standards, but will still remain solidly Russian #2 for now anyway. After that it is hard to say.
    Yes, the fact that V/T will dominate in Russia is quite clear and S/K will very likely stay is second position. But that's the easy bit. The fun is guessing and comparing the ones that are newly created or those who just moved to seniors. Who would you bet on? Who would you pick up if you were the coach and had the choice?

    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    I am not sure how the Russian fed. view Kavaguti & Smirnov and their comeback or if Moskvina even has much influence in Russian pairs anymore. Like with skaters, new coaches move in and supplant old legends, and V&T's coaches after producing the gold and silver winners in Sochi are probably seen as the new hot shots in town. Vasiliev probably also has more clout in Russian than an aging/near retired Moskina right now. I am not sure how much Artur yet has as a coach. I expect politics and coaching power will come highly into placings after the top 2 though.
    Actually, I don't think it is going to be about how much influence a coach has. If Kavaguti/Smirnov start struggling with their jumps like they were the previous season (2012-13), even the best reputation of their coach is not going to help them. Reputation can influence result if you have two or more pairs of similar standard and you need to choose which one is better. But if someone is not landing jumps or doing frequently mistakes (like Martiusheva used to struggle with jumps long term), even the best reputation of their coach would not be able to influence their results.

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