2022-23 Pairs General Discussion - You Get a GP! You Get a GP! All of You Get a GP!

Karen-W

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Now that the Grand Prix Assignments are out and the JGP Assignments are starting to filter in, it's time for a new Pairs thread!

Without the very strong Russians competing this fall, every single team on the SB Top 75 that is continuing (ie not retired or staying junior) received at least one GP assignment - and most of them got 2 (with the notable exception of Barquero/Zandron, due to her WADA suspension).


SkAm - Golubeva/Giotopoulos Moore AUS, Stellato-Dudek/Deschamps CAN, Danilova/Tsiba NED, Crafoord/Crafoord SWE, Holichenko/Darenskyi UKR, Knierim/Frazier USA, Smirnova/Siianytsia USA, TBD USA

SCI - McIntosh/Mimar CAN, Walsh/Michaud CAN, TBD CAN, Zukova/Bidar CZE, Conti/Macii ITA, Miura/Kihara JPN, Chan/Howe USA, McBeath/Bartholomay USA

IdF - Stellato-Dudek/Deschamps CAN, Peng/Jin CHN, Kovalev/Kovalev FRA, Piegad/Strekalin FRA, TBD FRA, Safina/Berulava GEO, Hocke/Kunkel GER, Ghilardi/Ambrosini ITA

MKJW - Matte/Ferland CAN, Walsh/Michaud CAN, Vaipan-Law/Digby GBR, Metelkina/Parkman GEO, Roscher/Schuster GER, Conti/Macii ITA, Knierim/Frazier USA, McBeath/Bartholomay USA

NHK - Chernyshova/Windsor AUS, McIntosh/Mimar CAN, Zukova/Bidar CZE, Kovalev/Kovalev FRA, Hocke/Kunkel GER, Caldara/Maglio ITA, Miura/Kihara JPN, Chan/Howe USA

Espoo - Golubeva/Giotopoulos Moore AUS, Matte/Ferland CAN, Peng/Jin CHN, Metelkina/Parkman GEO, Safina/Berulava GEO, Ghilardi/Ambrosini ITA, Danilova/Tsiba NED, Smirnova/Siianytsia USA

Breakdown by country -
CAN, USA - 4 teams with 2 assignments each, 1 TBD = 9 & 9
ITA - 2 teams with 2 assignments, 1 team with 1 = 5
GEO - 2 teams with 2 assignments = 4
FRA - 1 team with 2 assignments, 1 team with 1, 1 TBD = 4
AUS, GER - 1 team with 2 assignments, 1 team with 1 = 3 & 3
CHN, CZE, JPN, NED - 1 team with 2 assignments = 2, 2, 2 & 2
GBR, SWE, UKR - 1 team with 1 assignment = 1, 1 & 1
 

Karen-W

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I feel like anyone could medal, which is wild.
Yes. I feel that the likely gold medalists at each GP are pretty obvious (K/F, M/K and P/J), but beyond that...

Here's how the teams with GP assignments rank on the 2021-22 SB list:
Knierim/Frazier 221.09
Peng/Jin 214.84
Miura/Kihara 211.89
----big gap---
Safina/Berulava 192.44
Metelkina/Parkman 189.60
---gap---
Chan/Howe 180.94
Walsh/Michaud 179.70
Ghilardi/Ambrosini 178.90
---small gap---
Stellato-Dudek/Deschamps 172.73
Golubeva/Giotopoulos Moore 169.91
Conti/Macii 168.90
Matte/Ferland 168.81
McBeath/Bartholomay 168.61
Hocke/Kunkel 168.21
---gap---
Zukova/Bidar 159.73
McIntosh/Mimar 156.80 (j)
Kovalev/Kovalev 156.55
Smirnova/Siianytsia 156.40 (j)
---small gap---
Roscher/Schuster 150.73
Danilova/Tsiba 148.73
Holichenko/Darenskyi 147.61
Caldara/Maglio 147.29
---gap---
Chernyshova/Windsor 139.61
---small gap---
Crafoord/Crafoord 134.40
Vaipan-Law/Digby 132.56

We'll have to see how some of these teams have improved in the off-season, but it does feel like there's an opportunity for a lot of teams to earn a silver or bronze at their GP events.
 

Karen-W

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It would appear that Spain has two new junior pairs teams! They attended the ISU Pairs Development Seminar in Obertsdorf (Vanessa James was one of the instructors!).


Carolina Campillo & Miguel Martos
Ines Moudden & Alejandro Garcia
 
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Sylvia

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^^^ I saw that Meagan Duhamel shared the same thread yesterday: https://twitter.com/mhjd_85/status/1556655107290324992
Her comment:
Great thread. I do admit that I feel grateful to have been surrounded by an amazing support team and partner(s) DURING my amateur career. But that’s not the reality for the majority of pairs skaters. It’s the most amazing discipline and I hope we can find a way to keep it growing
Direct link to @Mad for Skating's thread: https://twitter.com/mad4skating/status/1556331909734711297
 
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AngieNikodinovLove

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Watching the replay of the junior pairs in Ostrava right now. What in the world is the age limit for juniors these days in Pairs?

Holy moly one of the first guys had a full on beard. Now the French team just came on and they are 18 and 20. What in the world? He could legit be a father.

Is the age limit different for pairs? I can’t remember. But I feel like some of these skaters could’ve been seniors for a couple of years by now.
 

GoneWithTheWind

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Watching the replay of the junior pairs in Ostrava right now. What in the world is the age limit for juniors these days in Pairs?

Holy moly one of the first guys had a full on beard. Now the French team just came on and they are 18 and 20. What in the world? He could legit be a father.

Is the age limit different for pairs? I can’t remember. But I feel like some of these skaters could’ve been seniors for a couple of years by now.
The age limit for men in pairs and ice dance is 21, rather than 18.

Here's the wording from the JGP page on Wikipedia:
Skaters who reach the age of 13 before July 1, 2022, but have not turned 19 (singles and females of the other two disciplines) or 21 (male pair skaters and ice dancers) are eligible to compete on the junior circuit.

I think there are several pairs in the Ostrava competition who will not be eligible for juniors OR seniors next season(s) due to the age gap between the partners. For example, Baram/Tioumentsev won't be able to compete senior for 3 or 4 more seasons because she is so young while he ages out of junior after this season.
 

Karen-W

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I think there are several pairs in the Ostrava competition who will not be eligible for juniors OR seniors next season(s) due to the age gap between the partners. For example, Baram/Tioumentsev won't be able to compete senior for 3 or 4 more seasons because she is so young while he ages out of junior after this season.
Panetta/Thrasher will have to move up to seniors as she ages out, he still has 3 years of junior eligibility
Vouillamoz/Giniaux will both age out after this season
Murakami/Moriguchi - same situation as Baram/Tioumentsev

Kucianova/Vochozka, Hay/McLeod, Loewenherz/Loewenherz - junior age-eligible for two more seasons
Smith/Deng - junior age-eligible for three more seasons
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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For example, Baram/Tioumentsev won't be able to compete senior for 3 or 4 more seasons because she is so young while he ages out of junior after this season.

This obviously needs to be remedied by the ISU. I mean this is a no-brainer. The sport is someone dying and you can’t have teams just sitting around in a twilight zone unable to compete in any division.
 

Sylvia

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JGP Ostrava top 3 free skates:
GOLD - Baram/Tioumentsev (USA): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nh0jv_TRZxE
BRONZE - Panetta/Thrasher (CAN): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONUGPKd97gs
4th place - Murakami/Moriguchi (JPN): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQAnEeeGgOg

2nd place SP of Smith/Deng (USA): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZMZnQIjFhc (since this performance won them the SILVER medal)

ETA link to the Junior Pairs FS protocols: http://www.isuresults.com/results/s...OR----FNL-000100--_JudgesDetailsperSkater.pdf
Murakami/Moriguchi's sbs 3Lz was called q (4.64 points) but they received +GOE for their 3S+3T+2A (11.8 base value) sequence for 13.09 points!

Baram/Tioumentsev's highest scoring element was 8.5 points for their 5RLi4.
Re-posting here what I wrote in the JGP Ostrava competition thread:
Whatever happens in the future, THIS season is giving both Sonia and Daniel invaluable experience competing together internationally and that can only help them IF they eventually decide to continue with other partners.
 
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her grace

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Or, how about coaches not pairing up teams with an 8 year age difference in the first place?
I agree with you, Karen. If a coach is putting a team together with a 7-8 year difference, then everyone should understand this pairing is for development and not for the long term. The new age rules still let a team with a 3-year gap compete in seniors.
 

soogar

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Or, how about coaches not pairing up teams with an 8 year age difference in the first place?
Safety is most important. Watching these pair boys trip and fall while throwing their partner up in the air for a twist and the girl hitting the ice with barely (or no catch) is horrifying. Even for today's pairs, if you watch early vids of T&M when they were young, Evgenia was hitting the ice a lot- see Russian Nats 2014 (I believe) and some other of their early vids to see that even a tall guy like Vladimir had to build muscle and skill to do those moves safely. Better for a girl to get experience with an older partner who is strong and skilled enough to do the moves safely. Chris Knierem posted a few vids of him tossing a little girl up in the air for a quad twist and I don't think people consider him to be a dirty old man for doing so.
 

Karen-W

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Safety is most important. Watching these pair boys trip and fall while throwing their partner up in the air for a twist and the girl hitting the ice with barely (or no catch) is horrifying. Even for today's pairs, if you watch early vids of T&M when they were young, Evgenia was hitting the ice a lot- see Russian Nats 2014 (I believe) and some other of their early vids to see that even a tall guy like Vladimir had to build muscle and skill to do those moves safely. Better for a girl to get experience with an older partner who is strong and skilled enough to do the moves safely. Chris Knierem posted a few vids of him tossing a little girl up in the air for a quad twist and I don't think people consider him to be a dirty old man for doing so.
Chris Knierim also isn't partnered with that girl for competitive purposes either, now is he? There's a huge difference between working with these young women as coaches rather than as partners.

Sometimes they have no choice. Not so many boys and girls want to do pairs :(
I get that, but still, many countries are able to field at least one or two pairs teams every season who do not have such a wide age disparity.

I don't know what the answer is for, specifically, junior pairs, but I do not buy into the argument that 13-year old girls need to be partnered with 20-year old men. Perhaps the limit should be on the allowed tech content for junior pairs, instead focusing on the development of really good technique that will serve as a foundation for building to tougher content at the senior level. We have restrictions on singles skaters (no quads in the SP) at the junior level - why not implement similar restrictions in pairs?
 

Amy L

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There's also the development/power imbalance of partnering a 13 year old girl with an 20 year old adult. After all of the recent news in regards to US pairs, I don't see how anyone still thinks it's a good idea. It wasn't just a Dalilah issue, banning her didn't get rid of the intrinsic problem.
 

soogar

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Chris Knierim also isn't partnered with that girl for competitive purposes either, now is he? There's a huge difference between working with these young women as coaches rather than as partners.


I get that, but still, many countries are able to field at least one or two pairs teams every season who do not have such a wide age disparity.

I don't know what the answer is for, specifically, junior pairs, but I do not buy into the argument that 13-year old girls need to be partnered with 20-year old men. Perhaps the limit should be on the allowed tech content for junior pairs, instead focusing on the development of really good technique that will serve as a foundation for building to tougher content at the senior level. We have restrictions on singles skaters (no quads in the SP) at the junior level - why not implement similar restrictions in pairs?
Chris is still working with the girl as a coach- same duty can apply to an older partner with a young girl. I believe Todd Sand skated with Natasha Kuchiki before Jenny Meno and Natasha was just 13 years old, yet there did not appear to be impropriety in that partnership. Same with the old school Russian pairs. If you look at cheerleading or even acrobatics, you have strong people on the bottom assisting. Some of these “evenly” matched pairs are quite scary with a weak boy practicing these tricks on a small girl. I also think there is value in getting experience and confidence from an older partner and then switching to a partner who is closer in age as the girl matures. In terms of abuse, it seems that a lot of it was with women who were adults. Tara Kayne wasn’t a little girl when she was in that abusive environment. Elena Berezhnaia wasn’t a child when she was abused by her first partner either. Gordeeva was a little kid when she was paired with Sergei- that age and size difference could have been critical if he were prone to abuse her. I would think that there would be less abuse between a 20 year old man and a 13 year old girl- especially with the legal ramifications for statutory rape in the US, then between a 17 year old and a 13 year old.
 

airgelaal

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I get that, but still, many countries are able to field at least one or two pairs teams every season who do not have such a wide age disparity.
Many countries? I don't think so.
even now many good pair/dance skaters are forced to retire just because they can't find a good partner. I'm not a fan of "father/daughter" pairing, but this new rule in pairs will do more harm than good.
 

Karen-W

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Many countries? I don't think so.
even now many good pair/dance skaters are forced to retire just because they can't find a good partner. I'm not a fan of "father/daughter" pairing, but this new rule in pairs will do more harm than good.
Well - here's a list of countries sending pairs teams out on the JGP this season...

AUS
CAN (3)
CHN
CZE
ESP (2)
FRA (2)
GER (4)
GBR (2)
JPN
NED
UKR
USA (2)
UZB

Last season, we had pairs teams from the following countries compete on the JGP or at Jr Worlds:
AUS (2)
CAN (3)
CZE
FRA
GEO
GER
ITA (2)
RUS (7)
SVK
UKR
USA (3)
UZB

There are 13 countries vs. 12 last season, and that's with Russia out for the time being, plus no Italian teams for the first season in some time. No, it's not a LOT, and some countries (like the USA and ITA) are re-growing their junior pairs teams at the start of this quad cycle, but there is at least steady, incremental growth in developing the sport in more countries.
 

airgelaal

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Well - here's a list of countries sending pairs teams out on the JGP this season...

AUS
CAN (3)
CHN
CZE
ESP (2)
FRA (2)
GER (4)
GBR (2)
JPN
NED
UKR
USA (2)
UZB

Last season, we had pairs teams from the following countries compete on the JGP or at Jr Worlds:
AUS (2)
CAN (3)
CZE
FRA
GEO
GER
ITA (2)
RUS (7)
SVK
UKR
USA (3)
UZB

There are 13 countries vs. 12 last season, and that's with Russia out for the time being, plus no Italian teams for the first season in some time. No, it's not a LOT, and some countries (like the USA and ITA) are re-growing their junior pairs teams at the start of this quad cycle, but there is at least steady, incremental growth in developing the sport in more countries.
Over the past 4 years, Ukraine has had one junior pair. One! For 4 years, no one even wanted to try. In other countries the story is similar. The fact that junior couples appear in different countries does not indicate any systematic development. Unfortunately
 

Belsornia

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I don't know how much the ISU thought about the implications for pairs when they introduced the new age rules (it's less of a big deal for dance, I think, where the nature of the discipline puts less of a premium on strength at the lower levels). But if an inadvertent consequence is that it discourages the pairing of tween girls with adult men, I agree that it's a good thing.

Under the current rules, pairs with four year age gaps shouldn't have to sit out any years of international eligibility. That should be enough to counter the safety issues around teen boys learning lifts and throws with similarly proportioned girls. And if it isn't, the ISU should rethink the requirements for lower level pairs to support young teams developing skills while also supporting healthy partnerships and training environments for young teams. And incentivising fun! Lots (most?) junior skaters won't continue with skating as a career.

This isn't to say that every large age gap pair is inherently abusive or unsafe. I'm sure plenty enjoy skating in these teams and both partners can take away positives. And it's certainly not to say that every close in age pair is fine and healthy - unfortunately we all know that's not the case.
 

Karen-W

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I don't think the ISU considered, at all, the impact of the senior age increase on pairs - and, given what we learned during the Olympics about athletes 16 & younger being protected persons under WADA, I'm fine with the age increase. I do think the simplest/easiest solution would be to increase the maximum age for Junior pairs men to 23. If they also want to do this for dance, that's fine. I would also encourage them to lift the maximum age for all junior pairs & dance women to 21. That gives these teams that need longer time to gel and develop the skills to compete successfully at the senior level more time to do so in the junior ranks.
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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I think we can all save ourselves a lot of energy on this topic if we just start pairing men with men. That’s All I’m saying
 

soogar

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Under the current rules, pairs with four year age gaps shouldn't have to sit out any years of international eligibility. That should be enough to counter the safety issues around teen boys learning lifts and throws with similarly proportioned girls. And if it isn't, the ISU should rethink the requirements for lower level pairs to support young teams developing skills while also supporting healthy partnerships and training environments for young teams. And incentivising fun! Lots (most?) junior skaters won't continue with skating as a career.
I like the sentiment of this but what is the ISU's purpose? On one hand, there are people on this forum who are dismayed that the ISU made the decision to devalue quad elements in favor of pairs performing elements and maintaining safety. The argument is that pairs lagged behind if with quad throws and quad twists devalued. This Olympics was one of the best skated Olympics in pairs. I personally never felt comfortable with the way some pairs, particularly the Chinese, would push the envelope with the quad throws with some incredibly painful looking falls. I'm also glad that they stopped pairs from doing these horrible lifts that they were doing at the inception of COP where there was a change of direction in the middle of the lift without setting the partner down. Pairs lifts are still becoming incredibly acrobatic with some of the dismounts. To be able to do difficult, more gymnastics like elements well, girls have to do these skills at a young age. I think that the goal of ISU events for juniors is to prepare competitors for senior ISU events. The female partner in the pair is the one doing all the acrobatic like elements in the air. There isn't as much need for a guy to start young but females have to be very comfortable doing this stuff and this happens from a young age. So I'm not sure that simplifying juniors to allow similarly aged/sized teens to skate together is going to really prepare these competitors for a world stage in which spectator interest is heavily focused on risk.
 

Sylvia

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Here's the link to an old thread in GSD from 2017-18:

ETA:

Does someone have an updated list of all the newly formed and/or newly released pairs (NOT selected for the Grand Prix, like France's Piegad/Strekalin) who are likely to compete internationally this season?

Alisa Efimova & Ruben Blommaert (GER)

Isabella Gamez & Alexander Korovin (PHI)

Austria has 2 new pairs: Sophia Schaller (new to pairs) & Livo Mayr and Italy's Giorgia Ghedini (competed as a junior internationally last season) & Luc Maierhofer

(Waiting for the entries to become known for next week's John Nicks Pairs Challenge in NYC - I'm anticipating that Plazas/Fernandez, Mokhova/Mokhov & Wessenberg/Eisenach from USFS' ISP will all make their senior international debuts there... not yet confirmed, though.)
...

JUNIOR
Haruna Murakami & Sumitada Moriguchi (JPN) debuted at JGP Ostrava this week, placing 3rd in the FS, 4th overall.

Will NOT be eligible to compete internationally until 2023-24:
The Finnish news article linked from this tweet says "Milania Väänänen (FIN) has teamed up with Filippo Clerici (ITA) [for Finland]. They will train in Bergamo, Italy, and will have to sit out one season. Väänänen competed at 2022 Europeans representing Finland, and Clerici at Junior Worlds representing Italy." https://twitter.com/Ritti9/status/1538937532972507140
 
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Karen-W

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Alisa Efimova & Ruben Blommaert (GER)
Isabella Gamez & Alexander Korovin (PHI)

Austria has 2 new pairs: Sophia Schaller (new to pairs) & Livo Mayr and Italy's Giorgia Ghedini (competed as a junior internationally last season) & Luc Maierhofer

(Waiting for the entries to become known for next week's John Nicks Pairs Challenge in NYC - I'm anticipating that Plazas/Fernandez, Mokhova/Mokhov & Wessenberg/Eisenach from USFS' ISP will make their senior international debuts... not yet confirmed, though.)
...

JUNIOR
Haruna Murakami & Sumitada Moriguchi (JPN) debuted at JGP Ostrava this week, placing 3rd in the FS, 4th overall.

Will NOT be eligible to compete internationally until 2023-24:
Here are some new teams on the Nebelhorn entry list:
FRA - Coline Keriven/Tom Bouvart
FRA - Aurelie Faula/Theo Belle (S)
JPN - Miyu Yunoki/Shoya Ichihashi

And Canada has entered Kelly Ann Laurin/Loucas Ethier to compete at US Classic the week after the John Nicks Pairs Challenge.

Spain has assigned both of their new junior teams to the JGP. There is also a new junior team from the Netherlands - Giulia Papa/Grigory Kornienko scheduled to debut at JGP POL 1.
 
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