Ice Network

Who will win medals at the world championships?

Icenetwork contributors weigh in with their podium predictions for Shanghai
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Elena Radionova (left), Ashley Wagner (middle) and Elizaveta Tuktamisheva have been the leading ladies in the world this season -- will that trend continue at the 2015 World Championships? -icenetwork

Icenetwork asked several of its contributors who they thought would come home with hardware from the 2015 World Figure Skating Championships.

Vladislav Luchianov


1. Elizaveta Tuktamisheva (Russia) - The European champion has really blossomed this season. In case the need arises, she also has a triple Axel in her arsenal.

2. Ashley Wagner (USA) - This woman has never hidden her ambitions of making the world podium, and this could be the season that her dreams become a reality.

3. Elena Radionova (Russia) - Very musical and technical, Radionova will try to end this season on a high note.


1. Denis Ten (Kazakhstan) - His win at the Four Continents Championships, with the third-highest score (289.46) at an ISU competition, speaks for itself. He's in great shape to get the world crown.

2. Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan) - Health issues have made it a hard season for Hanyu, but he still has the same character that made him Olympic champion.

3. Javier Fernández (Spain) - Despite having a less than ideal season, the three-time European champion will look to come through with his best effort at the last event of the year.


1. Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (Canada) - Completely natural and original, the leading pairs skaters this season should finish the year with a victory at worlds.

2. Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov (Russia) - This team has endured a lot of difficulties and has managed to have a very strong comeback season. Something tells me that they will be in peak form in Shanghai.

3. Cheng Peng and Hao Zhang (China) - A Chinese couple hasn't made the world podium the last three years. I think these guys will put an end to this drought.


Note: All three ice dance teams equally deserve the gold this season. Unfortunately, there is only one world champion.

1. Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (France) - The French have been a major surprise this season, and they are quite capable of capping the campaign by taking their first world title.

2. Madison Chock and Evan Bates (USA) - After taking the silver at the Grand Prix Final and Four Continents behind Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, the U.S. champions certainly want to take revenge on their Canadian neighbors in a Shanghai "grudge match."

3. Weaver and Poje - At the same time, the Canadians want to continue their undefeated season.


Lynn Rutherford


1. Tuktamisheva - Whether Tuktamisheva tries a triple Axel or not (I think not; I believe her coach, Alexei Mishin, is talking up the Axel to impress judges and journalists) her consistency and momentum will carry her to her seventh international win of the season.

2. Wagner - Wagner is fit, well rested and confident, and if she replicates her performances at the 2015 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, she will be on the podium in Shanghai.

3. Radionova - I hope judges will not be blinded by the young Russian's speed, and will award her the appropriate program components scores.


1. Hanyu - Hanyu has not competed since undergoing abdominal surgery following the Japanese championships in late December, but he has shown the best balance of artistry, jumping power and consistency over the past two seasons.

2. Ten - Ten usually manages to peak when it counts most, and I am betting he is at least second in Shanghai.

3. Fernández - Fernández has not been fully comfortable with his free skate at any point this season, and he won't do better than bronze. 


1. Duhamel and Radford - With side-by-side triple Lutzes, a throw quad Salchow and Level 4 everything, this pair's total element score will lead them to Canada's first world pairs title since 2001.

2. Wenjing Sui and Cong Han (China) - They had a bump in the road at Four Continents, but the young Chinese pair's technical daring and maturing artistry will be rewarded in Shanghai.

3. Peng and Zhang - If Peng can land her jumps, two superb Lori Nichol programs will help carry this pair to bronze.


1. Weaver and Poje - They came out on top at the Grand Prix Final and Four Continents, and barring a serious error, I see no reason why they will not prevail here.

2. Chock and Bates - The U.S. champions have squared off against the Canadians three times this season, and three times they have come away with silver.

3. Papadakis and Cizeron - The French couple's romantic dream of a free dance has seduced judges all season long, and the momentum will continue in Shanghai.


Jean-Christophe Berlot


1. Tuktamisheva - She has managed to devide well-balanced programs, interconnecting technical elements and good artistry, and coach Alexei Mishin has also amplified the buzz around his protégé, which puts her on the best possible trajectory.

2. Wagner - The three-time U.S. champion has been such a fighter this season, and with the best-packaged programs of the field, she has the guts to make her first world podium. 

3. Radionova - Even though the intensity of her edges, her interpretation and the way she moves on the ice still requires big improvement, if she manages to keep her stamina throughout this rather long season, she may land on another podium.


1. Hanyu - If he is in good physical shape, the reigning world and Olympic champion will take his place as the best skater in the world. 

2. Ten - For once, the Kazakh skated well early in the season, and he is ready to deliver both of his programs with technical ease and artistic mastery. 

3. Fernández - His programs are crowd pleasers: After the wild Spanish and the more reserved Swedish audiences, the Chinese audience should give him the right level of energy (no more and no less) for him to keep focused.


1. Duhamel and Radford - They are bringing a new dimension to pairs skating: They know how to live and project that unique emotion, which only pairs can bring. 

2. Peng and Zhang - Although quite an asymmetrical pair, they have kept improving throughout the season, and their skating has proven more and more reliable. 

3. Sui and Han - Even though they have not always been reliable this season, Sui and Han are young, they are powerful, they strive for perfection, and they will be skating in their home country. 


1. Weaver and Poje - They have won every competition they have entered this season, and their classy, energizing and passionate style brings instant emotion to the audience. 

2. Papadakis and Cizeron - The French have created so many surprises this season...why not another one? 

3. Chock and Bates - The American team has made amazing progress this season, and that should lead them to their first world podium.


Sarah S. Brannen


1. Tuktamisheva - She and Radionova have been duking it out all season, but the possible addition of a triple axel will most likely add the world title to her impressive bag of trophies.

2. Radionova - If Tuktamisheva falters at all, the formidably consistent Radionova will snap up the title.

3. Wagner - If Wagner skates the she did at the U.S. championships, she has an excellent shot at the podium.


1. Ten - Ten's season has had a long fuse, and he's peaking at the right time.

2. Hanyu - Between a horrid collision, an illness and a reported sprained ankle, Hanyu has had a challenging season -- what kind of shape will he show up in?

3. Han Yan (China) - Home-ice advantage could play a major role in the battle for the bronze.


1. Duhamel and Radford - The Canadians have had a stellar season, adding a throw triple to their arsenal, and they are likely to cap it off with the long-desired world title.

2. Kavaguti and Smirnov - Rebounding from a previous season derailed by injury, these two have shown incredible staying power. They're the only team who can challenge the Canadians technically.

3. Peng and Zhang - A Chinese team seems likeliest to snap up the third spot.


1. Papadakis and Cizeron - Rising from absolutely nowhere (13th at last year's world championships), this lovely team has taken the world by storm this season. The duo will finish it off with a stunning gold medal.

2. Weaver and Poje - The elegant Canadians will settle for a disappointing second silver medal.

3. Chock and Bates - They seem to be unstoppable on their way to the world podium this season.


Amy Rosewater


1. Tuktamisheva - She has had a remarkable comeback season, winning almost every event she has entered, and now she has added a triple Axel to her repetoire.

2. Radionova - The only skater to beat Tuktamisheva this season, Radionova has the best shot at beating her at worlds. 

3. Wagner - Very impressive in her run to a third U.S. title in January, the only question is whether she can perform her jumps cleanly, particularly the triple Lutz-triple toe. 


1. Hanyu - The Olympic gold medalist could end a bizarre season -- one that included a nasty, bloody collision with China's Han Yan at the Cup of China --.with a world title.

2. Ten - Coming off a strong performance at Four Continents last month, the Olympic bronze medalist is showing that he saves his best for last. 

3. Fernández - The Spaniard is one of the most entertaining skaters to watch but has struggled with consistency. 


1. Duhamel and Radford - The Canadians have been exceptionally strong this season, and they have increased their firepower by adding a throw quad Salchow to their arsenal. 

2. Peng and Zhang - This team was second at Four Continents and won the Cup of China in Shanghai, where these world championships will take place.

3. Sui and Han - Winners of two silver medals in the Grand Prix and a bronze at the Grand Prix Final, Sui and Han should benefit from skating in front of their home crowd.  


1. Chock and Bates - Chock and Bates have been close to beating Weaver and Poje at both the Grand Prix Final and Four Continents, and they would love to pull off the rare ice dance upset at the world championships. 

2. Weaver and Poje - This team has been thinking about this competition ever since it left last year's world championships just .02 points away from winning the gold medal. 

3. Papadakis and Cizeron - The French team beat the reigning world champions (Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte) by about eight points at the European championships last month.


Klaus-Reinhold Kany


1. Tuktamisheva - She has been the most consistent skater this season, she has a good expression, and she rarely misses a jump.

2. Radionova - She makes her jumps look very easy, and she almost always lands them cleanly.

3. Wagner - She had a strong national championship event and has the most mature expression of anyone in the field.


1. Ten - He was excellent at the Four Continents Championships, in presentation as well as the technical elements.

2. Fernández - His combination of jumps and expression will help to win him a medal.

3. Hanyu - If he has recovered from his surgery, he will be strong enough to win the bronze.


1. Duhamel and Radford - They have been steady all season, and that should continue in Shanghai.

2. Kavaguti and Smirnov - They proved their strength at the Europeans championships and will do so again at worlds.

3. Peng and Zhang - The Chinese pair landed most of their elements cleanly at Four Continents.  


1. Weaver and Poje - The Candians exhibit excellent presentation, and they have won everything this season.

2. Papadakis and Cizeron - This French couple skates with a unique magic, which appeals to judges and the public alike.

3. Chock and Bates - They are technically superb and can present their programs in a convincing style. 


Final Tally


1. Tuktamisheva 6
2. Wagner 3, Radionova 3
3. Radionova 3, Wagner 3


1. Hanyu 3, Ten 3
2. Ten 3, Hanyu 2, Fernández 1 
3. Fernández 4, Yan 1, Hanyu 1


1. Duhamel/Radford 6
2. Kavaguti/Smirnov 3, Peng/Zhang 2, Sui/Han 1
3. Peng/Zhang 4, Sui/Han 2


1. Weaver/Poje 3, Papadakis/Cizeron 2, Chock/Bates 1
2. Weaver/Poje 2, Chock/Bates 2, Papadakis/Cizeron 2
3. Chock/Bates 3, Papadakis/Cizeron 2, Weaver/Poje 1

Icenetwork Consensus*


1. Tuktamisheva (18 points)
2. (tie) Wagner (9), Radionova (9)


1. Ten (15)
2. Hanyu (13)
3. Fernández (6)


1. Duhamel/Radford (18)
2. Peng/Zhang (8)
3. Kavaguti/Smirnov (6)


1. Weaver/Poje (14)
2. Papadakis/Cizeron (12)
3. Chock/Bates (10)

*First-place predictions were three points, second-place predictions two points and third-place predictions one point.