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Who will win medals at the world championships?

Icenetwork contributors predict what the podiums in Boston will look like
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Do Gracie Gold or Satoko Miyahara have what it takes to keep Evgenia Medvedeva from winning her first world title? -Getty Images

Icenetwork asked several of its contributors who they thought would come home with hardware from the 2016 World Figure Skating Championships.

Jean-Christophe Berlot

Ladies
 
1. Evgenia Medvedeva (Russia)
2. Gracie Gold (USA)
3. Ashley Wagner (USA)
 
Medvedeva has won every competition she entered this year. She has the "complete package" and should emerge victorious in Boston as well. While it may be a surprise for two Americans to be on the podium, Gold and Wagner have the advantage of skating at home. 

Men's

1. Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan)
2. Javier Fernández (Spain)
3. Denis Ten (Kazakhstan)
 
Even more than before, Hanyu and Fernández appear farther ahead of the pack this year. Both have now surpassed the 300-plus point mark, the only ones in the world to do so, and they should not disappoint the world in Boston. Denis Ten has made no mystery that worlds are his preferred competition. His programs are beautifully carved and tell a fascinating story. 

Pairs
 
1. Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov (Russia)
2. Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (Canada)
3. Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov (Russia)
 
These three teams should not be a surprise, but the order in which they appear may be. Stolbova and Klimov were superlative at the Grand Prix Final in Barcelona. Their absence at the European championships in Bratislava allowed Volosozhar and Trankov to win in a decisive way, but the 2014 Olympic gold medalists are still far from their best. Duhamel and Radford are stronger, as are Stolbova and Klimov (even more so!). 

Dance

1. Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (France)
2. Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani (USA)
3. Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje (Canada)

Papadakis and Cizeron again come to the world championships with a superlative free dance. They have cultivated their unique style: edges, interpretation, purity of skating, body posture on the ice. Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani seem to have found the right formula this season, as their free dance is a piece of anthology. Weaver and Poje will try to come back after their disappointment at the Four Continents Championships.

Sarah Brannen

Ladies

1. Evgenia Medvedeva (Russia)
2. Satoko Miyahara (Japan)
3. Gracie Gold (USA)

As Elizaveta Tuktamisheva did last season, Medvedeva has flattened the competition like a steamroller all year. She is maxing out the technical mark, and she seems to have nerves of steel. Miyahara's consistency should keep her on the podium. If Gold equals her best short program and free skate from the season, and gets the expected support from the home crowd, she'll win a medal.

Men's

1. Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan)
2. Javier Fernández (Spain)
3. Patrick Chan (Canada)

The last international scores Hanyu posted, at the NHK Trophy and the Grand Prix Final, were truly unbeatable. Fernández has held onto his confidence as the reigning world champion and usually peaks at worlds. Chan tends to be inconsistent and could end up off the podium or finish second. China's Boyang Jin is likely to post sky-high technical scores, and he is ready to take advantage if any of the favorites falter.

Pairs

1. Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov (Russia)
2. Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov (Russia)
3. Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (Canada)

Stolbova and Klimov have the highest technical content in the field, and their edgy contemporary style gives them gorgeous components to match. It will be tough to dethrone the big names in this crowded field, though, including the returning Olympic champions, Volosozhar and Trankov. Duhamel and Radford have looked a bit off this season and will be hard-pressed to defend their title.

Dance

1. Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (France)
2. Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani (USA)
3. Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte (Italy)

After missing a lot of the season, the French world champions got back on the ice at the European championships and showed off another stunning free dance. They may not be unbeatable, but their serene confidence will win them gold, in my book. The Shibutanis have waited an awfully long time for another world medal to go with their 2011 bronze. Their technical content, always brilliant, is now matched by maturity and power, and with their recent Four Continents win, the judges seem to be smiling on them. They'll get a bump from skating at home, too. The 2014 world champions from Italy seem to have the momentum this year and could upset Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Canada.

Vladislav Luchianov

Ladies

1. Evgenia Medvedeva (Russia)
2. Satoko Miyahara (Japan)
3. Ashley Wagner (USA)

It seems that no one can stop Evgenia Medvedeva from winning a major title this season. She will win the gold in Boston based on her flawless technique and high-level artistry. Satoko Miyahara should be able to repeat last year's success at this comeptition. Ashley Wagner projects the most maturity of any ladies skater competing today; if she skates clean, I think she will get her long-awaited world medal.

Men's

1. Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan) 
2. Javier Fernández (Spain)
3. Patrick Chan (Canada)

With his string of record-breaking performances this season, it would illogical to put Hanyu in any other place. His main rival, reigning world champion Javier Fernández, is also a member of the "300-point club," but I believe Hanyu's artistic abilities make him almost unbeatable. Patrick Chan showed his high class at the 2016 Four Continents Championships and is definitely now among the medal contenders for worlds.

Pairs

1. Wenjing Sui and Cong Han (China)
2. Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (Canada)
3. Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov (Russia)

Wenjing Sui and Cong Han have shown throughout this season that they are able and ready to exchange last year's world silver for gold this season. Reigning world champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford will be the Chinese pair's main rivals, and it wouldn't be a surprise if the Canadians added another world title to their resume. Volosozhar and Trankov, the 2014 Olympic champions, gave very strong performances at the 2016 European Championships, and should find their way onto the world podium for the fourth time in their career.

Dance

1. Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje (Canada)
2. Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani (USA)
3. Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (France)

Unlike most years, it is very difficult to predict the results in ice dance this season. In my opinion, both the Canadian and American couples have an equal chance to win the world crown. Both are in the midst of one of the best seasons of their careers and have the programs to take them to the top -- it could come down to which one makes the fewer mistakes in Boston. Papadakis and Cizeron are eager to prove they're still the best, and are very capable of taking their second consecutive world title.

Nick McCarvel

Ladies

1. Mao Asada (Japan)
2. Gracie Gold (USA)
3. Evgenia Medvedeva (Russia)

Out with the new, in with the old(er). Mao Asada's decision to continue her career is one of the best I've seen in skating the last two years, and I think she comes full circle by earning another world title in Boston. No one has been as aggressive or as consistent, the latter something the sport needs so desperately. And a medal for the U.S. women? Gracie will finally break that drought with two attack-style programs. The good memories from the U.S. championships in Boston in 2014 will bring out her best.

Men's

1. Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan)
2. Patrick Chan (Canada)
3. Javier Fernández (Spain)

Even as a crop of youngsters have pushed to break through, these three remain the standard-bearers for men's skating in the world. If he skates to his potential, Hanyu will reclaim his world title. That's not to say I wouldn't enjoy a dogfight to the end, which is what this event will turn into if the others bring their best in the free skate.  

Pairs

1. Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (Canada)
2. Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov (Rusaia)
3. Wenjing Sui and Cong Han (China)

The Russian pair that won the Olympic gold going away in 2014 is back at it, but I don't think they are going to swoop in and convince the judges they are best in the world once again. Duhamel and Radford have picked right where they left off a year ago. At this point, the Canadians are too strong to relent that world title.

Ice dance

1. Madison Chock and Evan Bates (USA)
2. Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (France)
3. Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje (Canada)

The delight of the French a year ago at worlds was inspiring and shocking all at once, but I don't see lightning striking twice for them. While the Shibutanis have upped their game this season, Chock and Bates, to me, are the ones with the strongest international resumé. If there ever were a moment to do so, now is the time for them to win their world gold and begin their push toward 2018, particularly with a certain Canadian team on the comeback trail.

Amy Rosewater

Ladies

1. Evgenia Medvedeva (Russia)
2. Mao Asada (Japan)
3. Elena Radionova (Russia)

With these world championships being held on U.S. soil, there is an outside chance Ashley Wagner or Gracie Gold will be on the podium, but the Russians and Japanese are very tough. Evgenia Medvedeva, just 16, has dominated the circuit this year, winning the European crown and the Grand Prix Final.

Men's

1. Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan)
2. Patrick Chan (Canada)
3. Javier Fernández (Spain)

When Yuzuru Hanyu is on, he is untouchable, but with Patrick Chan back in the fold and the talented and entertaining Javier Fernández (Hanyu's training mate) in the field, this will not be a cakewalk for the 2014 Olympic champion. Also watch for China's Boyang Jin to contend for the podium.

Pairs

1. Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov (Russia)
2. Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (Canada)
3. Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot (Germany)

The champions from Sochi are back, and they have shown fine form this season, winning all four of their events, inclduing the European championships. Canada's Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford have not been as consistent this season as they were last year, when they claimed the world title, but they have the goods. The German team of Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot will make their worlds debut together in Boston.

Dance

1. Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (France)
2. Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte (Italy)
3. Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani (United States)

The defending world champions from France are the team to beat, as their programs are filled with complex movements, intricate choreography and passion. The Italians are the 2014 world champions and are hoping to climb back to the top spot. Meanwhile, the Shibutanis are flying high after their first U.S. senior title. It's well-documented that Alex is a huge Boston sports fan, and it would mean a lot to him to win a world medal in the city where he was born. If they skate well, 2015 world silver medalists Madison Chock and Evan Bates could be on the podium.

Lynn Rutherford

Ladies

1. Gracie Gold (USA)
2. Evgenia Medvedeva (Russia)
3. Satoko Miyahara (Japan)

Gold was my pick early this season, and I still think if she puts out personal bests in both the short program and free skate, she will prevail. Medvedeva has only lost once this season, a silver medal behind teammate Elena Radionova at the Rostelecom Cup, and I'm betting she has to make a mistake sometime. Miyahara grows stronger with every outing and has cool consistency under pressure.

Men's

1. Patrick Chan (Canada)
2. Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan)
3. Javier Fernández (Spain)

Again, Chan was my pick early on, and I'm sticking with him. If he performs a clean short program, followed by the two-quad, two-triple-axel free skate he produced at Four Continents, he can overcome Hanyu and Fernández' higher technical element scores. What's different now than in past is the result is not entirely in the three-time world champion's hands: Hanyu will have to make a few mistakes, while Chan must go clean.

Pairs

1. Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov (Russia)
2. Wenjing Sui and Cong Han (China)
3. Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (Canada)

Any one of five teams -- the three I've picked, plus Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov, and Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot -- could be called legitimate medal threats. I'm going with Volosozhar and Trankov because their program components will likely be the highest of the event. Like Chan, though, they must skate clean to stay ahead of the Chinese and Canadians, who have superior technical firepower.

Dance

1. Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (France)
2. Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani (USA)
3. Madison Chock and Evan Bates (USA)

The key to this event is the short dance. If Papadakis and Cizeron are within, say, three points of the leaders heading into the free dance, their remarkable chemistry and lyricism could win the day again. If they miss a level or two, though, the U.S. teams will be there to grab what they believe is rightfully theirs. I'm giving the Shibutanis the edge over Chock and Bates because the siblings have extraordinary momentum and energy heading into Boston.

Wei Xiong

Ladies

1. Evgenia Medvedeva (Russia)
2. Satoko Miyahara (Japan)
3. Mao Asada (Japan)

There is no doubt that Medvedeva is the heavy favorite heading into this event. As long as she reproduces what she's done this season, the 16-year-old is very likely to bring home the title regardless of how others perform. Miyahara has been extremely consistent this season and has started to be rewarded with high component scores. It's hard to imagine her making any vital mistake and finishing off the podium. Mao Asada has struggled with consistency this season; she needs her triple axels to separate her from the pack.

Men's

1. Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan)
2. Patrick Chan (Canada)
3. Javier Fernández (Spain)

While's Hanyu's record-smashing performances at the NHK Trophy and Grand Prix Final put him in a league of his own, his training mate, Javier Fernández, and three-time world champion Patrick Chan are not far behind. I put Hanyu ahead because in addition to difficult jumps, he consistently generates a few more points on spins and a slightly higher second mark. Given that he has been more consistent in the free skate this season, Chan may have a better chance to finish higher than Fernández, as long as he doesn't flub his short again.

Pairs

1. Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov (Russia)
2. Wenjing Sui and Cong Han (China)
3. Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (Canada)

Volosozhar and Trankov's performance at the European championships showed that they are still the favorite, and that they don't need a quad to be the best in the world. On the other hand, Sui and Han showed at Four Continents, where they executed two huge quads, that they are ready to challenge for the top. Reigning world champions Duhamel and Radford don't have momentum coming into this event, but given their technical edge, two decent performances will be enough to put them on the podium.

Dance

1. Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (France)
2. Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani (United States)
3. Madison Chock and Evan Bates (USA)

I expect the French to successfully defend their title in Boston; they are very strong technically, and they stand out even among the top couples in terms of artistry. If they don't skate perfectly, the Shibutanis, who are riding momentum from their win at the U.S. championships, could seize the opportunity and bring home the gold. It is difficult to compare Chock and Bates to Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, but I will put the Americans ahead, given the "home-field" advantage and the confidence they gained from their free dance at Four Continents.

ICENETWORK CONSENSUS*

Ladies

1. Evgenia Medvedeva (18)
2. (tie) Gracie Gold/Mao Asada (8)
3. Satoko Miyahara (7)

Men's

1. Yuzuru Hanyu (20)
2. Patrick Chan (11)
3. Javier Fernández (10)

Pairs

1. Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov (15)
2. Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (12)
3. Wenjing Sui and Cong Han (8)

Dance

1. Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (18)
2. Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani (11)
3. (tie) Madison Chock and Evan Bates/Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje (5)

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