Looking for her first win in a senior international event, 2008 U.S. national champion Mirai Nagasu is one of the favorites in the ladies’ event at Nebelhorn Trophy this week. Her biggest competition looks to be coming from 2010 Russian champion Ksenia Makarova.
But while the top two spots seem fairly secured, there are a number of ladies who are fighting for the bronze. And the German crowd has a dark horse to cheer for, as three-time German champion Sarah Hecken is also in the field and is one of the ladies who can stand on the podium.
Watch: Nagasu Glacier Falls short
Here are the key names to watch for:
Elene Gedevanishvili GEO – It’s tough to predict what Gedevanishvili is going to pull off at any competition. Inconsistency has taken her from 25th at Europeans in 2009 to the bronze medal the next year, and then back down to 8th the year after. If she puts it together, she is a genuine podium threat.
Sarah Hecken GER – Armed with a consistent triple toe-triple toe, Hecken has a strong chance at finishing on the podium for the first time in three visits to Nebelhorn. If either of the top two ladies falter, she can certainly sneak in and surprise.
Joshi Helgesson SWE – The younger of the Swedish sister act, Joshi has been second to her sister the past two years at the Swedish Nationals. But she finished higher of the two at Worlds, and will be looking to defeat her sister once again this week, with the possibility of standing on the podium.
Viktoria Helgesson SWE – The elder Helgesson was having a career-best season until an errant short program dropped her to 17th at Worlds after a tenth place finish the year before. Like her sister, Viktoria is an elegant skater who has been improving every year. She will also have a shot at the podium this week.
Ksenia Makarova RUS – Makarova culminated an up-and-down season with a career-high seventh place finish at Worlds in her home country, and she is back to prove that she will be able to combat the slew of youngsters in Russia who are gunning for her spot on the World team. She has traditionally been weaker with the flip and lutz, both a must to be competitive with the best in the world. But nonetheless, she is one of the favorites for the gold this week.
Mirai Nagasu USA – On paper, Nagasu has everything it takes to win this event by a mile. She looked solid for the preseason earlier in the summer at Glacier Falls, and if she has been able to work out the early-season kinks in her jumps, she should take the gold this week. There was talk at Champs Camp about the return of the triple-triple for Nagasu. It will be interesting to see if she decides to bring it back in Oberstdorf this week.
Predictions (Top 5)
1. Mirai Nagasu USA
2. Ksenia Makarova RUS
3. Sarah Hecken GER
4. Viktoria Helgesson SWE
5. Elene Gedevanishvili GEO
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