All eyes will be on Shoma Uno this week at the 2018 Four Continents Championships. With teammate Yuzuru Hanyu still on the mend from his injury, he's the absolute favorite this week. But for him, it's less about whether or not he will win and more about how he will do it. Nathan Chen and Javier Fernandez have put down very solid performances this month in the lead-up to the Olympics. Can Uno follow suit?
Four Continents predictions
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GOLD Shoma Uno JPN - It's a question of whether or not he peaked too early this seasn. After a stellar debut at Lombardia Trophy in September, Uno hasn't put down the kinds of programs we have been expecting from him. Whether it's bad luck or bad trajectory, we have seen a good deal of inconsistency from him in the subsequent months, not unlike his fellow competitors. How he fares this week will say a lot about how fresh he is heading into the Olympics in two weeks.
SILVER Boyang Jin CHN - It's Jin's first event since Skate America in late November - injuries to both ankles took him out of the Grand Prix Final and Chinese Nationals in December. As much as he has improved on his components and his musicality, his programs are still packed with difficulty. Skating observers will be keen to see where his recovery is after those injuries and whether or not his jumps are back and consistent here.
BRONZE Jason Brown USA - Somehow, his triple axel failed him at the U.S. Championships - a competition he has thrived at for the past few years - and it kept him from returning to the Olympics. But Brown is resilient, and he will be turning that disappointment in San Jose into motivation to close out his season well at Four Continents this week - a return to his beloved free skate from last season may just give him that comfort to get there.
4. Misha Ge UZB - He almost didn't even compete this season, but Ge is having the best season of his career, taking a medal on the Grand Prix for the first time with his bronze at Internationaux de France. He's completely axed out the quad after ankle injuries threatened to end his career early, and so he's relied on his clean triples and his brilliant artistry to get him up in the standings. A first medal at an ISU Championships would be a great way to continue this tremendous season.
5. Han Yan CHN - Fifth at both of his Grand Prix events this season, Yan made a solid comeback this season after a shoulder injury took him out of Worlds last year. He's been the bronze medalist here three times in his career, and look for him to fight for a podium spot once again in his fifth appearance at Four Continents.
6. Keiji Tanaka JPN - As if skating for an Olympic spot wasn't high pressure enough, Tanaka picked the Japan Championships as the place where he would attempt (and land) his first quad toe in the free skate. Had he made a really major error on that jump, he may have been on the outside looking in for the Olympics. He should be carrying a good deal of confidence into Taipei this week, on an upswing heading to South Korea next month.
7. Max Aaron USA - Nationals just hasn't been his place to shine the past two seasons. Even with a very solid season heading into the U.S. Championships this year, Aaron was unable to rediscover the spark that brought him to three top-three finishes at that event. But his strong showings in the fall gave him the opportunity to close out his season on a good note here at Four Continents, which may end up being his farewell.
8. Nam Nguyen CAN - Just 1.09 away from the silver at Canadians and, likely, the second spot on the Olympic team, Nguyen had to settle for a Four Continents berth instead. That said, his performance at Canadians was as strong as we have seen from him in a long time. He could make some waves this week in Taipei.
9. Grant Hochstein USA - Fifth at the U.S. Championships, Hochstein figured out his jumps in his short program there to give himself a real shot at the podium there. And when he's on, he can be brilliant - just look at the top ten finish at Worlds that he had two seasons ago.
10. Takahito Mura JPN - It was a valiant effort for Mura, who has struggled mightily all season, at the Japan Championships, where he was just a spot away from making the Olympic team. He has won this event before and was fifth here two seasons ago.