So much to look forward to in the pairs and ladies' events, because there are more Olympic medal contenders to be had here. For the women, who kick off the competition tomorrow, the three Olympic spots are pretty much signed for. But for the pairs, there are four contenders for the three available spots. How will it all shake out?
Canadian Nationals predictions
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Pairs Top 5 Predictions
GOLD Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford
SILVER Lubov Ilyushechkina/Dylan Moscovitch
BRONZE Kirsten Moore-Towers/Michael Marinaro
4. Julianne Seguin/Charlie Bilodeau
5. Evelyn Walsh/Trennt Michaud
No one has been able to figure out how to beat Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford at Canadians for the past six years, and no one will do it this week. They have regained some of that magic that helped them to two World titles, and will be looking for some momentum as they return to their Hometown Glory free skate.
But the fight for the other two Olympic spots will be the thing to watch, as there are three pairs who are very much capable of earning those spots this week. Lubov Ilyushechkina/Dylan Moscovitch had a bit of a shaky start to their season after a career-best sixth at Worlds last year, but they were rounding into form at Internationaux de France.
Kirsten Moore-Towers/Michael Marinaro have had a strong season, being the only pair other than Duhamel/Radford to win a medal on the Grand Prix. They have been squarely the fourth-best pair in Canada for the past few seasons, but are looking to bring in that upset over Julianne Seguin/Charlie Bilodeau. Seguin/Bilodeau have had a solid season, but not with the kind of consistency that they have had in previous seasons.
Ladies Top 5 Predictions
GOLD Kaetlyn Osmond
SILVER Gabrielle Daleman
BRONZE Alaine Chartrand
4. Aurora Cotop
5. Alicia Pineault
Much like with dance, unless something drastic and disastrous happens, your top three are going to be some combination of Kaetlyn Osmond, Gabrielle Daleman, and Alaine Chartrand, the three women who have won the last five Canadian titles. The biggest question mark goes to Chartrand, who has had a tough season so far. But Osmond seems to be poised for her fourth Canadian title, with Daleman as the underdog. Daleman herself has made a change in her free skate to go back to last season's Rhapsody In Blue, so that may provide her with the comfort to make it back to the top of that podium.
But for both Osmond and Daleman, this competition is as much about the title as it is about positioning themselves for an Olympic podium run after taking medals at the World Championships last season.