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5 Takeaways from the Finlandia Trophy

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It seems like each skating event this season holds that much more weight with the Olympics looming only a few months away.  There is only a small window left for these skaters to prepare for the Olympic Games and for them to prove to their countries that they should have a spot on the Olympic Team. This window is becoming smaller and smaller as each event becomes more significant than the last. This past weekend was the Finlandia Trophy where we saw some comebacks, heartaches and victories. Let’s take a look at what took place.

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva claws her way back

After going practically undefeated during the 2014-2015 season, Elizaveta fell off the map and has struggled ever since. Tuktamysheva is now climbing her way back to the podium. Though it was Maria Sotskova who won the event, with Carolina Kostner taking the silver, Tuktamysheva did manage to capture the bronze.

An altered Polina returned

There was a lot of talk about Polina Edmunds returning to the ice, after being out from an injury for about a year in a half. Many thought of her as the dark horse for the U.S. Olympic Team, but after her performance this last weekend at Finlandia, it is doubtful. Edmunds is returning from a long hiatus, she is coming off of an injury and she has grown again. These challenges have changed her and she is not the same Polina we have seen in the past. Obviously this was her first competition in some time, so improvement throughout this season is expected, but this event was still revealing as she finished in thirteenth place.

Vincent Zhou makes significant strides

After the short program, Vincent Zhou was in sixth place, while Adam Rippon was in third. Everything got turned around after a poor free skate from Mikhail Kolyada who was in the lead after the short program.

China’s Boyang Jin won the event. Only 2 points behind Jin’s overall score was Vincent Zhou who managed to land four quads. Vincent swooped in and captured the silver medal and won the free skate. Adam Rippon then settled for the bronze and he was less than a point off from Vincent’s overall score.

What this reveals is that if Zhou can pull together a strong short program and free skate, he could easily overtake Adam. This was not Rippon’s best skate either, but without a solid quad, Adam is clearly at a disadvantage. Both Vincent and Adam are fighting for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team. Vincent began making a case for himself to be a part of that team at this event.

Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov unable to find their way

Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov were the pair to watch for after winning the silver medal at the 2014 Olympic Games, but injuries have plagued this team. There was hope that they would regain the momentum that they once had a few seasons ago, but this event showed us once again that they are still struggling. China’s Cheng Peng and Yang Jin won the event and Stolbova and Klimov finished in third, despite an error-filled free skate.

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron are on pace

In ice dance, Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron easily won the event with a 20-point lead. Once again it looks like the battle for the top of the podium will be between Papadakis and Cizeron verses Virtue and Moir. When comparing scores from each of the events that they have competed in so far this season, Virtue and Moir are ahead by 7 points overall. Obviously each judging panel is different, but this could end up being a very tight race.

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