Nebelhorn Trophy 2013: Preview
By Olga Fluegge
The traditional figure skating event Nebelhorn Trophy will take place from September 25-28 in Oberstdorf, Germany. This will be the 45th edition of this event, so it can be considered as the one of the oldest Senior B competitions in figure skating.
Since it is the “ISU designated Senior International Figure Skating Qualifying Competition to fill the remaining open entries for the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia for Men, Ladies, Pairs and Ice Dance”, it will be very representative in terms of entries.
26 men, 29 ladies, 13 pairs and 18 ice dance teams are going to compete to earn the remaining spots: 6 in men´s, 6 in ladies, 4 in pairs, 5 in ice dance events. Figure skaters have to reach there a minimum technical element scores for the Olympic Winter Games 2014: men SP 25.00 points/ FS 45.00 points; ladies SP 20.00 / FS 36.00; pair skating SP 20.00/ FS 36.00; ice dance SD 18.00 / FD 28.00.
Three pairs will make their international debut in Oberstdorf with new partners. Narumi Takahashi/Ryuichi Kihara (JPN), Natasha Purich/Mervin Tran (CAN) and Lindsey Davis/Rockni Brubaker (USA). So the former partners Narumi Takahashi and Mervin Tran will compete against each other.
The highlight of pair event will be the performance of 2013 world champions and Russia’s big Olympic hopefuls Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov. It is very interesting to look at Annabelle Prölls/Ruben Blommaert, a young promising German pair, who are local matadors and who were successful in junior rank last season. The number of participants in pair skating is growing and the geography of this discipline is extending with newcomers from Spain, Sweden, North Korea and Turkey.
The main contenders in ice dance event are the winners of 2011 Nebelhorn Trophy Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue of the United States as well as Ksenia Monko/Kirill Khaliavin of Russia and Alexandra Paul/Mitchel Islam of Canada. The Russian and Canadian couples showed very well level this past summer at home based events.
The current World junior champion Elena Radionova of Russia is going to make a successful leap to the senior level. It will be interesting to see how she looks among strong field of senior ladies. The main highlight of ladies event probably will be a comeback of a two-time World champion Miki Ando of Japan, who replaces injured Kiira Korpi (Finland) and returns to competitive season after two years of break.
Elena Glebova of Estonia and Elene Gedevanishvili of Georgia will also among the contenders for medals in Oberstdorf.
Japan’s Nobunari Oda will be definitely the main contender for the gold in men’s event. American Jason Brown, 2013 World junior silver medalist, will make a senior debut in Germany. He’s also among contenders for the podium.
Michael Martinez of Philippines, who finished 6th at 2013 US International Figure Skating Classic last week, is definitely one of the contenders to earn an Olympic spot for his country for the first time.