Let’s take a look at the men’s field for this weekend’s Olympic qualifying at Nebelhorn Trophy. As a reminder from my event overview, here’s how things stand for the men:
- Seven Olympic spots to hand out
- Countries who can earn a second spot: Canada, France, South Korea
- Countries who can earn a third spot: United States, Russia/ROC
|Vincent ZHOU||United States||SP: 100.51|
|Roman SADOVSKY||Canada||SP: 89.61|
|Adam SIAO HIM FA||France||SP: 80.54|
|Vladimir LITVINTSEV||Azerbaijan||SP: 81.46|
|Paul FENTZ||Germany||SP: 81.86|
|Brendan KERRY||Australia||SP: 80.99|
|Sihyeong LEE||South Korea||SP: 77.30|
|Maurizio ZANDRON||Austria||SP: 74.61|
|Slavik HAYRAPETYAN||Armenia||SP: 69.00|
|Basar OKTAR||Turkey||SP: 68.16|
|Peter James HALLAM||Great Britain||SP: 67.62|
|Davide LEWTON BRAIN||Monoco||SP: 67.36|
|Edrian Paul CELESTINO||Philippines||SP: 65.11|
|Valtter VIRTANEN||Finland||SP: 62.16|
|Tomas Llorenc GUARINO SABATE||Spain||SP: 63.22|
|Larry LOUPOLOVER||Bulgaria||SP: 70.36|
|Jari KESSLER||Croatia||SP: 59.06|
|Harrison Jon-Yen WONG||Hong Kong||SP: 58.78|
|Andras CSERNOCH||Hungary||SP: 56.88|
|Dias JIRENBAYEV||Kazakhstan||SP: 58.16|
|Matthew SAMUELS||South Africa||SP: 49.04|
|Adam HAGARA||Slovakia||SP: 56.38|
|Conor STAKELUM||Ireland||SP: 55.03|
|Kornel WITKOWSKI||Poland||SP: 54.88|
|Che Yu YEH||Taiwan||SP: 32.62|
Vincent Zhou (USA): Zhou had a nightmare short program at 2021 Worlds that saw him fail to make the free skate and threw the United States’ surefire path to three Olympic spots into disarray. However, his standing as a World bronze medalist, recent showing at Cranberry Cup, and near-300-point personal best show why the USFSA decided to give him another chance. He should win this event comfortably, but even a rough day would put him easily in the top seven, barring a complete meltdown like he had in March.
Roman Sadovsky (Canada): Canadian men have had their fair share of struggles over the past few years, but Roman has the potential to put up some massive scores and in a field of this depth, he should have no problem securing that second spot. Whether he’ll be the one to actually go to Beijing or whether countryman Nam Nguyen can rise to the occasion is a story for later in the season.
Mark Kondratiuk (Russia/ROC): Speaking of struggles in the men’s field…Russia. Russian men have been incredibly inconsistent over the past few seasons, as could probably be surmised from the seven potential entries they submitted to this event before settling on Kondratiuk. The 18-year-old burst onto the Russian domestic scene last season, taking the bronze at senior nationals after a fairly anonymous junior career. He was one of many skaters to miss a shot at Russia’s second Worlds entry last season (for a refresher, check out the recap of Russian Cup Final), but did well enough in test skates to get the call-up here. Kondratiuk has no official ISU scores so it’s hard to say where exactly he ranks in the field here, but a solid skate should be enough to pick up a final spot to ensure Russia sends a full contingent to the Olympic Games.
Adam Siao Him Fa (France): With hefty technical content and an incredibly fun Star Wars short program, expect Siao Him Fa to be fighting at the top end and walking away with France’s second Olympic spot.
Fighting it out
Men’s singles is arguably the most inconsistent discipline in the sport, so there are a whole host of skaters who could completely bomb out or vault into the top seven, but those with the strongest chance are Vladimir Litvintsev (Azerbaijan), Paul Fentz (Germany), Brendan Kerry (Australia), and Sihyeong Lee (South Korea).
Based purely on gut-feeling, I’m predicting Lee to secure the final spot over Kerry, but it’s still early in the season and there’s a lot on the line, so anything could happen.