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Hersh's Money on Joubert?

First of all, would you say Joubert is favored to win this year's world championships? I haven't written my preview yet, but I am pretty sure I am going to struggle with Joubert's placement. He hasn't been at all consistent this year and the tide seems to be turning toward the pretty skaters like Chan and Abbott. Tribune Company's Philip Hersh says "it is somewhat by default that he is favored in the 2009 world championships, which begin Tuesday in Los Angeles." I am guessing he means that Joubert is favored because he has already won the title and just won Europeans, and world champions Stephane Lambiel and Jeffrey Buttle have retired. Or something.

Anyway, Hersh interviewed Joubert for the article, and here s a snippet:

Waiting for him in Los Angeles are two-time world bronze medalist Evan Lysacek and reigning national champion Jeremy Abbott of the United States and reigning Four Continents champion Patrick Chan of Canada. Chan's top score this season is nearly 12 points higher than anyone else's and 17 points higher than Joubert's.

Joubert, world runner-up last year, considers Lysacek the most dangerous and gives him special respect as the only other likely title contender to do quadruple jumps.

"I am very disappointed other men do not try them," Joubert said. "With the new system, you have to be clean, so people make it clean but simple.

"For the future of the sport, we must continue to try quads. In 2002, some skaters did three quads and now [most] think it is difficult to do one, especially in the short program."

Joubert plans a quad in the short and up to three in the long, if he needs them to win. At the 2007 worlds, he reduced the risk by doing just one, landed it and won despite finishing third in the long program.

We all know how Joubert feels about skaters who win without attempting quads from his verbal jabs at Buttle after Buttle won last year's worlds. I don't see him landing three at this point but if he does, I think that would have to be enough to win....but like I said, the tide is turning.