We were also quite interested in the ice dance and pairs events at the Russian nationals. Reigning world champions Domnina and Shabalin are back, and were able to claim the dance title despite various errors, according to their website. Has anyone checked out their skates? Feel free to leave comments on what you thought, I have not seen the dances yet.
In the pairs competition, Kavaguti and Smirnov bested Mukhortova and Trankov, according to China.org.cn. I would argue that Mukhortova and Trankov have definitely outskated Kavaguti and Smirnov this season, but maybe K and S are just hitting their stride.
Back to Japan - where Mao Asada won nationals, followed by Akiko Suzuki and Yukari Nakano snagging third by just a hair, according to Canadian Press. Unfortunately for Nakano, that means she will miss out on the Olympics. Suzuki and Asada received the final two slots, while Miki Ando already had a spot. On the men's side, Takahiko Kozuka will join Daisuke Takahashi and Nobunari Oda on the Olympic teams. Wow, what strong teams for the Japanese men and women.
Kyodo News reports that Kozuka will pull out of Four Continents. I'm assuming a lot of the medal contenders will be skipping Four Continents because it's so close to the Olympics. It takes place the last week in January in Korea.