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World Championships Preview: Ice Dancing

Two North American teams vie for the top spot while the rest of the world wonders, "wha happened?"

The Contenders

Davis and White (USA):  Oh, Davis and White.  I am going to go ahead and assume you've assembled one of the all-time most difficult free dances with your tango.  Davis and White have been altering this tango all season.  It's amazing but it's never quite caught on the way that their Phantom did last season.  There was a lot of assumption that this is Davis and White's year, but mostly that was because Virtue and Moir were out with injury.  Davis and White are going to have to be VERY careful about getting the top levels on every move, which they did not do at Four Continents, because if both teams are error-free, then this competition will be CLOSE and that could be the different between gold, silver, and even bronze.

Virtue and Moir (Canada):  Everyone cannot wait to finally see two full programs from Virtue and Moir.  This becomes their debut since Four Continents was a bust.  I don't expect such a thing as a tight muscle to keep Virtue and Moir from finishing what they start here in Moscow.  They really can't seem to make a wrong move with their programs, and if they keep their levels up, I think they should be able to defend their world title.  It won't be easy, but it will make for a good competition.

The Dark Horses

Bobrova and Soloviev (Russia):  This team has not really stood out for me too much this season but they have had a lot of success this season, most recently with their Europeans silver medal.  They are basically waiting around for a team like Pechalat and Bourzat to err so they can sneak onto the podium.

Crone and Poirier (Canada):  Crone and Poirier took advantage of the absence of Virtue and Moir and some early season success.  They are not as strong as a Pechalat and Bourzat so it may be hard for them to medal here but they are steadily becoming podium contenders. 

Pechalat and Bourzat (France):  They are actually more of a grey horse.  They are not in the category with Virtue and Moir and Davis and White but they are better than the rest, in my opinion.  They have two extremely well-received programs and they've taken their performance and technique to the next level.  They should be able to win their first worlds medal here, barring disaster.

Shibutani and Shibutani (USA):  The brother-sister team from the USA is nipping at Davis and White's heels.  They are consistently getting top levels in their elements and they have grown leaps and bounds in performance ability since the start of the season.  They have surprised in other events this season, so who knows what they may do here?

Weaver and Poje (Canada):  This team is trying to prove itself as the second-best Canadian team, so they'll be fighting hard to top Crone and Poirier and perhaps work their way into the top six here.  I think they are a fun pair to watch but not quite at the top level just yet.

Prediction

1) Virtue and Moir

2) Davis and White

3) Pechalat and Bourzat