THE BATTLE OF THE TITANS
The Grand Prix Final has clearly showed how much both teams want to be the leaders of the sport and how hard they will work towards the Olympic gold in Sochi.
Virtue/Moir, who had never beaten Davis/White in the last four competition (WTT 2012, GPF 2012, 4CC 2013 and Worlds 2013), probably had their best two programs in this quadriennal in the Final in Fukuoka, scoring two personal bests and getting a level four on 13 elements out of 14, as well as stellar GOEs and components. Their result was quite a surprise, especially in the free dance in which they have been struggling throughtout the fall season, as they were absolutely flawless and technically impecable.
Yet, a total score of 190 (more than 30 points above the bronze medalists) wasn't enough to get that one gold that is still missing.
Davis/White proved to be not only as strong as their Canadian team-mates, but also to be two incredibly strong competitors, who didn't seem to feel any pressure from two world records scored just before they were about to skate. As far as levels are concerned, they equaled Virtue/Moir but they had an edge on GOEs and components.
With Virtue/Moir closing the gap with Davis/White, the fight for olympic gold seems as open as ever and the slightest mistake could be significant. So anything can really happen and what is sure is that Sochi's gold and silver are locked between these two teams.
THE BRONZE MEDAL ROULETTE
As for now, there are at least four teams who cuold fine themselves on the Olympic podium in February. The Grand Prix final crowned Pechalat/Bourzat bronze medalists but in fact that says nothing about how the season will unfold, but makes predictions more and more confused.
Bobrova/Soloviev, who were third after the short dance, failed again with their free skate whose transitions caused them a fall for the second time in a row. Weaver/Poje looked very strong at Skate Canada but struggled in Fukuoka getting in fifth place. On the other side, Pechalat/Bourzat had an amazing free skate, but they haven't been consistent in the season so far.
Besides, Ilinykh/Katsalapov had a very unlucky grand prix assignment and as they ranked fourth at NHK Trophy they couldn't qualify for the final, but they redeemed themselves after one week winning the silver medal at TEB in Paris beating Pechalat/Bourzat on the home ice.