Medvedeva and Jin out of Grand Prix Final
The world’s top lady and one its top men withdraw from the Final due to their injuries; Miyahara and Brown qualify in their place.
The two-time and reigning World Champion and Men’s bronze medalists may have skated through their injuries to earn their spots at the Grand Prix Final. But now they’re preventing them from using them. Today started with the news that Boyang Jin had withdrawn, and Evgenia Medvedeva was out less than two hours later.
In Medvedeva’s case, the only question was why she hadn’t withdrawn back when she first put her leg in a cast. The basic answer seems to be that she really didn’t want to, but it seems her doctors and common sense prevailed. Though there’s not official statement on the matter, Jin presumably is likewise out due a known injury; he did Skate America last week with both his ankles sprained. It’s the smart decision in his case too. Neither should risk aggravating an injury and wrecking the rest of the Olympic season just to compete at this event, which isn’t nearly as important as the ones coming up.
Both have their National Championships coming up, but both can afford to skip them if need be. Jin might not have attended Chinese Nationals anyway; he didn’t last year. Medvedeva probably would’ve attended Russian Nationals, and she may even still try to. But she’s the only Russian lady who doesn’t need to skate off against the others, because she’s undisputedly their best. If the doctors tell her to stay out, she should probably listen to them again.
We might not see Boyang Jin again at all until the Olympics. He may also go to the Four Continents Championships at the end of January, especially if he decides he wants a competition to test out the ankles that hopefully will be healed by then. But that’s close enough to the Games he might also decide against it. The European Championships are a week earlier, and so long as her leg heals in time, it’s more likely we’ll see Medvedeva there.
They both have worthy skaters replacing them in the lineups. In Medvedeva’s case especially; her replacement is Satoko Miyahara, one of the top ladies of the past quaddrennium. Indeed, it was a shock when a bad result at the NHK Trophy prevented her from making the initial roster. In Medvedeva’s absence, her training mate Alina Zagitova is a bit of a favorite, but this has become a competition that any of the six participants could win.
The men’s event is likely now between Nathan Chen and Shoma Uno, and has turned half-American, with Jason Brown happily claiming his spot in the lineup:
Honored to have the opportunity to compete alongside @Adaripp & @nathanwchen at the GPF! Always proud to represent @TeamUSA! Please get well soon Boyang!! Thinking about you and wishing you a speedy recovery! 😢🙏 日本へ。。。また来週！GPFに行きます！😱❤️🇯🇵✨ https://t.co/Sq3tWQnsNp
— Jason Brown (@jasonbskates) December 1, 2017
It’s a huge opportunity for Brown, whose odds of making the Olympic team, while still good, are a little longer than they were at the start of the fall. U.S. Figure Skating will take the results of this competition at least somewhat into account, especially if anyone medals. It won’t be easy for Brown to make the podium, and he might need help from at least Mikhail Kolyada, but he can definitely do it.