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Sochi Figure Skating preview (men): Free skate base value analysis

Daisuke Takahashi (JPN) at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia
Daisuke Takahashi (JPN) at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia
Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

With four points separating first and second, and fewer than four points separating third and 11th, every little point is going to count in the free skate. That's what makes these base values all the more important in deciding who is going to have an advantage tomorrow in the men's free skate.

Related: Opining on the men's short
Men's free: Skate order + start times

Here's a look at the jumps-only base values of the contenders.

Gold Medal Contenders
*Indicates bonus elements

  • Yuzuru Hanyu (74.72) - quad salchow (10.50), quad toe (10.30), triple flip (5.30), triple axel-triple toe* (13.86), triple axel-double toe* (10.78), triple loop* (5.61), triple lutz-half loop-triple salchow* (11.77), triple lutz* (6.60)
  • Patrick Chan (68.07) - quad toe-triple toe (14.40), quad toe (10.30), triple axel (8.50), triple lutz-half loop-triple salchow* (11.77), triple lutz* (6.60), triple loop* (5.61), triple flip-double toe* (7.26), double axel* (3.63)

The story is right here - Hanyu has a planned free skate that is almost seven points higher in jumps-only base value than Chan does. And he's also got a four-point lead going into the free skate. It's delusional for anyone to think that Chan has the same amount of technical content as Hanyu, simply because both do two quads. The huge difference here is Hanyu's second triple axel and the positioning of his two triple axels in the second half of the program. It gives him a cushion that will exceed any sort of PCS advantage that Chan may have in the free skate if they both skate cleanly.

Bronze Medal Contenders
*Indicates bonus elements

  • Javier Fernandez (74.21) - quad toe (10.30), quad salchow-triple toe (14.60), triple axel (8.50), quad salchow* (11.55), triple lutz-double toe* (8.03), triple loop* (5.61), triple flip-half loop-triple salchow* (11.00), triple salchow* (4.62)
  • Daisuke Takahashi (70.33) - quad toe (10.30), quad toe-double toe (11.60), triple axel (8.50), triple axel-triple toe* (13.86), triple lutz-double toe-double loop* (10.01), triple loop* (5.61), triple flip* (5.83), triple salchow* (4.62)
  • Tatsuki Machida (69.92) - quad toe (10.30), quad toe-double toe (11.60), triple axel-triple toe (12.60), triple axel* (9.35), triple loop* (5.61), triple lutz* (6.60), triple flip-double toe-double loop* (9.24), triple salchow* (4.62)
  • Denis Ten (65.50) - quad toe (10.30), triple axel-triple toe (12.60), triple axel (8.50), triple flip-half loop-triple salchow* (11.00), triple lutz-double toe* (8.03), triple loop* (5.61), triple flip* (5.83), double axel* (3.63)
  • Alexander Majorov (62.90) - quad toe (10.30), triple lutz-triple toe (10.10), triple loop (5.10), triple lutz-double toe-double toe* (9.46), triple axel (9.35), triple flip-triple toe (10.34), triple salchow* (4.62), double axel* (3.63)
  • Peter Liebers (62.87) - quad toe-triple toe (14.40), triple axel-double toe (9.80), triple lutz (6.00), triple axel* (9.35), triple lutz-double toe-double toe* (9.46), triple salchow* (4.62), triple loop* (5.61), double axel* (3.63)
  • Han Yan (62.17) - triple axel (8.50), quad toe-triple toe (14.40), triple flip-double toe (6.60), triple loop* (5.61), triple lutz-double toe-double loop* (10.01), triple flip* (5.83), triple lutz* (6.60), triple salchow* (4.62)
  • Brian Joubert (61.64) - quad toe-triple toe (14.40), triple lutz-triple toe (10.10), triple axel (8.50), triple loop (5.10), triple lutz-double toe-double toe* (9.46), triple salchow* (4.62), triple flip* (5.83), double axel* (3.63)
  • Jason Brown (56.77) - double axel (3.30), triple axel-triple toe (10.10), triple axel (8.50), triple lutz-half loop-triple salchow* (11.77), triple flip-double toe (7.26), double axel* (3.63), triple lutz* (6.60), triple loop* (5.61)

Unfortunately for the American in the final group, it will require mistakes from his competitors for him to stay in the position he's in right now. His quadlessness disadvantage is amplified in the free skate, when his competitors are putting down two quads and pushing triple axels into bonus territory. But then again, you saw the number of mistakes there were today, so it's not out of the realm of possibility.

Both Ten and Joubert have done two quads in their programs in the past, and that can give them an extra few points in base value. But as it is, neither of them attempted more than one in the last competitions that they were in. Fernandez is the only person among the medal contenders to contend Hanyu's free skate base value, which gives him a great shot at maintaining the bronze. But if Takahashi can somehow put it together, he's got the potential to leapfrog Fernandez for another Olympic medal. Watch out for Machida. He could surprise.