Who's going to win? Here's our fearless forecast

ROB BRODIE, Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:44 AM ET

How they'll finish in the senior events at the Canadian figure skating championships, which begin tomorrow at the John Labatt Centre in London, Ont.:

MEN

Gold -- Emanuel Sandhu, Richmond Hill

Silver -- Jeffrey Buttle, Smooth Rock Falls

Bronze -- Ben Ferreira, Edmonton

The skinny: Quads should give three-time champ Sandhu the edge, but it's a razor-thin one. Says next goal is a world medal; Buttle buoyed by bronze at Grand Prix final, aiming for first national title. He's never beaten Sandhu at nationals; Ferreira a solid third for second straight year.

Watch out for: Fedor Andreev, Ottawa

Hasn't competed internationally all season, but Minto Skating Club competitor has been right there with Canada's best the past two years.

World team berths: 2

WOMEN

Gold -- Joannie Rochette, Ile-Dupas, Que.

Silver -- Cynthia Phaneuf, Sorel-Tracy, Que.

Bronze -- Mira Leung, Vancouver

The skinny: Third in Grand Prix final, Rochette has shown she rates among world's elite. Her first Canadian title is at hand; Phaneuf stepped up in class at GP final, and she'll show last year's triumph was no fluke; Talented teen Leung ready for a move onto nationals podium.

Watch out for: Meagan Duhamel, Lively

Former Canadian junior champ was a standout on the Junior Grand Prix circuit, finishing fifth in the final. Tenth a year ago in Edmonton, she's destined for a move closer to the top five this time.

World team berths: 2

PAIRS

Gold -- Valerie Marcoux, Gatineau, and Craig Buntin, North Vancouver, B.C.

Silver -- Anabelle Langlois, Hull, and Patrice Archetto, Montreal

Bronze -- Elizabeth Putnam, Toronto, and Sean Wirtz, Marathon

Marcoux and Buntin startled many with their victory in 2004. A repeat title would hardly be a surprise; Maybe underdog status can help Langlois and Archetto finally get elusive Canadian title, but injury issues cloud hopes; Putnam and Wirtz seem stuck on bronze-medal spot for second straight year.

Watch out for: Jessica Dube, Drummondville, Que., and Bryce Davison, Cambridge.

Dube's coming off an injury, but this dynamic young duo should begin to show why they're the future of Canadian pairs skating -- sooner rather than later.

World team berths: 2

ICE DANCE

Gold -- Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon, Montreal

Silver -- Megan Wing and Aaron Lowe, Vancouver

Bronze -- Chantal Lefebvre and Arseniy Markov, LaSalle, Que.

Dubreuil and Lauzon have much bigger goals on world stage. They'll breeze to fourth national title; Wing and Lowe narrowly grabbed silver in 2004, should stay on the world team for another year; Lefebvre and Markov are on a major rise, will challenge for silver medal again.

Watch out for: Tessa Virtue, London, Ont., and Scott Moir, Ilderton

Last year's Canadian junior champs make their senior national debut on familiar turf. They'll give home-town crowd reason to cheer with a solid first impression.

World team berths: 2

rob.brodie@ott.sunpub.com


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