The 2012/2013 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating continues Friday with the Cup of China in Shanghai. The Cup of China is the third of six events in the series. The skaters compete for a global prize money of US $ 180, 000 per individual event of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating and receive points according to their placements.
47 skaters representing 9 ISU members are competing this week in Shanghai. World silver medalist Daisuke Takahashi (JPN), two-time World Champion Mao Asada (JPN) and European Champions Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat (FRA) are starting into the Grand Prix in Shanghai.
Takahashi headlines the Men's event. The 2010 World Champion will face 2007 World Champion Brian Joubert (FRA) and also Tatsuki Machida (JPN). Machida took bronze at Skate America two weeks ago and is aiming at another podium spot to qualify for the Grand Prix Final. Other contenders include Grand Prix medalist Nan Song (CHN), 2010 Four Continents Champion Adam Rippon (USA), Kevin Reynolds (CAN) and Sergei Voronov (RUS).
Reigning Olympic silver medalists Qing Pang/Jian Tong (CHN) lead the Pairs. The challenge should come from 2010 European Champions and defending Cup of China Champions Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov (RUS) as well as Kirsten Moore-Towers/Dylan Moscovitch (CAN). 2012 European bronze medalists Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov (RUS) are hoping for their first Grand Prix medal. Multiple World medalist Hao Zhang (CHN) returns on to the circuit with new partner Cheng Peng.
The Ladies event features Asada, World Junior Champion Julia Lipnitskaia (RUS) and 2012 European silver medalist Kiira Korpi (FIN). Lipnitskaia debuts at the senior Grand Prix. Other competitors include Mirai Nagasu (USA), Amelie Lacoste (CAN) and Zijun Li (CHN).
Pechalat/Bourzat are the top-seed in the Ice Dance event. Competition should be tough with Skate America silver medalists Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev (RUS), Skate America bronze medalists Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN) and Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) aiming at the podium as well. Bobrova/Soloviev and Weaver/Poje are looking to book their ticket to the Grand Prix Final in Sochi. World Junior Champions Victoria Sinitsina/Ruslan Zhiganshin (RUS) compete in their first senior-level Grand Prix event.
For full entries and results please refer to www.isu.org.
The schedule of Cup of China is as follows:
Friday, November 2: Ladies and Pairs Short Program, Men's Short Program, Short Dance
Saturday, November 3: Ladies, Pairs Free Skating, Free Dance, Men's Free Skating
Sunday, November 4: Exhibition Gala