The 2012/2013 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating continues this Friday with NHK Trophy in Miyagi, Japan. NHK Trophy is the sixth and last event in the series and thus provides the last opportunity for skaters to qualify for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Sochi, Russia, in December. 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.
2012 World silver medalist Daisuke Takahashi (JPN) and World bronze medalist Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) as well as World silver medalists Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA) and World bronze medalist Akiko Suzuki (JPN) headline the event. 49 skaters from 9 ISU members are competing this week in Miyagi.
Takahashi took silver at the Cup of China and Hanyu got a silver from Hilton Hhonors Skate America earlier this season and both want to qualify for the Final. Skate Canada Champion Javier Fernandez (ESP) will provide a tough challenge for the Japanese and is looking to book his ticket to Sochi as well. Other contenders include 2012 Cup of China bronze medalist Sergei Voronov, Adam Rippon (USA), 2011 NHK Trophy bronze medalist Ross Miner (USA) and Daisuke Murakami (JPN).
Mao Asada (JPN) comes with a gold medal from Cup of China to her home event. With a silver from Skate Canada, Akiko Suzuki has a good shot at the Final as well. Also in the mix is Agnes Zawadzki (USA) who took bronze at Rostelecom Cup earlier this month. Competition four the podium should be tough with Zijun Li (CHN), Elene Gedevanishvili (GEO), Ksenia Makarova (RUS) and Mirai Nagasu (USA) competing as well.
European silver medalists Vera Bazarova/Yuri Larionov (RUS) lead the Pairs. They claimed silver at Rostelecom Cup and want to secure their spot in the Final this week. The challenge should come from Kirsten Moore-Towers/Dylan Moscovitch (CAN) who have still a shot for the Final after placing fourth in China. Other competitors include Marissa Castelli/Simon Shnapir (USA), Anastasia Martiusheva/Alexei Rogonov (RUS) and Nicole Della Monica/Matteo Guarise (ITA).
2011 World Champions Meryl Davis/Charlie White are looking for their second gold on the circuit after winning Skate America. Rostelecom Cup silver medalists Elena Ilinykh/Nikita Katsalapov (RUS) hope to qualify for their first Grand Prix Final with another podium finish in Miyagi. Defending NHK Trophy Champions Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA) want to improve on their fourth-place finish from Moscow and still can make it to the Final. Also competing are Xintong Huang/Xun Zheng (CHN), Penny Coomes/Nicholas Buckland (GBR) and Cathy Reed/ Chris Reed (JPN).
The full list of entries is available at www.isu.org
The schedule of NHK Trophy is as follows:
Friday, November 23: Short Dance, Men's and Ladies Short Program
Saturday, November 24: Pairs Short Program, Free Dance, Men's and Ladies Free Skating
Sunday, November 25: Pairs Free Skating, Exhibition Gala