The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating and ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating culumate this week with the Finals in Sochi (RUS). The events feature the top six skaters/couples in each category from the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series and the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating series.
ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final
24 skaters/couples from nine ISU members will compete in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. They are vying for a global prize money of U.S. $ 272,000. Six skaters/couples in each category qualified in the six events of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series: Hilton Honors Skate America in Kent/Seattle, Skate Canada International in Windsor, Cup of China in Shanghai, Rostelecom Cup in Moscow (RUS), Trophée Eric Bompard in Paris (FRA) and NHK Trophy in Sapporo (JPN).
The prize money is awarded to winners and placed skaters/couples as follows:
Men and Ladies, Pairs and Ice Dance (per couple)
1st place: US$ 25,000
2nd place: US$ 18,000
3rd place: US$ 12,000
4th place: US$ 6,000
5th place: US$ 4,000
6th place: US$ 3,000
World Champion Patrick Chan (CAN) is aiming for his third consecutive Grand Prix Final title and comes with a seasons best of 262.35 points to Russia. Competition should come from World bronze medalist Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN/seasonsbest 261.03 points), World and Grand Prix Final silver medalist Daisuke Takahashi (JPN/seasons best 251.51) as well as defending Grand Prix Final bronze medalist Javier Fernandez (ESP/seasons best 253.94). Takahiko Kozuka (JPN/seasons best 251.44 points) and Tatsuki Machida (JPN/seasons best 236.92 points) want to challenge for the podium as well. Chan, Hanyu and Kozuka all qualified with a win and a second place on the Grand Prix circuit. Machida is the only newcomer to the Final.
Ashley Wagner (USA) and Mao Asada (JPN) lead the Ladies with two wins on the Grand Prix series each. Wagner scored a seasons best of 190.63 points while Asada earned a seasons best of 185.27 points. The challenge should come from World bronze medalist and defending Grand Prix Final silver medalist Akiko Suzuki (JPN/185.22 points) who won two silver medals en route to Russia and from Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS), who cm advanced with a second and a fourth place and a seasons best of 179.62 points to the Final. Kiira Korpi (FIN), is the first Finnish skater to qualify for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final with a gold and a bronze from her events (seasons best 177.19). Christina Gao (USA) replaces Julia Lipnitskaia (RUS), who withdrew due to injury, in the Final. Gao was first substitute with a second and a fourth-place finish (seasons best 174.25 points) and competes in her first Grand Prix Final.
World and Grand Prix Final silver medalists Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov (RUS) headline the Pairs standings and are the only couple to advance with two gold medals to the Final. They scored a seasons best of 207.53 points. Vera Bazarova/Yuri Larionov (RUS/seasons best 192.02), Qing Pang/Jian Tong (CHN/188.82) and Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov (RUS7seasons best 187.99) collected a gold and a silver each on their way to Sochi. Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN) qualified with two silver medals and a seasons best of 190.49 points while Kirsten Moore-Towers/Dylan Moscovitch (CAN) booked their ticket to the Final with a silver medal and a fourth-place finish (seasons best 180.63 points). All couples have competed in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final before.
World Champions Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN/seasons best 173.99) will meet World silver medalists Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA/seasons best 178.48 points) and World bronze medalists Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat (FRA/seasons best 169.73) for the first time this season. All three couples advance with two gold medals from their two events. Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev (RUS/seasons best 159.95), Elena Ilinykh/Nikita Katsalapov (RUS/seasons best 158.46) and Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte (ITA/seasons best 160.06) earned two silver medals en route to the Final. Ilinykh/Katsalapov will compete in their first Final.
ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final
24 skaters/couples from six ISU members have qualified for the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. Six skaters/couples qualified in the seven events of the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Courchevel (FRA), Lake Placid (USA), Linz (AUT), Istanbul (TUR), Bled (SLO), Zagreb (CRO) and Chemnitz (GER).
The prize money made available by the ISU is 105,000 USD $. The prize money is awarded to winners and placed skaters/couples as follows:
Junior Men and Ladies Junior Pairs and Dance (per couple)
1st place USD $ 6,000 1st place USD $ 9,000
2nd place USD $ 5,000 2nd place USD $ 7,500
3rd place USD$ 4,000 3rd place USD$ 6,000
4th place USD$ 3,000 4th place USD$ 4,500
5th place USD$ 2,000 5th place USD$ 3,000
6th place USD$ 1,000 6th place USD$ 1,500
World Junior silver medalist Joshua Farris (USA/seasons best 218.69 points) and Maxim Kovtun (RUS/seasons best 219.19) struck gold twice in their events and lead the standings. The other competitors are defending ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champion Jason Brown (USA), Boyang Jin (CHN), Ryuju Hino (JPN) and Keiji Tanaka (JPN). Jin is the only newcomer to the Final.
Elena Radionova (RUS/seasons best 182.86 points) is the top qualifier in the Ladies as she is the only competitor to have won two events. The other competitors are Angela Wang (USA), Anna Pogorilaya (RUS), Satoko Miyahara (JPN), Hannah Miller (USA) and Leah Keiser (USA). All Ladies will compete in their first Junior Final.
Margaret Purdy/Michael Marinaro (CAN/seasons best 147.40 points) lead the Pairs standings with two gold medals from the circuit. Also qualified are Lina Fedorova/Maxim Miroshkin (RUS), Brittany Jones/Ian Beharry (CAN), Maria Vigalova/Egor Zakroev (RUS), World Junior bronze medalists Vasilisa Davankova/Andrei Deputat (RUS) and World Junior silver medalists Xiaoyu Yu/Yang Jin (CHN). Yu/Jin as well as Beharry (silver medalist with former partner Katherine Bobak) competed in the Junior Final before.
Three Junior Ice Dance teams won their two Junior Grand Prix events: World Junior silver and Junior Grand Prix Final bronze medalists Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS/seasons best 147.73 points), World Junior bronze medalists Alexandra Aldridge/Daniel Eaton (USA/seasons best 138.43) and Gabrielle Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA/seasons best 142.08). The other dance couples in the Final are Valeria Zenkova/Valerie Sinitsin (RUS), Evgenia Kosigina/Nikolai Moroshkin (RUS) and Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalists Anna Yanovskaya/Sergey Mozgov (RUS). Papadakis/Cizeron and Zenkova/Sinitsin qualified for the first time for the Junior Final.
The full list of entries and results are available at www.isu.org
The schedule of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final (Junior & Senior) is as follows:
Thursday, Dec 6: Junior Short Dance, Junior Pairs, Junior Men, Junior Ladies Short Programs
Friday, Dec 7: Junior Men Free Skating, Junior Free Dance, Men, Ladies and Pairs Short Programs, Short Dance
Saturday, Dec 8: Junior Ladies, Junior Pairs Free Skating, Men, Ladies, Pairs Free Skating, Free Dance
Sunday, Dec 9: Exhibition Gala
The ISU Junior Grand Prix Final will be available on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/ISUJGP2011
The ISU Grand Prix Final of Figure Skating will be available on the ISU Skating Channel (due to television right restrictions, the event will not be available in Europe, Canada, USA, Japan, China and Korea): http://livemanager.eurovision.edgesuite.net/isu/site/index.html