The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2013/2014 continues this week with the Lexus Cup of China the third of six events in the series, in Beijing. Several top skaters are making their season debut this week in Beijing. The world's top figure skaters are competing for a prize money of US $ 180,000 per individual event of the Grand Prix.
51 skaters/couples from 9 ISU Members will compete at the Lexus Cup of China. The event is headlined by four-time World Champions and reigning World silver medalists Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy (GER), 2012 World Champion and current World silver medalist Carolina Kostner (ITA).
In the Pairs event, Savchenko/Szolkowy will face two-time World Champions and reigning Olympic silver medalists Qing Pang/Jian Tong (CHN) on their home soil. Cheng Peng/Hao Zhang (CHN), Anastasia Martiusheva/Alexei Rogonov (RUS) and Alexa Scimeca/Chris Knierim (USA) are eyeing the podium as well.
Kostner is up against a group of talented young skaters in the Ladies competition. Zijun Li (CHN), 2013 Four Continents bronze medalist Kanako Murakami (JPN), 2013 European silver medalist Adelina Sotnikova (RUS) and 2013 World Junior bronze medalist Anna Pogorilaya (RUS) are looking to challenge Kostner. Other contenders include Agnes Zawadzki (USA) and Haruka Imai (JPN).
Reigning World silver medalist Denis Ten (KAZ) leads the Men. Ten had to sit out his first Grand Prix event due to illness. Takahiko Kozuka (JPN) is entering his second event and looking to improve from his sixth place finish at Skate America two weeks ago. Nan Song (CHN), 2012 World Junior Champion Han Yan (CHN), 2013 European silver medalist Florent Amodio (FRA), Peter Liebers (GER), Maxim Kovtun (RUS) and Richard Dornbush (USA) will compete intheir first Grand Prix event this season. Kevin Reynolds (CAN) has withdrawn.
The Ice Dance event focuses on 2013 World bronze medalists Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev (RUS) and two-time European Champions Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat (FRA). 2013 Four Continents bronze medalists Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) want to challenge the favorites. Other contenders include Xintong Huang/Xun Zheng (CHN), Pernelle Carron/Lloyd Jones (FRA) and 2013 World Junior bronze medalists Alexandra Aldridge/Daniel Eaton (USA).
For full entry lists and results of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2013/14 please refer to www.isu.org.
The schedule of Lexus Cup of China is as follows:
Friday, November 1: Short Dance, Ladies, Men's, Pairs Short Program
Saturday, November 2: Free Dance, Ladies, Men's, Pairs Free Skating
Sunday, November 3: Exhibition Gala