The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating and ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating will come to an end this week with the Finals in Barcelona (ESP). 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 seven 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 HHonors Skate America, Skate Canada International, Lexus Cup of China, Rostelecom Cup in Russia, Trophée Eric Bompard in France and NHK Trophy in Japan.
Russian Champion Maxim Kovtun (seasons best 243.35 points) leads the Grand Prix standings and is the only man to have struck gold in both his events (Cup of China and Trophée Bompard). European Champion Javier Fernandez (ESP/seasons best 265.01 points) returns to the Final with a gold and a silver medal from the circuit after missing it in the past year. World silver medalist Tatsuki Machida (JPN) who also collected a gold and a silver medal in his events, comes with the highest seasons best of 269.09 points to Barcelona. Newcomers Takahito Mura (JPN/seasons best 255.81 points) and Sergei Voronov (seasons best 252.00 points) are ready to challenge. Olympic and defending Grand Prix Final Champion Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN/seasons best 237.55 points) just squeezed himself into the Final by finishing second and fourth and wants to improve on his performances in the Grand Prix.
Elena Radionova (RUS) has dominated the Grand Prix and tops the standings following her wins at Skate America and Trophée Bompard. The two-time World Junior Champion also has achieved the highest seasons best with 203.92 points. Teammate Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (seasons best 196.66) is on the comeback trail and returns to the Final after not qualifying last year with a gold and a silver medal. Anna Pogorilaya (RUS/seasons best 191.81 points) travels with a gold and a bronze medal to Barcelona while defending Grand Prix silver medalist Julia Lipnitskaia (RUS/seasons best 185.18 points) has two silver medals from her events. Reigning Grand Prix Final bronze medalist Ashley Wagner (USA) advanced with a silver and a bronze medal to the Final. Rika Hongo (JPN/seasons best 178.00 points) qualified with a gold medal and a fifth place finish for Barcelona. The Japanese is the only newcomer to the Final and replaces Gracie Gold (USA) who has withdrawn citing injury (stress fracture in her left foot).
Olympic silver medalists Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov (RUS) and World bronze medalists Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN) qualified for the Final by winning their two Grand Prix events. While the Russians (seasons best 211.97 points) will compete in their first Final, the Canadians (seasons best 210.74 points) will enter their fourth Final. Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov (RUS) continue their comeback after missing the Olympic season due to injury. The two-time World bronze medalists advance with a gold and silver medal to the Final (seasons best 209.16 points). Three Chinese teams also booked their tickets to Spain: Cheng Peng/Hao Zhang (seasons best 194.05 points), Four Continents Champions Wenjing Sui/Cong Han (seasons best 200.68) and World Junior Champions Xiaoyu Yu/Yang Jin (seasons best 182.00 points). While the first two teams competed in the Final last year, reigning ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champions Yu/Jin will debut in the Final at the senior level.
In the Ice Dance, three couples qualified by winning their two events: Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA/seasons best 174.28 points), Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN/seasons best 171.10 points) and Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA/seasons best 166.66 points). Papadakis/Cizeron qualified for the first time for the Final. Maia Shibutani/ Alex Shibutani (USA/seasons best 166.34 points) return to the Final for the first time since the 2011/12 season and qualified with two silver medals. Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN/seasons best 157.58 points) and Elena Ilinykh/Ruslan Zhiganshin (RUS/seasons best 160.43 points) will compete in their first Final as teams – both Poirier and Ilinykh had qualified before with their previous partners.
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
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 France, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Japan, Estonia, Germany and Croatia.
Boyang Jin (CHN/seasons best 221.92 points) is the top qualifier Men’s as he won his two events. Shoma Uno (JPN), Alexander Petrov (RUS), June Hyoung Lee (KOR), Sota Yamamoto (JPN) and Roman Sadovsky (CAN) have reached the Junior Final as well. Uno, Lee, Yamamoto and Sadovsky are newcomers to the Junior Final.
World Junior silver medalist Serafima Sakhanovich (RUS/seasons best 191.96 points) and World Junior bronze medalist Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS/seasons best 179.55 points) lead the Ladies standings with two victories on the circuit. Wakaba Higuchi (JPN), defending ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champion Maria Sotskova (RUS), Yuka Nagai JPN) and Miyu Nakahio (JPN) are the other qualifiers. While the Japanese skaters will compete in their first Junior Final, the three Russian Ladies had swept the podium one year ago.
Julianne Seguin/Charlie Bilodeau (CAN/seasons best 174.10) and ISU Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalists Maria Vigalova/Egor Zakroev (RUS/seasons best 167.98 points) won their two events and top the standings. Junior Grand Prix Final bronze medalists Lina Fedorova/Maxim Miroshkin (RUS) are also coming back to the event while Kamila Gainetdinova/Sergei Alexeev (RUS), Daria Beklemisheva/Maxim Bobrov (RUS) and Chelsea Liu/Brian Johnson (USA) qualified for the first time. However, Gainetdinova competed in the Final last year with her previous partner.
Anna Yanovskaya/Sergei Mozgov (RUS/seasons best 152.00 points) are the only junior Ice Dance couple to have won two events. The Russians want to defend their title. Their challengers are Mackenzie Bent/Garrett Mackeen (CAN), Betina Popova/Yuri Vlasenko (RUS), Alla Loboda/ Pavel Drozd (RUS), World Junior bronze medalists Madeline Edwards/Zhao Kai Pang (CAN) and Daria Morozova/Mikhail Zhirnov (RUS). Only Yankovskaya/Mozgov and Popova/Vlasenko competed in the Final before.
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
The schedule of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final (Junior & Senior) is as follows:
Thursday, Dec 11: Junior Short Dance, Junior Ladies, Junior Men, Junior Pairs, Pairs & Ladies Short Programs
Friday, Dec 12: Junior Free Dance, Junior Ladies, Junior Men, Junior Pairs Free Skating, Men’s Short Program, Short Dance
Saturday, Dec 13: Pairs, Men’s & Ladies Free Skating, Free Dance
Sunday, Dec 14: Exhibition Gala