The ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2015 will open at Mokdong Arena in Seoul, Korea on February 12. The ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships will be held in Seoul for the first time, but Korea has hosted the event four times before: 2002 and 2010 in Jeonju, 2005 in Gangneung and 2008 in Goyang City. 91 skaters from 15 ISU Members have been entered for the Championships. Argentina will be represented for the first time with Denis Margalik in the Men’s event. Skaters/couples need to have obtained a minimum total technical score in Short Program and Free Skating in order to compete at the ISU Four Continents Championships.
Overview of the top contenders
Olympic bronze medalist Denis Ten (KAZ) and defending Four Continents Champion Takahito Mura (JPN) headline the Men’s event. Ten has achieved a seasons best of 249.94 points while Mura comes with a seasons best of 255.81 points to Seoul. Competition should come from 2014 World Junior Champion Nam Nguyen (CAN/seasons best 232.24 points), 2010 Four Continents Champion Adam Rippon (USA/seasons best 225.42 points) and 2013 Four Continents bronze medalist Han Yan (CHN/seasons best 216.85 points). Other medal contenders include ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champion Shoma Uno (JPN), Daisuke Murakami (JPN), U.S. Champion Jason Brown, Joshua Farris (USA) and Misha Ge (UZB).
In the Ladies competition, Gracie Gold (USA) and 2014 Four Continents silver medalist Satoko Miyahara (JPN) have their eyes set on the top spot of the podium, but will face strong competition. Gold has the highest seasons best of the Ladies competitors in Seoul with 191.16 points while Miyahara comes with a seasons best of 183.90 points to Korea. The main challengers should be Rika Hong (JPN/seasons best 178.00), Polina Edmunds (USA/seasons best 176.35 points) and So Youn Park (KOR/seasons best 170.43 points). Others to watch include Canadian Champion Gabrielle Daleman, Alaine Chartrand (CAN), 2014 Four Continents bronze medalist Zijun Li (CHN), Hae Jin Kim (KOR) and Samantha Cesario (USA).
The Pairs event will see the comeback of five-time Four Continents Champions Qing Pang/Jian Tong (CHN), who retired following the 2014 Olympic Winter Games but decided to return for this event and the upcoming World Championships. The two-time World Champions will face ISU Grand Prix Final Champions Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN/seasons best 220.72 points) as well as defending Four Continents Champions Wenjing Sui/Cong Han (CHN/seasons best 200.86 points). Other podium contenders include ISU Grand Prix Finalists Cheng Peng/Hao Zhang (CHN) and 2013 World Junior Champions Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier (USA). 2014 Four Continents silver medalists Tarah Kayne/Daniel O’Shea (USA) and 2014 Four Continents bronze medalists Alexa Scimeca/Chris Knierim (USA) are aiming for a podium finish as well.
The Ice Dance competition shapes up as another duel of 2014 World silver medalists Kaitlyn Weaver/ Andrew Poje (CAN) and ISU Grand Prix Final silver medalists Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA). The Canadians won the Grand Prix Final with a seasons best of 181.14 points while Chock/Bates have a seasons best of 174.28 points. Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA/seasons best 166.34 points), 2014 Four Continents silver medalists Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN/seasons best 158.16 points) and 2014 World Junior Champions Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker (USA/seasons best 146.41 points) want to challenge for the podium as well.
Please note that for the seasonal best total scores only the ISU Grand Prix competitions (senior and junior) and ISU Challenger Series events have been taken into consideration, not other international competitions or National Championships.
The ISU awards a global prize money of US$ 250,000 at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships to skaters/couples placed 1st to 12th. The prize money is awarded as follows:
Men and Ladies Pairs and Dance (per couple)
1st place US$ 15,000 1st place US$ 22,500
2nd place US$ 9,000 2nd place US$ 13,500
3rd place US$ 6,000 3rd place US$ 9,000
4th place US$ 4,500 4th place US$ 6,750
5th place US$ 3,250 5th place US$ 5,000
6th place US$ 2,500 6th place US$ 3,750
7th place US$ 2,250 7th place US$ 3,500
8th place US$ 2,000 8th place US$ 3,000
9th place US$ 1,750 9th place US$ 2,500
10th place US$ 1,500 10th place US$ 2,250
11th place US$ 1,250 11th place US$ 1,750
12th place US$ 1,000 12th place US$ 1,500
The schedule of the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2015 is as follows:
Thursday, February 12: Short Dance, Pairs Short Program, Men Short Program
Friday, February 13: Free Dance, Ladies Short Program
Saturday, February 14: Pairs Free Skating, Men Free Skating
Sunday, February 15: Ladies Free Skating, Exhibition Gala