The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series consists of six international senior invitational events which qualify the top six skaters in each discipline (Men, Ladies, Pair Skating and Ice Dance) to the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. This year the ISU Junior & Senior Grand Prix Final will take place in Nagoya, Japan from December 7 - 10.
The Grand Prix has seen some great skates and pleasant surprises having visited Moscow, Regina and Beijing. Now mid-way through the series we start to see who has a chance of qualifying for the big one in December.
Mikhail Kolyada (RUS) leads the Men Standings with a fantastic win last weekend in China but he is the only Man to have skated two events. All others have one to go including Rostelecom Cup winner Nathan Chen (USA) and Skate Canada International winner Shoma Uno (JPN). The rest of the top 6 all got second places at their respective assignments so far: Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN), Boyang Jin (CHN and Jason Brown (USA).
The Ladies Standings are topped by Wakaba Higuchi (JPN) and Elena Radionova (RUS) but it could be be difficult for them to make it all the way to the Final. They are both done with their two events and will look for some of the women down the table to slip. The biggest surprise so far has been Alina Zagitova's win at Audi Cup of China, her first ISU Senior event as she just graduated from the Junior ranks. The top 6 is completed by World Champion Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS), Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN) and Marin Honda (JPN). With such strong competition, it could prove difficult for Honda to remain in the top six in the coming weeks. Worth noting that alhough not yet featured in the top 6, Carolina Kostner (ITA), Maria Sotskova (RUS) and Ashley Wagner (USA) are waiting in the wings to show what they are made of.
Italians Valentina Marchei / Ondrek hotarek lead the Pair Skating Standings but after a few hiccups in their outings in Russia and China they are not expected to make the Final. The final top 6 will be decided in the next weeks as the current top 10 are all the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places from the three previous events. These 9 Pairs will battle for spots in the Final. So far home skaters have won their home events: Evgenia Tarasova / Vladimir Morozov won in Russia, Meagan Duhamel / Eric Radford won in Canada and Wenjing Sui / Cong Han won in China and are a step closer to booking that ticket to the final.
The Ice Dance battle looks very leveled after three events and some big names may be out as only six qualify for Nagoya. Gabriella Papadakis / Guillaume Cizeron (FRA), Tessa Virtue / Scott Moir (CAN) and Maia and Alex Shibutani (USA) all look very solid as they won one event each. Current leaders Ekaterina Bobrova / Dmitri Soloviev (RUS) will look for a way into the ISU Grand Prix Final hoping that Canadians Weaver / Poje and, both Americans Chock / Bates and Hubbell / Donohue leave some points on the ice.