Grand Prix Final – Preview
Press Release by ISU.org
The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating and the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2010/2011 cumulate with the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final and ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final from December 8 to 12 in Beijing, China. A total of 84 skaters (56 entries) from 11 ISU members are competing in the two Finals.
24 skaters/couples out of ten countries are competing in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. Six skaters/couples in each category qualified in the six events of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series: Trophée Bompard in Paris (FRA), Cup of Russia in Moscow (RUS), Samsung Anycall Cup of China in Beijing, NHK Trophy in Nagoya (JPN), Skate America in Portland and Skate Canada International in Kingston.
Reigning World Champion Daisuke Takahashi (JPN) advanced with two gold medals from the NHK Trophy and Skate America and a seasons best of 234.79 points to the Final. His teammate Takahiko Kozuka struck gold in Paris and in Beijing and earned the highest seasons best of the Men so far with 248.07 points. Two-time World silver medalist Patrick Chan (CAN) advanced to the Final with a victory in Canada and a silver medal from Moscow (seasons best 239.52 points). Tomas Verner (CZE) pocketed the gold at the Cup of Russia and the bronze at the Cup of China (seasons best 230.31 points). Nobunari Oda (JPN) comes to Beijing with two silver medals earned at Skate Canada and Skate America (seasons best 236.52). The only newcomer in the Final is Florent Amodio (FRA), who took the bronze at NHK Trophy and the silver at Trophée Bompard (seasons best 229.38).
In the Ladies’, 2007 World Champion Miki Ando (JPN) is the top qualifier after winning the Cup of China and Cup of Russia. She comes with a seasons best of 174.47 points to the Final. Alissa Czisny (USA/seasons best 172.37), Carolina Kostner (ITA/seasons best 164.93) and Kanako Murakami (JPN/seasons best 164.93) all advanced with a gold and a bronze medal from their Grand Prix events to the Final. Akiko Suzuki (JPN/seasons best 172.74) and Rachael Flatt (USA/seasons best 162.86) both claimed two silver medals on their way to Beijing. Murakami and Flatt will compete in their first ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final.
Reigning World Champions Qing Pang/Jian Tong (CHN) and current World silver medalist Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy (GER) both won their two Grand Prix events this fall. While the Germans come with a seasons best of 197.88 points, the Chinese couple has a seasons best of 189.37 points. The remaining four couples are newcomers to the Final: Vera Bazarova/Yuri Larionov (RUS) claimed the silver medals at NHK Trophy and Trophée Bompard (seasons best 183.00 points) and Kirsten Moore-Towers/Dylan Moscovitch (CAN) took silver at Skate Canada and Skate America (seasons best 175.48 points). Lubov Iliushechkina/Nodari Maisuradze (RUS) are headed with a victory from Canada and a fourth-place finish from China to the Final (seasons best 171.40 points) and World Junior Champions Wenjing Sui/Cong Han (CHN) picked up the silver medal in China and the bronze in the USA.
Reigning World and Olympic silver medalist and defending ISU Grand Prix Final Champions Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA) arrive in Beijing with two gold medals from the NHK Trophy and Skate America and a seasons best of 165.21 points. Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat (FRA) won the Cup of China and the Trophée Bompard to qualify for the Final (seasons best 161.82 points). Vanessa Crone/Paul Poirier (CAN) claimed victory in Canada and the silver in the USA (seasons best 154.42 points). While these three couples have competed in the Final before, the following three teams are newcomers. Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev (RUS) won in Russia and earned the silver in China (seasons best 154.33 points), Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN) come with a silver from Japan and a fourth-place from the USA (seasons best 142.34) and Nora Hoffmann/Maxim Zavozin (HUN) have the silver from Moscow and a fourth place from Beijing (seasons best 142.09).