ISU announces competitors for the Grand Prix series
The top figure skaters of the world will compete in six stages of the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series 2012/2013 helding annually by International Skating Union. 140 skating teams from 18 ISU members will participate there. The number of entries for each stage is ten ladies and men; eight pairs and eight ice dance teams. The top six teams in each discipline will qualify to the Grand Prix Final in Sochi (Russia), December 6 to 9, 2012.
The skaters are seeded and invited to the Grand Prix of Figure Skating based on the results of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2012. Skaters/couples who have placed 1 to 6 in each of the four categories are considered to be seeded and are assigned to two events. Skaters/couples who have placed 7-12 at the ISU World Championships 2012 are selected for two ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating events, and skaters with a high seasons best score as well as those placed in the top of the World Standings can also be invited. Medalists from the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships and the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final are guaranteed one spot. In order for a skater/couple to be eligible to compete at a Grand Prix event, a minimum score must have been achieved. The minimum score for the 2012/13 season is 3/5 of the highest score per discipline at the 2012 World Figure Skating Championships, which is 113.43 points for Ladies; 159.66 points for Men; 120.90 points for Pairs and 109.59 for Ice Dance.
Competitors collect points in their Grand Prix events towards the qualification for the Grand Prix Final.
The Grand Prix series 2012/2013 will feature all reigning World Champions – Carolina Kostner (ITA), Patrick Chan (CAN), Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy (GER) and Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN) as well as European Champions, former World Champions, current and former World medalists.
The series kicks off with Skate America in Kent/Seattle (USA), October 19 to 21. The event features current World silver medalists Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA), European silver medalists Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev (RUS), Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN), World silver medalists Alena Leonova (RUS), Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov (RUS), 2010 Olympic silver medalists Qing Pang/Jian Tong (CHN) and World bronze medalist Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN).
Skate Canada in Windsor (CAN), October 26 to 38, features four-time and reigning World Champions Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy (GER) two-time World Champion Patrick Chan, World and Olympic Ice Dance Champions Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN). Other competitors include World bronze medalist Akiko Suzuki (JPN), 2011 European Champion Florent Amodio (FRA) and Grand Prix Final bronze medalist Javier Fernandez (ESP). World Junior silver medalist Gracie Gold (USA) debuts at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating.
The Cup of China is the third event and will be held in Shanghai from November 2 to 4. The event is headlined by World Champion Carolina Kostner (ITA), two-time World Champion Mao Asada (JPN), World Junior Champion Julia Lipnitskaia (RUS) and two-time World Champion Miki Ando (JPN) who returns to the Grand Prix circuit after sitting out the past season. World silver medalist Daisuke Takahashi (JPN), former World Champion Brian Joubert (FRA), European Ice Dance Champions Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat (FRA), World Junior Champions Victoria Sinitsina/Ruslan Zhiganshin (RUS), Bobrova/Soloviev as well as Pang/Tong, Four Continents Champions Wenjing Sui/Cong Han (CHN) and World bronze medalists Narumi Takahashi/Mervin Tran (JPN) are other top contenders.
The series continues with the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow (RUS) November 9 to 11 with Chan, Volosozhar/Trankov, Virtue/Moir, Leonova, 2011 World Junior Champion Adelina Sotnikova (RUS), 2011 World Ice Dance bronze medalists Maia and Alex Shibutani (USA). Johnny Weir (USA) starts his comeback on the circuit.
The Trophée Bompard in Paris (FRA), November 16 to 18 is the next stop. Savchenko/Szolkowy will meet two-time World bronze medalists Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov (RUS), Amodio and Joubert will meet three-time U.S. Champion Jeremy Abbott and Weir. Kostner competes against Ando, Lipnitskaia, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) and Four Continents Champion Ashley Wagner (USA), while Pechalat/Bourzat lead the Ice Dance event.
The last spots for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final then will be decided in Miyagi (JPN) at the NHK Trophy November 23 to 25. Top contenders include Takahashi, Hanyu, Fernandez, Asada, Suzuki, Davis/White, European bronze medalists Elena Ilinykh/Nikita Katsalapov (RUS), Takahashi/Tran, Sui/Han and European silver medalists Vera Bazarova/Juri Larionov (RUS).
Download the full list of entries of the ISU Grand Prix 2012/2013:
Information from ISU was used in this report