Press Release

Preview of 2011 Grand Prix Final in Quebec

Senior, junior disciplines loaded with international talent

Japanese skater Daisuke Takahashi hopes to overtake Patrick Chan of host nation Canada.
Japanese skater Daisuke Takahashi hopes to overtake Patrick Chan of host nation Canada. (Getty Images)

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By International Skating Union
(12/07/2011) -
ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final

Twenty-four skaters/couples from 10 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: Hilton HHonors Skate America in Ontario, Calif.; Skate Canada International in Mississauga, Ontario; Cup of China in Shanghai, China; NHK Trophy in Sapporo, Japan; Trophée Eric Bompard in Paris, France and Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, Russia. They are now vying for $272,000 in prize money.

The prize money is awarded to winners and placed skaters/couples as follows:

Men's and Ladies, Pairs and Ice Dance (per couple):
1st place: $25,000
2nd place: $18,000
3rd place: $12,000
4th place: $6,000
5th place: $4,000
6th place: $3,000

Reigning world champion Patrick Chan (CAN) struck gold at his home Grand Prix in Canada and at the Trophée Bompard on his way to the Final. Chan has a season's best score of 253.74 points and is the only man to advance with two victories. Three men won one event each and placed third in the other: 2010 world champion Daisuke Takahashi (JPN/season's best 259.75 points). Jeremy Abbott (USA/season's best 229.08 points) and Michal Brezina (CZE/season's best 226.35 points). Javier Fernandez (ESP) collected two silver medals and not only qualified for his first Final, but is also the first skater from Spain to do so (season's best 250.33 points). Finally, Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) booked his ticket to Quebec with a gold and a fourth-place finish (season's best 241.66 points). Like Brezina and Fernandez, he will compete in his first Grand Prix Final. He had won the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in December 2009.

Nan Song (CHN), Takahiko Kozuka (JPN) and Adam Rippon (USA) are the substitutes.

Reigning world junior silver medalist Elizaveta Tuktamisheva (RUS) is the top qualifier in the ladies event with two victories at Skate Canada and Trophée Bompard. The 14-year-old comes with a season's best of 182.89 points to Quebec and will debut in the Grand Prix Final. She was the silver medalist in the Junior Final last year. Two-time world champion Mao Asada (JPN/season's best 184.19 points), reigning world bronze medalist Carolina Kostner (ITA/season's best 182.14 points) and Akiko Suzuki (JPN) with the highest season's best at 185.98 points booked their ticket to Canada with a gold and a silver from the series. Defending Grand Prix Final champion Alissa Czisny (USA) picked up a gold and a bronze en route to the Final (season's best 179.15 points). Alena Leonova (RUS) claimed one silver and one bronze (season's best 180.45 points).

The substitutes are Adelina Sotnikova (RUS), Mirai Nagasu (USA) and Ashley Wagner (USA).

Three pairs teams come with two gold medals each to the Final: 2011 world silver medalists Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov (RUS/season's best 201.38 points), reigning world champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy (GER/season's best 208.69 points) and Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov (RUS/season's best 197.84 points). Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang (CHN) earned two silver medals (season's best 178.66 points). Narumi Takahashi and Mervin Tran (JPN) are headed with a silver and a fourth-place finish to Quebec. They are the first pairs team to represent Japan in the Grand Prix Final, but before medaled already at the Junior Final (season's best 172.09 points). Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (CAN) are also newcomers and qualified with two bronze medals (season's best 176.62 points). The Japanese and Canadian team and also Volosozhar and Trankov are newcomers, but Volosozhar and Trankov had competed with their previous partners in the Final.

The substitutes are Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch (CAN), Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov (RUS) and Wenjing Sui and Cong Han(CHN), who all were in the Final one year ago.

Reigning world champions and defending ISU Grand Prix Final champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White (USA) arrive in Quebec with two gold medals from Hilton HHonors Skate America and Rostelecom Cup and a season's best of 179.06 points. Their arch rivals, Olympic champions and current world silver medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (CAN) claimed the gold at Skate Canada and Trophée Bompard (season's best 178.34 points). The only newcomers in this year's Final are world bronze medalists Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani (USA), who earned one gold and one silver (season's best 151.85 points). Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev (RUS) picked a gold and a bronze in their events (season's best 163.52 points). Nathalie Péchalat and Fabian Bourzat (FRA/season's best 164.56 points) and Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje (CAN/season's best 161.18 points) collected two silver medals in their events.

The substitutes are Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte (ITA), Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov (RUS) and Isabella Tobias and Deividas Stagniunas (LTU).

ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final

Twenty-four skaters/couples from six ISU members are competing in the Junior Final. Six skaters/couples in each category qualified in the seven events of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series in Riga (LAT), Brisbane (AUS), Brasov (ROU), Innsbruck (AUT), Milan (ITA), Gdansk (POL) and Tallinn (EST). 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's and Ladies:
1st place: $6,000
2nd place: $5,000
3rd place: $4,000
4th place: $3,000
5th place: $2,000
6th place: $1,000

Junior Pairs and Dance (per couple):
1st place: $9,000
2nd place: $7,500
3rd place: $6,000
4th place: $4,500
5th place: $3,000
6th place: $1,500

Some skaters are coming back to the Junior Final, but there are also many new faces from the next generation of junior skaters.

The top qualifiers in the junior men's category are Han Yan (CHN) and Joshua Farris (USA) who claimed the gold in their two events. Jason Brown (USA), Maxim Kovtun (RUS) and Ryuju Hino (JPN) advanced with one gold and one silver to the Final. World junior silver medalist Keiji Tanaka (JPN) placed second and third.

Two junior ladies qualified for the Final by winning both of their Junior Grand Prix competitions: Julia Lipnitskaia (RUS) and Polina Shelepen (RUS). Shelepen is competing in her third consecutive Junior Final. She won the silver in 2010. Vanessa Lam (USA) comes with a gold and a silver from the circuit to Québec. Risa Shoji (JPN) and Zijun Li (CHN) qualified with two silver medals. Polina Korobeynikova (RUS) made it with a silver and a fourth-place finish.

Two-time world junior champions Sui and Han (CHN) collected two more gold medals on the Junior Grand Prix and lead the junior pairs standings. Britney Simpson and Matthew Blackmer (USA), Katherine Bobak and Ian Beharry (CAN) and Xiaoyu Yu and Yang Jin (CHN) all claimed two medals in their events. The last two qualifiers are Ekaterina Petaikina and Maxim Kurduykov (RUS) and Tatiana Tudvaseva and Sergei Lisiev (RUS). Tudvaseva and Lisiev replaced Jessica Noelle Calalang and Zack Sidhu (USA), who withdrew due to injury.

The two top junior dance teams from the junior series are Victoria Sinitsina and Ruslan Zhiganshin (RUS) and Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin (RUS), who claimed victory in two events each. Anna Yanovskaia and Sergei Mozgov (RUS) and Marina Nosulia and Yevgen Kholoniuk (UKR) took a gold and a silver each, while Anastasia Galyeta and Alexei Shumski (UKR) got two silver medals. Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton (USA) come with silver and bronze to the Final.

The full list of entries is available at www.isu.org.