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Wagner, Gold to be invited to 2012 Japan Open

Team-scoring competition to be held Oct. 6 in Saitama

Ashley Wagner (left) and Gracie Gold could be reunited at the 2012 Japan Open.
Ashley Wagner (left) and Gracie Gold could be reunited at the 2012 Japan Open. (Renee Felton)

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By icenetwork.com
(06/19/2012) - U.S. champion Ashley Wagner and U.S. junior champion Gracie Gold are among the skaters on the planned invitee list for the 2012 Japan Open published on TV Tokyo's website.

The event, which has been held every year since 2006, is scheduled for Oct. 6 at the Saitama Super Arena, about an hour north of Tokyo.

The Japan Open is a team-scoring competition that pits competitors from North America, Europe and Asia against one another. Each team consists of two ladies and two men. All the participants perform a free skate, and each country's point totals are added up to determine a winner. Last season, Team North America won the event, finishing 0.70 points ahead of Team Europe.

This would be Wagner and Gold's second time competing together internationally, as they were the two ladies chosen to represent the U.S. at the 2012 World Team Trophy, where they helped Team USA to a second-place showing behind Team Japan.

Wagner is scheduled to compete Oct. 19-21 at 2012 Hilton HHonors Skate America in Kent, Wash. Gold will compete at the 2013 Upper Great Lakes Regional Championships, Oct. 12-16 in Hobart, Wis., and will make her Grand Prix Series debut at 2012 Skate Canada two weeks later.

The skaters the host country intends to invite to the Japan Open are:

Team Japan*
Akiko Suzuki
Daisuke Takahashi
Takahiko Kozuka

Team North America
Wagner
Gold
Patrick Chan
Jeffrey Buttle

Team Europe**
Alena Leonova

*Second ladies skater is TBD
**Second ladies skater and both men's skaters are TBD