We take a quick look back at what happened in the world of skating over the course of the past week.
Chan Captures Cup of China
The penultimate event of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating was the Audi Cup of China in Beijing with skaters battling for places in the Grand Prix Final next month.
Patrick Chan secured his berth with a second victory at a Grand Prix event this season. The Canadian had been trailing in third after the short program and, despite falling on a quadruple Salchow in the free skating, he pulled up to first overall. Boyang Jin had been in pole position after the short, but was surpassed in the free by Chan and missed gold by just over a point. Even though Sergei Voronov finished fourth in both segments of the competition, he wound up with a bronze medal.
Elena Radionova continued her streak of medalling at every Grand Prix that she has been assigned to with a win in Beijing. The 2015 World bronze medallist had been behind Kaetlyn Osmond after the short, but skated strongly in the free to overcome the deficit. Despite a rough free skate, Osmond still picked up a silver medal which was enough to send her to join Radionova in the Grand Prix Final. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva bagged bronze, while Ashley Wagner slumped to a disappointing sixth place after winning Skate America.
Unsurprisingly, China’s Xiaoyu Yu & Hao Zhang triumphed in the pairs category earning personal bests for their short and total. In the free, Zhang fell on a jump for the first time in competition since the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. With a second place from Skate Canada, they advanced to the Grand Prix Final. Their compatriots and former partners Cheng Peng and Yang Jin took second place with Lubov Iliushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch in third.
Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani found themselves in second after the short dance, but overhauled Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje in the free dance to win and qualify for the Grand Prix Final for a third consecutive year. Weaver and Poje dropped down to second and finished ahead of Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin.
Grand Prix Final Race
With just the NHK Trophy left, the final spots at the Grand Prix Final in Marseille, France are up for grabs.
Javier Fernandez, Patrick Chan and Shoma Uno are all guaranteed qualifiers. That leaves three places up for grabs in Sapporo. Jason Brown, Yuzuru Hanyu, Alexei Bychenko, Nathan Chen and Mikhail Kolyada all theoretically have a chance to make it.
Evgenia Medvedeva, Elena Radionova and Kaetlyn Osmond have already booked their spots in Marseille. Anna Pogorilaya, Maria Sotskova, Wakaba Higuchi and Satoko Miyahara look likely to be the skaters in with a chance for the last three slots available at NHK Trophy.
Half the field has also been decided in the pairs category. Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot, Xiaoyu Yu and Hao Zhang, and Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov are all certain qualifiers. Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford can finish as low as fourth at NHK Trophy and Cheng Peng and Yang Jin only need to medal to make it to the Grand Prix Final.
So long as they medal at NHK Trophy, both Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, and Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are sure to advance to the Grand Prix Final where they will join Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani, Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev, Madison Chock and Evan Bates, and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue as confirmed qualifiers for Marseille.