The Final Countdown: Who Will Make It To Turin?

This weekend’s NHK Trophy in Sapporo, Japan is the last opportunity for skaters to book their places at the Grand Prix Final in Turin, Italy next month. Here are a few of the ways things could pan out.

Men

Current Top Six:

1. Nathan Chen (USA) – 30 points (Q)
2. Alexander Samarin (RUS) – 28 points (Q)
3. Dmitri Aliev (RUS) – 24 points (Likely Q)
4. Boyang Jin (CHN) – 20 points
5. Nam Nguyen (CAN) – 20 points
6. Keiji Tanaka (JPN) – 18 points

The contenders:

With Aliev almost certainly through with the guaranteed Chen and Samarin, there are just three places remaining on offer. Jin would need a massive upset in the results to advance.

Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) (15 points) could finish as low as fifth and still qualify. That is not going to happen. It will be a total shock if the two-time Olympic champion finishes anywhere other than first place.
Jason Brown (USA) (13 points) will want to finish on the podium, but even a fourth could have him making it depending on how others skate.
– The interesting battle will be between Kevin Aymoz (FRA) (11 points) and Makar Ignatov (RUS) (11 points). Whoever finishes higher AND medals will be in the Final.
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Ladies

Current Top Six:

1. Alexandra Trusova (RUS) – 30 points (Q)
2. Anna Shcherbakova (RUS) – 30 points (Q)
3. Bradie Tennell (USA) – 22 points (Likely Q)
4. Satoko Miyahara (JPN) – 22 points
5. Mariah Bell (USA) – 22 points
6. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) – 22 points

The contenders:

Tennell is poised to make the Grand Prix Final if results go as expected at NHK Trophy. Miyahara has the slimmest of chances if one of the favoured three totally implode.

Alena Kostornaia (RUS) (15 points) needs only to finish fifth or higher to book her place in Turin.
Rika Kihira (JPN) (13 points) and Alina Zagitova (RUS) (13 points) will make the Final whatever place they land on the podium.

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Pairs

Current Top Six:

1. Aleksandra Boikova/Dmitrii Kozslovkii (RUS) – 30 points (Q)
2. Cheng Peng/Yang Jin (CHN) – 28 points (Q)
3. Daria Pavliuchenko/Denis Khodykin (RUS) – 26 points (Q)
4. Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS) – 24 points
5. Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier (USA) – 22 points
6. Lubov Ilyushechkina/Charlie Bilodeau (CAN) – 18 points

The contenders:

Tarasova/Morozov will have to wait and see how results in Sapporo shake out.

Wenjing Sui/Cong Han (CHN) (15 points) and Anastasia Mishina/Aleksandr Galliamov (RUS) (15 points) only need to place fourth or higher to qualify for Turin.
– If Kirsten Moore-Towers/Michael Marinaro (CAN) (13 points) win at least silver, they are in. A bronze medal and they are into a tiebreaker situation with Tarasova/Morozov for the last spot.

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Ice Dance

Current Top Six:

1. Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov (RUS) – 30 points (Q)
2. Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN) – 28 points (Q)
3. Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) – 28 points (Q)
4. Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) – 26 points (Likely Q)
5. Laurence Fournier Beaudry/Nikolaj Sorensen (CAN) – 22 points
6. Sara Hurtado/Kirill Khaliavin (ESP) – 18 points

The contenders:

It would take an extraordinary set of events for Chock/Bates to miss out on the Final.

Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) (15 points) have never won NHK Trophy before. Expect that to change this weekend.
– A probable second place for Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS) (13 points) will also definitely see them through.
– There is still a mathematical possibility for either Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri (ITA) (11 points) or Lilah Fear/Lewis Gibson (GBR) (11 points) to qualify.

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