The final countdown is on to grab the remaining places at the Grand Prix Final next month as the Rostelecom Cup rolls into Sochi this weekend.
When is it on?
The competition begins Friday, 26 November with the rhythm dance and short programmes and concludes Saturday, 27 November with the free dance and free skating segments.
Who is skating?
There are two places left in the Grand Prix Final for the men competing at Rostelecom Cup. Mikhail Kolyada (RUS), who took silver at Gran Premio d’Italia, and Evgeni Semenenko (RUS), who won bronze at Skate Canada International, look best placed before the event starts. Matteo Rizzo (ITA), Morisi Kvitelashvili (GEO) and Kazuki Tomono (JPN) among others could play spoiler to those chances.
These are the four men guaranteed a place in Osaka as of right now:
Yuma Kagiyama (JPN), Shoma Uno (JPN), Vincent Zhou (USA), Nathan Chen (USA)
A possible four spots are still available for the women in Sochi and it is hard to see past the Russian skaters when it comes to this discipline. Kamila Valieva (RUS) already has one win under her belt in a very deep field at Skate Canada International. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) finished right behind Valieva in Vancouver, while Maiia Khromykh bagged a silver in Turin. The main challenger to Russian dominance is likely to be Loena Hendrickx who performed superbly at Gran Premio d’Italia to take bronze.
These are the two women guaranteed a place in Osaka as of right now:
Anna Shcherbakova (RUS), Kaori Sakamoto (JPN)
With three pairs already locked in for qualification to the Grand Prix Final, how things pan out in Sochi will determine the other half of the field. Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov (RUS) are runaway favourites to capture their first Rostelecom Cup title. Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin (RUS) are also in with an excellent shot of qualifying for what would be their third Grand Prix Final in a row after their silver medal at Skate Canada International. The odds are stacked against Nicole Della Monica and Matteo Guarise (ITA) as they would need victory in Sochi to clinch a ticket to Japan next month.
These are the three pairs guaranteed a place in Osaka as of right now:
Wenjing Sui/Cong Han (CHN), Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS), Aleksandra Boikova/Dmitrii Kozlovskii (RUS)
There are still three slots available at the Grand Prix Final in ice dance. Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov (RUS) should be shoe-ins to win their second Grand Prix title of the season. For Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri (ITA) a repeat of their silver medal finish at Skate Canada International would see them through to the Grand Prix Final. Although mathematically possible, the task will be tougher for Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sorensen (CAN) as they would need to win to advance any further.
These are the three ice dance teams guaranteed a place in Osaka as of right now:
Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA), Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA), Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN)
Everything you need to know (and some things you did not) about the skaters, the competition schedule and results can be viewed here.
When is the skating on?
A little bit late if you are in Asia, a little bit early in Europe and very late/early in North America. The times listed for Rostelecom Cup are local and if you want to know what the time difference is between where you are and Sochi then this link is your friend.
Where can I watch the pretty skaters?
The wonderful and very helpful people at the ISU have compiled a handy guide as to where you can view this season’s Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series in a whole host of countries and territories. For everyone else, there is the ISU Skating YouTube channel.
What are the hashtags?
#GPFigure #RostelecomCup #FigureSkating