A week after Tallinn hosted the European Championships, the Estonian capital makes history as the Four Continents Championships takes place in Europe for the first time.
When is it on?
Four Continents begins Thursday, 20 January with the rhythm dance and concludes Sunday, 27 January with the exhibition gala.
Who is skating?
With the Beijing Olympics weeks away and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic proving to still present challenges, a somewhat depleted field assembles in Tallinn to contest the medals.
Kazuki Tomono (JPN) has the highest total score this season of the skaters competing in the men’s event in Tallinnn which he achieved on his way to the bronze medal at Rostelecom Cup. Junhwan Chan (KOR) is one of the few Beijing bound skaters who will be competing at Four Continents this season and also has a Grand Prix medal from this past November’s NHK Trophy. Jimmy Ma (USA) was sixth at this month’s U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Nashville, Tennessee and was also the bronze medallist at Golden Spin in December. Camden Pulkinen (USA) actually finished ahead of Ma at the U.S. Championships in fifth place and will also be aiming for the podium. Kao Miura (JPN) was fourth at Japanese Nationals last month and is the reigning Japanese Junior Nationals champion.
Young You (KOR) has had a good season so far with two Grand Prix bronze medals at Skate America and NHK Trophy and was recently crowned Korean national champion. Her main rival for the title in the women’s event looks set to be Mai Mihara (JPN) who narrowly missed out on the medals on three separate occasions this season with fourth places at both her Grand Prix assignments and Japanese Nationals. Yelim Kim (KOR) placed second at Korean Nationals and is the only other skater with a Top 30 total score this season in this category. Haein Lee (KOR) is the third member of a strong Korean contingent in Tallinn.
Only six entries from two countries will compete in this year’s Four Continents pairs event. Audrey Lu and Misha Mitrofanov (USA) won Golden Spin last month and are the 2022 U.S. Nationals bronze medallists. The Americans have a season’s best total score over 20 points better than the rest of the field in Tallinn. Evelyn Walsh and Trennt Michaud (CAN) missed out on being named to the Canadian team for Beijing and will be seeking to collect some hardware in Tallinn. Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps (CAN), Lori-Ann Matte and Thierry Ferland (CAN) and Katie McBeath and Nathan Bartholomay (USA) all have season’s bests within a few points of each other which should make for an exciting competition.
Perhaps the main focus of media attention at this Four Continents will be on the ice dance event where Kana Muramoto and Daisuke Takahashi (JPN) will make their ISU Championship debut as a team. The Japanese Nationals silver medallists have the highest season best out of all the entries in Tallinn which they received at the Warsaw Cup in November 2021. Caroline Green and Michael Parsons (USA) finished just behind the Japanese in Poland and placed fourth at U.S. Nationals this month. Two-time World Junior medallists Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko (USA) could only manage a seventh place finish in Nashville and will be seeking their first senior ISU Championship medal. Emily Bratti and Ian Somerville (USA) impressed with a fifth place at their debut U.S. Nationals as a team this season
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?
The evening/middle of the night if you are in Asia, at a suitable hour in Europe and very early in North America. The times listed for the Four Continents Championships are local and if you want to know what the time difference is between where you are and Tallinn 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 European Championships in a whole host of countries and territories. For everyone else, there is the ISU Skating YouTube channel.
What are the hashtags?
#4ContsFigure #UpAgain #FigureSkating