The World Championships return to Saitama, Japan for the third time. All of last year’s champions in singles and pairs are back to defend their titles while new champions in ice dance will be crowned.
When is it on?
The World Championships begin Wednesday, 22 March with the pairs short programme and concludes Sunday, 26 March with the exhibition gala.
Who is skating?
Defending champion Shoma Uno (JPN) leads a three-strong team of men for the home nation. The two-time Olympic medallist is also the only man this season to have broken the 300 point barrier. His main challenge appears to be from the up and coming Ilia Malinin (USA) who will aim to become the first skater to land a quadruple Axel at a World Championships. European champion Adam Siao Him Fa (FRA) will be looking to make the World podium, while Jason Brown (USA) makes a comeback to international competition after sitting out since the Beijing Olympics.
Japan also has strong chances in the women’s event. Reigning world champion Kaori Sakamoto (JPN) shockingly failed to finish amongst the medals at the Grand Prix Final in December, but still hold the highest season best score of the participants in Saitama. Training partner Mai Mihara (JPN) captured the Grand Prix Final title in Turin and is back at the World Championships for the first time since 2017. Loena Hendrickx (BEL) disappointed at the European Championships where she was heavily favoured to win and will take the opportunity for some redemption in Japan.
There might be an unprecedented chance for Japan to win three World titles in the same championships if Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara (JPN) can continue their unbeaten run this season. 2022 World champions Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier (USA) were runners-up to the Japanese at the Grand Prix Final and will try to cut that winning streak short. European champions Sara Conti and Niccolo Macii (ITA) are targeting a first ever pairs medal for Italy at a World Championships.
Ice dance is shaping to be a battle between America and Canada. Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier (CAN) got the best of Madison Chock and Evan Bates (USA) at the Grand Prix Final, but the Canadians missed last month’s Four Continent due to the ongoing recovery of Gilles from an appendectomy where the Americans posted the highest season best score. In their eleventh World appearance Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri (ITA) hope to secure a first World medal to add to their European title 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?
Evening to morning in North America, early morning till midday in Europe and morning till evening in Asia. The times listed for Worlds are local and if you want to know what the time difference is between where you are and Saitama then this link is your friend.
Where can I watch the pretty skaters?
This season’s Worlds can be viewed on the Skating ISU YouTube channel. Geographic restrictions apply.
What are the hashtags?