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Skate Today

PREVIEW: GRAND PRIX FINAL IN FUKUOKA, JAPAN

The ISU Grand Prix Final (GPF) of Figure Skating will be held in Fukuoka, Japan December 5-8, 2013. The event closes the fall Grand Prix (GP) circuit: Skate America (USA), Skate Canada International (CAN), Cup of China (CHN), NHK Trophy (JPN), Trophee Eric Bombard (FRA) and the Rostelecom Cup (RUS).

The 2013 GPF of Figure Skating is the first and only event where most of the World’s current top skaters will meet before the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi (RUS).

The event features reigning World Champions Patrick Chan (CAN), Tatiana Volosozhan/Maxim Trankov (RUS) and Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA). Also competing are five reigning World medalitst.

Patrick Chan (CAN) and Tatsuki Machida (JPN) won both their events and lead the Men’s GP standings. The 2012 World bronze medalist, Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN), and 2012 GPF Junior Champion, Maxim Kovtun (RUS), advance to the Final after winning two silver medals at their events. The 2012 World Junior Champion, Han Yan (CHN), qualified with a gold and fourth place finish. Defending GPF Champion, Daisuke Takahashi (JPN) withdrew and was replaced by Nobunari Oda (JPN). Kovtun and Han compete at the Final in their debut on the senior GP circuit.

World silver medalist and defending GPF Champion, Mao Asada (JPN) and 2012 World Junior Champion, Julia Lipnitskaia (RUS) lead the Ladies. Both struck gold in their two events. Reigning GPF silver medalist, Ashley Wagner (USA) returns to the event after earning silver in Detroit and Paris. Anna Pogorilaya (RUS), Adelina Sotnikova (RUS) and Elena Radionova (RUS) round out the Ladies’ list. The four Russian teenagers will compete in their first GPF.

The reigning GPF and World Champions, Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov (RUS) and World silver medalists, Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy (GER) won gold at both their events. The remaining pair teams include: Qing Pang/Jian Tong (CHN), Kirsten Moore-Towers/Dylan Moscovitch (CAN), Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN), and Cheng Peng/Hao Zhang (CHN). Peng/Zhang are the only first timers, but Zhang competed several times with his previous partner.

World Champions, Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA) and World silver medalists, Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN) qualified by winning gold at both their events. The remaining ice dancers are: Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev (RUS), Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat (FRA), Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN), and Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte (ITA). All these dancers are strong favorites for the Olympic podium.

The Junior GPF and Senior GPF will be held at the same venue on the same dates.

Results and competitors information: www.isu.org / www.gpf2013japan.jp/eng/

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