The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series 2016/17 continues this week with Rostelecom Cup in Moscow (RUS) Nov. 4 to 6. Rostelecom Cup is the third of six events in the series. Skaters compete for points to qualify for the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final and a prize money of US $ 180,000 per individual event of the Grand Prix.
Overview of the Top Contenders
Two-time and reigning World Champion Javier Fernandez (ESP) headlines the Men’s event. The European Champion starts his season in Moscow. Competition should come from ISU Grand Prix Final bronze medalist Shoma Uno (JPN), who won Progressive Skate America two weeks ago, and aims to secure his spot in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Marseille (FRA) in December. Other contenders include Mikhail Kolyada (RUS), who had finished fourth at the 2016 World Championships as well as 2016 European silver medalist Alexei Bychenko (ISR), Max Aaron (USA), Deniss Vasiljevs (LAT) and Elladj Balde (CAN).
The Russian trio of 2016 World bronze medalist Anna Pogorilaya, 2016 European silver medalist Elena Radionova and 2014 European Champion Julia Lipnitskaya is aiming at repeating a Russian sweep. Challengers include Zijun Li (CHN), Courtney Hicks (USA) and Kanako Murakami (JPN).
In the Pairs event, World bronze medalists Aliona Savchenko/Bruno Massot (GER) enter their first Grand Prix as a team. Skate America Champions Julianne Seguin/Charlie Bilodeau (CAN) want to challenge for the top spot of the podium again and book their ticket to the Final. Several other contenders are hoping for a podium finish including Kristina Astakhova/Alexei Rogonov (RUS), Natalia Zabiiako/Alexander Enbert (RUS) and Valentina Marchei/Ondrej Hotarek (ITA).
Competition for the medals will be tough in the Ice Dance event with World bronze medalists Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA), 2015 World bronze medalists Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN) and 2016 European bronze medalists Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev (RUS) in the mix. The Americans come with a silver medal from Skate Canada International, the Russians have a bronze from Skate America while the Canadians enter their first Grand Prix event of the season. Other competitors include Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri (ITA), Tiffany Zahorski/Jonathan Guerreiro (RUS) and Laurence Fournier Beaudry/Nikolaj Sorensen (DEN).
A total of 60 skaters/couples from 19 ISU members compete at Rostelecom Cup.
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