The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series 2016/17 continues this week with the Trophée de France in Paris Nov. 11-13. The Trophée de France is the fourth 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 four-time European Champion comes with a gold medal from Rostelecom Cup last week to France and is aiming at qualifying for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. The challenge should come from Progressive Skate America bronze medalist Adam Rippon (USA), ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champion Nathan Chen (USA), who debuts on the senior circuit and 2015 World bronze medalist Denis Ten (KAZ), who had withdrawn from Progressive Skate America due to injury. Other contenders include Takahito Mura (JPN), Chafik Besseghier (FRA), Jorik Hendrickx (BEL) and Misha Ge (UZB).
Reigning World Champion Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS) leads the Ladies field. The European Champion won Skate Canada International two weeks ago and has her eyes set firmly on another gold medal. Three-time World Champion Mao Asada (JPN) and Gracie Gold (USA) want to challenge Medvedeva and are keen on improving on their results from Skate America, where they placed sixth and fourth respectively. World Junior silver medalist Maria Sotskova (RUS), who debuts on the senior Grand Prix series, and Gabrielle Daleman (CAN) are also in the mix.
In the Pairs event, World bronze medalists Aliona Savchenko/Bruno Massot (GER) are looking to follow up on their gold medal from Rostelecom Cup last week and to qualify for the Final in their first year on the circuit as a team. The European silver medalists have to watch out for European bronze medalists Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS), Natalia Zabiiako/Alexander Enbert (RUS) and Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres (FRA). Tarasova/Morozov took a bronze at Progressive Skate America while Zabiiako/Enbert had finished second to Savchenko/Massot last week in Moscow and both teams are still hoping to earn a spot for the Final.
Reigning World Champions Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) compete in their first Grand Prix event this season. Competition should come from Skate Canada bronze medalists Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN) and Skate America silver medalists Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA), who both have a shot on qualifying for the Final. Other contenders include Elena Ilinykh/ Ruslan Zhiganshin (RUS), Isabella Tobias/Ilia Tkachenko (ISR) and Alexandra Nazarova/Maxim Nikitin (UKR).
A total of 55 skaters/couples from 19 ISU members compete at Trophee de France.
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