The 88th All Japan Figure Skating Championships take place in Tokyo, Dec. 19-22, at Yoyogi National Stadium. This competition will serve as the selection process for the 2020 World Championships, World Junior Championships and Four Continents Championships.
Japan will field a team to Four Continents in February and three skaters in each of the men’s and ladies disciplines at the World Championships. Two ladies and two men will be vying for spots at the 202o World Junior Championships next March.
Yuzuru Hanyu will compete at the All Japan Championships for the first time since 2016. He will be unchallenged and will easily claim his fifth senior title. Silver and bronze are up for grabs with Shoma Uno, Keiji Tanaka, Kazuki Tomono and Koshiro Shimada at the top of the list.
Akiko Tamura is in Tokyo and will be covering the Championships for IFS. She reports that in a scrum with Japanese media in the mixed zone after a practice session Wednesday, Uno said: “I’m not sure if there’ll be the official announcement yet, but I think I will join Stéphane (Lambiel). The training environment is warm and friendly. having Koshiro and Denis is great. They are both serious about skating and train hard, which is a good influence. They do what they need to do but still the whole atmosphere is warm and that’s exactly what I was looking for.”
Daisuke Takahashi achieved his goal of qualifying for these championships, which will be his last as a singles skater. He is turning to ice dance and will begin training with his new partner,Kana Muramoto, in January. The duo will relocate to Florida to work with Marina Zoueva.
In the ladies field, there are five possible contenders for the three spots at Worlds in Montreal: Rika Kihira, Satoko Miyahara, Wakaba Higuchi, Kaori Sakamoto and Marin Honda. Yuna Shiraiwa withdrew after breaking her tibia in a training accident.
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