2019 Cup of China, the fourth event of the Series, will take place in the southwest city of Chongqing, Nov. 8-10. This will be the last chance for a number of competitors to book a trip to the Grand Prix Final, so we expect to see top-level performances at this event.
Who will win the men′s event is anyone′s guess. Out of the eight competitors in the field for whom this will be their second Grand Prix event, Japan′s Keiji Tanaka is the only one to have captured a medal thus far (bronze at Skate Canada). Other top contenders include Canada′s Keegan Messing missed the third step of the Skate America podium by 14 points, and Camden Pulkinen of the U.S., who was impressive in his senior debut at Skate Canada, finishing second in the short and fourth overall.
China′s Boyang Jin finished third at Shanghai Trophy, but failed to make the podium at Skate America, landing in sixth, almost 55 points out of first place. He will be looking for redemption on home soil. His teammate Han Yan is set to make his competitive comeback in Chongqing, and Canada′s Conrad Orzel will make his senior Grand Prix debut.
The ladies event will be a “not-to-be-missed” showdown. For the third time this season, Russia′s Anna Shcherbakova and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva will battle it out for top honors. Shcherbakova is two for two so far (Lombardia Trophy and Skate America). South Korea′s Young You received this second assignment following her third-place finish at Skate Canada. If she skates as well or better than she did in Kelowna she will be a definite podium threat at this competition.
Japan′s Satoko Miyahara will have to be at her best to finish top three in this field. Likewise, Sofia Samodurova, the reigning European champion, who won the Challenger Series event in Belarus, will need all the firepower she can muster to be competitive in Chongqing. Canada′s Gabrielle Daleman and Viveca Lindfors of Finland both withdrew from this competition on Oct. 30.
In pairs, China’′s Wenjing Sui and Cong Han are the top team in this field, but Peng Cheng and Yang Jin (winners at Skate America), will be hot on their heels. The North Korean team of Tae Ok Ryom and Ju Sik Kim withdrew from Internationaux de France without explanation. This will be their only Grand Prix this season. The up-and-coming young Russian teams have been very successful on the circuit so far this season, so watch for Alisa Efimova and Alexander Korovin to continue that trend.
Another battle will likely be waged in the ice dance discipline between Russia′s Victoria Sinitisina and Nikita Katsalapov and Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sørensen of Canada finished third at Skate America and are the favourites to capture bronze.
The ISU will live stream all competitions on its YouTube channel this season, starting with the Grand Prix Series. The CBC live stream schedule is below. NBC will air a recap of this competition on Sun., Nov. 10, from 12 – 1:30 p.m. EST.
2019 GRAND PRIX ASSIGNMENTS