The 2019 Grand Prix Series opens with Skate America in Las Vegas, Nevada, Oct. 18-20.
Reigning World silver medalist Elizabet Tursynbaeva of Kazakhstan was slated to open her season at this competition. However, a recurring injury she has been dealing with for months forced her to withdraw from her first Challenger Series event. Though she skated into second at the Shanghai Trophy in early October, she subsequently withdrew from Skate America.
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, 22, who will come armed with two triple Axels, leads a Russian contingent that includes Anna Shcherbakova, 15, the reigning Russian senior champion and 2019 World junior silver medalist. Shcherbakova, who has a quad Lutz in her arsenal, defeated Tuktamysheva in her senior debut at Lombardia Trophy in mid-September. It will be a battle for the top step of the podium. Also in the medal mix is 19-year-old Kaori Sakamoto of Japan.
Nathan Chen, 20, the 2019 World champion, headlines the men′s event and will no doubt claim his third consecutive Skate America crown. His training mate, Czech star Michal Březina, 29, has signed on for another season and will face off against China’s Boyang Jin and Jun-Hwan Cha of South Korea for a place on the podium. Jason Brown of the U.S. has been out of action since August, recovering from a concussion he suffered in a car accident on his way to Champs Camp, but has been training and is ready to compete.
Russia′s Roman Savosin, 19, the 2019 World junior silver medalist, and 18-year-old Koshiro Shimada of Japan, the 2019 Junior Grand Prix bronze medalist who is coached by Stéphane Lambiel, will make their senior Grand Prix debuts in Las Vegas.
In pairs, China′s Cheng Peng and Yang Jin, are the top-ranked team in this field. The American team of Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc claimed the 2019 U.S. Figure Skating Classic title over the Chinese team, but will they be able to repeat that feat? Also in the hunt for a top-three finish will be their teammates Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier.
Reigning World bronze medalists Natalia Zabiiako and Alexander Enbert of Russia were scheduled to open their season in Las Vegas, but have now withdrawn from both Grand Prix events. Enbert is suffering from a heart condition that requires medical treatment and rest.
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, the 2019 World bronze medalists, are the headliners in the ice dance discipline. But Russia′s Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin, who were narrowly edged for a podium spot by the American team at Worlds in Saitama, could be spoilers at this event. Canada’s Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sørensen have a good shot at claiming the bronze. Reigning World junior ice dance bronze medalists Sofia Shevchenko aThe ISor Eremenko of Russia will make their senior Grand Prix debut in Las Vegas.
The ISU will live stream all competitions on its YouTube channel this season, starting with the Grand Prix Series. CBC will live stream all the Grand Prix competitions other than Skate Canada.
ISU YOUTUBE CHANNEL
Available in countries with no TV rights holder
2019 GRAND PRIX ASSIGNMENTS