The 2020 All Japan Championships will take place in Nagano, Dec. 25-27, with a limited number of spectators in attendance. The Japanese Skating Federation announced on Dec. 22 that it has opened its own YouTube channel, but this competition is not being live streamed. Videos might be posted at a later date. Options to watch the competition live are listed below. The competition will air on Fuji TV in Japan.
This competition takes place at the same time as the 2021 Russian Championships.
No pairs competition will take place. Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara, who train with Bruno Marcotte in Ontario, Canada, would not be permitted to return under the current border restrictions in place. The duo is now focusing on preparing for the 2021 World Championships which are scheduled to take place in Stockholm, Sweden in late March.
This will be the first meeting of the season for many of the top Japanese skaters, given that some who train in other countries opted not to return to Japan when the COVID-19 crisis began, or left Japan and returned to their training bases during the off-season — Satoko Miyahara, who is based in Canada, and Shoma Uno, Rika Kihira and Koshiro Shimada who all train in Switzerland. This will be the first competition of the season for all four.
Yuzuru Hanyu remained in Japan throughout the pandemic. He opted not to participate in NHK Trophy, but will compete at nationals this week. In pre-competition interviews on Dec. 24, he said he has been practising without a coach for a long time. His short program this season is ″Let Me Entertain You″ by Robbie Williams, which was choreographed by Jeffrey Buttle. He turned once again to Shae-Lynn Bourne for his free, ″Heaven and Earth″ by Isao Tomita. Hanyu said his new long program has a Japanese flavor and described it as a ″program that blends Japanese tastes, incorporating tones such as shamisen and koto.″
It should be an exciting showdown between Hanyu and Uno (who has kept last season′s programs). Hanyu has not competed since Four Continents in February and for Uno, this will be his first competition since winning the national title over Hanyu in December 2019. Yuma Kagiyama has the potential to be the spoiler. Certainly an event not to be missed. Hanyu drew 26, Uno 28 and Kagiyama 24 for the short program.
Likewise with the ladies — this will be Kihira′s first competition since her victory at 2020 Four Continents and, given Kaori Sakamoto′s readjusted mindset and fiery performances at both her sectional competitions and at NHK Trophy, these two could be locked in a solid battle for top honors. Kihira drew 23, Sakamoto 27, Mai Mihara 28, and Satoko Miyahara 29 for the short program.
Ice dancers, Kana Muramoto and Daisuke Takahashi, who have been training in Florida since January 2020, returned to Japan in early November for NHK Trophy and remained to prepare for nationals. The dynamic duo said they are determined to improve on their third-place finish at the Grand Prix and are aiming to earn the lone berth at the 2021 World Championships. They will find tough competition in Misato Komatsubara and Tim Koleto who ran away with the NHK Trophy title.
The skaters who train abroad were all given byes to nationals. The remainder of the line-ups for the three disciplines were determined at the conclusion of the sectional competitions. The top six age-eligible men and top two age-eligible ladies at the junior national championships also received invitations to compete at senior nationals. A total of 65 skaters/teams are scheduled to compete: 30 in each of the men′s and ladies disciplines and five ice dance teams.
The World team was announced on Dec. 27:
Men: Yuzuru Hanyu, Shoma Uno, Yuma Kagiyama
R: Keiji Tanaka, Kazuki Tomono, Shun Sato
Ladies: Rika Kihira, Kaori Sakamoto, Satoko Miyahara
R: Rino Matsuike,* Wakaba Higuchi, Mai Mihara
Ice Dance: Misato Komatsubara/Tim Koleto
R: Kana Muramoto/Daisuke Takahashi*
Pairs: Riku Miura/Ryuichi Kihara
* Need minimum technical score
The All Japan Medalists on Ice show will take place on Dec. 28.
JAPAN FEDERATION YOUTUBE CHANNEL
(No live stream)
FUJI TV YOUTUBE CHANNEL
2021 RUSSIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS