The third event of the 2021 Grand Prix Series was originally scheduled to be held in Chongqing, China, but on Aug. 16 the ISU announced the event had been cancelled. Italy subsequently stepped up to host the competition. The Gran Premio D’Italia will take place at the Palavela in Torino, Nov. 5-7.
Yuma Kagiyama opened his season with a win at the Asian Open Figure Skating Trophy in October and seems to be continuing the upward trajectory he was on last season. He will prove a tough challenge for the other men in the field if he skates up to par. Russia′s Mikhail Kolyada is probably the only man who will present a serious challenge for gold. Petr Gumennik and Dmitri Aliev could also be in the running for a podium finish in this field.
In the women′s competition we will see a rematch of the 2021 Budapest Trophy between the two talented Russians — Maiia Khromykh and Anna Shcherbakova. Khromykh won the competition in Hungary but will she repeat that feat in Torino? Japan′s Mai Mihara won the 2021 Asian Open Open Figure Skating Trophy and finished fourth at Skate Canada International, so she has to be considered among the contenders for a podium finish. Bradie Tennell withdrew from this competition citing injury. Nicole Schott of Germany was named to the line up in her place.
China′s Wenjing Sui and Cong Han won the Asian Open Figure Skating Trophy over teammates Cheng Peng and Yang Jin and followed that up with a decisive victory at Skate Canada. Both teams will be gunning for the top two steps of the podium in Torino, but don′t count out Italy′s Nicole Della Monica and Matteo Guarise.
The ice dance competition will be a battle between the French team of Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron and their training mates Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the U.S. Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin of Russia could pose a threat but we have yet to see them in competition, so it is not possible to assess what level they are at.
No Challenger Series event is scheduled for this week. The fourth stage of the Cup of Russia series begins Nov. 8.