The 2021 Grand Prix Final and Junior Grand Prix Final scheduled to take place in Osaka, Japan, Dec. 9-12, has been CANCELLED.
The Japanese government closed its international border on Nov. 30 to curb the threat of the Omicron variant. On Dec. 2, the Japanese Skating Federation confirmed to the ISU that it will not be possible to host the Final due to the current global health situation. On Dec. 17, the ISU stated in a press release that it was not possible to find a solution to host the competitions at the end of the season.
The rosters were set following Rostelecom Cup, the final competition of the 2021 Grand Prix Series. Though Russian skaters dominated the women′s discipline, the men′s, pairs and ice dance fields have a more international flavor. Russia earned a total of 11 places across the four disciplines; the U.S. scored five in two disciplines; Japan captured four in three disciplines, China has one and Canada, France and Italy have one entry each in ice dance.
Four of the five Russian women that qualified are trained by Eteri Tutberidze and her team. The fifth, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, is coached by Alexei Mishin and Tatiana Prokofieva. Kaori Sakamoto of Japan was the only non-Russian to qualify.
Two Japanese skaters claimed the top spots in the men’s discipline, followed by three from the U.S. Mikhail Kolyada was the only Russian man to qualify.
Russian pairs teams claimed four of the six places available, with Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China and Japan’s Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara rounding out the group.
In ice dance, the U.S. captured two spots, with Canada, France, Italy and Russia each earning one.
The Russian juniors were once again dominant on the Grand Prix circuit, capturing eight of the 12 places available in singles and seven in the pairs and ice dance events.* The United States will field one man, one women and two ice dance teams, while Canada has one entry in men and one in ice dance. Only four pairs teams qualified this year and it will be an all-Russian showdown in that discipline. Ted Barton will be the commentator for the junior events at the Final.
*Isabeau Levito of the U.S. withdrew on November 30 and was replaced by the first alternate Anastasia Zinina of Russia.