ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2014 Preview

- Taipei, Chinese Taipei

The ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2014 will open in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei, on January 22. The ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships will be held in Taipei City for the second time since 2011. 96 skaters from 15 ISU members have been entered for the Championships. Skaters/couples need to have obtained a minimum total technical score in Short Program and Free Skating in order to compete at the ISU Four Continents Championships.

Overview of the top contenders

World silver medalist Denis Ten (KAZ) headlines the Men’s event. Ten has achieved a seasons best of 224.80 points at the Grand Prix. Competition should come from 2011 World silver medalist Takahiko Kozuka (JPN/seasons best 230.95 points), 2010 Four Continents Champion Adam Rippon (USA/seasons best 241.24 points) and Richard Dornbush (USA/seasons best 218.57 points). Other medal contenders include Takahito Mura (JPN), Elladj Balde (CAN), Nam Nguyen (CAN), Nan Song (CHN) and World Junior Champion Joshua Farris (USA).

In the Ladies competition, reigning Four Continents bronze medalist Kanako Murakami (JPN) travels with as seasons best of 165.95 points to Taipei. She will have to deal with teammates Satoko Miyahara (seasons best 170.21 points), Mirai Nagasu (USA/seasons best 175.37 points) and Samantha Cesario (USA/seasons best 172.70 points). The Japanese Ladies swept the podium last year in Osaka at the ISU Four Continents Championships. Other to watch include Haruka Imai (JPN), Courtney Hicks (USA), Zijun Li (CHN), Kexin Zhang (CHN) and Amelie Lacoste (CAN).

2011 Four Continents Champions Wenjing Sui/Cong Han (CHN/seasons best 193.77 points) lead the Pairs and have to expect competition from Alexa Scimeca/Chris Knierim (USA/seasons best 173.70 points) and 2013 World Junior Champions Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier (USA/seasons best 167.85 points). Other contenders are Natasha Purich/Mervin Tran (CAN) and 2013 World Junior silver medalists Margaret Purdy/ Michael Marinaro (CAN). 

The Ice Dance competition focuses on the North American Ice Dance teams and looks wide open. Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN/seasons best 144.07 points), Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA/seasons best 153.20) and 2013 World Junior bronze medalists Alexandra Aldridge/Daniel Eaton (USA/seasons best 132.06 points) have the highest seasons best scores of the competing teams. Other couples such as Lynn Kriengkrairut/ Logan Giuletti-Schmitt (USA), Nicole Orford/Thomas Williams (CAN), Kharis Ralph/Asher Hill (CAN) and Danielle Obrien/Gregory Merriman (AUS) are eying the podium as well or try to come as close as possible.

 Please note that for the seasonal best total scores only the ISU Grand Prix competitions (senior and junior) have been taken into consideration, not other international competitions or National Championships.

 Prize money

The ISU awards a global prize money of US$ 250,000 at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships to skaters/couples placed 1st to 12th. The prize money is awarded as follows:

Men and Ladies                                                                     Pairs and Dance (per couple)

1st place US$ 15,000                                                             1st place US$ 22,500
2nd place US$ 9,000                                                              2nd place US$ 13,500
3rd place US$ 6,000                                                               3rd place US$ 9,000  
4th place US$ 4,500                                                               4th place US$ 6,750
5th place US$ 3,250                                                               5th place US$ 5,000
6th place US$ 2,500                                                               6th place US$ 3,750
7th place US$ 2,250                                                               7th place US$ 3,500
8th place US$ 2,000                                                               8th place US$ 3,000
9th place US$ 1,750                                                               9th place US$ 2,500
10th place US$ 1,500                                                             10th place US$ 2,250
11th place US$ 1,250                                                             11th place US$ 1,750
12th place US$ 1,000                                                             12th place US$ 1,500

The schedule of the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2014 is as follows:

Wednesday, January 22: Short Dance, Pairs Short Program, Men Short Program 
Thursday, January 23: Free Dance, Ladies Short Program
Friday, January 24: Pairs Free Skating, Men Free Skating
Saturday, January 25: Ladies Free Skating, Exhibition Gala

For more information, full entry lists and results please see: www.isu.org and http://www.fc2014.com.

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