The ISU World Figure Skating Championships are the most prestigious event in the ISU calendar each season and they are full of highlights. That does not come as a surprise as the Skaters are aiming to be at the peak of their form at the pinnacle of the season. Let’s have a look back at the wonderful ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Shanghai (CHN) in 2015, in Boston (USA) in 2016, in Helsinki (FIN) in 2017, in Milan (ITA) in 2018 and in Saitama (JPN) in 2019.
In 2015, China hosted the ISU World Figure Skating Championships for the first time in history. There was also significant historic moment when Javier Fernandez claimed the first World title for Spain in any Figure Skating discipline. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) put out stunning performances that featured her trademark triple Axel in the Short Program to earn the first ISU World title for a Russian Lady in ten years.
Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (CAN) at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2015©International Skating Union (ISU)
Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford became the first Canadian Pair Skaters to take the World crown in 14 years. They were joined by China’s Wenjing Sui/Cong Han and Qing Pang/Jian Tong on the podium. Sui/Han were on the World podium for the first time while Pang/Tong capped off an amazing career with their sixth World medal in what was their 16th appearance at an ISU World Figure Skating Championship.
In the Ice Dance, Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) started their ascent with a huge leap from 13th place at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2014 to become World Champions in Shanghai.
The late Denis Ten (KAZ) returned on to the podium after missing the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in 2014. Misha Ge (UZB) achieved not only his best result at an ISU World Figure Skating Championship but also the best for his country.
Boston welcomed the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in 2016 for the first time. In the Ladies, Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS) struck gold in her debut as the first Single Skater to win the World title at the senior level the year after winning the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships. Ashley Wagner (USA) made the host country proud by becoming the first U.S. Lady on the World podium in ten years.
Fernandez defended his World title and Boyang Jin took the bronze medal, becoming the first Chinese World medalist in Men’s singles and landing his famous quad Lutz. Malaysia was represented for the first time at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships with Julian Zhi Jie Yee.
Following a rather rough season, Duhamel/Radford skated off with the gold medal in Boston with a spectacular performance. Five-time World Champion Aljona Savchenko (GER) returned with her new partner Bruno Massot on to the World stage and collected the bronze medal. Their huge triple twist became their trademark. Papadakis/Cizeron shone again in the Ice Dance event, picking up their second title.
The pre-Olympic ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017 in Helsinki were highlighted by surprises. Medvedeva claimed back-to-back World titles as the first woman to do so since Michelle Kwan (USA) in 2000 and 2001. Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond and Gabrielle Daleman achieved an unprecedented success with the first ever double podium for their country in the Ladies’ event. Mai Mihara (JPN) rebounded from a subpar Short Program to climb from 15th to 5th place while Carolina Kostner (ITA) came back after two years to finish 6th.
Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) recaptured the World title that he had lost the two years before and led the first All-Asian Men’s podium at an ISU World Figure Skating Championship. He was joined by teammate Shoma Uno and by Jin, who repeated as bronze medalist.
Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov (RUS) at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017©International Skating Union (ISU)
Pair Skaters Sui/Han earned their first World title and Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS) claimed their first World medal, the bronze, after rebounding from a practice accident when Tarasova cut her leg. 2010 Olympic Ice Dance Champions and 2014 Olympic silver medalists Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN) returned to the ISU World Figure Skating Championships after four years and captured their third World title.
A post-Olympic ISU World Figure Skating Championship is special as well. For some Skaters it marks the final competition of their career while others seek redemption after not achieving their goals at the Olympic Games. This is what Nathan Chen (USA) did at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2018 in Milan. The American captured his first World title and it was a runaway victory. Mikhail Kolyada (RUS) secured the bronze, which was the first ISU World medal for a Russian Man in seven years. Alexei Bychenko (ISR) came fourth, his best finish so far and was inclined to retire (but later decided to continue competing).
Kaetlyn Osmond grabbed gold and the first World title for a Canadian Lady since 1973. Wakaba Higuchi (JPN) pulled up from 8th after the Short Program to take silver.
Another highlight was Carolina Kostner’s spectacular Short Program that featured an exquisite step sequence.
Olympic Champions Aljona Savchenko/Bruno Massot gave two magical performances to skate off with the title while Vanessa James/Morgan Ciprès (FRA) took bronze and were the first French Pairs World medalists in 18 years. In the Ice Dance, Papadakis/Cizeron were back on top of the podium. Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) who had dropped to ninth after a fall in Helsinki rebounded to earn their first World medal, the silver. Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN) returned on to the World podium after three years. Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte (ITA) ended their distinguished career with emotional performances in fourth place – less than half a point away from the podium.
The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2019 in Saitama were once again full of impressive performances. Olympic Champion Alina Zagitova (RUS) reigned supreme and made up for her disappointment in Milan a year ago by claiming the last title she was missing in her collection. Elizabet Tursynbaeva not only earned the first ISU World medal for a Kazakh Lady but also became the first woman to land a quadruple jump, the Salchow, at an ISU senior-level Championship. Two-time World Champion Evgenia Medvedeva came back from injuries and captured the bronze, edging rising star Rika Kihira (JPN), who landed a triple Axel-triple toeloop combination in the Free Skating. Nathan Chen and Yuzuru Hanyu battled it out for gold and silver. Chen landed four quads in the Free Skating while Hanyu nailed a rare quad loop and quad toe-triple Axel sequence in the Free. Sui/Han defended their World title with excellent performances that included their magnificent throw jumps. Ice Dancers Papadakis/Cizeron kept pushing the scores on the way to their fourth World title while Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov gave Russian Ice Dance its first World medal since 2013.