Nagano / Japan

The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2015/2016 continues this week with NHK Trophy, the sixth and last event in Nagano (JPN), November 27 to 29. NHK Trophy provides the last opportunity for skaters to qualify for the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. Skaters also compete for a prize money of US $ 180,000 per individual event of the Grand Prix.

Overview over the top contenders

Reigning Olympic Champion Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) headlines the Men’s event. He comes with a silver medal from Skate Canada International to Nagano and wants to qualify for Barcelona.  Boyang Jin (CHN), who won silver at Audi Cup of China and Maxim Kovtun (RUS), who ranked second at Trophee Bompard (in the Short Program, but the Short Program result counts as final result as the Free Skating was cancelled in Bordeaux), are aiming at the podium and the Grand Prix Final as well. Other contenders include Takahito Mura (JPN), Michal Brezna (CZE), Elladj Balde (CAN) and Grand Hochstein (USA).

Three-time World Champion Mao Asada (JPN) leads the Ladies and wants to continue her successful comeback this season following her win in China. The competition should come from Ashley Wagner (USA), who won Skate Canada, 2015 World silver medalist Satoko Miyahara (JPN) and Anna Pogorilaya (RUS). Wagner and Miyahara have a good shot at booking a ticket to the Final as well. Other competitors include Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN), Zijun Li (CHN), Alena Leonova (RUS) and Mirai Nagasu (USA).

2015 World Champions Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN) continue their season in Nagano and are looking for another gold medal following their victory at their home event in Lethbridge. Competition for the podium and the last spots in the Grand Prix Final should be tough with Skate America silver medalists Alexa Scimeca/Chris Knierim (USA), Cup of China bronze medalists Xiaoyu Yu/Yang Jin (CHN) and Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres (FRA), who ranked second in the Short Program in Bordeaux.

The Ice Dance event should be an exciting competition with Skate Canada silver medalists Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA), Skate Canada bronze medalists Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev (RUS), Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA), who ranked first in the Short Dance in Bordeaux as well as Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS), who placed third in the Short Dance in France and Penny Coomes/Nicholas Buckland (GBR), fourth in Bordeaux. 

A total of 55 skaters/couples from 9 ISU members compete at NHK Trophy. For full entry lists and results of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2015/16 please refer to under Single& Pair Skating/Ice Dance then select Grand Prix.

The schedule of NHK Trophy is as follows:
Friday, November 27: Pairs, Men's and Ladies Short Program
Saturday, November 28: Short Dance, Pairs, Men’s and Ladies Free Skating
Sunday, November 29: Free Dance, Exhibition Gala