Pair Skating power houses China and “FSR” are poised to compete for the podium spots at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Stockholm (SWE). However, the deep field of 28 couples – a rarely seen high number - includes also strong teams from Canada, the USA and Europe.
Overview of the top contenders
Wenjing Sui and Cong Han (CHN) at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating (CHN) 2020©International Skating Union (ISU)
Two-time and reigning ISU World Figure Skating Champions Wenjing Sui/Cong Han (CHN) have not competed since winning gold at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2020, but they have experience with coming back strong after a long break and should never be counted out.
Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov (RUS) at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships 2020©International Skating Union (ISU)
The 2018 Olympic silver medalists have to expect stiff competition from two-time ISU World Figure Skating silver medalists Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (FSR) and reigning ISU European Figure Skating Champions Aleksandra Boikova/Dmitri Kozlovskii (FSR). Both teams have shown excellent performances during the season at the events in Russia. Tarasova/Morozov won the Russian Championships over their rivals while Boikova/Kozlovskii struck gold at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating - Rostelecom Cup.
Cheng Peng and Yang Jin (CHN) at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating (CHN) 2020©International Skating Union (ISU)
There are more strong couples that have their eyes set on a podium finish in Stockholm: Two-time ISU Four Continents Figure Skating medalists Cheng Peng/Yang Jin (CHN) won the gold medal at the Cup of China. 2020 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating bronze medalists Kirsten Moore-Towers/Michael Marinaro (CAN) only competed virtually as in Canada live events had been cancelled, but will make sure they are ready for the challenge in Stockholm. 2019 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final bronze medalists Anastasia Mishina/ Aleksandr Galliamov (FSR) will debut at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships but are a force to be reckoned with.
Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier (USA) at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating (USA) 2020©International Skating Union (ISU)
The new team of Alexa Knierim/Brandon Frazier (USA) turned heads with their victories at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating - Guaranteed Rate Skate America and the U.S. Championships. Other Pairs to watch include Nicole Della Monica/Matteo Guarise (ITA), Miriam Ziegler/Severin Kiefer (AUT) and Ashley Cain-Gribble/ Timothy LeDuc (USA).
The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2020 were cancelled because of the pandemic. Two of the 2019 ISU World medalists – Champions Sui/Han and silver medalists Tarasova/Morozov - are back on the ice this year. The 2019 World bronze medalists Natalia Zabiiako/Alexander Enbert (RUS) have retired from competitive skating.
A total of 25 Pairs representing 18 ISU Members have been entered for the event. Following a ruling of the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS), Russian athletes compete not under Russia (RUS), but under “FSR”.
Skaters/couples need to have obtained a minimum total technical score in Short Program and Free Skating in order to compete at the ISU World Championships. Due to the limited possibilities to compete during the ongoing pandemic, the ISU has adapted the rules for obtaining the minimum score. For more details, see ISU Communication 2370.
The ISU World Figure Skating Championships serve as well as the main Olympic qualifying event. A maximum of twenty-four spots (out of 30 in total) are on the line in the Ladies and Men’s Singles events, a maximum of 16 (out of 19) entries in the Pairs and a maximum of 19 (out of 23) entries will be determined in the Ice Dance event. See OWG2022 Qualification system.
The ISU awards a global prize money of US$ 886,000 at the ISU World Championships to skaters/couples placed 1st to 6th. The prize money is awarded to winners and placed skaters/couples as follows:
Men and Ladies Pairs and Dance (per couple)
1st place US$ 64,000 1st place US$ 90,000
2nd place US$ 47,000 2nd place US$ 65,500
3rd place US$ 33,000 3rd place US$ 45,000
4th place US$ 19,000 4th place US$ 26,000
5th place US$ 11,000 5th place US$ 16,000
6th place US$ 8,000 6th place US$ 10,000
The schedule of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2021 is as follows:
Wednesday, March 24: Ladies and Pairs Short Programs, Opening Ceremony
Thursday, March 25: Men’s Short Program, Pairs Free Skating
Friday, March 26: Rhythm Dance, Ladies Free Skating
Saturday, March 27: Men Free Skating, Free Dance
Sunday, March 28: Exhibition Gala
Where to watch and follow the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2021?
The ISU World Figure Skating Championships will be live streamed on the Skating ISU YouTube Channel. Geo-restrictions will apply in markets where TV rights are in place. You will find the full list in the Where to Watch news here.
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