Following the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series and the Challenger Series, the focus shifts at the end of the year towards the National Championships. Most ISU Members decide their teams for the ISU Championships and the Olympic Winter Games based on the results from the National Championships and also international events such as the ISU Grand Prix and Challenger Series. While in some countries the candidates for the Olympic team have been announced already or are obvious, in others Nationals are decisive of who is going to represent their country on the Olympic stage at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games in February. However, several countries will make their selection only following the ISU European Figure Skating Championships.
Alexia Paganini (SUI) competes at the Nebelhorn Trophy 2021 © International Skating Union (ISU)
In Switzerland, Alexia Paganini skated to her fourth National title in Luzern end of November while Lukas Britschgi was the clear winner in the Men’s event. Both have been selected for the ISU European Championships (alongside the Pairs and Ice Dance Champions) and are the candidates for the Olympic team. Switzerland has one quota place for the Women and Men each in Beijing. Ice Dancers Jasmine Tessari/Stephane Walker became champions in their first season as a team and Jessica Pfund/Joshua Santillan, who formerly competed for the USA, were the only competitors in the Pairs event. Full results Swiss Nationals.
Lilah Fear/Lewis Gibson GBR compete at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating NHK Trophy (JPN) 2021 © International Skating Union (ISU)
In Great Britain Ice Dancers Lilah Fear/Lewis Gibson did not have much competition at the National Championships in Sheffield the last weekend of November. Natasha McKay took home her fifth title and she and Fear/Gibson should get the two available spots on Olympic team according to their selection criteria. Great Britain announced their team for the ISU European Championships that includes also Men’s Champion Graham Newberry, Ice Dance silver medalists Sasha Fear/George Waddell and Zoe Jones/Christopher Boyadji, although they lost to Anastasia Vaipan-Law/ Luke Digby in the Pairs event. Full results British Nationals.
Daniel Grassl ITA competes at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating (ITA) 2021 © International Skating Union (ISU)
The favorites prevailed at the Italian Championship in Turin at the Olympic Palavela ice rink with Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri dancing off with their fourth National title. Daniel Grassl won with ten points to spare over Matteo Rizzo. In what was their last National Championship, Pair Skaters Nicole Della Monica/Matteo Guarise collected their seventh national title. Lara Naki Gutman is the Women’s Champion. Italy already had announced their candidates for the Olympic team before: Guignard/Fabbri, Grassl, Rizzo and Della Monica/Guarise. Currently Italy does not have a spot in the Women’s event, but can send a woman for the Olympic Team Event should they participate. Full results Italian Championship.
Eva-Lotta Kiibus EST competes at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Rostelecom Cup (RUS) 2021 © International Skating Union (ISU)
Niina Petrokina continued her rise this season and secured her first title over Eva-Lotta Kiibus at the Estonian Championship in Tallinn. Alexander Selevko earned his third consecutive title and Solene Mazingue/Marko Jevgeni Gaidajenko are the new Ice Dance champions. Kiibus and Selevko should be selected for the Olympic team according to the national selection criteria of Estonia. Full results Estonian Nationals.
Alexandra Nazarova/Maxim Nikitin UKR compete at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating NHK Trophy (JPN) 2021 © International Skating Union (ISU)
In Ukraine, the top favorites secured the titles and Olympic spots. Ice Dancers Alexandra Nazarova/Maxim Nikitin celebrated a clear victory as did Ivan Shmuratko in the Men’s. Anastasiia Shabotova claimed her third National crown. Sofia Holichenko/Artem Darenskiy were the only competitors in the Pairs event. Ukraine named their teams for the European Championships and the Olympic Winter Games and will send their National Champions in Singles and Ice Dance to Beijing. Ukraine currently does not have a spot for Pairs for Beijing 2022, but could send the Pair to the Team event in case they participate. Full results Ukrainian Nationals.
Miriam Ziegler/Severin Kiefer AUT compete at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Rostelecom Cup (RUS) 2021 © International Skating Union (ISU)
Pair Skaters Miriam Ziegler/Severin Kiefer claimed their seventh national title in Graz at the Austrian Championships. Stefanie Pesendorfer beat Olga Mikutina for the title while Luc Maierhofer snatched the title from Maurizio Zandron. Ziegler/Kiefer and Mikutina already had been selected for Austria’s two Olympic quota places achieved at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships. Full results Austrian Championships.
Nicole Schott GER competes at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Torino (ITA) 2021 © International Skating Union (ISU)
In Germany, Nicole Schott collected her sixth title in Neuss, while Paul Fentz skated to his fourth and Pair Skaters Minerva Fabienne Hase/Nolan Seegert took their third. There was a surprise in the Ice Dance event when Jennifer Janse van Rensburg/Benjamin Steffan upset defending champions Katharina Mueller/Tim Dieck to capture their first title. Thanks to better results in their Challenger Series events, Mueller/Dieck are nevertheless leading in the qualifying race for the Olympic Games and most likely will be selected. Schott and Hase/Seegert are the only Skaters that fulfilled the national qualification criteria and confirmed their spots on the Olympic team. There is no quota place for the Men in the individual events. Full results German Nationals.
More National Championships are coming up the next weekend in France, Finland, Spain as well as the Four Nationals for Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia with more Skaters fighting for spots on the Olympic team and ISU Championships.