The Figure Skating world is watching the German mountain village of Oberstdorf this week to find out who will take the last remaining spots for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Over 100 Skaters and Couples will compete for six spots in Ladies and Men, four in Pair Skating and five in Ice Dance. The host country Korea is guaranteed an extra spot per discipline if they do not qualify through the normal qualifying procedure (ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017 and the Olympic Qualifying competition, Nebelhorn Trophy). If, for example, Korea does not qualify a Man in Oberstdorf, there will be 31 Men competing at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Additional quota places may become available in case countries do not use all their spots and therefore give them back.
26 Men, 35 Ladies, 16 Pair Skaters and 16 Ice Dance couples representing 50 ISU Members have been entered for Nebelhorn Trophy that starts on Thursday. The majority of the 129 entries are hoping to qualify for Pyeongchang 2018, including skaters from Japan, Italy, Czech Republic, Germany and Ukraine. Countries less known for skating such as the Philippines, Malaysia and United Arab Emirates will also try to clench a spot. Competition will be tough in all disciplines. Among the top contenders for an Olympic spot are the reigning World Junior Pair Skating Champions Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya / Harvey Windsor (AUS) and the 2016 World Junior Pair Skating Champions Anna Duskova / Martin Bidar (CZE) as well as Tae Ok Ryom / Ju Sik Kim (PRK).
So far 24 ISU Members have earned quota places for PyeongChang 2018 at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017 in Helsinki. 24 places were available for Men’s and Ladies, 16 for Pair Skating and 19 for Ice Dance. Nations that already have earned quota places at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships cannot gain additional spots in Oberstdorf. However, some skaters from qualified countries take part outside the qualification process and use Nebelhorn Trophy as preparation as they start their journey to PyeongChang 2018. World Pair Skating silver medalists Aliona Savchenko/Bruno Massot (GER) headline the event and will debut their new programs on home ice. They will face European Champions Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS).
Further information including results, biographies, schedules are available. Follow the discussion on social media by using #FigureSkating and #NebelhornTrophy.
The schedule of Nebelhorn Trophy is as follows:
Thursday, September 28: Short Dance, Pairs and Men Short Program
Friday, September 29: Ladies Short Program, Pairs and Men Free Skating
Saturday, September 30: Free Dance, Ladies Free Skating, Exhibition Gala