Milan, Italy

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Alina Zagitova (RUS) 

The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2018 will open in Milan, Italy on March 21 and will be held in Milan for the second time since 1951. More recently, Milan has hosted the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships in 2013 and the ISU European Figure Skating Championships in 1998.

192 Skaters from 43 ISU Members have been entered for the Championships: 37 Men, 37 Ladies, 28 Pairs and 31 Ice Dance couples. Skaters and couples need to have obtained a minimum total technical score in the Short Program and Free Skating in order to compete at the World Championships. The event features 2018 Olympic Champions Alina Zagitova (RUS) and Aljona Savchenko/Bruno Massot (GER) as well as Olympic medalists Shoma Uno (JPN), Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN) and Gabriella Papadakis / Guillaume Cizeron (FRA).

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Shoma Uno (JPN)

Overview of the top contenders


The Men’s event promises to be very competitive with many Men having a shot at the podium. 2018 Olympic silver medalist and reigning World silver medalist Shoma Uno (JPN) comes to Italy with a seasons best of 319.84 points and hopes to take his first World title. Competition should come from 2017 World bronze medalist and 2018 Four Continents Champion Boyang Jin (CHN) seasons best 300.95 points), who finished fourth at the Olympic Winter Games and ISU Grand Prix Final Champion Nathan Chen (USA seasons best 297.35), who was fifth in PyeongChang, where he landed five clean quadruple jumps in the Free Skating.

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Dmitri Aliev (RUS)

Other contenders include 2018 European silver medalist Dmitri Aliev (RUS), two-time European bronze medalist Mikhail Kolyada (RUS) and 2017 World Junior Champion Vincent Zhou (USA).

Currently the highest scores are as follows:
Short Program: 112.72 (Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) set at Autumn Classics 2017)
Free Skating: 223.20 (Hanyu, set at ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017)
Total Score: 330.43 (Hanyu, set at ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final 2015/16)

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Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN) ©Robert Cianflone Getty Image


The 2018 European Champion and newly minted Olympic Champion Alina Zagitova (RUS) is keen on continuing her golden streak in what is going to be her debut at the ISU World Championships tops the seasons best list with 239.57 points. 2018 Olympic bronze and 2017 World silver medalist Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN seasons best 231.02 points), 2015 World silver medalist and fourth in PyeongChang Satoko Miyahara (JPN seasons best 222.38 points) are ready to challenge Zagitova. 2012 World Champion Carolina Kostner (ITA seasons best 215.98 points) will be looking to please the home crowd with a medal.

2017 World bronze medalist Gabrielle Daleman (CAN) is looking for redemption after finishing 15th at the Olympic Winter Games. ISU Grand Prix Final silver medalist Maria Sotskova (RUS), ISU Grand Prix Finalist Wakaba Higuchi (JPN) and Olympic Team Event bronze medalist Mirai Nagasu (USA) are aiming for the podium as well.


Currently the highest scores are as follows:
Short Program: 82.92 (Alina Zagitova, set at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games)
Free Skating: 160.46 (Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS) set at the ISU World Team Trophy 2017)
Total Score: 241.31 (Medvedeva, set at the ISU World Team Trophy 2017)

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Aljona Savchenko / Bruno Massot (GER) ©Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

Pair Skating

Olympic Champions Aljona Savchenko / Bruno Massot (GER) headline the Pairs event. The 2017 World silver medalists lead the seasons best list with 236.68 points and hope to add the World title to their resume in Milan. Two-time European Champions Evgenia Tarasova / Vladimir Morozov (RUS seasons best 224.93 points), ISU Grand Prix Finalists Xiaoyu Yu / Hao Zhang (CHN seasons best 219.20 points) and 2017 European bronze medalists Vanessa James / Morgan Cipres (FRA seasons best 218.53 points) will challenge for the podium as well.

Following career-best performances in PyeongChang, Valentina Marchei / Ondrej Hotarek (ITA) are a podium threat on home ice. Other contenders include Natalia Zabiiako / Alexander Enbert (RUS), Nicole Della Monica / Matteo Guarise (ITA), Julianne Seguin / Charlie Bilodeau (CAN) and Alexa Scimeca Knierim / Chris Knierim (USA). 

Currently the highest scores are as follows:
Short Program: 84.17 (Tatiana Volosozhar / Maxim Trankov (RUS), set at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games)
Free Skating: 159.31 (Savchenko / Massot, set at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games)
Total Score: 237.71 (Volosozhar /Trankov, set at 2013 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Skate America)

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Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker (USA) ©Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

Ice Dance

2018 Olympic silver medalists Gabriella Papadakis / Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) lead the Ice Dancers and are aiming at their third World title. The French have set a season’s best of 205.28 points at the Olympic Winter Games. A group of strong couples has set their eyes on the podium as well: 2014 World Champions Anna Cappellini / Luca Lanotte (ITA seasons best 186.56 points), 2016 World bronze medalists Madison Chock / Evan Bates (USA seasons best 187.15 points), ISU Grand Prix Finalists Madison Hubbell / Zachary Donohue (USA seasons best 189.43 points) and two-time World medalists Kaitlyn Weaver / Andrew Poje (CAN/seasons best 190.01 points).

Other teams to watch include Piper Gilles / Paul Poirier (CAN), 2018 European bronze medalists Alexandra Stepanova / Ivan Bukin (RUS), Charlene Guignard / Marco Fabbri (ITA) and 2018 Four Continents Champions Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker (USA).

Currently the highest scores are as follows:
Short Dance: 83.67 (Tessa Virtue / Scott Moir (CAN), set at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games)
Free Dance: 123.35 (Papadakis/Cizeron, set at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games)
Total Score: 206.07 (Virtue/Moir, set at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games)

Prize money

The ISU awards a global prize money of US$ 686,750 at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships to Skaters and Couples placed 1st to 12th in Men and Ladies, 1st to 8th in Pair Skating and 1st to 10th in Ice Dance. The prize money is awarded to winners and placed Skaters and Couples as follows:

Men and Ladies                                                          Pairs and Dance (per couple)
1st place US$ 45,000                                                  1st place US$ 67,500
2nd place US$ 27,000                                                 2nd place US$ 40,500
3rd place US$ 18,000                                                 3rd place US$ 27,000
4th place US$ 13,000                                                 4th place US$ 19,500
5th place US$ 10,000                                                 5th place US$ 15,000
6th place US$ 7,000                                                   6th place US$ 10,500
7th place US$ 6,000                                                   7th place US$ 9,000
8th place US$ 5,000                                                   8th place US$ 7,500
9th place US$ 3,500                                                   9th place US$ 5,250 (only Ice Dance)
10th place US$ 3,000                                                 10th place US$ 4,500 (only Ice Dance)
11th place US$ 2,500
12th place US$ 2,000

The schedule of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2018 is as follows:
Wednesday, March 21: Ladies & Pairs Short Program
Thursday, March 22: Men Short Program, Pairs Free Skating
Friday, March 23: Short Dance, Ladies Free Skating
Saturday, March 24: Men’s Free Skating, Free Dance
Sunday, March 25: Exhibition Gala