Overview of the event
In the Men’s event, Yuzuru Hanyu will face a deep field of competitors that features 2018 World bronze medalist Mikhail Kolyada (RUS), two-time World bronze medalist Boyang Jin (CHN) as well as Skate America silver medalist Michal Brezina (CZE) and Skate Canada bronze medalist Jun Hwan Cha (KOR). Other contenders are 2016 European silver medalist Alexei Bychenko (ISR), Keiji Tanaka (JPN) and ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champion Alexei Krasnozhon (USA), who debuts on the senior circuit.
Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) 2018©Harry How/Getty Images
Alina Zagitova headlines the Ladies field. Competition should come from 2018 Four Continents Champion Kaori Sakamoto (JPN), who aims at securing her spot in the Final after taking silver at Skate America two weeks ago. While Zagitova and Sakamoto are the top favorites, several other competitors have a chance to make the podium including Loena Hendrickx (BEL), Viveca Lindfors (FIN), Yuna Shiraiwa (JPN), Hanul Kim (KOR) and Stanislava Konstantinova (RUS).
Alina Zagitova (RUS) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
The Pairs event looks quite open with European bronze medalists Natalia Zabiiako/Alexander Enbert (RUS), Four Continents bronze medalists Tae Ok Ryom/Ju Sik Kim (PRK) and Nicole Della Monica/Matteo Guarise (ITA) leading the field. Other competitors include Miriam Ziegler/Severin Kiefer (AUT) and Deanna Stellato/Nathan Bartholomay (USA). World Junior Pairs Champions Daria Pavliuchenko/Denis Khodykin (RUS) debut on the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating.
Tae Ok Ryom/Ju Sik Kim (PRK) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
In the Ice Dance event, two-time European bronze medalists Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS) will meet Skate America silver medalists Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri (ITA), who want to book their ticket to Vancouver for the Final. Lorraine McNamara/Quinn Carpenter (USA), Sara Hurtado/Kirill Khaliavin (ESP) and Betina Popova/Sergey Mozgov (RUS) are aiming at a podium finish as well. World Junior silver medalists Christina Carreira/Anthony Ponomarenko (USA) debut on the senior Grand Prix circuit.
Sara Hurtado/Kirill Khaliavin (ESP)2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
A total of 58 skaters/couples representing 15 ISU members compete in the ISU Grand Prix in Helsinki, the third of six events in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series. Helsinki will host a Grand Prix event for the first time. Following the decision of the Chinese Skating Association (CSA) not to hold this year the annual ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating event (the Cup of China) and after consultation with other the interested ISU Member federation to organize this event, the ISU Council has decided that the third Grand Prix event of the season 2018/19 shall be held in Helsinki.
Schedule of the event
Friday, November 2 Pairs and Ladies Short Programs, Rhythm Dance
Saturday, November 3 Men’s Short Program, Pairs and Ladies Free Skating, Free Dance
Sunday, November 4 Men’s Free Skating, Exhibition Gala
For full entry lists and further information regarding the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series please visit: https://isu.org/GrandPrix . Follow the discussion on social media by using #FigureSkating #GPFigure.