Shoma Uno (JPN) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
2018 Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno (JPN) as well as 2018 World bronze medalist Satoko Miyahara (JPN) and 2015 World Champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) headline NHK Trophy this week in Hiroshima (JPN) and are keen on booking their tickets for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. Other skaters will compete in their first Grand Prix this season. NHK Trophy is the third of six events in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series 2018/19.
Overview of the event
World silver medalist Shoma Uno comes with a gold from Skate Canada to Hiroshima and wants to make sure he is headed to Vancouver. Competition should come from European silver medalist Dmitri Aliev (RUS), who competes in his first Grand Prix event this season and 2017 NHK Trophy Champion Sergei Voronov (RUS), who wants to add another medal to his collection and possibly get to Vancouver after taking bronze at Skate America three weeks ago. Other contenders include 2017 World Junior Champion Vincent Zhou (USA), Deniss Vasiljevs (LAT) and 2018 World Junior bronze medalist Matteo Rizzo (ITA), who came fourth at Skate America.
Satoko Miyahara (JPN) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
The Ladies event promises to be a tight battle for podium spots and points towards the Grand Prix Final. World bronze medalist Satoko Miyahara (JPN) has won Skate America and 2015 World Champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) took gold at Skate Canada and now both want to secure a spot in the Final. However, ISU Grand Prix Final silver medalist Maria Sotskova (RUS), Mai Mihara (JPN) and Rika Kihira (JPN), who debuts on the senior circuit, won’t make it easy for Miyahara and Tuktamysheva. Other competitors include Eunsoo Lim (KOR), Mariah Bell (USA) and Kailani Craine (AUS).
In the Pairs competition, Grand Prix Helsinki Champions Natalia Zabiiako/Alexander Enbert (RUS) will face Skate Canada silver medalists Cheng Peng/Yang Jin (CHN) and Skate Canada bronze medalists Kirsten Moore-Towers/Michael Marinaro (CAN). All three teams have a good shot at making the Final. U.S. Champions Alexa Scimeca Knierim/Chris Knierim (USA) and 2018 Four Continents Champions Tarah Kayne/Danny O’Shea (USA) are eying the podium as well.
Natalia Zabiiako/Alexander Enbert (RUS) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
The Ice Dance event looks open with 2018 Four Continents Champions Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker (USA), 2017 World Junior Champions Rachel Parsons/Michael Parsons (USA) and Skate America bronze medalists Tiffani Zagorski/Jonathan Guerreiro (RUS) leading the field. Other competitors include Shiyue Wang/Xinyu Liu (CHN), 2018 Four Continents silver medalists Carolane Soucisse/Shane Firus and Alexandra Nazarova/Maxim Nikitin (UKR). Three-time World Champions Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) have withdrawn on short notice as he suffers from a back injury.
Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker (USA) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)
Overall, 58 skaters/couples representing 13 ISU members compete in NHK Trophy November 9-11, the fourth event in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series. The top 6 qualifiers in each discipline will proceed to the Final in Vancouver (CAN), December 6 to 9, 2018.
Schedule of the event
Friday, November 9 Pairs, Ladies and Men’s Short Programs
Saturday, November 10 Rhythm Dance, Pairs, Ladies and Men’s Free Skating
Sunday, November 11 Free Dance, Exhibition Gala