It is time for the Cup of China, which is the third event of the ISU Grand Prix, taking place this weekend. As the Grand Prix has gotten underway, skaters Patrick Chan, Daisuke Takahashi, Ashley Wagner, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir along with many others have already taken to the ice, but there are a few more skaters who have yet to begin their Grand Prix season.
Top contenders competing at the Cup of China:
- Carolina Kostner from Italy won the 2013 world silver medal, and was the 2012 world champion. She actually won Cup of China back in 2011.
- Kanako Murakami came in 4th at the 2013 World championships will also be taking the ice.
- Agnes Zawadzk from the U.S. will have her first chance at a Grand Prix event this season. She has slowly risen in the ranks, winning bronze at the 2013 U.S. Nationals.
- Qing Pang and Jian Tong from China are the 2010 olympic silver medalists, but came in fifth at worlds in 2013. They won the Cup of China in 2012 and captured the bronze in the Grand Prix Final last year.
- Germans, Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, are the 2010 Olympic bronze medalists and the 2013 world silver medalists. They want the gold in Sochi and have been working hard to try and get back to the top, which means that a throw triple axel may very well be present in their free skate.
- U.S. Pair teams competing at this event are Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim who secured the silver medal at the 2013 U.S. Nationals, and Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay. Zhang and Bartholomay placed seventh at Skate America just a few weeks ago.
- French champion, Florent Amodio might also be a contender as the Ice Network has announced his new coaching and training strategies. Amodio is a very strong skater, but lacks consistency and has yet to win a major title outside of the European Championships back in 2011.
- There have been conflicting reports about Denis Ten’s condition as some are reporting an infection while others are reporting back pain. Ten came onto the scene in a big way at the 2013 world championships easily securing the silver medal. Many are interested in finding out if that was just a fluke or if he is a true contender. The answer to that question will unfold at this event.
- The only U.S. man to be competing at this event is Richard Dornbush who recently finished fourth place at the Finlandia Trophy.
- Winners of last year’s Cup of China, Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat from France are the 2012 world bronze medalists, but came in sixth place at the 2013 worlds. Looking for another win, this couple will be working to defend their title.
- Russia’s 2013 world bronze medalists, Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev won the silver medal at last last year’s Cup of China and are back facing-off against Pechalat and Bourzat once again this year, fighting for the top spot on the podium.
- U.S. silver medalists, Madison Chock and Evan Bates, came in fourth at last year’s Cup of China, while teammates Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton will be making their Grand Prix senior debut.
Though these skaters have shown a lot of promise, you never know who might just sweep in and make some noise, so be sure to tune in as NBC will be airing highlights of the event this weekend.