Team Canada Takes on a Strong International Field
Qin Ru Zhang
The International Skating Union’s (ISU) Figure Skating World Championships, will be held in Helsinki, Finland and start on Wednesday, March 29th and end on Sunday, April 2nd. It is once again filled with strong skaters.
But this year, there is even more at stake. Indeed, the performance of the skaters will partially decide how many places their respective country will get in the Figure Skating discipline at the 2018 Winter Games, so it is critical for all skaters to perform well.
In the Men’s event, it is expected to be quadruple jump festival. This jump is quickly becoming the signature move in this event, and consists of spinning four times in the air before landing perfectly for a maximum amount of points. So far, only men have successfully landed it, although some women have tried to do it in competition.
Defending European and World Champion Javier Fernandez will be challenged by rising American star, Nathan Chen, defending Olympic Champion Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN), Shoma Uno (JPN), Boyang Jin (CHN), and Canada’s own three-time World Champion, Patrick Chan.
In the Ladies event, Team Russia, led by Evgenia Medvedeva who has been incredible this year, is expected to dominate the field. She will be challenged by American Ashley Wagner, who won silver last year in this competition, Anna Pogorilaya (RUS), former World Champion Carolina Kostner (ITA) and Canadians Kaetlyn Osmond and Gabrielle Daleman.
In the Pairs event, the competition is wide open. Current World Champions Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN) will attempt to get a third win in a row against Wenjing Sui/Cong Han (CHN), last year’s and European Champions Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS). Defending World Junior Champions Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya and Harley Windsor (AUS) and Canadians Julianne Seguin/Charlie Bilodeau (CAN) are also in contention.
Finally, in the dance event, it’s a showdown between two-time and defending World Champions Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) and 2010 Olympic Champions Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN), who came back from two-year-break to win the ISU Grand Prix Final and Four Continents Championships earlier this season. American couples Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani and Madison Chock/Evan Bates, 2014 World Champions Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte (ITA), and Canadians Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje and Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier also are in the competition. This is arguably Canada’s strongest event.
The competition is going to be heated as teams fight for a place on their Olympic roster.