Preview: Cup of China
This week, Cup of China returns as fourth international event in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series. The event has not been held as an international competition since 2019, when Chongqing also served as host city. In addition, Beijing will host the Grand Prix Final.
About Cup of China:Cup of China has been held annually since 2003, with a few exceptions. China declined to hold international events during the 2018-19 season in order to prepare venues for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Due to strict COVID-19 travel and quarantine restrictions in China, the event was replaced by Gran Premio d’Italia in 2021 and MK John Wilson Trophy in 2022.
Grand Prix 2023:As with the 2022-23 season, the ISU maintained the ban on figure skaters from Russia due to the country’s war with neighboring Ukraine. Skaters from Belarus are also not allowed to compete due to their country’s support of the ongoing war. In addition, the fifth Grand Prix event of the series will be held in Espoo, Finland.
The Medal Hunt: The ice dance competition in Chongqing will see some teams going into their second grand prix and fighting for the best finish possible to secure a spot in the Grand Prix Final.
After a convincing win at Skate Canada, Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier of Canada will look to add another gold medal to their collection. The reigning Grand Prix Final champions, Gilles & Poirier debuted their programs in Vancouver with a subtle confidence and should be able to repeat the performances and result here in Chongqing.
Also representing Canada, Marjorie Lajoie & Zachary Lagha are building momentum after their silver medal finish at Skate America. A repeat finish at Cup of China could qualify them for their first Grand Prix Final.
Team USA is represented by a trio of teams with the potential to medal. Caroline Green & Michael Parsons, the U.S. silver medalists, finished fourth at Skate America. They are joined by training mates Emily Bratti & Ian Somerville who start their Grand Prix season in Chongqing. Eva Pate & Logan Bye, the 2023 Autumn Classic champions, will are competing in their second Grand Prix of the season after a sixth place finish at Skate Canada.
Czech Republic’s Natalie Taschlerova and Filip Taschler withdrew from Cup of China due to injury and no replacement has been named.
Event info: Teams have official practices on Thursday, November 9. The rhythm dance kicks off at 3:36pm (local time) on Friday, November 10, with the free dance occurring on Saturday, November 11 at 2:37pm (local time).