Pre-claim: I didn’t write this preview. It comes from ISU media function, a group of helpful officers who always provide useful information/reference to registered media for press release. Since the media I represent does not do competition reports but rather focuses on interviews, I guess I can post the preview here. By the way, my bet is Russia 1st, Japan 2nd and USA 3rd. But go Team China! And good luck to all the teams/skaters 🙂
The fourth edition of the ISU World Team Trophy will take place April 16 to 19 at Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.
Overview over the teams
Team Russia is the top qualifier for the ISU World Team Trophy with 8517 points followed by the USA (7641 points), Japan (6543 points), Canada (6400 points), France (4993 points) and China (4368 points). The teams ranked 1 to 6 in the ISU World Team Standings qualified for the event.
2015 World Champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva leads team Russia and is joined by 2015 World bronze medalist Elena Radionova, 2015 European Champions Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov, 2015 European silver medalist Maxim Kovtun, 2015 European bronze medalist Sergei Voronov and 2015 Russian Ice Dance Champions Elena Ilinykh/Ruslan Zhiganshin. Alexander Smirnov is the team captain.
Team USA is headlined by 2015 World silver medalists Madison Chock/Evan Bates. The team under captain Bates is completed by U.S. Champions Ashley Wagner, Jason Brown, Alexa Scimeca/Chris Knierim as well as Gracie Gold and Max Aaron.
Team Japan counts on 2014 Olympic Champion and reigning World silver medalist Yuzuru Hanyu, 2015 World silver medalist Satoko Miyahara, team captain Takahito Mura, 2014 Four Continents Champion Kanako Murakami, Cathy Reed/Chris Reed and Ami Koga/Francis Boudreau Audet.
Team Canada comes with 2015 World Pairs Champions Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford, 2015 World bronze medalists Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje, 2014 World Junior Champion Nam Nguyen, Jeremy Ten, Gabrielle Daleman and Alaine Chartrand to Tokyo. Duhamel is the team captain.
For team France compete 2015 World Ice Dance Champions Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron, Florent Amodio, Romain Ponsart, Mae-Berenice Meite, Laurine Lecavelier and Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres. Papadakis the team captain.
Team China consists of 2015 World silver medalists Wenjing Sui/Cong Han, 2015 Four Continents bronze medalist Han Yan, Nan Song, Zijun Li, Ziquan Zhao and Shiyue Wang/Xinyu Liu. Han is the team captain.
Team USA had won in 2013 and 2009 while Team Japan struck gold in 2012.
The teams will compete for a total prize money of 1,000,000 US$, made available by the organizing ISU Member, Japan Skating Federation (and secured through ISU agreements).
The prize money is awarded as follows:
1st placed team: US$ 200’000
2nd placed team: US$ 170’000
3rd placed team: US$ 160’000
4th placed team: US$ 150’000
5th placed team: US$ 140’000
6th placed team: US$ 130’000.
Format and Qualification
The ISU World Team Trophy format is based on a competition consisting of the six best national teams from ISU Members with a special provision for the host ISU Member to be included. Each team will be composed of two Men, two Ladies, one Pair Skating couple and one Ice Dance couple, i.e. a total of eight skaters per team.
The team event consists of two phases of competition, the Short Program and the Free Skating. Teams are awarded 12 to 1 team points (12 points for first place, 1 point for 12thplace) for Men and Ladies and respectively 12 to 7 points for Pairs and Ice Dance couples in the Short and in the Free Program. The standings are calculated according to the sum of the team points achieved in each phase of the event. Several tie breakers are in place.
The teams qualified based on a scoring scale used for the ISU World Standing points scored by its best two Ladies and best two Men as well as its best Pairs Skating couple and best Ice Dance couple primarily at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating events and Final of the 2014/15 season and the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2015 plus possibly the ISU European Figure Skating Championships/ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2015, the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2015 and ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating in the 2014/15 season.