The ISU Grand Prix circuit is in Moscow, Russia for the fifth of six competitions and skaters trying to qualify for the Grand Prix Final in Turin, Italy in early December.
The fields are good, but do not include most of the top performers. Some of the expected stars include:
● Kazuki Tamono (JPN) ~ 5th at 2018 World Championships
● Shoma Uno (JPN) ~ 2018 Olympic silver, 2017-18 Worlds silvers
● Deniss Vasiljevs (LAT) ~ 6th at 2018 World Championships
● Dmitri Aliev (RUS) ~ 2018 Olympic 7th; 7th at 2018 Worlds
● Alexander Samarin (RUS) ~ 2019 European Champs silver
● Satoko Miyahara (JPN) ~ 2018 Olympic 4th; 2015 Worlds silver; 2018 Worlds bronze
● Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS) ~ 2016-17 World Champion; 2018 Olympic silver
● Alexandra Trusova (RUS) ~ 2018 and 2019 World Junior Champion
● Mariah Bell (USA) ~ 9th at 2019 World Championships
● Aleksandra Boikova/Dmitrii Kozlovskii (RUS) ~ 6th at 2019 Worlds
● Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS) ~ 2018-19 Worlds silvers; 2017 Worlds bronze
● Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN) ~ 2018 Olympic 8th; won Skate Canada Int’l 2019
● Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov (RUS) ~ 2019 Worlds silver; won Shiseido Cup of China
● Marjorie Lajoie/Zachary Lagha (CAN) ~ 2019 World Junior Champions
The big question in the men’s division is about Japan’s Olympic silver winner Uno. He was an unsteady eighth at the Internationaux de France; will he be back in form? The same is being asked about two-time women’s World Champion Medvedeva, who now trains in Canada, but finished a modest fifth at Skate Canada International in October. She’ll turn 20 on the 19th of this month; she’ll be happy with a victory as a birthday present for herself! Fellow Russian ATrusova was the winner at Skate Canada and American Bell took the bronze at the Internationaux de France and figure in the medal hunt in Moscow.
In Pairs, the Russian duos of Tarasova and Morozov and Boikova and Kozlovskii figure as the favorites. Boikova and Kozlovskii won at Skate Canada International, with Tarasova and Morozov third.
In Ice Dance, Canada’s Gilles and Poirier won at Skate Canada Int’l and home favorites Sinitsina and Katsalapov won last week in China and should battle for the top spot this time.
The six-event series will conclude next week with the NHK Trophy event in Sapporo, Japan. The prize money for Moscow is, as normal, $18,000-13,000-9,000-3,000-2,000 for the top five. Look for results here.