The Ladies event at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Stockholm (SWE) features an exciting mix of newcomers and experienced skaters who are expected to battle for the medals.
Overview of the top contenders – “Quad queens” Anna Shcherbakova (FSR) and Alexandra Trusova (FSR) are aiming high at their debut at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships, especially since missing out last year when the event was cancelled. These teenagers have multiple quadruple jumps in their arsenal – Lutz and Flip for Shcherbakova, Lutz, Flip, Salchow and Toeloop for Trusova.
The first and so far only quad performed by a Lady at an ISU senior-level ISU World Figure Skating Championship was Elizabet Tursynbaeva’s (KAZ) quad Salchow in 2019. Tursynbaeva is not competing this time.
Shcherbakova earned her third consecutive national title in December with spectacular performances. Trusova looked strong as well at Nationals and the Russian Team Event.
Rika Kihira (JPN) wants to break through the Russian dominance. The two-time ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Champion also has added a quad (Salchow) to her repertoire and has another trump card – the triple Axel. Kihira will be competing in her second ISU World Figure Skating Championship after coming 4th in her debut in 2019. She landed her first quad Salchow in competition at the Japanese Championships last December and scored a clear victory.
A strong group of more experienced Ladies is eying the podium as well. Stockholm will see the return of “The Empress” Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (FSR), who returns to the World stage for the first time since 2015, when she had won her ISU World and European titles. Tuktamysheva, by the way, has fond memories of the Ericsson Globe as she was crowned ISU European Figure Skating Champion on this ice six years ago. Tuktamysheva comes with her best weapon, a triple Axel, to Sweden.
Bradie Tennell (USA) has established herself as a top contender over the past years and recaptured her National title in January. Two-time ISU World Figure Skating medalist Satoko Miyahara (JPN) and 2020 NHK Trophy Champion Kaori Sakamoto (JPN) are challenging for top placements as well.
Be sure to keep an eye on up and coming skaters such as Loena Hendrickx (BEL), who just won the Challenge Cup in The Hague, Eva-Lotta Kiibus (EST), Yelim Kim (KOR), ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Finalist Haein Lee (KOR) as well as on Alexia Paganini (SUI) and Karen Chen (USA).
Not present – The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2020 were cancelled because of the pandemic. None of the 2019 ISU World medalists – Champion Alina Zagitova (RUS), silver medalist Elizabet Tursynbaeva (KAZ) and bronze medalist Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS) – are competing this time around and Tuktamysheva is the only Lady that has won an ISU World Figure Skating title before.
The battle of the quad kings: epic duel in the Men’s category – A new edition of the epic duel between two-time Olympic and ISU World Figure Skating Champion Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) and two-time ISU World Figure Skating Champion Nathan Chen (USA) highlights the Men’s event at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Stockholm (SWE).
Hanyu only competed once this season at the National Championships of Japan in December, but came out all guns blazing in Osaka and skated off with his fifth National title. Chen won the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating and National Championships with strong performances and proved in those events that he is still at the top of his game as well.
While both men are the top favorites for Stockholm, a group of strong competitors is looking to challenge the leaders. 2019 ISU World Figure Skating bronze medalist Vincent Zhou (USA) did not compete in the past season, but he is back as he made clear at Guaranteed Rate Skate America and the U.S. Championships. The same goes for 2018 ISU World Figure Skating bronze medalist Mikhail Kolyada (FSR), who missed the past season due to health problems and celebrated a strong comeback this season by winning each competition he entered including the National Championship, the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating – Rostelecom Cup and the Challenge Cup in The Hague. Two-time ISU World Figure Skaitng bronze medalist Boyang Jin (CHN), 2018 Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno (JPN) and rising star, Youth Olympic Games Champion Yuma Kagiyama (JPN), are in the mix as well.
Others to watch include 2019 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final bronze medalist Kevin Aymoz (FRA), Jason Brown (USA), Daniel Grassl (ITA), Deniss Vasiljevs (LAT) and Junhwan Cha (KOR).
The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2020 were cancelled because of the pandemic. With Chen, Hanyu and Zhou, all three 2019 ISU World medalists are back in action in Stockholm – plus a few other World medalists, which makes the field very competitive.
Prize Money – The ISU awards a global prize money of US$ 886,000 at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships to skaters/couples placed 1st to 6th. The prize money is awarded to winners and placed skaters/couples as follows:
Men and Ladies
- 1st place US$ 64,000
- 2nd place US$ 47,000
- 3rd place US$ 33,000
- 4th place US$ 19,000
- 5th place US$ 11,000
- 6th place US$ 8,000
Pairs and Dance (per couple)
- 1st place US$ 90,000
- 2nd place US$ 65,500
- 3rd place US$ 45,000
- 4th place US$ 26,000
- 5th place US$ 16,000
- 6th place US$ 10,000
The schedule of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2021 is as follows:
- Wednesday, March 24: Ladies and Pairs Short Programs, Opening Ceremony
- Thursday, March 25: Men’s Short Program, Pairs Free Skating
- Friday, March 26: Rhythm Dance, Ladies Free Skating
- Saturday, March 27: Men Free Skating, Free Dance
- Sunday, March 28: Exhibition Gala
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Where to watch: live streaming on the Skating ISU YouTube Channel (Geo-restrictions will apply in markets where TV rights are in place).