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How to watch 2018 Grand Prix Final

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Nathan Chen and Alina Zagitova headline the Grand Prix Final, the second-biggest annual figure skating event, live on NBC Sports this week.

NBC Sports Gold live streams every program from Vancouver, starting with the men’s short program Thursday night. NBCSN and NBC air highlights Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The Final takes the top six skaters per discipline from the six-event Grand Prix Series in October and November.

Chen, the U.S. and world champion, is a clear favorite to repeat as winner with double Olympic gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu sitting out a second straight year with an ankle injury. The Yale freshman’s biggest threat is Olympic and world silver medalist Shoma Uno of Japan.

Zagitova is a vulnerable favorite. The 16-year-old from Russia won both of her Grand Prix starts in November but was flawed. Japan’s Rika Kihira had the highest score of the Grand Prix season and will face Zagitova in senior competition for the first time.

In ice dance, Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue look to join Meryl Davis and Charlie White as the only U.S. couples to win the Final. Hubbell and Donohue haven’t made a Grand Prix Final podium, but neither has anybody else in this week’s field.

Pairs could be tight between French Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres and Russians Yevgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, who shared the podium at last season’s world championships. None of the Olympic medalists are competing this fall.

GP FINAL PREVIEWS: Men | Women | Pairs | Ice DanceTV Schedule

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Grand Prix Final broadcast schedule (all times Eastern)

Thursday Men’s Short 10:45 p.m. NBC Sports Gold | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
Friday Women’s Short 12 a.m. NBC Sports Gold | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
Rhythm Dance 10 p.m. NBC Sports Gold | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
Pairs’ Short 11:15 p.m. NBC Sports Gold | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
Pairs’ Short/Men’s Free 11:30 p.m. NBCSN | STREAM
Saturday Men’s Free 12:30 a.m. NBC Sports Gold | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
Women’s Free 4:45 p.m. NBC Sports Gold | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
Free Dance 10 p.m. NBC Sports Gold | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
Pairs’ Free 11:15 p.m. NBC Sports Gold | STREAM | SKATE ORDER
Highlights 11:30 p.m. NBCSN | STREAM
Sunday Highlights 4 p.m. NBC | STREAM

 

IOC revokes shooting event status over Pakistan visa refusal

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The International Olympic Committee has revoked the Olympic qualification status of a 25-meter shooting event in New Delhi because Indian officials refused to grant entry visas to two Pakistani athletes and an official.

The IOC said Thursday it was informed on Monday that the Indian government authorities did not grant entry visas to the Pakistani delegation for the 25-meter rapid-fire pistol event at the ISSF World Cup, where two places at next year’s Tokyo Olympics were meant to be at stake.

The IOC said it only withdrew the Olympic qualification status from the competition in which the two Pakistani athletes were supposed to participate. There are 500 athletes from 61 countries who are already in India for other World Cup events.

“Since becoming aware of the issue, and in spite of intense last-minute joint efforts by the IOC, the ISSF (International Shooting Sport Federation) and the Indian NOC (National Olympic Committee), and discussions with the Indian government authorities, no solution has been found to allow the Pakistani delegation to enter India in time to compete,” the IOC said in a statement.

It did not say whether Pakistani athletes were entered in any other events at the competition.

In a statement to the Press Trust of India news agency, Rajeev Mehta, the secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association, said Friday the IOA would approach the government again about the visas.

“It is a dangerous situation for all sport in the county,” Mehta was quoted as saying. “In addition to not being able to host events in India, there may be problems for our athletes to take part in international events.”

The IOC said the situation goes against the fundamental principles of the Olympic Charter to not discriminate against any athlete.

The visa refusal comes amid escalated tensions between the two countries following last week’s deadly suicide bombing in Kashmir against Indian paramilitary troops. At least 40 Indian soldiers were killed in Thursday’s attack, which New Delhi blamed on Islamabad.

Since independence from Britain in 1947, Pakistan and India have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir, which is divided between the two but claimed by each in its entirety.

Yevgenia Medvedeva wins Russian figure skating event to revive Worlds hope

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VELIKY NOVGOROD, Russia — Yevgenia Medvedeva beat Elizaveta Tuktamysheva in the Russian Cup final on Friday and boosted her hopes of a dramatic return to the Russia team for the world championships.

Despite a fall in the free skate, last year’s Olympic silver medalist scored 222.90 points to beat Tuktamysheva by just 1.71.

Medvedeva has struggled this season after moving to Canada to train, while Tuktamysheva started strongly in the autumn but was then hospitalized with pneumonia.

The Russian Cup was widely considered an unofficial skate-off for Russia’s third world championship slot next month alongside Olympic gold medalist Alina Zagitova and European champion Sofia Samodurova.

The skater likely to lose her spot is Stanislava Konstantinova, who followed up fourth at the European championships with another fourth-place finish on Friday.

MORE: Medvedeva’s coach Brian Orser says they’re on stand-by for Worlds spot

As a reminder, you can watch the world championships live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season. NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.

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