Team USA is among the six best international figure skating teams and qualified for the World Team Trophy, the International Skating Union announced on Sunday. The event takes place this year April 11-14 in Fukuoka, Japan.
The U.S. is sending Mariah Bell, Bradie Tennell, Nathan Chen, Vincent Zhou, pair team Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc, and ice dancers Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue, U.S. Figure Skating announced Thursday.
Chen and Zhou shared the World Championships podium last week, earning gold and silver in the men’s discipline, respectively. Hubbell and Donohue won their second consecutive ice dance medal, a bronze this year.
The biennial event brings together eight skaters per team, consisting of two men, two ladies, one pair and one ice dance team for a competition similar to the Olympic team event. The U.S. has won two straight bronze medals at the Olympics in the team event, yet has won the World Team Trophy three times.
Russia leads the standings with 9,038 points, followed by the U.S. (7,752), Japan (6,991), France (5,541), Italy (4,344) and Canada (4,217).
Points are scored using a scale based on the ISU World Standing points accumulated throughout the season. The World Team Trophy is where skaters can let loose and cheer for their teammates in elaborately decorated team cheering boxes.
“It is always a great pleasure to be able to compete in Japan,” Chen said after winning his second consecutive world title there last week, on spring break during his second semester at Yale University. “It so, so cool and awesome to compete in front of such a loud crowd.
The World Team Trophy will stream on the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold.
Yuzuru Hanyu, who won silver at his home World Championships in Japan, won’t compete for Team Japan at the World Team Trophy. He announced Monday that he’ll instead continue to rehab his lingering ankle injury, which dates back to November.
The rest of Japan’s home team will include Kaori Sakamoto, Rika Kihira, Keiji Takana, Shoma Uno, plus pair Misato Komatsubara and Tim Koleto and ice dancers Riku Miura and Shoya Ichihashi.
Team Russia will include Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Sofia Samodurova, Mikhail Kolyada, Alexander Samarin, and pair Natalia Zabiyako and Alexander Enbert, plus ice dancers Viktoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov.
As a reminder, you can watch the events from the 2018-19 figure skating season 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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