2021 Grand Prix Final figure skating qualifiers

2019 ISU World Figure Skating Championships: Men's Free Skating
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2021 Grand Prix Final qualifiers for men, women, pairs and ice dance. The Final, which is Dec. 9-12 in Osaka, pits the top six per discipline from the six-event autumn Grand Prix Series. It is usually the best competition indicator for Olympic medal prospects … 

Men
Yuma Kagiyama
(JPN) — 30 points
Shoma Uno
(JPN) — 28
Vincent Zhou
(USA) — 28
Nathan Chen
(USA) — 26
Mikhail Kolyada
(RUS) — 26
Jason Brown
(USA) — 24

Kagiyama, the 18-year-old world bronze medalist, was the only man to win both of his Grand Prix starts this fall. But he ranks fourth in the world by best total score this season, 20.77 points behind the leader Chen. The U.S. put three men into the Grand Prix Final for the third time ever. Two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu missed the Grand Prix season with an ankle injury.

Women
Kamila Valiyeva (RUS) — 30
Anna Shcherbakova
(RUS) — 30
Yelizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) — 26
Kaori Sakamoto (JPN) — 24
Maliya Khromykh (RUS) — 24
Aliona Kostonaya (RUS) — 24

Russia is the first nation to earn five spots in any discipline in Grand Prix Final history (since 1995). Four of the Russians are coached by Eteri Tutberidze, led by the 15-year-old Valiyeva, who has the world’s top score this season by a whopping 35.93 points. The field lacks another Russian Olympic medal threat in Aleksandra Trusova, who was slowed by injury and missed a Grand Prix. No U.S. women in the Grand Prix Final in an Olympic year for the second consecutive time. No U.S. woman made a Grand Prix podium in a season for the first time ever.

Pairs
Anastasia Mishina/Aleksandr Galliamov (RUS) — 30
Sui Wenjing
/Han Cong (CHN) — 30
Yevgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS) — 28
Aleksandra Boikova/Dmitriy Kozlovskiy (RUS) — 26
Daria Pavliuchenko/Denis Khodykin (RUS) — 26
Riku Miura/Ryuichi Kihara (JPN) — 24

Russia breaks the record for pairs entries in a Grand Prix Final with four, led by Mishina and Galliamov, who last season became the youngest world champions in more than 30 years. Sui and Han, close silver medalists at the last Olympics and worlds, may still be the Olympic favorites given they’ll be on home ice in February. Miura and Kihara are the first Japanese pair to qualify for a Final since 2011, boosting the nation’s chances of contending for an Olympic team event medal. The last time a U.S. pair made the Final was 2015.

Ice Dance
Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) — 30
Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov (RUS) — 30
Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) — 28
Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN) — 28
Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) — 26
Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri (ITA) — 26

Papadakis and Cizeron, four-time world champions, and Sinitsina and Katsalapov, reigning world champions, face off for the first time since the January 2020 European Championships, when the Russians dealt the French their lone defeat of this Olympic cycle. This season, the French have competed three times and posted the three highest total scores in the world. The U.S. put multiple dance couples into the Final for a seventh consecutive time.

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In a tie, Wendy Holdener puts to rest a remarkable stat in Alpine skiing

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Swiss Wendy Holdener ended one of the most remarkable victory droughts in sports by tying for the win with Swede Anna Swenn Larsson in a World Cup slalom in Killington, Vermont, on Sunday.

Holdener, after 15 second-place finishes and 15 third-place finishes in her career, stood on the top step of a World Cup slalom podium for the first time. She shared it with Swenn Larsson, who had six World Cup slalom podiums before Sunday and also earned her first win.

They beat Austrian Katharina Truppe by .22 of a second combining times from two runs.

ALPINE SKIING: Full Results | Broadcast Schedule

Holdener, 29, previously won three World Cups in other disciplines, plus two world championships in the combined and Olympic and world titles in the team event.

“To be tied first when I came into the finish was such a relief,” Holdener said while shoulder to shoulder with Swenn Larsson. “On the end, it’s perfect, because now we can share our first win together.”

Mikaela Shiffrin had the best first-run time but lost her lead midway through the second run and finished fifth. Shiffrin, who won the first two slaloms this season last weekend, was bidding for a 50th World Cup slalom victory and a sixth win in six slaloms in Killington.

“I fought. I think some spots I got a little bit off my timing, but I was pushing, and that’s slalom,” she said before turning her attention to Holdener and Swenn Larsson. “It’s a pretty special day, actually.”

The women’s Alpine skiing World Cup moves next weekend to Lake Louise, Alberta, with two downhills and a super-G.

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Injured Ilia Malinin wins Grand Prix Finland, qualifies for Grand Prix Final

Ilia Malinin
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Ilia Malinin, competing “a little bit injured” this week, still won Grand Prix Finland and goes into the Grand Prix Final in two weeks as the world’s top-ranked male singles skater.

Malinin, who was second after Friday’s short program, landed four clean quadruple jumps in Saturday’s free skate to overtake Frenchman Kevin Aymoz.

Malinin, who landed a quad flip in competition for the first time, according to SkatingScores.com, also attempted a quad Axel to open his program, but spun out of the landing and put his hand down on the ice.

Malinin also won his previous two starts this season in come-from-behind fashion. The 17-year-old world junior champion became the first skater to land a clean, fully rotated quad Axel in September, then did it again in October at Skate America, where he posted the world’s top overall score this season.

Next, Malinin can become the second-youngest man to win the Grand Prix Final after Russian Yevgeny Plushenko. His biggest competition is likely to be world champion Shoma Uno of Japan, who like Malinin won both of his Grand Prix starts this fall. Malinin and Uno have not gone head-to-head this season.

Grand Prix Finland highlights air on NBC, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

FIGURE SKATING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Earlier, Japan’s Mai Mihara overtook world silver medalist Loena Hendrickx of Belgium to become the only woman to win both of her Grand Prix starts this season. Mihara prevailed by .23 of a point. The top three women this season by best total score are Japanese, led by a junior skater, 14-year-old Mao Shimada, who isn’t Olympic age-eligible until 2030.

Mihara and Hendrickx qualified for the Grand Prix Final, joining world champion Kaori Sakamoto and Rinka Watanabe, both of Japan, South Korean Yelim Kim and American Isabeau Levito, the world junior champion.

Italians Rebecca Ghilardi and Filippo Ambrosini won both pairs’ programs and qualified for their first Grand Prix Final.

Japan’s Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara and Americans Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier headline the Final. Both pairs won each of their Grand Prix starts earlier this fall. The Japanese have the world’s two best scores this season. The Americans are reigning world champions.

At least one Russian or Chinese pair made every Grand Prix Final podium — usually pairs from both countries — but neither nation competed in pairs this Grand Prix season. All Russian skaters are banned due to the war in Ukraine. China’s lone entry on the Grand Prix across all disciplines was an ice dance couple.

Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier improved on their world-leading score for this season in winning the ice dance by 17.03 points over Americans Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker. Both couples qualified for the Grand Prix Final in the absence of all three Olympic medalists this fall.

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