The penultimate event of the 2022 Grand Prix Series takes place in Sapporo, Japan, Nov. 18-20.
With only two competitions remaining, the pressure will be on for those looking to book a place at the Grand Prix Final in December, and there will be no shortage of challengers in that regard.
Shoma Uno, the 2022 Skate Canada International champion, should have no trouble claiming his third NHK title on home soil. There will be no shortage of podium contenders in the men’s event with South Korea’s Jun-Hwan Cha, the bronze medalist at Skate America, Adam Siao Him Fa of France, Kazuki Tomono of Japan and Italy′s Matteo Rizzo battling it out for a podium finish.
The women’s field is headlined by Kaori Sakamoto, the victor at 2022 Skate America and Rinka Watanabe, who was golden at 2o22 Skate Canada. Other podium challengers could include Yelim Kim and Seoyeong Wi of South Korea and Starr Andrews and Amber Glenn, who both captured medals at their first Grand Prix competitions in North America.
Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara of Japan lead the pairs discipline, which now has only six teams entered. Annika Hocke and Robert Kunkel of Germany were forced to withdraw on Nov. 15 due to a positive COVID test by Hocke. The American team of Emily Chan and Spencer Akira Howe and Camille Kovalev and Pavel Kovalev of France are the top contenders for a podium finish behind the Japanese duo.
Following their victory at Skate America, Madison Chock and Evan Bates will be in the hunt for a golden finish in Sapporo. Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sørensen will also be chasing a step on the podium. This will be the first head-to-head of the season for the two Japanese teams of Kana Muramoto and Daisuke Takahashi (the 2022 Denis Ten Memorial champions) and Misato Komatsubara and Tim Koleto, who finished seventh at Skate Canada.
There is no live coverage on the main NBC network in the United States. A recap of the highlights will air on Nov. 20 from 4-6 p.m. Check your local listings for air dates and times on the speciality channels.
This competition overlaps with the Challenger Series event Warsaw Cup (link below).