The 2022 World Figure Skating Championships take place in the beautiful medieval city of Montpellier, France, March 21-27. The number of entries each country can field in the four disciplines was determined by the results of the 2021 World Championships.
Per the ISU communication of March 1, figure skaters and officials from Figure Skating Russia and Belarus have been banned from attending the Championships. Read the communication HERE. China is not fielding any skaters to the Championships.
Yuzuru Hanyu has withdrawn. Kao Miura was named to replace Hanyu but he too has withdrawn with an injury. Kazuki Tomono has now been assigned. The Canadian pairs team of Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro also withdrew. Evelyn Walsh and Trennt Michaud will take their place.
The U.S. will field three women, three men, three ice dance and two pairs teams. Canada has three spots in ice dance, two in men and pairs and one in women. Japan has three spots in men and women, and one in ice dance and pairs.
The women′s podium is wide open and a new champion will be crowned in Montpelier. On the heels of her bronze-medal finish in Beijing, Kaori Sakamoto has to be high on the list. South Korea′s Yelim Kim tested positive for COVID and has been replaced by Haein Lee.
With the top five pairs teams from the Olympic Games not competing, new champions will also be crowned in that discipline. Teams from the U.S. and Japan have a realistic shot of capturing the three steps on the podium.
The ice dance discipline could see two American teams capture medals, but don′t count out the Italians. The men′s podium will not be a repeat of the one at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games given Chen’s withdrawal.
It is reported that Georgian skaters Anastasiia Gubanova, Morisi Kvitelashvili and the pairs team of Karina Safina/Luca Berulava, who normally live and train in Russia, are now based in Bergamo, Italy.
Some of the Ukrainian skaters managed to escape to neighbouring countries. Ivan Shmuratko has arrived in France, as has the pairs team of Sofiia Holichenko and Artem Darenskyi, who relocated to Toruń, Poland to prepare for Worlds. The ice dance team of Oleksandra Nazarova and Maksym Nikitin also went to Poland. They are also now in Montpelier. (See article link below). Russian-born Anastasiia Shabotova was originally listed for Worlds but the Ukraine Skating Federation removed her from the team due to issues related to her social media posts. The pairs team has withdrawn from the free skate. No reason was provided.
For a number of skaters and teams this competition will be the final hurrah. Skaters who have announced they will retire at the end of this season include American ice dancers Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, Moore-Towers and Marinaro, Italian pairs skater Nicole Della Monica, Israeli pairs skater Evgeni Krasnopolski and Great Britain′s Christopher Boyardji.
Mexico′s Donovan Carrillo arrived in Montpelier but his luggage did not. Hoping it arrives on Wednesday as the men′s short is Thursday morning.
(Local Time Montpelier)
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