Ladies Results Men's Results Pairs Results Dance Results
The NHK Trophy in Asahikawa, Japan is the sixth and last of the qualifying events of the Grand Prix of Figure Skating. This competition is the last opportunity for skaters to qualify for the Final to be held next February in Tokyo, Japan. In each category, several contenders still hope to make the Final. The competition takes place from Thursday November 30 to Sunday December 3.
With two skaters already qualified for the Final, the competition in the Ladies event will be tough. World silver medalist, Irina Slutskaya of Russia, has scored 12 points at the Cup of Russia and she is now aiming to secure her spot in the Final. Reigning World Junior Champion Jennifer Kirk (USA), 1999 Grand Prix Champion Tatiana Malinina (UZB), and Japan's Fumie Suguri all have 7 points from their previous competitions. As all three skaters are aiming for a spot on the podium in Asahikawa and they may still each have a chance to qualify for the Final. 1999 World Champion Maria Butyrskaya (RUS), arrives in Japan fresh from her victory in Paris last week, but is not skating for points here. Butyrskaya, who chose the NHK Trophy as her additional competition, has already collected the maximum of 24 points in her two previous scoring events and is qualified for the Final. In the overall standings, the Russian is closely followed by Michelle Kwan (USA), with 21 points, who is also qualified. Vanessa Gusmeroli (FRA) wants to redeem herself after a disappointing performance at Trophee Lalique in Paris. The NHK Trophy in a non-scoring event for Gusmeroli and she no longer has a chance to qualify, but should she medal this time, the French skater could spoil another skater's chances to qualify for the Final.
Heading the Men's field are European Champion Evgeni Plushenko of Russia and World silver medalist Elvis Stojko (CAN). Plushenko currently has 12 points from his win at the Cup of Russia and is now looking to collect more points, while Stojko will be making his first appearance in this season's Grand Prix series. He was sidelined by injury and since he is able to compete in only one event, the Canadian's chances of qualifying for the Final are slim, even if he wins and scores 12 points in Japan. 1999 World Junior Champion Ilia Klimkin (RUS) took 9 points in St. Petersburg and now hopes to qualify for the senior Grand Prix Final for the first time in his career. Already qualified, are three-time World Champion Alexei Yagudin (RUS), with 24 points, Timothy Goebel (USA), with 21 points and, most likely, Todd Eldredge (USA), who currently holds 16 points. Another medal contender at the NHK Trophy is 1999 Four Continents Champion Takeshi Honda of Japan. However, with only 4 points from his first event at Skate Canada, Honda's chances to qualify are also small. Four Continents silver medalist Chengjiang Li (CHN), who finished third in Germany (his additional non-scoring event), is aiming for a medal in Japan although he has greatly reduced his chances to make the Final as a result of a ninth place-finish and 0 points at Skate Canada.
In the ice dance event, two couples are competing for places in the Final. World bronze medalists Margarita Drobiazko & Povilas Vanagas of Lithuania have come to Japan with 9 points and need to collect more. Germany's Kati Winkler & Rene Lohse are in a similar situation. They claimed the bronze medal and 7 points at the Trophee Lalique last week and this team would need at least a third place finish to qualify for the Final. The competition also features the current World Champions Marina Anissina & Gwendal Peizerat (FRA), World Junior Champions Natalia Romaniuta & Daniil Barantsev from Russia and the Ukrainian husband-and-wife team Elena Grushina & Ruslan Goncharov. The NHK Trophy is a non-scoring event for the French couple, who secured their place in the Final with wins at Skate Canada and at the Trophee Lalique.
In the Pairs event, the three current World medalists will once again be challenging each other. Competing for a spot in the Final will be reigning World Champions Maria Petrova & Alexei Tikhonov (RUS) and World bronze medalists Sarah Abitbol & Stephane Bernadis of France. World silver medalists Xue Shen & Hongbo Zhao (CHN) chose the NHK Trophy as their non-scoring event. The Chinese are qualified for the Final, with 18 points from Skate America and the Cup of Russia.
List of Competitors (as of November 29th)
Michelle Currie (CAN) Alisa Drei (FIN) Vanessa Gusmeroli (FRA)*(A) Julia Sebestyen (HUN) Fumie Suguri (JPN) Yoshie Onda (JPN) Maria Butyrskaya (RUS)(A) Irina Slutskaya (RUS)* Jennifer Kirk (USA) Angela Nikodinov (USA) Tatiana Malinina (UZB)
Anthony Liu (AUS) Ben Ferreira (CAN) Elvis stojko (CAN)* ChengJiang Li (CHN)* Laurent Tobel (FRA) Andrejs Vlascenko (GER) Takeshi Honda (JPN) Yamato Tamura (JPN) Ilia Klimkin (RUS) Evgeni Plushenko (RUS)* Dmitri Dmitrenko (UKR Trifun Zivanovic (USA) Roman Skomiakov (UZB)
Inga Rodionova & Andrei Krukov (AZE) Jacinthe Lariviere & Lenny Faustino (CAN) Xue Shen & Hongbo Zhao (CHN)*A Qing Pang & Jian Tong (CHN) Sarah Abitbol & Stephane Bemadis (FRA)* Maria Petrova & Alexei Tikhonov (RUS)* Viktoria Shliakhova & Grigori Petrovski (RUS) Danielle Hartsell & Steve Hartsell (USA)
Chantal Lefebvre & Justin Lanning (CAN) Marina Anissina & Gwendal Peizerat(FRA)*(A) Nelly Gourvest & Cedric Pemet (FRA) Kati Winkler & Rene Lohse (GER)* Nakako Tsuzuki & Rinat Farkhoutdinov (JPN) Nozomi Watanabe & Akiyuki Kido (JPN) Margarita Drobiazko & Povilas Vanagas (LTU)* Sylwia Nowak & Sebastian Kolasinski (POL) Tatiana Navka & Roman Kostomarov (RUS) Natalia Romaniuta & Daniil Barantsev (RUS) Elena Grushina & Ruslan Goncharov (UKR) Debbie Koegel & Oleg Fediukov (USA)
(A) Designated non-scoring event * Seeded Skaters
Return to title page