Grand Prix Series heads to China

Cup of China is the second of six events

Team U.S.A.'s Evan Lysacek.
Team U.S.A.'s Evan Lysacek. (Michelle Harvath)


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(11/07/2007) - The 2007/2008 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating continues this week with the Cup of China in Harbin from November 8 to 11. The Cup of China is the third of six events in the series. The skaters compete for a a global prize money of US $180,000 per individual event of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating and receive points according to their placements. The top six skaters/couples then qualify for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Torino, Italy (December 13-16).

Two-time World Champion Stéphane Lambiel of Switzerland enters the Grand Prix series this week in China. Two-time World bronze medalist Evan Lysacek (USA), who earned the silver at Skate America two weeks ago, and Johnny Weir (USA) are looking to challenge Lambiel. Also aiming for a podium finish are 2006 Cup of China silver medalist Sergei Davydov (BLR) and former Four Continents Champion Chengjiang Li (CHN). Other competitors to watch include Alexander Uspenski (RUS), Shawn Sawyer (CAN), Ming Xu (CHN) and Jamal Othman (SUI).

Reigning World bronze medalist Yu-Na Kim of Korea and European Champion Carolina Kostner of Italy headline the Ladies' event in Harbin and compete in their first Grand Prix event this season. 2007 World Junior Champion Caroline Zhang (USA), who took the bronze medal at Skate America is hoping for another podium finish in China. Competition should come from 2005 European silver medalist Susanna Pöykiö (FIN), 2006 World silver medalist Fumie Suguri (JPN) and 2004 European Champion Julia Sebestyen (HUN). Also competing are Binshu Xu (CHN), Arina Martynova (RUS), Alissa Czisny and Beatrisa Liang (USA).

Two weeks after their victory at Skate America, reigning World bronze medalists Tanith Belbin/Benjamin Agosto (USA) are looking for another gold medal at the Grand Prix. They'll be challenged by 2006 Cup of China Champions Oksana Domnina/Maxim Shabalin (RUS). Also aiming for a medal are Skate America bronze medalists Federica Faiella/Massimo Scali (ITA) and Sinead Kerr/John Kerr (GBR). Other competitors include Xintong Huang/Xun Zheng (CHN), Alexandra Zaretski/Roman Zaretski (ISR) and Anna Zadarozhniuk/Sergei Verbillo (UKR).

2007 World silver medalists Qing Pang/Jian Tong (CHN) lead the pairs and want to secure their spot in the Grand Prix Final after finishing second at Skate America two weeks ago. Reigning World Junior Champions Keauna McLaughlin/Rockne Brubaker (USA) are debuting on the senior Grand Prix. Also competing are Jessica Miller/Ian Moram (CAN), Jiaqi Li/Jiankun Xun (CHN), Mari Vartmann/Florian Just (GER) and Dominika Piatkowska/Dmitri Khromin (POL).

The full list of entries is available at Entries/Results

The schedule of the Cup of China is as follows:

Thursday, November 8: Compulsory Dance, Ladies and Pairs Short Program

Friday, November 9: Original Dance, Men Short Program, Pairs Free Skating

Saturday, November 10: Free Dance, Ladies and Men Free Skating

Sunday, November 11: Exhibition Gala