The SAMSUNG Anycall Cup of China begins tomorrow in Beijing. This is the third event in the 2009-2010 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series -- the first two were Trophee Eric Bompard in Paris and the Rostelecom Cup in Russia. At Cup of China, all eyes will be on the pairs event for the return of three-time World Champions Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao from China. After winning Worlds in 2007, they got married and began coaching full-time, but announced a return to competitive ice a few months ago. They'll face the stiffest competition from their teammates and reigning World silver medalists Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang.
For the men, World champion Evan Lysacek will be making his debut this season as well as teammates Stephen Carriere and Armin Mahbanoozadeh. Nobunari Oda from Japan will try and repeat his Paris win to assure a place in the Grand Prix Final in December. For the ladies, World silver medalist from Canada Joannie Rochette should be on the top podium, but look for Fumie Suguri from Japan and Rachael Flatt and Mirai Nagasu from the U.S. to spoil the party. In ice dance, 2009 World silver medalists Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto from the U.S. will be making their Grand Prix debut as well as current European and Russian Champions Jana Khokhlova and Sergei Novitski and European silver medalists Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali from Italy. World Junior Champions Madison Chock and Greg Zuerlein from the U.S. will also be making their debut on the senior Grand Prix circuit.
The competitors in each discipline for the 2009 Cup of China are listed below.
- For the men: Kevin Reynolds (CAN), Jialiang Wu (CHN), Ming Xu (CHN), Chao Yang (CHN), Yannick Ponsero (FRA), Samuel Contesti (ITA), Nobunari Oda (JPN), Denis Ten (KAZ), Sergei Voronov (RUS), Stephen Carriere (USA), Evan Lysacek (USA) and Armin Mahbanoozadeh (USA)
- For the ladies: Joannie Rochette (CAN), Diane Szmiett (CAN), Bingwa Geng (CHN), Yan Liu (CHN), Binshu Xu (CHN), Kiira Korpi (FIN), Carolina Kostner (ITA), Fumie Suguri (JPN), Akiko Suzuki (JPN), Rachael Flatt (USA), Beatrisa Liang (USA) and Mirai Nagasu (USA)
- For the pairs teams: Meagan Duhamel/Craig Buntin (CAN), Huibo Dong/Yiming Wu (CHN), Xue Shen/Hongbo Zhao (CHN), Dan Zhang/Hao Zhang (CHN), Vanessa James/Yannick Bonheur (FRA), Lubov Iliushechkina/Nodari Maisuradze (RUS), Tatiana Volosozhar/Stanislav Morozov (UKR) and Amanda Evora/Mark Ladwig (USA)
- For the ice dance teams: Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN), Jiameimei Guo/Fei Meng (CHN), Xintong Huang/Xun Zheng (CHN), Xiaoyang Yu/Chen Wang (CHN), Alexandra Zaretski/Roman Zaretski (ISR), Federica Faiella/Massimo Scali (ITA), Jana Khokhlova/Sergei Novitski (RUS), Anna Zadorozhniuk/Sergei Verbillo (UKR), Tanith Belbin/Benjamin Agosto (USA) and Madison Chock/Greg Zuerlein (USA)
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2009
2:30 a.m.: Compulsory Dance
3:55 a.m.: Ladies Short Program
5:45 a.m.: Men's Short Program
7:45 a.m.: Pairs Short Program
9:15 p.m.: Original Dance
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2009
2:00 a.m.: Ladies Free Skate
4:10 a.m.: Men's Free Skate
6:25 a.m.: Pairs Free Skate
8:05 a.m.: Free Dance