The 2009-2010 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series continues tomorrow with the second event -- the Rostelecom Cup of Russia (the first being Grand Prix Paris - Trophee Eric Bompard). The men's field is particularly interesting because we have Japan's Takahiko Kozuka, Russia's Evgeni Plushenko (making his Olympic comeback), and the U.S.'s Brandon Mroz and Johnny Weir going head-to-head. For the ladies, this is the first appearance at a Grand Prix for the U.S.'s Alissa Czisny and Ashley Wagner, so I look forward to watching their skates on icenetwork. We'll also see how competitive Miki Ando is against teammate Mao Asada. Miki has adopted a new attitude this season with her short and long programs so I hope to see it in full force in Russia.
In pairs, we'll also see the debut of the U.S.'s Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker, going against Russia's Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov, and China's Qing Pang and Jian Tong. In ice dance, the eagerly anticipated matchup between Russia's Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin and the U.S.'s Meryl Davis and Charlie White will not happen. Domnina and Shabalin withdrew from both the Cup of Russia and the NHK Trophy.
- Entrants for the men are: Kevin van der Perren (BEL), Shawn Sawyer (CAN), Florent Amodio (FRA), Takahiko Kozuka (JPN), Artem Borodulin (RUS), Andrei Lutai (RUS), Evgeni Plushenko (RUS), Gregor Urbas (SLO), Adrian Schultheiss (SWE), Brandon Mroz (USA) and Johnny Weir (USA) Note: Patrick Chan (CAN) withdrew on October 15 due to injuries.
- Entrants for the ladies are: Amelie LaCoste (CAN), Susanna Poykio (FIN), Candice Didier (FRA), Julia Sebestyen (HUN), Miki Ando (JPN), Mao Asada (JPN), Katarina Gerboldt (RUS), Oksana Gozeva (RUS), Alena Leonova (RUS), Alissa Czisny (USA) and Ashley Wagner (USA) Note: Kimmie Meissner (USA) withdrew on October 8 due to injuries.
- Entrants for the pairs teams are: Mylene Brodeur/John Mattatall (CAN), Qing Pang/Jian Tong (CHN), Maria Sergejeva/Ilja Glebov (EST), Nicole Della Monica/Yannick Kocon (ITA), Vera Bazarova/Yuri Larionov (RUS), Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov (RUS), Anastasia Martiusheva/Alexei Rogonov (RUS) and Keauna McLaughlin/Rockne Brubaker (USA)
- Entrants for the ice dance teams are: Vanessa Crone/Paul Poirier (CAN), Lucie Mysliveckova/Matej Novak (CZE), Carolina Hermann/Daniel Hermann (GER), Anna Cappellini/Luca LaNotte (ITA), Katherine Copely/Deividas Stagniunas (LTU), Ekaterina Riazanova/Ilia Tkachenko (RUS), Ekaterina Rubleva/Ivan Shefer (RUS), Alla Beknazarova/Vladimir Zuev (UKR) and Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA) Note: Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin (RUS) withdrew from the event.
And as usual, if you're a subscriber to icenetwork, for $30, you can catch all the action live on icenetwork.com. All times are Eastern:
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2009
5:30 a.m.: Compulsory Dance
7:45 a.m.: Men's Short Program
9:35 a.m.: Pairs Short Program
11:00 a.m.: Ladies Short Program
12:50 p.m.: Original Dance
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2009
6:45 a.m.: Men's Free Skate
8:00 a.m.: Pairs Free Skate
9:40 a.m.: Free Dance
12:40 p.m.: Ladies Free Skate