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Figure Skating - 14. April 2009.

ISU World Team Trophy 2009

The inaugural ISU World Team Trophy in Tokyo, Japan (April 16th to 19th) features the six best figure skating teams of the 2008/09 season. The top ranked teams qualified for this new event in the ISU family are the USA, Canada, Japan, Russia, France and China. They qualified primarily according to the results of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships, the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating and Final plus possibly the ISU European, ISU Four Continents, ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships and the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating. The total prize money awarded is US$ 1.000.000, which is the highest prize money offered in ISU history.

The ISU World Team Trophy is a competition between six national figure skating teams. Each team consists of two Men, two Ladies, one pair and one ice dance couple. The competition will be held in the Yoyogi National Stadium.

Each skater/couple will compete with a Short Program/Original Dance and Free Skating/Free Dance. In each discipline, the top ranked finisher earns 12 points, the second ranked skater/couple receives 11 points and so on. The last ranked single skater gets one point, the last pair/ice dance couple gets 7 points. These points are added to determine the winning team.

Overview over the teams
The USA top the team standings with 7659 points followed by Canada with 6755 points and Japan with 6660 points. Russia accumulated 6370 points and came in fourth while France is ranked fifth at 4938 points. China qualified with 4150 points.

World Champion Evan Lysacek (seasons best 242.23 points) leads the U.S. team. He is joined by ISU SBS Grand Prix Final Champion Jeremy Abbott (seasons best 237.72 points), who wants to do better than last month, when he came in 11th in Los Angeles at the World Championships. 2008 World Junior Champion Rachael Flatt (seasons best 172.41 points) and 2009 World Junior silver medalist Caroline Zhang (seasons best 171.22 points) are the entries for the Ladies event. Tanith Belbin/ Benjamin Agosto (seasons best 205.08 points) come fresh from winning the silver medal at the World Championships. Caydee Denney/Jeremy Barrett (seasons best 161.69 points) are entered for the Pairs event.

World silver medalists Patrick Chan (seasons best 249.19 points) and Joannie Rochette (seasons best 191.29 points) headline the Canadian squad. Both are looking forward to compete against their top rivals from the USA, France and Japan again. Canada’s second entries in the singles event are Vaughn Chipeur (seasons best 212.81 points) and Cynthia Phaneuf (seasons best 169.41 points). 2008 World bronze medalists Jessica Dubé/Bryce Davison (seasons best 185.62 points) will compete in Pairs and 2009 World bronze medalists Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (seasons best 200.40 points) in Ice Dance on the behalf of Canada.

2009 World bronze medallist Miki Ando (seasons best 190.38) and 2008 World Champion Mao Asada (seasons best 191.13 points) together with Nobunari Oda (seasons best 236.18 points) and 2009 Four Continents bronze medallist Takahiko Kozuka (seasons best 230.78 points) will represent Japan. Ice Dancers Cathy Reed/Chris Reed (seasons best 151.04 points) and Pair skaters Narumi Takahashi/Mervin Tran (sesaons best 131.10 points) have been named to the team as well.

Collecting points for Russia in Tokyo are reigning European Ice Dance Champions Jana Khokhlova/Sergei Novitski (seasons best 196.91 points) and World Pairs bronze medalists Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov (seasons best 186.39 points). Russia’s men on the team are Sergei Voronov (seasons best 202.04 points) and the current number ten in the World, Andrei Lutai (seasons best 204.99 points). They are joined by 2009 World Junior Champion Alena Leonova (seasons best 168.91 points) and Katarina Gerboldt (seasons best 137.05 points).

World bronze medalist Brian Joubert (seasons best 235.97 points) headlines the French team. The other competitors are ISU SBS Junior Grand Prix Final Champion Florent Amodio (seasons best 199.58 points), Candice Didier (seasons best 135.25 points) and Gwendoline Didier (seasons best 111.18 points) as well as Pair skaters Vanessa James/Yannick Bonheur (seasons best 139.34 points) and Ice Dancers Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat (seasons best 194.36 points), who just finished fifth at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships.

World silver medalists Dan Zhang/Hao Zhang (seasons best 188.22 points) lead the Chinese delegation in Tokyo. China also sends Yan Liu (seasons best 139.50 points) and Binshu Xu (seasons best 123.83 points), Chao Yang (seasons best 183.47 points) and Jialiang Wu (seasons best 182.92 points) as well as Ice Dancers Xintong Huang/Xun Zheng (seasons best 142.30 points).

Prize Money
The organizing ISU member (Japan Figure Skating Federation) will make available the Global Prize Money of

US$ 1.000.000
to the skaters/couples of the awarded teams based on the following scale:
1st placed team:                     US$ 200.000
2nd placed team:                    US$ 170.000
3rd placed team:                     US$ 160.000
4th placed team:                     US$ 150.000
5th placed team:                     US$ 140.000
6th placed team:                     US$ 130.000
Two single skaters and one pair and one ice dance couple from not qualfied teams that are invited to the exhibition gala will receive the following apprearance fees:
2 single skaters:                      US$ 10.000 per skater
1 pair/1 ice dance couple:       US$ 15.000 per couple

The schedule of the ISU World Team Trophy 2009 is as follows:
Thursday, April 16: Ice Dance Original Dance, Men’s and Ladies Short Programs
Friday, April 17: Pairs Short Program, Free Dance, Men’s Free Skating
Saturday, April 18: Pairs Free Skating, Ladies Free Skating
Sunday, April 19: Exhibition Gala
For further information please refer also to ISU Communication 1490 (ISU World Team Trophy Announcement) on www.isu.org.
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photos Janos Schmidt 

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