Colorado Springs, Colo. (Oct. 18, 2010) – Changes to the top of the icenetwork.com World Figure Skater Rankings are imminent as three of the four skaters occupying the No. 1 spots are either sitting out the 2010 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series or unlikely to compete in it.
Olympic champion Yu-Na Kim of Korea has a sizable 1,710-point lead over second-ranked Mao Asada of Japan, but the former will not compete until 2011 at the earliest. Japan’s Miki Ando is third, followed by Olympic bronze medalist Joannie Rochette of Canada, who also will not compete in the Grand Prix Series. Akiko Suzuki sits fifth, giving Japan three of the top five ladies in the world. Americans in the rankings include Rachael Flatt (ninth), Mirai Nagasu (12th), Ashley Wagner (13th), Alissa Czisny (14th) and Caroline Zhang (19th).
The only top-ranked skaters competing in the Grand Prix Series, China’s Qing Pang and Jian Tong lead No. 2-ranked Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany by more than 700 points. The rest of the top five consists of Russia’s Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov, China’s Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang (who recently withdrew from their Grand Prix Series events because of an injury to Hao’s finger) and Canada’s Jessica Dubé and Bryce Davison. Four U.S. pairs appear in the rankings: Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett (ninth), Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig (11th), Rena Inoue and John
Baldwin (16th), and Caitlin Yankowskas and John Coughlin (19th). Inoue and Baldwin are not competing in the 2010 Grand Prix Series.
Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada—the top-ranked team—withdrew from their first Grand Prix assignment, Skate Canada, after she underwent shin surgery, which also puts their second assignment (Trophée Eric Bompard in late November) in jeopardy. Right on their heels are Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White, the Olympic silver medalists, who sit a little more than 200 points behind their training mates. They won’t be caught anytime soon, as third-ranked Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin of Russia are more than 1,500 points back of Davis and White and are
not competing this season. Fourth in the rankings are Italy’s Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali, while France’s Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat occupy the fifth spot. Three other U.S. teams reside in the top 20: Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates (No. 11), Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani (No. 16), and Madison Chock and Greg Zuerlein (No. 17). The former are out indefinitely after he severed his Achilles in a practice mishap.
For more information about the rankings, go to icenetwork.com and click on “Rankings” at the top of the page. Rankings as of Oct. 18, 2010:
Courtois Straight Through to the Semis
– Pauline Courtois leads after first day