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Grand Prix continues Oct. 28-30 in Canada

The 2011 International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series continues Oct. 28-30 with skaters heading to Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, for Skate Canada, the second event on the circuit. The ladies, pairs and men’s short programs and short dance are Oct. 28, the ladies, pairs and men’s free skates are Oct. 29 and the free dance and exhibition gala (top four finishers in each discipline perform) are Oct. 30.

Of the 52 competitors expected to vie for the ladies, men’s, pairs and ice dance titles, seven represent the United States: Rachael Flatt (Del Mar, Calif.), Mirai Nagasu (Arcadia, Calif.) and Ashley Wagner (Mission Viejo, Calif.) in ladies; Ross Miner (Watertown, Mass.) and Adam Rippon (Clarks Summit, Pa.) in men’s; and Madison Chock (Novi, Mich.) and Evan Bates (Ann Arbor, Mich.) in ice dance. No U.S. pairs are making the trek to Mississauga.

International competitors include: reigning Cup of China silver medalist and fourth place finisher at the 2011 World Championships Alena Leonova of Russia, Grand Prix Final fourth place finisher Akiko Suzuki of Japan and World Junior Championship silver medalist Elizaveta Tuktamysheva of Russia in ladies; reigning Grand Prix Final and World Champion Patrick Chan of Canada, 2010 World Champion Daisuke Takahashi of Japan and 2011 Skate America silver medalist Kevin Van Der Perren of Belgium in men’s; 2010 Grand Prix Final bronze medalists Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China and World silver medalists Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia in pairs; and 2011 Skate America silver medalists Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat of France and 2010 Olympic Champions and reigning World silver medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada in ice dance.

Skate Canada follows last week’s Skate¬† America, which marked the opening of the 2011 circuit. The series, now in its 17th season, consists of six international events in a cumulative, point-scoring format. The top six scoring athletes in each discipline move onto the Grand Prix Final, Dec. 8-11, 2011, in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, which will be combined with the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final for the fourth consecutive season.

The points toward the Grand Prix Final that are awarded for each place are 15 points for first; 13 points for second; 11 points for third; nine points for fourth; seven points for fifth; five points for sixth place; four points for seventh place; and three points for eighth. In pair skating, only the top six receive points.

The six Grand Prix events are Skate America, Oct. 21-23, in Ontario, Calif.; Skate Canada, Oct. 28-30, in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada; Cup of China, Nov. 4-6, in Shanghai, China; NHK Trophy, Nov. 11-13, in Sapporo, Japan; Trophee Eric Bompard, Nov. 18-20, in Paris, France; and Rostelecom Cup, Nov. 25-27, in Moscow, Russia.

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