The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2023 is almost set to begin, but before it starts, let us have a competition preview and look at the competition favourites, along with the full schedule of the event
The World Figure Skating Championships 2023 will take place from 22-26 March at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2023 schedule, date, time, tickets, location, favorites, live stream on TV
Witness history in the making at the 2023 #WorldFigure✨
World's best skaters will showcase their skills on the ice in Saitama 🇯🇵 from March 20-26.
— ISU Figure Skating (@ISU_Figure) March 15, 2023
Building up the excitement towards the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama 🇯🇵
We can’t wait to see our #TeamGRAF skaters perform!
— GRAF Figure Skates (@GrafFigure) March 13, 2023
Officials are expecting huge crowds in the 20,000-seat venue, which previously hosted both the 2014 and 2019 Worlds. Tickets can be bought from here.
Competition preview and favourites
The upcoming event is the penultimate major international skating event under the post-Olympic season. The upcoming biennial World Team Trophy set to take place April in Tokyo will the last event of the season.
This year, the host nations are strong contenders to win three of the four gold medals available. Saitama also previously hosted the 2014 edition, where Hanyu and Asada Mao swept the world titles as the home crowd watched. Check out below the favourites in each category.
Men’s category favourites
In the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2023 the men’s category, Japan’s Uno Shoma, is the favourite to win gold. Meanwhile, another worthy competitor is 18-year-old Malinin from U.S.A who is the 2022 world junior champion.
The other competitor include European champion Adam Saio Him Fa of France, Canada’s Keegan Messing, Matteo Rizzo of Italy, Cha Junhwan of the Republic of Korea, and Japan’s Tomono Kazuki and Yamamoto Sota.
Another American and crowd favourite Jason Brown will also make a return to an international competition since Beijing 2022.
Women’s category favourites
In the women’s category, Japan’s Sakamoto Kaori has the best chances of winning a gold. Triple gold winner Mihara and triple Axel-jumping Watanabe Rinka are her fellow Japanese skaters who also have a chance at a podium finish.
Meanwhile, Belgian veteran Loena Hendrickx has the best chances of competing against Sakamoto Kaori. Georgia’s Anastasiia Gubanova who is the European champion is also in the title race. Other strong competitors include, Republic of Korea’s Lee Haein and 15-year-old U.S. champion Levito.
Pairs’ category favourites
Meanwhile, in the pairs’ category, home talents Miura and Kihara are the stars to watch. They pair are set to go head-to-head against Americans Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier who are the reigning world champions.
Besides the two standout favourites, some of the other pairs looking for a podium finish include Canadian veterans Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps, Italian pair and European champs Sara Conti and Niccolo Macii, Americans Emily Chan and Spencer Howe, and the new Canadian duo of Lia Pereira and Trennt Michaud.
Ice dance category favourites
This year’s, Ice dance category is guaranteed to have first-time winners as reigning Olympic and world champions Gabrielle Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron have chosen to sit out this season.
In their absence, Chock/Bates and Gilles/Poirier will go head-to-head for the gold finish. Alongside the two pairs, Italy’s Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri are also strong favourites. The pair just recently won their first European title back in January.
Meanwhile, the home fans will be looking to support Muramoto Kana and her partner, the great Takahashi Daisuke. Daisuke is the Vancouver 2010 bronze medallist and 2010 world champion in singles. He switched disciplines in 2020 and still continues to be a top-level dancer.
ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2023 full schedule
Given below is the full competition schedule in local times (GMT+9):
|Wednesday, 22 March||1100 Pairs short program|
|Wednesday, 22 March||1550 Women’s short program|
|Thursday, 23 March||1100 Pairs free skate|
|Thursday, 23 March||1550 Men’s short program|
|Friday, 24 March||1100 Ice dance rhythm dance|
|Friday, 24 March||1720 Women’s free skate|
|Saturday, 25 March||1230 Ice dance free dance|
|Saturday, 25 March||1720 Men’s free skate|
|Sunday, 25 March||1500 Gala exhibition|
Competitors will get to practice daily in the main arena from 0730 local. Ice dance practice is set for 0700, 25 March, followed by the men at 0920.
In the U.S., American fans can watch on NBC and Peacock and the ISU’s “Where to Watch” page is here – which should also include a list of partner broadcasters in your region.
The ISU streams events on its YouTube channel – though some territories are geoblocked from watching.