Simon Bassett (CBC)
March 7, 2013 (ISN) – The world’s best figure skaters are headed to London, ON, next week for the 2013 World Figure Skating Championships and CBC has exclusive coverage of the entire event, featuring a strong Canadian contingent ready to shine on home ice.
This year’s line-up is full of perennial favourites and rising stars in each discipline, all looking to claim a spot on the podium. Coverage begins Tuesday, March 12 at 9 p.m. (9:30 p.m. NT) on CBC-TV and continues throughout the week with additional live coverage on CBCSports.ca and bold.
Scott Russell (@SportsWkndScott) hosts CBC’s daily coverage with Brenda Irving (@SportsWkndBrend) handling play-by-play duties alongside four-time World Champion Kurt Browning (@KurtBrowning) and Olympic bronze medalist Tracy Wilson providing analysis throughout the competition. CBC’s PJ Kwong (@SkatingPJ) provides analysis, commentary and event updates via Twitter while Monika Platek (@MonikaPlatek) gives followers a behind-the-scenes look at the event as it unfolds. Viewers can interact and join the conversation on Twitter (@CBCSports) using #CBCSkate and by following on Facebook (Facebook.com/CBCSports). CBCSports.ca keeps fans up-to-date with the latest news leading up to, during and after the competition, including a live blog with tweets, photos and video beginning Monday, March 11.
Canadian figure skaters have enjoyed success at recent World Championships and they will look to continue that trend next week in London. Patrick Chan, the two-time defending men’s champion, is being pursued by fellow Canadian Kevin Reynolds, Spain’s Javier Fernandez and Daisuke Takahashi of Japan. The Canadian ice dance pair of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir return to defend their World Championship title, but it will be tough as their heated rivalry with training partners Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the USA continues. Davis and White finished first ahead of Virtue and Moir at last month’s Four Continents Championship. France’s Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat finished third at last year’s World Championships and will once again be in the race for a medal.
Germany’s pairs team of Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy have won the past two World Championships and four of the last five. They’re heading to London looking for a fifth title as they return from recent injury trouble. Canada’s Megan Duhamel and Eric Radford are hoping to carry the momentum from their Four Continents Championship into this week’s event. Also in competition for the pairs championship are the formidable Russian duo of Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov. The ladies’ field is wide open this year with Korea’s Yu Na Kim returning to competition alongside Japan’s Mao Asada and reigning World and European Champion Carolina Kostner of Italy. While Canada is fairly young in this discipline, Kaetlyn Osmond is making her presence felt in the star-studded field that promises to deliver an exciting competition.
There is more on the line at this year’s event than the right to be called World Champion. Not only is this the final ISU World Figure Skating Championships before the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, it also offers a glimpse into the fierce competition that awaits in Russia and also determines the number of qualifying entries each nation has for their Olympic teams.
Leading into next week’s competition, CBC-TV’s DOC ZONE features an in-depth look at what it takes to become a world-class figure skater in the documentary ICE, SWEAT AND TEARS, airing tonight at 9 p.m. ET (9:30 p.m. NT) on CBC-TV and on Saturday, March 9 at 11 p.m. ET (11:30 p.m. NT) on CBC News Network. ICE, SWEAT AND TEARS follows the likes of Chan, and Virtue and Moir from their grueling training sessions to backstage jitters and on-ice triumph and heartbreak.