The 2022 World Figure Skating Championships will miss some of its biggest names in Montpellier, with Russian and Belarusian athletes barred from competing.
The International Skating Union was one of many sports organizations to block representatives of competing countries, following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
That means Olympic champion Anna Shcherbakova will miss out, as will Kamila Valieva – who may not have been able to take part anyway – with Alexandra Trusova also unable to take the ice.
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Will Kamila Valieva, Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova participate in the World Figure Skating Championships?
The World Figure Skating Championships will miss some of its main attractions, with Russians barred from competing after the country invaded Ukraine.
Olympic champion Anna Shcherbakova won’t be there to defend her 2021 world title, nor will so-called ‘Quad Queen’ Alexandra Trusova, who won bronze in Beijing.
Trusova produced an extraordinary reaction to missing out on a medal at the Games and threatened never to step on the ice again – before appearing at the gala dressed as Wonder Woman.
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Kamila Valieva probably wouldn’t have been at the World Championships anyway. An investigation is ongoing into her positive drug test from December and although she was cleared to compete in the Olympics due to the timing of the result – which came after she had already competed by team – the same dispensation was going to be unlikely in France.
Which other Russians will be absent from the World Figure Skating Championships?
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The women’s field is weakened without the Russians, but so is the pairs competition. Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov, silver medalists in Beijing, will not be in France to defend their title of world figure skating champion.
Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii, who narrowly missed a medal but won bronze at the world championships last year, will also be absent.
Ice dancing will also be missed by its defending champions, with Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov forced to sit out the event.
Who will be the main contenders in the absence of the Russians at the World Figure Skating Championships?
Watch Pairs Sui and Han’s Exquisite Performance to Win Gold for China
In the women’s competition, the door is open for the Japanese pair of Kaori Sakamoto and Wakaba Higuchi to claim gold at the World Figure Skating Championships. Sakamoto shocked the Russians by winning Olympic bronze in Beijing.
Karen Chen from the United States will also be in the running, as will You Young from South Korea and Belgium’s Loena Hendrickx.
Sui Wenjing and Han Cong were always going to be the favorites in the pairs competition, having set world records throughout the Olympics en route to the gold medal.
In ice dancing, the stage is set for a victory at home, with the French duo Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron the exceptional couple.
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