Likely Final Roster for Worlds Brings Clarification


Zijun Li returns to the Worlds roster when Yan goes off it; Dutch lady withdraws.

It is now the final weekend before the World Figure Skating Championships begins in Helsinki. The week ended with the International Skating Union once again updating the Worlds roster. They confirmed one thing we already knew: Han Yan’s withdrawal is now official. But we also know the fates of the other Chinese singles skaters, including a not entirely anticipated decision about their men. We also have a (hopefully) last, lower-profile, withdrawal of in the ladies.

As Yan Goes Out, Zijun Li Comes Back In

As was already obvious, Han Yan went off the men’s roster. Four more Weibo posts translated onto Twitter by the Han Yan Fan Van announced he goes in for surgery Tuesday. A little more surprising is that Yuhang Guan remains a substitute, which means he’s not going in Yan’s place. Though this might be a little unexpected, it’s not a ridiculous decision. It’s unfortunate for Guan, but the Chinese federation probably made it because they don’t want to give up on three Olympic berths yet. If Boyang Jin as their lone entry makes the top two, they still get them. He could very well do that, especially as reigning Worlds bronze medalist. He won’t be the favorite for it, though.

They also, in the end, had the basic sense to send Zijun Li. She now sits on the ladies roster with Xiangning Li, as they did when the roster first came out. Why the Chinese federation changed their minds about her versus Ziquan Zhao again we may never know. Either way, Zijun Li may or may not obtain China two ladies’ berths, and even if she fails to make the top ten/twelve, she’s still likely to get her country one. Especially since the crowd of ladies fighting for the twenty-six Olympic berths up for grabs at Worlds is now one less than it was.

Dutch Champion Out

Below the competition between the highest ranked ladies for medals and top ten/twelve finishes, everyone who makes the free skate will more likely than not have a shot at getting their country at least one Olympic berth. In 2013, every country in the top twenty got that much. That meant Niki Wories, who finished twenty-second last year, had a real chance of getting the Netherlands into their first Olympic figure skating competition since they won the ladies event in 1976. But apparently her skating federation didn’t think so, because they’ve refused to send her to Helsinki:

Wories suffered a concussion back in December, which took her out of the European Championships. Hopefully she should have that long behind her by the Nebelhorn Trophy, and the federation will send her there.

Next: Satoko Miyahara Out of World Championships

The World Figure Skating Championships start on Wednesday.