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Figure Skating: Olympian Ten to defend title at Four Continents 17 февраля 2016, 15:26

Olympic medallist Denis Ten from Kazakhstan will face tough competition at the Four Continents figure skating championships in Taipei.
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Denis Ten, figure skater from Kazakhstan. ©RIA Novosti Denis Ten, figure skater from Kazakhstan. ©RIA Novosti

Olympic medallist Denis Ten from Kazakhstan will face tough competition as the headline act at the Four Continents figure skating championships in Taipei this week, as he seeks to defend his crown, AFP reports.

Ten is looking to scoop his second Four Continents title after winning in Seoul last year.  

The skater from Kazakhstan, who took an Olympic bronze at Sochi in 2014, will face three-time World Champion Patrick Chan of Canada and 2015 Skate America champion Max Aaron of the United States.

Current ISU Grand Prix Final bronze medallist Shoma Uno of Japan and defending Four Continents bronze medallist Yan Han of China will also line up for the men's title. 

The women's event is also wide open after defending champion Polina Edmunds of the US withdrew due to injury.

Last year's runner-up Satoko Miyahara of Japan -- a reigning world silver medallist -- will headline the field.

"It's my third time competing at the Four Continents. I have two silver medals so I want the first place. I practise very hard so I want to do my best at this competition," she told AFP. 

Miyahara will face fellow Japanese skater Rika Hongo and 2014 Four Continents champion Kanako Murakami, as well as ISU Grand Prix finalist Gracie Gold of the US.

In the pairs, reigning World and Four Continents champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada are defending their title. 

Among the medal contenders are World silver medallists Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China -- their compatriots Yu Xiaoyu and Jin Yang will also vie for the title, with American champions Tarah Kayne and Daniel O'Shea also hopeful.

In the ice dance event, defending champions Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Canada are eyeing their third title and come in confident after taking the ISU Grand Prix final earlier this season. 

Other top competitors include newly crowned US champions Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani, and 2015 World and Four Continents silver medallists Madison Chock and Evan Bates, also from the United States. 

More than 90 skaters representing 15 ISU members from around the world are competing at the event, which runs from Thursday to Sunday at Taiwan's Taipei Arena. 

"We hope to promote skating in Taiwan by hosting the competition. With the world's top skaters coming (to Taiwan), local audiences can enjoy top quality performances without having to fly abroad while local skaters can have the opportunities to learn from them," said Eddy Wu, secretary-general of Chinese Taipei Skating Union.

Tsao Chih-i and Amy Lin will represent Taiwan in the men's and women's events, respectively.

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