March 25, 2017 / 8:07 AM / 5 months ago

FACTBOX-Figure skating-World championships in Helsinki

    LONDON, March 25 (Reuters) - Factbox ahead of the figure
skating world championships in Helsinki from March 29 to April
2:
    
    THE COMPETITION:
    Four titles are up for grabs from March 29 to April 1
followed by the Exhibition of the Champions on April 2.
    Thirty seven men and 38 women compete in the singles events,
29 couples in the pairs and 33 in the ice dance. 
    Only skaters who turned 15 before July 1, 2016 can compete
in Helsinki.
    The singles consist of a short programme, which has seven
required elements and is worth 33.3 percent of the final score,
and a free skate. The top 24 from the short programme advance to
the free skate, or long programme.
    The short programme can last a maximum of two minutes 40
seconds and the required elements -- designated spins, jumps and
combinations -- can be performed in any order.
    The free skate lasts between 3:50 and 4:10 for the women and
between 4:20 and 4:40 for the men and must contain specified
minimums of jumps, combinations, steps and spins.
    In the pairs, two competitors skate side-by-side in unison
and perform several combined elements such as lifts. The
competition comprises a short programme, with seven required
elements, and a longer free skate lasting between 4:20 and 4:40.
    Ice dancing, skated in couples, consists of a short dance
and a free dance. The International Skating Union (ISU)
designates the rhythm and tempo of the short dance and couples
select their own music to fit. For the free dance, lasting
between 3:50 and 4:10, they can choose any music and create
their own steps and style.
    
    JUDGING
    The judging system has been overhauled since a scandal at
the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics when French judge Marie-Reine
Le Gougne confessed to, then denied, scoring the pairs contest
according to her federation president's dictum. The French
federation president, Didier Gailhaguet, was banned for three
years and later resigned. Under pressure from the International
Olympic Committee (IOC), officials awarded duplicate gold medals
to Canadians David Pelletier and Jamie Sale who had originally
been placed second.
    As a result of the scandal, the old 6.0 scoring system was
axed and replaced by a cumulative points system.
    
    VENUE:
    Hartwall Arena: The multi-purpose arena was built to host
the 1997 ice hockey world championships and can hold up to
13,000 fans for similar sporting events. 
    
    DEFFENDING CHAMPIONS 
    Men: Javier Fernandez (Spain)
    Women: Evgenia Medvedeva (Russia)
    Pairs: Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (Canada) 
    Ice Dancing: Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (France)
    
    SCHEDULE: 
    March 29:
    Women's short programme
    Pairs short programme
    
    March 30:
    Men's short programme
    Pairs free skate
    
    March 31:
    Short dance
    Women's free skate
    
    April 1:
    Men's free skate
    Free dance

 (Reporting by Pritha Sarkar; Editing by Ken Ferris)
  

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