Double world champ Nathan Chen to star for U.S. at 2019 World Team Trophy
Newly-crowned two-time world champion Nathan Chen is the biggest name on the U.S. roster for the season-ending ISU World Team Trophy.
The 19-year-old, who successfully defended his men's singles world title in Saitama, Japan, will be part of the American squad looking to regain the team championship from Japan in Fukuoka.
The World Team Trophy, first contested in 2009, will take place from 11 - 14 April featuring top six teams from this season — Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Russia, and USA.
Only hosts Japan and the USA have won the event since its introduction.
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Chen is joined by world championships bronze medallist Vincent Zhou as the other U.S. men's representative.
Mariah Bell and Bradie Tennell are the team's chosen ladies' skaters, Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc the selected pair, and rounding out the American team are ice dance world bronze medallists Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue.
Hubbell, who finished fourth alongside Donohue at PyeongChang 2018, has been named the team captain.
Speaking to the Olympic Channel's Meryl Davis after winning bronze at the Worlds, Hubbell said: "Zach and I have progressed so much in our partnership this year. To be able to skate an emotionally strong performance as well as a technically strong performance, it's what every athlete wants."
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Hosts without Hanyu
The Japanese Skating Federation has confirmed the 24-year-old faces "two to three months of treatment" as he is still suffering "pain and inflammation" in his ankle joint.
Rika Kihira and Kaori Sakamoto, who finished fourth and fifth in Saitama respectively, are the Japanese ladies' entries.
Japan will be captained by ice dancer Misato Komatsubara, competing alongside Tim Koleto. Pair skaters Riku Miura and Shoya Ichihashi round off the Japanese team.
World champion Zagitova sits out
The Olympic Athletes from Russia won silver in the team event at PyeongChang. From that squad, men's skater Mikhail Kolyada and the pair of Natalia Zabiiako and Alexander Enbert have been selected to try to win Russia a first World Team Trophy gold.
Sochi 2014 team gold medallist Nikita Katsalapov captains the team and will compete alongside his current ice dance partner Victoria Sinitsina, while European men's silver medallist Alexander Samarin rounds out a strong Russian team.
Morgan Cipres leads France
James crashed into Italian skater Matteo Guarise in warm-ups before their short program in Saitama, and fell on a throw in the short program. The duo were unable to claw the points back during the free skate, but Cipres promised afterwards "we won't give up until we get this (world) title."
Kevin Aymoz, Adam Siao Him Fa, Laurine Lecavelier, and two-time Olympian Mae-Berenice Meite complete the French team.
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Canada and Italy aiming to impress
They will be hoping to bounce back with a strong performance at the World Team Trophy, captained by Andrew Poje.
Poje teams up with Kaitlyn Weaver in the ice dance, and the rest of the squad is made up of Keegan Messing, Nam Nguyen, Alaine Chartrand, Gabrielle Daleman, and the pair of Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro.
Meanwhile, Italy will hope for a repeat of European bronze medallist Matteo Rizzo's Universiade gold-medal heroics.
It has been a breakthrough season for the 20-year-old, who finished seventh at the World Championships. He told the Olympic Channel after the worlds that he is aiming for a medal at next season's championships, which will be held in the Canadian city of Montreal.
Charlene Guignard and team captain Marco Fabbri will lead the Italians in ice dance, while Nicole Della Monica and Matteo Guarise, Daniel Grassl, Marina Piredda, and Roberta Rodeghiero round out the Italian roster.