- What: The 2022 World Figure Skating Championships
- Who: The top four contenders to take home the Men’s singles title
- Where: Montpellier, France
- When: March 21-27, 2022
An annual figure skating competition sanctioned by the International Skating Union, the World Championships are considered the most prestigious event of the ISU Figure Skating Championships. While Olympic titles do also hold a high degree of merit, the World Championships are very close in terms of athletic significance. In 2021’s edition of the event, Nathan Chen of the United States won his third consecutive gold medal with a dominating performance of 320.88 total points.
Will Chen pull off the four-peat in 2022? See below for our analysis and picks on who will make a run at the next world title competition in France.
|Odds to Win 2022 Men's World Figure Skating Championship|
The Number One Contender: Nathan Chen (Odds TBA)
With his victory in 2021, Chen became the second American and the fifth skater since 1980 to win three consecutive world titles. A dominating competitor at the world level, Chen is still only 22-years old but has found a way to win titles at a breakneck pace. As of 2021, he is the world record holder for the free skate and combined score events. Recently, Chen won the 2021 Skate Canada International title with a 48-point margin victory over silver medalist Jason Brown. This was his rebound performance after his dominant winning streak since the 2018 World Championships was snapped at the 2021 Skate America event. In terms of overall star power, Chen is the face of the sport and he has all the tools in place for it to stay that way for a long time.
Number Two: Yuma Kagiyama (Odds TBA)
The 2021 World Championships silver medalist, Kagiyama is the youngest competitor on this list but has the talent to unseat Chen at the top of the world podium. A highly accomplished competitor at the junior level, Kagiyama is a former Youth Olympic champion (2020) and also the 2020 World Junior silver medalist. Somewhat of a newcomer to the senior circuit, Kagiyama already has three wins on the 2021-22 season, with his most recent victory coming at the 2021 Internationaux de France competition back in November.
Number three: Yuzuru Hanyu (Odds TBA)
One of the most accomplished skaters in the modern era, Hanyu has a sterling track record in international competition. A two-time Olympic champion (2014 and 2018) and a two-time World champion (2014 and 2017), the 27-year old needs no introduction to fans of the sport. Hanyu is coming off a bronze medal performance at the 2021 World Championships and will potentially be Chen’s biggest competition when the competition kicks off in March. A tenacious competitor, his resume stacks up against the best in history. After winning the 2020 Four Continents Championships, he became the first male singles skater to achieve a “Super Slam,” having won all major competitions in both his senior and junior career. If anyone can knock Chen off his pedestal it could be the former Olympic champion.
Final contender: Vincent Zhou
A wild card contender, Zhou is angling for his first ever world title in 2022, though he is no stranger to the podium. Zhou is a three-time U.S. national silver medalist (2017, 2019 and 2021) and is the former World Junior Champion from 2017. While he has never placed higher than third, coming at the 2018-19 World Championships, he has had more success this season with first place finishes at the 2021 Skate America event, the 2021 Nebelhorn Trophy competition, and the 2021 Cranberry Cup.
Prediction In what will surely be another star-studded competition at the World Championships, a familiar face will regain the podium in 2022. Look for Hanyu to reclaim his world title crown from Chen in what will surely be a thrilling showdown of two of the sport’s finest athletes.
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