Spain's Javier Fernandez will hope to upgrade from his silver medal from the 2014 event ©Getty Images

Spain’s Javier Fernandez will aim to improve on his silver medal from last year’s International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final when this year's event begins in Barcelona tomorrow. 

Fernandez, winner of the World Championships in Shanghai earlier this year, leads the men’s Grand Prix standings having recorded victories at both the Audi Cup of China and Rostelecom Cup

He boasts a season best score of 271.43 points heading into the six-man competition at the Centre de Convencions Internacional de Barcelona. 

The 24-year-old from Madrid will expect to come under pressure from Japan's Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, winner of last year's event, which also took place in the Spanish city. 

Hanyu became the first skater to score over 300 points when he posted a personal best total of 322.40 to win the gold medal at the NHK Trophy in Nagano.

Japan are due to represented by three skaters in the men’s event with Daisuke Murakami and the Junior Grand Prix Final champion Shoma Uno, poised to make his debut in a senior final, set to join Hanyu.

Three-time world champion Patrick Chan of Canada and China’s Boyang Jin complete the participants aiming for first prize of $25,000 (£16,600/€22,900) in Barcelona.

The United States’ Gracie Gold and Russia’s Evgenia Medvedeva head into the women’s competition joint top of the overall standings, having claimed a gold and silver medal from their two events, although the latter currently has a higher season’s best with 206.76 points.

Both Russian and the US will be represented by two skaters in the final with Elena Radionova and Ashley Wagner having qualified respectively.

Japan will also hope provide a challenge with three-time world champion Mao Asada and Satoko Miayahara are also due to compete.

The 2014 winner, Russia's Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, has failed to qualify this year, partly as a result of the cancellation of the free skate at Trophée Bompard in Bordeaux following the Paris terrorist attacks last month. 

She had finished in fifth place in the short programme after falling on a triple Axel.

When organisers were forced to cancel the free skate after the attack, the short programme standings were accepted as final, meaning she did not have the opportunity to recover and earn enough points to make it to Barcelona. 

Julianne Séguin and Charlie Bilodeau were awarded a place having been first substitutes when the Trophée Eric Bompard was cancelled due to the Paris terror attacks
Julianne Séguin and Charlie Bilodeau were awarded a place having been first substitutes when the Trophée Eric Bompard was cancelled due to the Paris terror attacks ©Getty Images

Luckier have been junior Grand Prix Final pair champions Julianne Séguin and Charlie Bilodeau of Canada, who been exceptionally included into the Grand Prix Final as the seventh couple following the cancellation of the free skating event at the Trophée Eric Bompard.

Any first substitute skater or couple, placed seventh in the Grand Prix standings, was invited to the Final provided they had competed the short dance or short programme at the competition. 

As a result, Séguin and Bilodeau have been awarded a place having been first substitutes.

China’s Cheng Peng and Hao Zhang have replaced their compatriots Wenjing Sui and Cong Han, who have withdrawn through injury.

Reigning world champions and last year's winners Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada will begin as favourites after triumphing in both their Grand Prix events.

They will expect to face a strong challenge from Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov of Russia and their compatriots Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov, last year's runners-up.

Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim of the United States and the second Chinese pairing of Xiaoyu Yu and Yang Jin complete the list of seven finalists.

Canada’s Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje will start as favourites to defend their ice dance Grand Prix Final title having won both their events so far this season.

The American pairings of Madison Chock and Evan Bates, the World Championship silver medallists, and Maia and Alex Shibutani will provide a threat, though,

The Junior Grand Prix Final and a synchronized skating free competition are also set to be held across the four days of action, which is due to conclude on Sunday (December 13).

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