Japan’s Daisuke Takahashi, a bronze medallist in men’s singles at Vancouver 2010, is set to make his competitive debut as an ice dancer at the Grand Prix of Figure Skating event in Osaka.
The three-time Olympian retired in October 2014 before returning last year and is now set to star at this weekend’s NHK Trophy – a competition he has won five times.
The 34-year-old, who was crowned world champion 10 years ago, will team up with Kana Muramoto in the ice dance event.
Takahashi and Muramoto are set to face competition from national champions Misato Komatsubara and Tim Koleto as well as Rikako Fukase and Eichu Cho.
There will be no pairs competition in the Japanese city due to coronavirus travel restrictions and a limited number of top-level teams in Japan.
The ladies event features a deep field led by top seed Kaori Sakamoto, the 2018 International Skating Union Four Continents champion.
Other prominent competitors include former World Championships silver medallist Higuchi Wakaba, Honda Marin, the 2016 junior world champion and Mihara Mai, who returns to the Grand Prix stage after missing the past season due to health issues.
South Korea’s 16-year-old star You Young, who won gold at this year’s Youth Olympic Games is the lone non-Japanese skater at the event.
Yuma Kagiyama, who was also crowned champion at Lausanne 2020 and clinched silver at the World Junior Championships is set to make his debut at the senior-level Grand Prix.
The 17-year-old headlines the men’s event which features Shun Sato, Keiji Tanaka, Mitsuki Sumoto and Sota Yamamoto.
A total of 29 skaters and couples are set to take part in the competition which begins tomorrow and is due to finish on November 29.
The NHK Trophy is the fourth stop on the Grand Prix of Figure Skating schedule after events in the United States, China and Russia.
Grand Prix of Figure Skating legs in Canada and France were cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, while the final in China has been postponed.