Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov won gold at the World Figure Skating Championships earlier this year ©Getty Images

Ice dance world champions Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov and world pairs champions Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov begin their Grand Prix of Figure Skating season at the NHK Trophy in Tokyo tomorrow.

All four will be competing under the Russian flag.

Japan's Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic silver medallist Shoma Uno and compatriot Kaori Sakamoto will also be skating in Tokyo, seeking to secure a place at the International Skating Union's Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Osaka - scheduled from December 9 to 12.

Uno, a two-time world silver medallist, leads the men's field and will be looking for his first Grand Prix victory since 2018.

His main competitor will be the United States' Vincent Zhou, who beat him at Skate America in Las Vegas last month to take the gold medal.

Italian Matteo Rizzo, who enters his first Grand Prix event this season, and South Korea's Cha Jun-hwan, who finished fifth last week at the Grand Prix of Italy, are potential dark horses for the competition and should not be written off.

Sakamoto, the 2018 Four Continents champion, headlines the women’s field and still has a chance to qualify for the finale after coming fourth at Skate America.

The challenge for her should come from Russian Daria Usacheva, who took silver in Las Vegas, and the Skate America bronze medallist You Young of South Korea.

In the pairs, Mishina and Galliamov will face two-time world silver medallists Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov of Russia, who won in Las Vegas and are aiming to book their spot in the final.

Japanese duo Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara, Skate America silver medallists, and Skate Canada bronze medallists Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc of the US will target the podium again.

Sinitsina and Katsalapov are the standout competitors in the ice dance competition, with their nearest rivals expected to be American pair Madison Chock and Evan Bates.

The pairs short programme, rhythm dance and women’s and men’s short programme get the event underway tomorrow before the pairs free skating, free dance and women's and men's free skating end the competition on Saturday (November 13).