Vanessa James and Eric Radford are on the Canada squad for the team event ©Getty Images

Canada are to defend their team event title at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games in figure skating, with the United States and the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) likely to be their greatest threats to gold over the next four days.

However, only pairs skater Eric Radford will return to the victorious team from 2018, partnered by Vanessa James.

Radford had retired before coming back to the sport to team with James, controversially doing so without informing former partner Meagan Duhamel.

Keegan Messing and Roman Sadovsky are to represent them in the men's singles and Madeline Schizas in the women's as part of the team event.

Kamila Valieva will be the star for the ROC in the women's singles, following in the shoes of Alina Zagitova and Evgenia Medvedeva, who were first and second in the category.

An all-ROC podium is not out of the question, with Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova also making the team, having been nearly as dominant throughout the season.

Kaori Sakamoto of Japan is the highest-ranked non-Russian skater in the women's singles and likely the closest threat to the dominant trio.

Yuzuru Hanyu could win his third men's singles gold medal at the Olympics at Beijing 2022 ©Getty Images
Yuzuru Hanyu could win his third men's singles gold medal at the Olympics at Beijing 2022 ©Getty Images

Yuzuru Hanyu is aiming for a third-straight Olympic title in the men's singles, which would make him the first to do so in nearly a century.

If the Japanese skater retains his title, he will be the first person to do so in the men's singles since Sweden's Gillis Grafström from 1920 to 1928.

Three main contenders will be aiming to stop that achievement becoming a reality — 2018 silver medallist Shoma Uno, American and highest-ranked skater Nathan Chen and Chen's compatriot Vincent Zhou.

Chen is also the 2021 world champion.

Hanyu missed most of the season due to injury.

With pairs Olympic champions Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany now retired, James and Radford will be among the contenders for the gold medal, as will 2018 silver medallists Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of hosts China.

However, it is the ROC skaters who are expected to take the medals with Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov, Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, and Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii all in contention.

In the ice dance, only France's silver medallists Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron remain from the 2018 podium and have the highest score going into the Games.

Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov are the second-highest ranked duo and are the 2021 world champions.

The competition is scheduled to take place at the Capital Indoor Stadium until February 19.