Reigning world champion Patrick Chan and Japanese 2010 world champions Daisuke Takahashi and Mao Asada are among 36 top figure skating stars who will compete in this week's ISU Grand Prix Final.
Six men, women, pairs and ice dance couples who recorded the best results in worldwide Grand Prix events over the past two months will meet in Quebec City for $272,000 in prize money.
Chan, with three quadruple toe-loops planned in his Grand Prix title defence, has been excited to see the number and variety of four-revolution jumps attempted by so many competitors this season.
"At worlds last year, people saw that they needed to do something different," Chan said. "That's amazing and exactly what I wanted. It motivated me to think about what (other) jumps I might want to put a quad on."
Hanyu edged Fernandez by .03 points at the Moscow Grand Prix. Fernandez, 10th at the worlds last April, has mastered two different quadruple jumps and made great strides since moving to train with Canadian legend Brian Orser.
The women?s event features two-time world champion Asada, who has been clawing her way back to contender status following a disappointing 2010-11 campaign when she slumped to sixth globally following a coaching change and jump technique overhaul.
Asada, the only woman to consistently attempt triple Axels, and her teammate and fellow Grand Prix finalist Akiko Suzuki posted the highest total scores among the women on the fall circuit.
But Russian Elizaveta Tuktamisheva, 14, will be commanding lots of attention after posting two wins in her rookie senior season to become a serious challenge to the veterans, including American Alissa Czisny, the reigning Grand Prix Final champion.
Tuktamisheva, the 2011 world junior silver medallist, grabbed gold ahead of Suzuki at Skate Canada and won again in Paris over Czisny.
Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, three-time world pair champions from Germany, will be challenged in their Grand Prix title defence by two Russian teams -- Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov and Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov. The three couples each won twice on the fall circuit.
The dance duos, who train together in Michigan, are the class of the field, Davis and White won the Final a year ago when Virtue was sidelined following surgery to both legs.
"All of our training throughout the fall and the Grand Prix series is all to peak at the Grand Prix Final and I think we?re right on track," Virtue said.
Source: AFP Global Edition