Daisuke Takahashi to skate at home in Four Continents
Japanese skater favoured to win in hometown
World silver medallist Daisuke Takahashi will be looking for a boost from the home crowd at this weekend's figure skating Four Continents in Oskaka, Japan.
Takahashi, from Osaka, will be the gold medal favourite in the men's event which begins on Friday. His toughest challenge will come from new Japanese champion and world bronze medallist Yuzuru Hanyu and United States champion Max Aaron.
Takahashi has had trouble landing his quadruple jumps this season, but has been strong otherwise and won the Grand Prix Final in Sochi, Russia, in December.
In the women's competition, two-time world champ Mao Asada of Japan is looking to regain the title she lost at last year's Four Continents to Ashley Wagner of the United States.
Asada won the Grand Prix Final without her trademark triple axel and has been in strong form of late, winning the Japan championships in December.
She is not planning a triple axel here but has won four straight competitions without it.
Asada has the season's highest score with 196.87 points. She will be challenged by world bronze medallist Akiko Suzuki of Japan as well as Canadian champion Kaetlyn Osmond and world junior silver medallist Gracie Gold of the United States.
The ice dance will feature the ongoing duel between world champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada against world silver medallists Meryl Davis and Charlie White. The Americans beat the Canadians at the Grand Prix Final and will be looking to keep the momentum going.
Four Continents silver medallist Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada are favoured in the pairs along with compatriots Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch, and U.S. champions Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir.