Chan, Han to offer Sochi preview
In a possible preview of the showdown at the Sochi Olympics, world figure skating champion Patrick Chan will face budding Chinese star Yan Han at the Trophee Bompard this weekend.
Chan, a three-time world champion, won Skate Canada last month. The 17-year-old Yan, the 2012 junior world champ, won the Cup of China this month.
Other contenders include Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, European runner-up Florent Amodio of France, Michal Brezina of the Czech Republic and Jason Brown of the United States.
Olympic champion Evan Lysacek of the U.S. is still sidelined by a hip injury.
In the women's competition, the main contenders for the gold medal in Paris will be Anna Pogorilaya of Russia, Ashley Wagner of the United States and Adelina Sotnikova of Russia.
The 15-year-old Pogorilaya landed seven triple jumps in her free skate to win the Cup of China.
Wagner won the 2012 Trophee Bompard and finished second at Skate America last month while European runner-up Sotnikova took the silver medal at the Cup of China.
The field will be weaker without Kim Yu-na of South Korea, Mao Asada of Japan and Carolina Kostner of Italy.
Kim pulled out of the Trophee Bompard because of a right foot injury. The Olympic champion will return to competition next month at the Golden Spin of Zagreb in Croatia, where she will display her 2014 Olympic programs for the first time.
Olympic silver medalist Asada tops the standings and has already qualified for the Dec. 5-8 Grand Prix Final in Fukuoka, Japan, by winning Skate America and the NHK Trophy.
European champion Kostner will try to clinch a spot for the GP Final at the Cup of Russia next week after finishing third at the Cup of China.
In pairs, Olympic runners-up Pang Qing and Tong Jian of China will compete against world bronze medallists Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada.
Duhamel and Radford look to rebound from a flawed free skate that made them slip from first to third at Skate Canada last month.
Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia are skipping the event. The world champions have already qualified for the Grand Prix Final by winning Skate America and the NHK Trophy.
In ice dance, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada are the favorites because American rivals, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, are not participating. Davis and White won Skate America and the NHK Trophy to book a spot in the GP Final.
The Trophee Bompard begins Friday with short programs and short dance.