SOCHI, Russia (AP) -- Competitors preparing for the Grand Prix Final like the ice rink that will host the figure skating events of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The Grand Prix Final, whose senior segments begin Friday, is a test event for the Iceberg Arena. It's one of a cluster of new ice sport venues being built for the Olympics along the Black Sea coast in the Russian resort city of Sochi.

Following practices on Thursday, skaters were enthusiastic about the ice quality and the 12,000-seat arena.

Top contenders in the final include defending men's champion Patrick Chan of Canada, as well as Ashley Wagner of the United States and Mao Asada of Japan.

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