Synchronised figure skating teams from 23 nations will gather in Innsbruck ©Getty Images

The World Junior Synchronised Figure Skating Championships in Innsbruck this Friday will be amongst the first events to feel the effect of the ban on skaters from Russia and Belarus.

Defending champions Team Fintastic are one of the four squads from Finland.

They are coached by Milja Sarkkinen - a world silver medallist herself - who guided them to gold in 2020.

In Friday’s short programme, they will skate to Björk's song Bachelorette.

Their main challenge is expected to come from Musketeers Junior, another Finnish team, and 2019 bronze medallists Team Skyliners Junior, who draw their skaters from the New York and Connecticut areas. 

They are one of the four squads from the United States.

The Canadian challenge is expected to come from Team Nexxice Junior, who train in Burlington Ontario and Les Supremes from St Leonard in Quebec.

Each team comprises 16 skaters and can include up to four alternate skaters.

This is the first time it will take place in Innsbruck, which hosted the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics.

The competition was originally staged every two years but became an annual event in 2017.

The competition had been scheduled for last year but was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Synchronised skating was first held in the 1950s when the sport was known as precision skating.