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ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championhips 2013

Milan, Italy

 

USA and Russia dominate Junior Worlds

 

The USA and Russia dominated the ISU World Junior Championships 2013 again, picking up two gold medals each and five medals each in total. Canada claimed one silver in the pairs event and France took the silver in Ice Dance. Russia celebrated a clean sweep in the Ladies event while the U.S. men swep the Men's podium.

 

Day Four

  

Joshua Farris leads USA to historic sweep in Junior Men’s

Joshua Farris led the U.S. junior men to a historic podium sweep. Silver medalist Jason Brown and bronze medalist Shotari Omori joined Farris on the podium. It is the first clean sweep of the Men’s podium in history of the ISU World Junior Championships. 

 

Skating to Piano Concerto No. 2 by Sergei Rachmaninov, Farris reeled off a triple Axel-triple toeloop, another triple Axel and five more triple jumps as well as three level-four spins. He only crashed on the quadruple toeloop. The 18-year-old posted a new seasons best with 152.46 points and racked up 228.32 points overall to take the title. “I’m very happy with how I skated. I went out there to have fun. I knew it was my last junior competition and I was like, I’m going to enjoy it and skate my heart out. And that’s what I tried to do. The fall on the quad kind of ruined my clean skate that I was hoping for, but I had fun out there. I’m looking forward to next year and moving up to senior and competing against the guys I’ve looked up to ever since I was little”, Farris told the post-event press conference.

 

Brown’s routine to “Liebestraum” by Franz Liszt featured two triple Axels, a triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination, a triple flip-single loop-triple Salchow combo and two more triples as well as level-four spins and footwork. He earned a seasons best of 154.09 points and won the Free Skating portion. Overall the 18-year-old moved up to second at 224.15 points to add the silver medal to his bronze from 2012. “It’s been such a journey from last year to this year and to add a new jump (triple Axel), to add a jump that I’ve been working on for so long and so hard, day in and day out. To be able to come here to Junior Worlds and do three of them and to land them - for me that was like winning. To be able to do it here is truly incredible and I feel so honored and proud to have gotten to the podium with these two guys”, Brown said.

 

Omori landed a triple Axel-double toeloop and five other clean triple jumps in his program to “Variations on a Theme of Paganini” by Sergei Rachmaninov, but stepped out of his second triple Axel. The Californian picked up a seasons best of 133.52 points which added up to 204.34 points overall. He slipped from second to third to take the bronze in his debut at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships. “I definitely feel very happy. I was really nervous before my long program today. But my coach (Tammy Gambill) kept telling me to stay calm and focused. To be able to get a medal at my first time here at Junior Worlds and to be part of this historic moment with Josh and Jason is such an honor”, the 17-year-old shared.

 

Boyang Jin (CHN) moved up from sixth to fourth at 192.58 points. Michael Christian Martinez (PHI) finished fifth (191.64 points), the best result so far for a skater from the Philippines at an ISU Figure Skating Championship. Mikhail Kolyada (RUS) rounded up the top six at 189.94 points.

                                                                  

Elena Radionova spearheads Russian sweep in Junior Ladies

Elena Radionova spearheaded a Russian sweep in the Junior Ladies. Julia Lipnitskaia took the silver medal and Anna Pogorilaya earned the bronze. Russia had swept the podium at Junior Worlds twice before, in 1996 and 1998.

 

Performing to “And I Finally Love You” and “Country of the Deaf” Radionova nailed six triples including two triple Lutzes and a triple flip-single loop-triple Salchow combo. The ISU Junior Grand Prix Final completed level-four spins and footwork to score 116.23 points. Overall she accumulated 169.71 points and pulled up from fifth to first place. “Yesterday I skated for the first time in this arena and I wasn’t really used to it. Today I tried the ice in training and felt more confident at that ice rink, maybe that made the difference. I expected to move up, maybe not to the first place, but into the top three”, the 14-year-old said.

 

Lipnitskaia opened her routine to “The Nutcracker” with a double Axel-triple toe-double toe followed by a double Axel-triple toe and four more triples. She picked up quite a few points for her excellent spins as well and earned 111.81 points. At 165.67 points, the 2012 World Junior Champion moved up from fourth to take the silver. “In the short program thinking too much, going into the combination there were so many thoughts. I was so nervous before the short like I’ve never done that in my life before. I went out with a completely different mindset for the free skating. I went through the program until the last jump, thinking about nothing and then everything came out together. In the footwork, I just wanted to laugh and to cry at the same time”, Lipnitskaia explained.

 

Pogorilaya produced six triples in her program to “Faust”, but some landings were not clean. She collected a level four for two spins and a level three for the flying camel spin and the footwork to score 160.32 points. “Contrary to the other girls I wasn’t nervous at all, neither in the short nor in the long program. I went out with a cool head and my goal was to show what I prepared for and what I had come here for. It wasn’t about surpassing everyone in the world, but to show what I am capable of and I was very serious about it”, the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final bronze medalist commented.

 

Overnight leader Samantha Cesario (USA) dropped to fourth at 154.55 points as five jumps were called underrotated. Courtney Hicks (USA) slipped from third to fifth (152.92 points) while Gabrielle Daleman (CAN) moved up from eighth to sixth (149.39 points).  

Day Three

  

The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2013 continued in Milan, Italy, Friday with the Junior Ladies Short Program and Junior Free Dance.

 

Samantha Cesario (USA) captures Junior Ladies Short Program

Samantha Cesario (USA) captured the Junior Ladies Short Program, edging out Russia’s Anna Pogorilaya

Courtney Hicks (USA) by 0.71 points.

 

Performing to “Carmen”, Cesario produced a triple flip, double Axel and two level four spins, but she underrotated the triple loop-double toeloop combination. She achieved a new seasons best of 54.49 points.

“I’m really happy with how I skated today. It wasn’t my complete best, but I wanted to come out and do a nice, clean program and I think that’s what I did. I’m happy with how it went and it feels really good to be in first”, Cesario told the post event press conference. “My strategy (for the Free Skating) is just to go out and do what I do every day in practice and just skate confidently and clean”, she added.

  

Pogorilaya opened her Oriental themed program to “Songs from the Victorious City” with a triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination followed by a triple flip and double Axel, but she wobbled in the footwork and the flying camel spin to score 53.98 points. “It was an average performance today. My spin wasn’t good and I stumbled in the footwork“, the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final bronze medalist admitted. “I am in a good mood and very positive. I hope to do everything in the free program and to show how well I have trained and how well I am prepared for this competition”, she continued.

 

Hicks’ routine to “Khorobushko” included a double Axel and three level-four spins, but she stepped out of the triple flip and the triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination was downgraded. The 17-year-old scored 53.98 points, exactly like Pogorilaya, but the higher technical score (31.36 for Pogorilaya/30.47 for Hicks) prevailed. “I was very happy with my performance even though it wasn’t quite as well as I could skate I went out and I did what I wanted to do. My strategy (for the Free Skating) is to go out and skate my best and keep it confident and strong”, Hicks explained.

 

Reigning World Junior Champion Julia Lipnitskaia (RUS) is currently ranked fourth as she singled the toe in her combination with a triple Lutz (53.86 points). Elena Radionova (RUS) follows in fifth at 53.48 points and Satoko Miyahara (JPN) came sixth (52.16 points).

 

Due to a power failure of the sound system, the competition was interrupted for about 30 minutes with the two last skaters to go.

 

Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS) dance off with Junior Ice Dance title

Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin of Russia danced off with the title in the Junior Ice Dance. France’s Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron claimed the silver medal and the bronze went to Alexandra Aldridge/Daniel Eaton (USA).

 

Stepanova/Bukin delivered a passionate “Flamenco Bolero”, executing fast twizzles, intricate footwork and innovative lifts. The Muscovites earned a level four for the twizzles, the spin and two lifts. The 2012 World Junior silver medalists scored 85.52 points and totaled 150.17 points to win the title. “It is a great feeling right now. We had a good performance and did everything we could do and we are very happy”, Bukin said. “We don’t know yet if we move up to the senior level or not, but in order to be successful at the senior level I think we’ll have to work four times as hard”, he added.

 

Papadakis/Cizeron’s dance to “Money” and “Hey You” by Pink Floyd was highlighted by level-three step sequences and two level-four lifts, but Papadakis had to overcome an ankle sprain suffered during the off-ice warm up for the morning practice. The couple had to stop 2.52 minutes into their performance because of her injury but was able to resume the competition after a medical break. The French Junior Champions earned 81.68 points and were ranked third in the Free Dance but overall finished second at 143.26 points. “It is our first medal at Junior Worlds and it is the same ranking as at the Junior Grand Prix Final. The free dance obviously wasn’t easy as this morning I injured my ankle in the warm up on the floor. I couldn’t walk all day and I didn’t know until the last moment if I can skate. The free dance was tough but I did it”, Papadakis explained.

 

Performing to “Fiddler on the Roof”, Aldrige/Eaton produced four level-four elements to collect 82.44 points. Overall they accumulated 139.33 points to repeat as World Junior bronze medalists. “We just honored to be able to compete at our second Junior World Championship and to compete against such great athletes throughout the entire field. It’s been a wonderful season. We performed our program to the best of our ability today and I don’t think I can ask for a better experience”, Eaton commented.

 

Valeria Zenkova/Valerie Sinitsin (RUS) moved up from fifth to fourth at 132.17 points with their “Cats” program while Mackenzie Bent/Garrett Mackeen (CAN) slipped from fourth to fifth with a Tango routine (128.79 points).

 

Day Two 

  

The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2013 continued in Milan, Italy, Thursday with the Junior Men’s Short Program and Junior Pairs Free Skating.

 

Joshua Farris (USA) leads U.S. sweep in Junior Men’s Short Program

Joshua Farris led a sweep of the U.S. Men in the Junior Men’s Short Program. Shotaro Omori finished second and Jason Brown came third. 37 Junior Men competed and 24 advance to the Free Skating on Saturday.

 

Farris hit a triple Axel, triple Lutz-triple toe and produced three level-four spins and level-four footwork in his program set to the Prelude from the Suite for Solo Cello No 1 in G Major by Yo-Yo Ma. However, the triple flip was shaky after he missed in the six-minute-warm up. The reigning World Junior silver medalist posted a seasons best of 75.84 points. ”Basically after the warm up my coach (Damon Allen) was like, rely on your training. I’ve done numerous clean short programs. I just let my muscle memory take over and that’s kind of how I recovered from that warm up. I felt good about the skate”, Farris said. “Right now I’m planning on putting everything in there. I’ve been training clean programs with everything in there”, he added.

 

Omori’s Tango program featured a triple Axel, triple Lutz-triple toe and triple flip as well as two level-four spins. With a score of 70.82 points, he surpassed his previous seasons best by more than 12 points. “I am very surprised that I am in top three. I feel very honored to be in the top three with my teammates. I think Josh and Jason are definitely skaters I look up to”, the 17-year-old noted. “I felt really good talking to my coach Tammy Gambill before the competition. She just wanted me to relax and really focus on what I had to do to complete each element. That went well”, he continued.

 

Brown opened his routine to “Question of U” with a triple Axel but reduced his combination to triple Lutz-double toeloop before coming back with strong spins and a triple flip. The defending World Junior bronze medalist picked up as seasons best of 70.06 points. ) “I felt good going into the Lutz and maybe I thought I was too close to the boards. After that happened I tried to move on and just look forward and try to make everything else as good as it could be. I was very excited about the opening and the Axel. That was definitely something that was a big relief and big burden off my chest to come here and land the triple Axel”, the 18-year-old told the press. “I think we have a really deep field in the U.S. right now. It’s been really competitive just to make it on the Junior World team. To have an American sweep in the short is absolutely amazing. We hope we can stay this way for the long”, Brown explained when asked about the success of the U.S. Junior Men.

 

Michael Christian Martinez (PHI) finished fourth at 67.01 points ahead of Alexander Samarin (RUS) with 63.07 points. Boyang Jin (CHN) rounds up the top six (62.82 points).

 

Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier take Junior Pairs gold medal

Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier (USA) skated off with the gold medal in the Junior Pairs event. Margaret Purdy/Michael Marinaro of Canada took the silver medal and Russia’s Lina Fedorova/Maxim Miroshkin surged from seventh place to capture the bronze medal.

 

Performing to “La Strada”, Denney/Frazier reeled off a triple twist, throw triple Salchow, triple Salchow, double Axel-double Axel sequence, a throw triple loop and difficult lifts. The Americans scored 103.22 points, improving their seasons best by 20.47 points and pulled up from third to first at 155.83 points. “I thought our performance was pretty good today. It felt like we fought through all our elements and I think that made us appreciate it even more. I had a lot of fun and was relieved when it was over. I don’t think it has sunk in yet, but I’m really happy and proud of Brandon on myself tonight”, Denney commented.

 

Purdy/Marinaro’s routine to “The Artist” was highlighted by a triple toe-double toe combination, double Axel, throw triple Salchow and level-four lifts and spins. The Canadians set a new seasons best with 101.61 points and were ranked third in the Free Skating but remained in second place overall at 154.70 points. “We are very happy with our performances that we had. We’re pretty pleased with how it went. We’re very proud of the season that we had and it is a good way to end off our junior career and ready to step into seniors next year”, Marinaro noted.

 

Fedorova/Miroshkin opened their program to “Hernando’s Hideaway” with a beautiful triple twist and followed up with a throw triple loop, double Axel, double flip-double toe combination. The Russian Junior Champions earned a level four for the lifts and the spins to score 105.14 points. The won the Free Skating portion and overall jumped on to the podium with 154.57 points. “Obviously, after the short program we were a little upset, because not everything worked out, but before the free we didn’t think about any results and didn’t think about taking a gold, silver or bronze medal, but we just wanted to skate the best we can and execute all our elements”, Fedorova explained.

 

Overnight leaders Xiaoyu Yu/Yang Jin (CHN) dropped to fourth at 151.47 points as she struggled with the side by side jumps. Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS) placed fifth (148.74 points) and Brittany Jones/Ian Beharry (CAN) finished sixth (147.97 points).

 

Due to a technical problem, the start of the Junior Pairs Free Skating was delayed by 1 hour 20 minutes.

Day One

 

The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2013 opened in Milan, Italy, Wednesday with the Junior Short Dance and Junior Pairs Short Program. Italy hosts the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championship for the first time. 184 skaters from 42 ISU members have been entered for the Championships.

 

Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS) lead Junior Short Dance

Russia’s Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin danced to the lead in the Junior Short Dance followed by Gabriella Papadakis/Guilleaume Cizeron of France and Alexandra Aldridge/Daniel Eaton (USA). 35 couples competed in the Short Dance and the top 20 advance to the Free Dance on Friday.

 

Stepanova/Bukin’s dance to Blues and Swing featured fast twizzles, a confident Blues pattern dance and a straight line lift. The lift, twizzles and one Blues sequence merited a level four. The reigning ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champions earned 64.65 points, surpassing their previous seasons best by 3.47 points.

“It is always a great feeling when you are winning and reach your goals. This makes us really happy. Now we have the free dance left and we have to focus and skate as well as we can do it in practice. Probably now we are at the peak of our preparation and we learned from our mistakes in previous competitions and corrected them”, Stepanova said.

 

Dancing to “Minnie the Moocher” for the Blues and Swing, Papadakis/Cizeron picked up a level four for the twizzles and the lift while the side by side footwork was graded a level three. The ISU Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalists scored a new seasons best with 61.56 points. “It was our seasons best we did the quite well technically in the dance. We’ll do our best the day after tomorrow to perform our free dance without any mistakes”, Cizeron commented.

 

Aldridge/Eaton produced level-four twizzles and a level-four lift in their routine set to Swing, Blues and Swing. The reigning World Junior bronze medalists collected 56.89 points. “We feel great with our performance for the short dance and we are excited for Friday’s free program to really heave a strong performance and achieve our goal for the season”, Eaton told the post-event press conference.

 

Mackenzie Bent/Garrett MacKeen (CAN) came fourth with 55.88 points. Valeria Zenkova/Valerie Sinitsin (RUS) are currently ranked fifth at 55.82 points ahead of Madeline Edwards/Zhao Kai Pang (CAN) at 54.92 points.

 

Xiaoyu Yu/Yang Jin (CHN) win Junior Pairs Short Program

China’s Xiaoyu Yu/Yang Jin won the Junior Pairs Short Program. Margaret Purdy/Michael Marinaro of Canada came second and Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier (USA) placed third.

In the Junior Pairs Short Program, a throw triple or double Salchow, a double twist and a side by side double flip or double Axel are required elements. 16 couples were entered and all will compete in the Free Skating.

 

Performing to Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, Yu/Jin produced a double Axel, high double twist (level four), throw triple Salchow and picked up a level four for the lift, footwork and side by side spin to score 54.95 points, improving their seasons best by 4.61 points. “It was the best performance of the season and I am especially proud of my partner today, she did a great job”, Jin commented. “I think we made a lot of progress and I want to thank our coaches for the work they did with us. We are very pleased with the outcome”, he added.

 

Purdy/Marinaro landed the double Axel, throw triple Salchow and double twist to earn a seasons best of 53.09 points. Three elements in their routine to “O Mio Babbino Caro” by Giacomo Puccinin garnered a level four. “We’re very pleased with our skate today. We went out there to skate our best and have fun. It was our very last competition of the season. So we just wanted to enjoy it. We soaked up every moment of it and we are proud of what we did. We go out there, do the same thing tomorrow, do what we do every day in practice and enjoy ourselves”, Purdy said.

 

Denney/Frazier’s program to “Malaguena” was highlighted by a double twist, the throw triple Salchow and double Axel, but the death spiral and the step sequence were rated a level two. With a score of 52.61 points, the couple from Florida improved their previous seasons best of 44.58 points significantly. “It was a great feeling that my partner and I were definitely connected together. It wasn’t so much that we skated a clean program, it was how well we felt getting into the program and feeding off each other. It’s been a very long season and it was nice to go out there and put out some of the hard work we had to put in just to perform like that”, Frazier shared.

 

Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS) placed fourth at 52.25 points followed by Brittany Jones/Ian Beharry (CAN) with 51.57 points and Annabelle Prölss/Ruben Blommaert (GER) with 49.95 points.

 

The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2013 continue Thursday with the Junior Men’s Short Program and Junior Pairs Free Skating. For more information, full entry lists and results please see: www.isu.org and http://www.jwcmilano2013.com/ .

 

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