- Marseille, France
The ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final continued Saturday in Marseille (FRA) with the Junior Men’s and Junior Pairs Free Skating.
Dmitri Aliev (RUS) claims Junior Men’s gold
Russia’s Dmitri Aliev claimed the Junior Men’s gold with teammate Alexander Samarin taking the silver. Jun Hwan Cha of Korea moved up from fourth to earn the bronze medal, the first Grand Prix Final – junior or senior - medal for a male skater from Korea.
Skating to “Broken Vow” by Josh Groban, Aliev hit a quadruple toeloop, triple Axel-double toeloop as well as five more good triples and level-three spins. He only missed a triple flip (downgraded) and the second triple Axel was shaky. The 17-year-old achieved a new personal best of 158.70 points in the Free Skating and accumulated 240.07 points to add the gold medal to his silver from the Junior Final a year ago. “I’m very pleased with the result today and that I was able to win the Junior Grand Prix Final. This is a very important result for me, I’m glad that I was able to overcome myself. Everyone has seen that on the Junior Grand Prix circuit I had a different program, but that music, the Man in the Iron Mask, is connected to one man, Alexei Yagudin, so we changed the program to something that suited me well, that was more lyrical. Actually the choreography was not fully executed today, I can do much better, but I’m glad that I got highest components score”, Aliev said.
Samarin’s performance to “Maybe I Maybe You” by The Scorpions included a quadruple toe-double toe combination, a quadruple toe (with his hand down) and a triple Axel-triple toe, four more triples and two level-four spins. However, the Muscovite fell on a triple Axel. Samarin scored 155.44 points and totaled 236.52 points to win the silver in his debut in the Junior Grand Prix Final.
“I really raised my mood when I landed the first quad but then I had the mistake on the second, but overall I am glad. Coming to the Final has given me a great experience and at my last Final as a junior I really wanted to show everything I have worked on, everything I can do, and show the other competitors what I am capable of”, the 18-year-old commented.
Cha completed a quad Salchow and six triples including two triple Axels, but fell on a triple flip in his routine to “The Postman”. The Korean picked up 153.70 points which added up to 225.55 points overall. “The short program was really bad. But the short is the short and the free is the free. I tried to forget about the short and get into the free. I made some mistakes, but I was still trying to do my best”, the 15-year-old noted.
Roman Savosin (RUS) slipped from third to fourth (212.39 points). Alexei Krasnozhon (USA) landed an underrotated quad loop and came fifth (208.85 points) and Ilia Skidra (RUS) placed sixth (207.11)
Anastasia Mishina/Vladislav Mirzoev (RUS) skate to Junior Pairs gold
Anastasia Mishina/Vladislav Mirzoev of Russia skated to the Junior Pairs gold medal. Czech Republic’s Anna Duskova/Martin Bidar repeated as silver medalists. The bronze medal went to Aleksandra Boikova/Dmitri Kozlovskii of Russia. The two Russian teams competed in their first Junior Final.
Mishina/Mirzoev’s program to “Attention Mesdames et Messieurs” and “La vie en rose” was highlighted by a triple twist, a throw triple flip and Salchow as well as level-four lifts and spins. The reigning World Junior silver medalists posted a new personal best with 115.90 points and totaled 180.63 points. “It was difficult at the beginning of this competition because I was a little ill, but we overcame it and we’re very pleased. We’re really happy with our performance and achieving a Season’s Best. We were nervous before the skate but no more than in other competitions”, Mirzoev told the press.
Duskova/Bidar put out a solid program to “La Leyenda del Beso”, completing a triple twist, triple Salchow-double toeloop-double toeloop combination and collected a level four for five elements. The only glitch came when she fell on the throw triple Salchow. The reigning World Junior Champions scored 106.38 points and had 167.76 points overall. “It was good but we also made some mistakes. But it’s not the end of the season, we still can improve. It (the fall on the throw Salchow) is the kind of mistake I’m most afraid of. The jump is done and you landed, and the next moment you’re on your butt. But our combination, the triple Salchow-double toeloop-double Toeloop, worked really well, and we’ve been fighting for this combination the whole season”, Duskova noted.
Boikova/Kozlovskii landed a side by side triple Salchow, triple toe-double toe and triple twist in their routine to “Tristan and Isolde”, but she fell on the throw triple Salchow. The team from St. Petersburg set a personal best with 100.97 points which added up to 159.72 points overall to move up from fourth to third place. “We wanted to correct the mistakes we made in the short program and be more focused during our skate. We made a completely silly mistake in the throw (triple Salchow). We were ready psychologically and physically for this competition”, Kozlovskii said.
Alina Ustimkina/Nikita Volodin (RUS) slipped from third to fourth at 158.14 points. Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya/Harley Windsor (AUS) came fifth (141.36 points) followed by last year’s bronze medalists Amina Atakhanova/Ilia Spiridonov (RUS) at 139.50 points.