Tallinn / Estonia

The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2015 continued in Tallinn, Estonia, on Saturday with the Junior Free Dance and the Junior Men’s Free Skating.

Anna Yanovskaya/Sergey Mozgov (RUS) dance off with gold

Anna Yanovskaya/Sergey Mozgov of Russia danced off with the Ice Dance gold. Lorraine McNamara/Quinn Carpenter (USA) moved up one spot to capture the silver medal and Ukraine’s Alexandra Nazarova/Maxim Nikitin pulled up from fifth to claim the bronze. While Yanovskaya/Mozgov were silver medalists one year ago, McNamara/Carpenter and Nazarova/Nikitin won their first Junior World medals.

Yanovskaya/Mozgov put out a characteristic Argentine Tango “Besame Mucho” and collected a level four for the lifts and the spin as well as a level three for the footwork and the twizzles. The ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champions set a new personal best of 93.70 points which added up to 155.92 points overall and struck gold after taking the silver medal a year ago. “We have only positive feelings now. We won the free dance and overall. Of course, there were some minor mistakes, but we are satisfied. In this season we achieved everything in juniors that we could have achieved”, Yanovskaya commented.

Dancing to “The Phantom of the Opera”, Lorraine McNamara/Quinn Carpenter picked up a level four for three elements and a level three for the circular footwork and the twizzles while the diagonal steps garnered a level two. With a personal best of 87.80 points, the 2014 ISU Junior Grand Prix Final bronze medalists were ranked second in the Free Dance but overall moved up one spot. “Going into the free dance today we just really wanted to put out a strong, solid skate and show our improvement from what we did earlier this year and since our last international competition. We wanted to show all the improvements that we’ve made, all the growth that we had. I think we did that today”, McNamara told the post-event press conference.

Nazarova/Nikitin’s dance to “Escalier”, “Air” and “Tango Chak” was highlighted by interesting lifts and included four level-four elements. With a Free Dance score of 90.31 points the Ukrainian Champions slightly surpassed their previous personal best and were second in the Free Dance. Overall they accumulated 146.08 points to finish third. “We don’t really understand our emotions yet. After all we are on the World Junior podium for the first time. We are satisfied with our performances, it was one of the best we’ve done. For me personally it is very nice that it was successful, especially the twizzles, because at the Junior Grand Prix here in Tallinn I did a rather big mistake so I am glad I was able to fix it for the World Junior Championship”, Nikitin said.

Rachel Parsons/Michael Parsons (USA) placed fourth at 140.94 points. Mackenzie Bent/Garrett Mackeen (CAN) dropped from second to fifth as he fell in the diagonal footwork (140.30 points). 2014 World Junior bronze medalists Madeline Edwards/Zhao Kai Pang (CAN) came sixth (135.12 points).

Shoma Uno (JPN) strikes Junior Men’s gold  

Shoma Uno of Japan struck gold in the Junior Men’s. China’s Boyang Jin came from fifth to take the silver medal and Sota Yamamoto of Japan rose from seventh to collect the bronze.

Uno’s performance to “Don Juan de Marco” featured seven triples including one clean triple Axel (the second Axel was underrotated) as well as two level-four spins and footwork. However, he popped his planned quad toe. The ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champion scored 147.67 points and was second in the Free Skating, but overall held on to first place with 232.54 points. “In this championship I felt more nervous in the short and free program than in any other competition”, the 17-year-old admitted. “In juniors, the expression is less strong than at the senior level. I think I need to work most on the artistic side. It is also important to get more consistency in my jumps”, he explained.

Skating to “Dragon Racing”, Jin reeled off a quad Salchow, quad toe-double toe and a quad toe (with his hand down) plus a triple Axel and six triple jumps. The 2014 ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champion posted a personal best of 156.85 points and totaled 229.70 points. “This is my third Junior Worlds but I got a medal for the first time. It was a quite good performance. The second quad wasn’t so good, and I couldn’t do the combination as planned but then I was able to do it later. All the other things were quite good”, the 17-year-old said.

Yamamoto landed two triple Axels and six triples in his routine set to “Lorelei” by Naoki Sato. His spins and footwork all merited a level four. The15-year-old from Nagoya achieved a personal best as well with 145.46 points which added up to 215.45 points overall. “I was so nervous in the short program and after that I tried not to be so nervous and not so stiff. As a result, I had this (good) performance”, the ISU Grand Prix Final silver medalist commented.

2014 World Junior bronze medalist Nathan Chen (USA) moved up from ninth to fourth (213.85 points) while Adian Pitkeev (RUS) slipped from second to fifth (210.71 points) and Alexander Petrov (RUS) dropped from third to sixth (206.23 points).

The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2015 conclude Sunday with the Exhibition Gala.