Zagreb, Croatia

 #WorldJFigure   #FigureSkating

Marjorie Lajoie/Zachary Lagha of Canada danced into the lead in the Junior Rhythm Dance as the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2019 continued Thursday in Zagreb (CRO). 

Russians Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva/Nikita Nazarov and Sofia Shevchenko/Igor Eremenko came in second and third respectively in the first segment of the Ice Dance competition. 

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Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha of Canada setting a new season's best in Zagreb on Thursday 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)

Dancing to the three Tango pieces “Perro Viejo”, “Otro Puente Alsina” and “Essa”, Lajoie/Lagha earned a level four for the first Argentine Tango pattern, the twizzles and the rotational lift. The Canadian Junior Champions set a new season’s best with 70.14 points, breaking 70 points for the first time.

“We feel pretty good and happy about how we skated,” Lajoie said. “For sure it is a stressful competition and we need to deal with the stress and I think we did that well today.”

Lagha said: “At the (ISU Junior Grand Prix) Final we had a lot of trouble with the technical points, so this is what we’ve worked on the most. What we usually work and we didn’t stop working on, is the quality that will make us a good senior team, because junior and senior is really different.” 

Khudaiberdieva/Nazarov’s dance to “Tango Amore” by Edvin Marton was highlighted by precise twizzles and a rotational lift. The ISU Junior Grand Prix Final bronze medalists collected a level four for three elements while the midline step sequence and the second Argentine Tango Pattern were rated a level two. 

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Russia's Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva and Nikita Nazarov dance into second place in Zagreb  2019©International Skating Union (ISU)

They scored 68.69 points, a new season’s best. “We are just very happy to be here and to win the small silver medal is very honorable for us,” Khudaiberdieva said. “We are very pleased with our performance and we finished the Rhythm Dance on a high note. It was the best Rhythm Dance of the season.” 

Shevchenko/Eremenko had a level four for three elements in as well, but their second Argentine Tango pattern garnered only a level one. 

The ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champions earned 67.56 points for their performance to “La Cumparsita”. “This is a big competition for all skaters and for us, too,” Shvechenko said. “After the Rhythm Dance it was very emotional for us. We will miss this dance, the Argentine Tango.” 

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Sofia Shevchenko and Igor Eremenko of Russia competing on Thursday 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)

ISU Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalists Arina Ushakova/Maxim Nekrasov (RUS) are currently ranked fourth after a few little wobbles (65.96 points). Junior Grand Prix finalists Avonley Nguyen/Vadym Kolesnik (USA) came fifth (65.18 points) followed by Maria Kazakova/Georgy Reviya (GEO) on 60.08 points.

The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships will be available to watch at in certain countries.

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