Russian champion Anna Shcherbakova skated to the lead in the Junior Ladies Short Program at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Zagreb on Friday, outscoring teammate and defending World Junior champion Alexandra Trusova by less than half a point. Ting Cui (USA) finished the day in third place.
Performing to “A Comme Amour” by Richard Clayderman, Shcherbakova hit a double Axel, triple flip, triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination and picked up a level four for her spins and a level three for the step sequence.
Anna Shcherbakova (RUS) earning her lead in the Junior Ladies Short Program on Friday 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
“I’m pleased with my performance,” said the 14-year-old, who earned 72.86 points. “I did all my jumps as planned, but there is still room for improvement and enough left to work on.
“It’s my first Junior Worlds and therefore I was a bit more nervous. After all, this is the biggest competition of the season for me. For the free skating, I plan a quad. I’ve trained a lot and now the time has come to show it.”
Trusova’s dynamic performance to “Kill Bill” featured a double Axel, triple flip, triple Lutz-triple toeloop as well as a layback spin from an unusual cantilever entry. The ISU Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalist scored 72.49 points.
Second-placed Alexandra Trusova (RUS) in action in Zagreb 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
“I changed the combination to Lutz-toe, because I fell on Lutz-loop at the Russian Junior Nationals and the difference in points is not that big between the two,” the 14-year-old Russian Junior champion explained.
“On the one hand, it is harder to compete in my second Junior Worlds, because I’ve won before and I do feel some pressure, but on the other hand it is easier, because I’ve been here before and I know what is going on. In the free, I want to skate clean and do quads.”
Cui produced a double Axel, triple Lutz-triple toeloop and triple flip as well in her routine to “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” to collect 67.69 points.
Ting Cui (USA) finished the day in third place 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
“I am happy with what I did today because even though things were not perfect I am happy I fought on each jump and tried really hard to land it,” the 16-year-old said. “I am really excited about my placement going into the Long. It is the first time for me that I am in the top three, so the goal is to stay focused and to try my best.”
The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships will be available to watch at https://www.isu.org/figure-skating in certain countries.