Youth Olympic Games champion Yuma Kagiyama of Japan clinched a narrow lead over Russia’s Andrei Mozalev as the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2020 opened in Tallinn (EST) with the Junior Men’s Short Program on Wednesday. Andrew Torgashev (USA) came in third.
Yuma Kagiyama performs in the Men's Short Program in Tallin 2020©International Skating Union (ISU)
Skating to Piano Concerto “Fate” by Akira Senju, Kagiyama landed a triple Axel, triple loop, triple Lutz-triple toe combination and picked up a level four for his spins. The Four Continents bronze medalist scored 85.82 points.
“I was very relaxed today,” he said. “I was little bit concerned about my triple Axel, but my practice has been going quite well so I was able to do it with confidence.
“As for the Lutz-toe combination, it was a bit shaky on the first jump, but I was able to recompose myself after the first jump.
“This is my last short program of the season, so I was very happy to do a good performance. Anything can happen in the free program, I just need to continue to focus.”
Mozalev’s performance to “I’ll Never Forget You” from the Russian rock opera “Juno and Avos” featured a triple loop, triple Axel and triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination as well as level-four spins and footwork.
Andrei Mozalev is second after the Men's Short Program 2020©International Skating Union (ISU)
The Youth Olympic Games silver medalist set a personal best of 84.31 points. “I am basically pleased with my performance. Obviously, there were some little issues, I’ll work on them and try not to repeat them in the free skating,” the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final runner-up said.
Torgashev hit a triple Axel, triple flip-triple toe and the loop, which is the required solo jump in the Junior Short Program this season in his program to “Bloodstream” by Tokio Myers to score 81.50 points. It was a new personal best for him.
“I’ve been training very hard for this competition. I was very happy that I was able to skate a program that I’ve been training,” the 18-year-old said.
“I didn’t finish all my spins all the way, where I lost a few points. However, I felt very confident with the jumps. I loved the program today, I loved the feeling of it and I’m very excited to go into the long program.”
Andrew Torgashev is third after the Men's Short Program 2020©International Skating Union (ISU)
To the delight of the home crowd, Aleksandr Selevko (EST) turned in a clean performance as well to remain in medal contention in fourth place on 80.87 points. ISU Junior Grand Prix Final champion Shun Sato (JPN) follows in fifth on 79.30 points. 2019 World Junior bronze medalist Daniel Grassl (ITA) is sixth with 78.91 points.
Alexander Zlatkov (BUL) withdrew before the Short Program citing injury.
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