Katarina Wolfkostin/Jeffrey Chen (USA) compete in the Junior Ice Dance Free Dance during the 202 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn, Estonia. © ISU
The next generation of promising Skaters will take center stage at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn (EST) April 13-17, 2022. At total of 145 Skaters/Couples from 40 ISU members are set to compete in Estonia.
Overview of the top contenders
Tallinn hosts the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships for the third time after 2015 and 2020 and stepped in for Bulgaria this year after being unable to hold the event. Earlier this season, Tallinn hosted as well the ISU European and Four Continents Figure Skating Championships.
The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2021 were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Two-time ISU Junior Grand Prix gold medallist Ilia Malinin (USA) leads the Junior Men in Tallinn. He comes off a 9th place finish in his debut at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships last month and has high hopes for Junior Worlds (seasons best 263.79 points).
Ilia Malinin (USA) performs during the Men's Short Program skating event at the 2022 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Montpellier, France. © AFP
The challenge should come from Kao Miura (JPN), who claimed the bronze medal at the ISU Four Continents Championships on this ice in January (seasons best 251.07 points) and Wesley Chiu (CAN) with a seasons best of 232.39 points. Others to watch include 2018 ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champion Stephen Gogolev (CAN) who is making a comeback after batting injuries, Estonia’s up and coming Arlet Levandi, as well as Mikhail Shaidorov (KAZ) and Lucas Tsuyoshi Honda (JPN).
Kao Miura (JPN) competes in the Men's Free Skating during the 2022 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn, Estonia. © ISU
The Women’s event looks wide open with several strong contenders. Isabeau Levito (USA) comes to Estonia with a gold and a silver medal from her two ISU Junior Grand Prix events and a season’s best of 208.31 points.
Isabeau Levito (USA) skates in the Ladies Short Program during the 2022 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Nashville, Tennessee. © Getty Images
She needs to watch out for teammate Lindsay Thorngren who collected a silver and a bronze on the circuit (season’s best 193.77 points) as well as for Niina Petrokina (EST) with a seasons best of 188.86 points and Seoyeong Wi (KOR). Japan sends Rion Sumiyoshi and Rinka Watanabe.
Rinka Watanabe (JPN) competes in the Women's Free Skating during the 2021 90th All Japan Figure Skating Championships in Saitama, Japan. © Getty Images
Karina Safina/Luka Berulava (GEO) are the hot favorites in the Pairs event following their fourth place finish at the ISU European and World Figure Skating Championships (seasons best 192.44 points). Other competitors include Anastasiia Smirnova/Danylo Siianytsia (USA), Brooke McIntosh/Benjamin Mimar (CAN) and Anastasia Golubeva/Hector Giotopoulos-Moore (AUS).
Karina Safina/Luka Berulava (GEO) compete in the Pairs Short Program during the 2022 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Montpellier, France. © ISU
The Ice Dance event features ISU Junior Grand Prix gold and silver medalists Katarina Wolfkostin/Jeffrey Chen (USA) with a seasons best of 165.01 points, ISU Junior Grand Prix gold medalists Natalie d’Alessandro/Bruce Waddell (CAN) with a seasons best of 163.04 as well as ISU Grand Prix medalists Hannah Lim/Ye Quan (KOR), Angelina Kudryavtseva/Ilia Karankevich (CYP). Other contenders include Nadiia Bashynska/Peter Beaumont (CAN), Oona Brown/Gage Brown (USA) and Angela Ling/Caleb Wine (USA).
Natalie DAlessandro/Bruce Waddell (CAN) perform during the 2021 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Ljubljana, Slovenia. © ISU
The ISU awards a global prize money of US$ 140,000 at the World Junior Championships to Skaters/Couples placed 1st to 6th. The prize money is awarded to winners and placed Skaters/Couples as follows:
Men and Ladies Pairs and Ice Dance (per couple)
1st place: US$ 10,000 1st place: US$ 15,000
2nd place: US$ 7,000 2nd place: US$ 10,000
3rd place: US$ 5,000 3rd place: US$ 7,000
4th place: US$ 4,000 4th place: US$ 5,000
5th place: US$ 2,000 5th place: US$ 3,000
6th place: US$ 1,000 6th place: US$ 1,000
The schedule of the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2022 is as follows:
Thursday, April 14 Men’s & Pairs Short Program
Friday, April 15 Ice Dance/Rhythm Dance, Pairs Free Skating
Saturday, April 16 Women’s Short Program, Men’s Free Skating
Sunday, April 17 Ice Dance/Free Dance, Women’s Free Skating
* Following the IOC recommendation, in order to protect the integrity of ice skating competitions and for the safety of all the participants of international ice skating competitions, the ISU Council based on Article 17.1.q) i) of the ISU Constitution, agreed that with immediate effect and until further notice, no Skaters belonging to the ISU Members in Russia (Russian Skating Union and the Figure Skating Federation of Russia) and Belarus (Skating Union of Belarus) shall be invited or allowed to participate in international ice skating Competitions including ISU Championships and other ISU Events (Full Statement to be read on ISU website).