Olympic and ISU World competitors Karina Safina/Luka Berulava of Georgia scored a runaway victory with almost 19 points to spare and made history by claiming the first ISU Figure Skating Championship title for their country. Australia’s Anastasia Golubeva/Hector Giotopoulos Moore earned the silver medal while Canadians Brooke McIntosh/Benjamin Mimar moved up from fourth place to take the bronze. All three couples competed in their first ISU World Junior Championships.
Karina Safina and Luka Berulava (GEO) win the Junior Pairs Free Skating at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn © ISU
Skating to “In This Shirt” by The Irrepressibles, Safina/Berulava produced a triple twist, triple toe-double toe-double toe, throw triple loop and Salchow as well as innovative lifts. The only glitch came when Safina stepped out of the triple Salchow. The two-time ISU Junior Grand Prix medalists collected a level four for the twist, lifts and pair combination spin to score 120.35 points. The Georgians totalled 188.12 points to take the title.
“We are extremely happy to end the season on such a high note,” Berulava said. “It was a long and busy season with many competitions and to end it with a gold medal is really nice. We are very happy for Georgia.
“We already have some figure skaters in Georgia and an ice rink will be built so hopefully this will help the development of figure skating in Georgia.”
Anastasia Golubeva and Hektor Giotopoulos Moore (AUS) win silver in the Junior Pairs Free Skating in Tallinn © ISU
Golubeva/Giotopoulos Moore’s program to “Sing Sing Sing” and “Summer Time” featured a triple toe-double toe-double toe combination, a triple Salchow and throw triple loop. However, their triple twist was wobbly and Golubeva stepped out of the throw triple Salchow.
The team picked up 108.19 points for their Free Skating which added up to 169.91 points overall. Golubeva/Giotopoulos are the third Australian Pairs team to medal at the ISU World Junior Championships after Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya/Harley Windsor won gold in 2017 and Elizabeth Cain/Peter Cain won bronze back in 1976.
“This is my first medal. We have some little mistakes in the program, but overall we’re very happy,” Golubeva said. “It means a lot of us. It is a huge accomplishment and amazing achievement. We’ll train hard and we’ll compete in juniors and seniors next season,” Giotopoulos Moore added.
Brooke Mcintosh and Benjamin Mimar (CAN) won bronze in the Junior Pairs Free Skating © ISU
McIntosh/Mimar produced a triple twist, a shaky triple toe-double toe and two more triple throws in their program to “Your Song” by Elton John, but McIntosh missed the side by side triple Salchow. The Canadians earned 98.80 points for the Free Skating and accumulated 156.80 points overall.
“We’re just happy to be here, thank you to the ISU and Estonia for having us,” said McIntosh. “Our program was not perfect, but we’re happy we got a medal.”
Mimar added: “Coming here we knew we have a chance to make the top five.” The Canadians will move up to the senior level in the upcoming season.
Anastasiia Smirnova/Danylo Siianytsia (USA) slipped from third to fourth after making some errors (148.43 points). Letizia Roscher/Luis Schuster (GER) remained in fifth place at 146.43 points and Violetta Sierova/Ivan Khobta (UKR) ranked sixth (134.46 points).
The schedule of the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2022 is as follows:
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).