Sophia Baram and Daniel Tioumentsev (USA) win the Junior Pairs in Calgary, Alberta (CAN) © ISU
Sophia Baram/Daniel Tioumentsev (USA) celebrated an emotional win as the Pair Skating event at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships concluded Thursday in Calgary (CAN).
The couple skated to gold with a beautiful performance on the day their coach Todd Sand has suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized. Australia’s Anastasia Golubeva/Hector Giotopoulos Moore repeated as silver medalists while Violetta Sierova/Ivan Khobta of Ukraine moved up from fourth place to claim bronze.
Overnight leaders Baram/Tioumentsev had to overcome their shock when their coach Todd Sand was hospitalized in the morning. The ISU Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalists put out a courageous performance to “Pilgrims On a Long Journey” and “Primavera”, completing a triple twist, triple Salchow-double Axel-double Axel sequence, two level-four lifts and a level-four death spiral and pair combination spin.
The only glitch came when Baram stepped out of the throw triple loop. The ISU JGP Czech Skate Champions posted a personal best of 116.52 points and totaled 183.47 points to take the first Junior World Pairs title for the USA since Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier (USA) won in 2013.
“It is very exciting and still sinking in that we got on the podium. There are a lot of emotions. We worked so hard to get here,” Tioumentsev said
“We found out this morning (about coach Todd Sand being hospitalized). It was a definite down-turn for me and Sophia. We skated for Todd and for everyone that has helped us through the season. It was very hard and we tried to remember what Todd told us – to stay in the moment,” he explained.
“It is such a good feeling to win,” Baram added. “It (Sand’s illness) hit me so hard, I was really sad,” she said in tears. “We are sending a lot of prayers and today we skated for him and for everyone who supported us. We love you Todd.”
Golubeva/Giotopoulos Moore produced a triple twist, triple Salchow, throw triple loop and Salchow as well as difficult lifts in their upbeat program to “Sing Sing Sing”. However, Giotopoulos Moore struggled with the triple toe-triple toe-double toe combination – singling the second jump and falling on the third.
Anastasia Golubeva and Hektor Giotopoulos Moore (AUS) came second in the Junior Pairs © ISU
The ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champions netted 111.18 points and moved up from third to second at 170.36 to earn their second consecutive silver medal at the ISU World Junior Championships.
“This is amazing, we couldn’t be happier. I’m still shocked a bit,” Giotopoulos Moore told the press. “This is a huge achievement for us and we are very happy. Your next goal is going to senior worlds. I think we belong there,” he added.
“I was so upset after the short program, because of the death spiral. In the free skating I tried to do my maximum and give a 100 per cent and do my work,” Golubeva said.
Sierova/Khobta’s performance to “Halo” by Beyonce included an excellent triple twist, level-four lifts, throw double loop and Lutz, as well as a side by side double Salchow. The Ukrainians set a personal best of 100.92 points which added up to 159.39 points overall.
It is the first medal for Ukraine in Pairs at Junior Worlds in 23 years since 2000, when two Ukrainian Pairs had won gold and silver.
Violetta Sierova and Ivan Khobta (UKR) came third in the Junior Pairs Free in Calgary, Alberta (CAN) © ISU
“We are excited to represent Ukraine at the Europeans, (Junior) Grand Prix Final, Junior Worlds and future senior worlds,” Khobta said.
“We feel all the support of the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada and that gave us strength. We hope to do our best in our next competition. This Junior Worlds was very important for us and our country.”
The couple has relocated to Germany because of the war in Ukraine.
Haruna Murakami/Sumitada Moriguchi (JPN) pulled up from sixth to fourth on 154.71 points while Oxana Vouillamoz/Flavien Giniaux (FRA) slipped from second to fifth after a few errors (153.59 points). Ava Kemp/Yohnatan Elizarov (CAN) finished sixth on 149.03 points.
Skaters/Couples need to have obtained a minimum total technical score in Short Program and Free Skating in order to compete at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships.
Following the IOC recommendation and 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. The same applies to Officials listed in the respective ISU Communications and/or Regulations under Russia and Belarus (see ISU Communication 2469).
Schedule of the event
The schedule of the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships is as follows:
Wednesday, March 1: Junior Pairs & Junior Women’s Short Programs
Thursday, March 2: Junior Men’s Short Program, Junior Pairs Free Skating
Friday, March 3: Junior Rhythm Dance & Junior Women’s Free Skating
Saturday, March 4: Junior Free Dance & Junior Men’s Free Skating
Sunday, March 5: Exhibition Gala
For full entries and results, please see the ISU event page and the official website. Follow the discussion on social media using #WorldJFigure and #FigureSkating.
Where to watch the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2023:
The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships will be live streamed on the Skating ISU YouTube Channel. Geo-restrictions will apply in markets where TV rights are in place. You will find the full list in the Where to Watch news here.
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