Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva and Nikita Nazarov (RUS) 2018 © International Skating Union (IS)
Newcomers from Russia and Canada dominated the first ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating event in Bratislava (SVK). Russia’s Anna Shcherbakova and Canadian Stephen Gogolev as well as Pair Skaters Anastasia Mishina/Aleksandr Galliamov of Russia celebrated confident victories in what was their debut at the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series. For 14-year-old Shcherbakova and 13-year-old Gogolev Bratislava marked the first international competition of their young careers. Mishina/Galliamov, who had teamed up only in 2017, had won the bronze medal at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2017 last March, but competed in their first Junior Grand Prix as well. Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva/Nikita Nazarov (RUS) took the Ice Dance gold, their first after claiming a silver and a bronze in last year’s series.
Shcherbakova shines in the Junior Ladies
Shcherbakova took the lead in the Junior Ladies Short Program with an exquisite performance to “A comme amour” by Richard Clayderman that featured a triple flip and a triple Lutz-triple loop combination. The Muscovite who trains with Olympic Champion Alina Zagitova in Moscow then put out another strong and clean performance to “Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso” by Camille Saint-Saens that included a triple flip-triple loop combination, five more triples as well as difficult spins and footwork. Just the landing of her triple Lutz-triple toe combination was not as perfect as the other elements. Shcherbakova totaled 205.39 points.
“I was very excited to be here, because this is my first international competition.” said Shcherbakova, who was unable to compete in the Junior Grand Prix in the past season as she had broken her leg when missing a combination with a triple loop. “My main goal for this season is to skate clean and to land a quad Lutz in another competition. I did not try it this time because I need more stability in this jump. Sometimes I also train the quad toeloop, but at the moment I concentrate on the quad Lutz,“ she continued.
Silver medalist Anna Tarusina, also from Russia, put out two solid performances with triple Lutz-triple toeloop combinations, but she did two change foot combination spins in her free program and subsequently the second one did not count. The 15-year-old scored 186.68 points. The silver is the first JGP medal for Tarusina, who suffered injuries in a car accident at the JGP in Courchevel in fall 2016 and needed several months to fully recover. The bronze went to Young You of Korea, her first JGP medal as well. A total of 33 Junior Ladies competed in the event.
Gogolev hits quad Lutz in Junior Men competition
Like Shcherbakova, Gogolev dominated from start to finish and won with 226.63 points ahead of Japan’s Mitsuki Sumoto (210.31) and Daniel Grassl of Italy (199.26). Gogolev landed a triple Lutz-triple toe and a triple Axel in his Short Program to “Run Boy Run”. The 13-year-old then hit three quads right out of the gate in his Free Skating to the “Sherlock Holmes” soundtrack: a quad Lutz, quad toe and quad Salchow-triple toe. However, he fell on a triple Axel and struggled with a triple Lutz. “I’ve got lots of experience on how to control my emotions, since it’s my first Junior Grand Prix,” the Skater from Toronto said. “I was a little bit nervous going into my quad Lutz, and after that I got much more confident and relaxed, so I was able to do the two (quads) after,” he added. Gogolev will compete next in his home Grand Prix in Richmond, BC in Canada.
Sumoto, the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final bronze medalist, skated two strong programs to secure the silver. Grassl claimed the first JGP medal of his career. He landed the triple Axel in both programs, but crashed on a downgraded quad Lutz attempt. ISU Junior Grand Prix Finalist Andrew Torgashev (USA) came fourth ahead of Roman Savosin (RUS), who had qualified for the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final once before. 24 Junior Men competed in Bratislava.
Junior Pairs Mishina/Galliamov debut win
Anastasia Mishina/Aleksandr Galliamov led the Russian Pairs to podium sweep. The Pair from St. Petersburg put out two confident performances to strike gold with 184.80 points followed by Apollinariia Panfilova/Dmitry Rylov, who edged Kseniia Akhanteva/Valerii Kolesov for the silver. Mishina/Galliamov’s Short Program to “Party Like a Russian” was clean. Their dramatic Free Skating to “The Master and Margarita” soundtrack featured triple throws as well as level-four lifts. The only flaw was an underrotated triple Salchow in the triple Salchow-Euler-triple Salchow combination. ISU Junior Grand Prix Finalists Panfilova/Rylov sat in third following the Short Program as she fell in the footwork, but they caught up with a solid Free Skating. Overall they scored 173.37 points. Akhanteva/Kolesov picked up the first medal in their third Junior Grand Prix season with 173.24 points. Seven Junior Pairs competed in the event.
Junior Ice Dancers Khudaiberdieva/Nazarov take their first win
Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva/Nikita Nazarov claimed the Ice Dance gold with almost eight points to spare ahead of team-mates Elizaveta Shanaeva/Devid Naryzhnyy. Eliana Gropman/Ian Somerville (USA) earned the bronze.
Khudaiberdieva/Nazarov danced to the lead in the Rhythm Dance, picking up a level four for the first Argentine Tango pattern, the twizzles and the rotational lift. Their Free Dance to “Human” and “Nemesis” was highlighted by four level-four elements. The team from Balashikha near Moscow accumulated 160.24 points. Shanaeva/Naryzhnyy claimed the silver in their debut at the ISU Junior Grand Prix with clean performances and 152.42 points. Gropman/Somerville, who have been on the Junior Grand Prix circuit since 2015, scored 148.96 points. Overall, 14 couples participated in the event.
The ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series continues next week in Linz (AUT). Full entry lists, results, the General Announcement of the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series are available on isu.org.
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The ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating events are live streamed on the official ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating YouTube Channel. Additionally, all performances since 2011 are available on demand.
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