Russia’s juniors celebrated a gold medal sweep at Czech Skate 2018 in Ostrava, the fifth ISU Junior Grand Prix event of the season. Czech Skate included the fourth and last Pairs event of the Junior Grand Prix series and the six qualifiers for the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final are now determined.
Kostornaia (RUS) edges Kim (KOR) for gold
Russia’s Alena Kostornaia edged Yelim Kim of Korea for the Junior Ladies gold in Ostrava. It was a close call for Kostornaia, who popped her Axel into nothing in the Short Program and also missed a triple flip in her “Romeo and Juliet” Free Skating. However, the quality of her other elements and her performance skills kept the World Junior silver medalist in first place at 198.38 points. “I can’t say that I am pleased, because there were too many mistakes and big mistakes. But I am glad I qualified for the Final. In the Final, I hope to try the triple Axel,” the 15-year-old said.
Kim turned in a clean Short and Free Program, hitting all her jumps and level-four spins to score 196.34 points. Viktoria Vasilieva (RUS) ranked fifth in the Short Program but moved up to third in the Free Skating with two strong performances (182.87 points). Ting Cui (USA) stood in second place after an excellent Short Program, but dropped to seventh as she fell on three jumps.
Mozalov (RUS) claims gold in Junior Grand Prix debut
Andrei Mozalov of Russia struck gold in what was his debut at the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating. Favorite Camden Pulkinen (USA) had to settle for second place, but secured his spot in the Final.
Mozalov ranked second in the Short Program with a solid outing that included a triple Axel. His Free Skating to the “Step Up” soundtrack featured a quadruple toeloop, triple Axel-double toeloop as well as five more triple jumps, but he singled his second Axel. The skater from St. Petersburg scored 217.12 points.
Pulkinen started well into the competition with a good Short Program. However, the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalist fell on his triple Lutz-Euler-triple Salchow combination and made errors on a triple Axel and flying sit spin to slip to second place at 212.45 points. Joseph Phan (CAN) claimed the bronze medal with 207.80 points. Amber Cup silver medalist Kirill Iakovlev (RUS) ranked fourth and Mitsuki Sumoto (JPN), who had won silver in Bratislava, came fifth.
Akhanteva / Kolesov (RUS) skate to first Junior Grand Prix gold medal
Kseniia Akhanteva/Valerii Kolesov continued the domination of Russian Junior Pairs winning the title in Ostrava ahead of teammates Polina Kostiukovich/Dmitri Ialin. USA’s Sarah Feng/TJ Newman became the only non-Russian pairs medalists this season on the Junior circuit by taking the bronze medal.
Akhanteva/Kolesov stood in second place following a clean Short Program and then overtook Kostiukovich/Ialin with a strong Free Skating to a Czardas that included triple throws, a side by side triple toeloop and four level-four elements. The team from St. Petersburg totaled 184.73 points. “The first place was our main goal and we’re happy that we achieved this result,” Kolesov said. “Following our first Grand Prix where we came third, we right away paid more attention to our skating skills. Before Ostrava we did two (national) competitions that gave us confidence,” he continued.
World Junior silver medalists Kostiukovich/Ialin delivered a clean Short Program as well, but she fell on a triple Salchow in the Free Skating and the team dropped to second at 180.88 points.
Feng/Nyman pulled up from fourth place after the Short Program to third with a solid Free Skating. The only error was a fall on the throw triple loop (163.44 points).
All three medalists qualified for the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. The full list of qualified Pairs is available here.
Khudaiberdieva / Nazarov (RUS) take second gold this season
Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva/Nikita Nazarov (RUS) followed up on their victory at the first Junior Grand Prix in Bratislava and picked up their second gold medal this season. Silver medalists Marina Kazakova/Georgy Reviya of Georgia became the first ice dancers from their country to win a medal at an ISU event.
Khudaiberdieva/Nazarov took the lead with a confident Rhythm Dance that included three level-four elements. In their Free Dance to “Human” and “Nemesis”, the team from Balashikha near Moscow earned a level four for their lifts and twizzles, but the combination spin was a level two. Khudaiberdieva/Nazarov claimed the gold with 161.00 points and qualified for their first ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. “Everything was good in the Rhythm Dance. However, we are not completely satisfied with the Free Dance, because we made an error on the spin that got a level two instead of a level four,” Khudaiberdieva commented. “From the very beginning we set the goal for us to qualify for the Final and to win it. We have big plans for this season,” she added.
Kazakova/Reviya lost a few points in the Rhythm Dance when one part of the Argentine Tango was rated a level one, but they had the highest technical score in the Free Dance and accumulated 154.17 points overall. The bronze went to Diana Davis/Gleb Smolkin, who competed in their first Junior Grand Prix (148.62 points).
Overall, 130 skaters and couples from 37 ISU members competed at Czech Skate 2018 in Ostrava: 24 Junior Men, 36 Junior Ladies, 17 Junior Pairs and 18 Junior Ice Dance couples. The ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series continues next week in Ljubljana (SLO). Full entry lists, results, the General Announcement of the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series are available on isu.org.
Junior Grand Prix livestream
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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