The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2013 will open in Milan, Italy, on February 27. Italy hosts the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championship for the first time. 184 skaters from 42 ISU members have been entered for the Championships. Following a decision of the ISU congress in summer 2012, no preliminary rounds are skated, but participants need to have achieved a total element minimum score for both Short and Free Program. All skaters compete in the Short Program/Short Dance and the top 24 single skaters, top 16 Pairs and top 20 Ice Dance teams proceed to the Free Skating/Free Dance. 

Overview of the top contenders
Competition will be tough with two returning medalists and the participants of the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. Reigning World Junior and Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalist Joshua Farris (USA) comes with a seasons best of 218.69 points to Milan and has his eyes set on the top spot of the podium. The challenge should come from 2012 World Junior bronze medalist Jason Brown (USA/seasons best 198.32) and ISU Junior Grand Prix Final bronze medalist Ryuju Hino (JPN/seasons best198.92) as well as ISU Junior Grand Prix Finalist Boyang Jin (CHN). Others to watch out for are Russian Junior Champion Mikhail Kolyada, Nam Nguyen (CAN) and Alexander Samarin (RUS).

Reigning World Junior Champion Julia Lipnitskaia (RUS) hopes to defend her title – something no Junior Lady ever has managed to do so far. Lipnitskaia (seasons best 179.31 points) has to expect stiff competition from ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champion Elena Radionova (RUS/seasons best 182.86) and ISU Junior Grand Prix Final bronze medalist Anna Pogorilaya (RUS/seasons 167.40). Satoko Miyahara (JPN), who was ranked fourth at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2012, Samantha Cesario (USA), Courtney Hicks (USA), Yasmin Siraj (USA) and Rika Hongo (JPN) will challenge the Russian trio.

The Pairs event features ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champions Lina Fedorova/Maxim Miroshkin (RUS/seasons best 161.11 points) and 2012 World Junior silver medalists Xiaoyu Yu/Yang Jin (CHN/seasons best 149.20 points). ISU Junior Grand Prix Finalists Margaret Purdy/Michael Marinaro (CAN), Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier (USA), Britney Simpson/Matthew Blackmer (USA) and Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS) are expected to challenge for the podium as well. 

ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champions and reigning World Junior silver medalists Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS/seasons best 149.57 points) are the top favorites in the Ice Dance event. Competition should come from ISU Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalists Gabriella Papadakis/ Guilleaume Cizeron (FRA/seasons best 142.08) and 2012 World Junior bronze medalists Alexandra Aldridge/Daniel Eaton (USA/seasons best 138.43). Other contenders include Russian Junior Champions Valeria Zenkova/Valeri Sinitsin, Shari Koch/Christian Nüchtern (GER), Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker (USA) and Madeline Edwards/Zhao Kai Pang (CAN).

Please note that for the seasonal best total scores only the ISU Grand Prix competitions (senior and junior) and ISU Championships have been taken into consideration, not other international competitions or National Championships.

Prize money
The ISU awards a global prize money of US$ 200,000 at the World Junior Championships to skaters/couples placed 1st to 12th. The prize money is awarded to winners and placed skaters/couples as follows:
Men and Ladies                                                         Pairs and Dance (per couple)
1st place US$ 10,000                                               1st place US$ 15,000
2nd place US$ 7,000                                                 2nd place US$ 10,500
3rd place US$ 5,000                                                 3rd place US$ 7,500
4th place US$ 3,500                                                  4th place US$ 4,500
5th place US$ 2,750                                                  5th place US$ 4,000
6th place US$ 2,500                                                  6th place US$ 3,750
7th place US$ 2,250                                                  7th place US$ 3,500
8th place US$ 2,000                                                  8th place US$ 3,000
9th place US$ 1,750                                                  9th place US$ 2,750
10th place US$ 1,500                                                10th place US$ 2,250
11th place US$ 1,250                                                11th place US$ 1,750
12th place US$ 1,000                                                12th place US$ 1,500

The schedule of the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2013 is as follows:
Wednesday, February 27: Pairs Short Program, Short Dance
Thursday, February 28: Men Short Program, Pairs Free Skating
Friday, March 1: Ladies Short Program, Free Dance
Saturday, March 2: Men Free Skating, Ladies Free Skating
Sunday, March 3: Exhibition Gala