The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2013 opened in Milan, Italy, Wednesday with the Junior Short Dance and Junior Pairs Short Program. 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.

Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS) lead Junior Short Dance

Russia's Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin danced to the lead in the Junior Short Dance followed by Gabriella Papadakis/Guilleaume Cizeron of France and Alexandra Aldridge/Daniel Eaton (USA). 35 couples competed in the Short Dance and the top 20 advance to the Free Dance on Friday.

Stepanova/Bukin's dance to Blues and Swing featured fast twizzles, a confident Blues pattern dance and a straight line lift. The lift, twizzles and one Blues sequence merited a level four. The reigning ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champions earned 64.65 points, surpassing their previous seasons best by 3.47 points.

It is always a great feeling when you are winning and reach your goals. This makes us really happy. Now we have the free dance left and we have to focus and skate as well as we can do it in practice. Probably now we are at the peak of our preparation and we learned from our mistakes in previous competitions and corrected them, Stepanova said.

Dancing to Minnie the Moocher for the Blues and Swing, Papadakis/Cizeron picked up a level four for the twizzles and the lift while the side by side footwork was graded a level three. The ISU Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalists scored a new seasons best with 61.56 points. It was our seasons best we did the quite well technically in the dance. We'll do our best the day after tomorrow to perform our free dance without any mistakes, Cizeron commented.

Aldridge/Eaton produced level-four twizzles and a level-four lift in their routine set to Swing, Blues and Swing. The reigning World Junior bronze medalists collected 56.89 points. We feel great with our performance for the short dance and we are excited for Friday's free program to really heave a strong performance and achieve our goal for the season, Eaton told the post-event press conference.

Mackenzie Bent/Garrett MacKeen (CAN) came fourth with 55.88 points. Valeria Zenkova/Valerie Sinitsin (RUS) are currently ranked fifth at 55.82 points ahead of Madeline Edwards/Zhao Kai Pang (CAN) at 54.92 points.

Xiaoyu Yu/Yang Jin (CHN) win Junior Pairs Short Program

China's Xiaoyu Yu/Yang Jin won the Junior Pairs Short Program. Margaret Purdy/Michael Marinaro of Canada came second and Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier (USA) placed third.

In the Junior Pairs Short Program, a throw triple or double Salchow, a double twist and a side by side double flip or double Axel are required elements. 16 couples were entered and all will compete in the Free Skating.

Performing to Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, Yu/Jin produced a double Axel, high double twist (level four), throw triple Salchow and picked up a level four for the lift, footwork and side by side spin to score 54.95 points, improving their seasons best by 4.61 points. It was the best performance of the season and I am especially proud of my partner today, she did a great job, Jin commented. I think we made a lot of progress and I want to thank our coaches for the work they did with us. We are very pleased with the outcome, he added.

Purdy/Marinaro landed the double Axel, throw triple Salchow and double twist to earn a seasons best of 53.09 points. Three elements in their routine to O Mio Babbino Caro by Giacomo Puccinin garnered a level four. We're very pleased with our skate today. We went out there to skate our best and have fun. It was our very last competition of the season. So we just wanted to enjoy it. We soaked up every moment of it and we are proud of what we did. We go out there, do the same thing tomorrow, do what we do every day in practice and enjoy ourselves, Purdy said.

Denney/Frazier's program to Malaguena was highlighted by a double twist, the throw triple Salchow and double Axel, but the death spiral and the step sequence were rated a level two. With a score of 52.61 points, the couple from Florida improved their previous seasons best of 44.58 points significantly. It was a great feeling that my partner and I were definitely connected together. It wasn't so much that we skated a clean program, it was how well we felt getting into the program and feeding off each other. It's been a very long season and it was nice to go out there and put out some of the hard work we had to put in just to perform like that, Frazier shared.

Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS) placed fourth at 52.25 points followed by Brittany Jones/Ian Beharry (CAN) with 51.57 points and Annabelle Prölss/Ruben Blommaert (GER) with 49.95 points.

The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2013 continue Thursday with the Junior Men's Short Program and Junior Pairs Free Skating. For more information, full entry lists and results please see: and .