Sofia / Bulgaria

The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2014 will open in Sofia, Bulgaria, on March 12. 179 skaters from 45 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 tight with the participants of the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. Reigning Junior Grand Prix Final Champion Boyang Jin (CHN) landed three quadruple jumps in the Junior
Final and has a seasons best of 218.73 points. He finished fourth in 2013 and is aiming at the top of the podium. The challenge should come from ISU Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalist Adian Pitkeev (RUS/seasons best 216.24 points), ISU Junior Grand Prix Final bronze medalist Nathan Chen (USA/seasons best 218.62 points) as well as Nam Nguyen (CAN/seasons best 204.69 points). Others to watch out for are
2011 World Junior silver medalist Keiji Tanaka (JPN), Michael Christian Martinez (PHI) and 2013 World
Junior bronze medalist Shotaro Omori (USA).

The Russian Ladies swept the podium in 2013 (as did the US Men), and the Russian team is strong again. Defending champion Elena Radionova is back (seasons best 191.81 points) and is joined by ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champion Maria Sotskova (seasons best 176.75 points) and ISU Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalist Serafima Sakhanovich (seasons best 172.86 points). Looking to challenge the Russians are
2014 Four Continents silver medalist Satoko Miyahara (JPN/seasons best 186.53 points) and Karen Chen (USA/seasons best 179.08 points). Other contenders include Rika Hongo (JPN), Lutricia Bock (GER) and Ziquan Zhao (CHN).

The Pairs event features ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champions Xiaoyu Yu/Yang Jin (CHN/seasons best
173.58 points), ISU Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalists Maria Vigalova/Egor Zakroev (RUS/seasons best 168.10 points) as well as 2012 World Junior bronze medalists Vasilisa Davankova/Andrei Deputat (RUS/seasons best 161.03 points). Russian Junior Champions Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov and Madeline Aaron/Max Settlage (USA) are expected to challenge for the podium as well.

In the Ice Dance event, reigning ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champions Anna Yanovskaya/ Sergey Mozgov (RUS/seasons best 152.48 points) are up against ISU Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalists Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean Luc Baker (USA/seasons best 144.84 points) and ISU Junior Grand Prix Final bronze medalists Lorraine McNamara/Quinn Carpenter (USA/seasons best 137.97 points). Other contenders include Madeline Edwards/Zhao Kai Pang (CAN), Mackenzie Bent/Garrett Mackeen (CAN), Betina Popova/ Yuri Vlasenko (RUS), Alexandra Nazarova/Maxim Nikitin and Rachel Parsons/Michael Parsons (USA). Defending champions Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS) have withdrawn due to illness and were replaced by Evgenia Kosigina/Nikolai Moroshkin.

Please note that for the seasonal best total scores only the ISU Grand Prix competitions (senior and junior), ISU Championships, Olympic Winter Games and the Olympic Qualifying Event Nebelhorn Trophy 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 2014 is as follows:
Wednesday, March 12: Short Dance, Pairs Short Program
Thursday, March 13: Men Short Program, Pairs Free Skating Friday, March 14: Ladies Short Program, Free Dance Saturday, March 15: Men Free Skating
Sunday, March 16: Ladies Free Skating, Exhibition Gala