Barcelona / Spain

The ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final continued Friday in Barcelona (ESP) with the Junior Free Skating and Junior Free Dance.

Evgenia Radionova (RUS) takes Junior Ladies gold

Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia took the Junior Ladies gold medal. Teammate Serafima Sakhanovich earned the silver medal and Japan’s Wakaba Higuchi pulled up from fifth to claim the bronze.

Skating to “A Summer Night’s Dream” and “Tango Tschak”, Medvedeva landed seven triples including a triple flip-triple toe combination and a double Axel-triple toe combination. The 2014 World Junior bronze medalist collected a level four for all three spins and the footwork to earn a personal best score of 123.80 points. The Muscovite totaled 190.89 points.” I’d give myself a four (out of five) for my free skating. There were a few minor mistakes and I had to change something in my program. Overall I think I dealt with the job at hand, even though not in an ideal way”, the 15-year-old said.

Sakahnovich’s performance to “Tango Oblivion” and “I Love You, I Hate You” featured seven triples as well and two level-four spins, but the final combination spin garnered a level one only. The 14-year-old scored 119.96 points and won her second consecutive silver medal in the Junior Final with 186.01 points. “The first jump (triple flip) didn’t work and I had to change the combination, like Zhenia (Medvedeva) did. Actually, I had to change two combinations as I was supposed to do it with the Salchow as well. I went on in the program and kept thinking about it and I waited until the last jump. I skated clean, but it is a shame for the spin in the short and free program”, the World Junior silver medalist noted.

Higuchi produced the maximum of seven triples in her routine to “Concerto in F” by George Gershwin as well. She received 117.72 points for her Free Skating which added up to 178.09 points overall. “Today was a much happier day than yesterday. Coming here, I was aiming for the third place, but after the short program I almost had given up the hope to win a medal”, the 13-year-old Japanese Junior Champion commented.

Defending Junior Grand Prix Final Champion Maria Sotskova (RUS) finished fourth (175.99 points). Yuka Nagai (JPN) slipped from third to fifth at 172.34 points and Miyu Nakashio (JPN) was sixth (144.44 points).

Anna Yanovskaya/Sergey Mozgov (RUS) dance to Junior Ice Dance gold

Anna Yanovskaya/Sergey Mozgov danced to the gold medal and led a Russian sweep in the Junior Ice Dance event.  Alla Loboda/Pavel Drozd claimed the silver medal and the bronze went to Betina Popova/Yuri Vlasenko.                                                                                          

Yanovskaya/Mozgov put out a strong performance to a Tango version of “Besame Mucho”, picking up a level four for the lifts, the twizzles and the spin. The two step sequences merited a level two. The World Junior silver medalists scored 89.46 points and accumulated 148.58 points overall to repeat as Junior Grand Prix Final Champions. “It is definitely harder to defend a title than to win it for the first time. We felt a strong responsibility to show our best here and show we deserved the title and I think we managed that”, Mozgov said. “This was the best performance of the season, maybe not score-wise, but emotionally. We want to give the audience emotions so that they know what we are performing”, added Yanovskaya.

Loboda/Drozd danced to “Giselle” and produced two level four lifts and level-four twizzles while the circular footwork was rated a level three and the twizzles and the diagonal step sequence were a level two. The couple from Moscow posted a seasons best with 82.59 points and had 136.31 points overall to take silver in their first appearance in the Junior Final. “We try to show the ballet on ice. Alla is Giselle and I am the count. It is very difficult to put a two hour ballet into three minutes. To bring the program to such a dramatic conclusion is very hard but I hope we succeeded in this”, Drozd explained.

Popova/Vlasenko had chosen an oriental theme with “1001 Nights” and completed difficult lifts and a level-four dance spin, but the serpentine footwork garnered a level one only. The Muscovites scored 81.36 points and with 131.88 points took the bronze in their second Junior Final.”We are very happy to be at the Grand Prix Final. It is a very serious competition. The rink is excellent, the audience is great, and they helped us to conserve our energy today and skate confidently. It was easy for us to skate today”, Popova commented.

Mackenzie Bent/Garrett MacKeen (CAN) placed fourth with 128.61 points followed by Madeline Edwards/ Zhao Kai Pang (CAN) with 122.39 points and Daria Morozova/Mikhail Zhirnov (RUS/113.26 points).

Shoma Uno (JPN) strikes Junior Men’s gold

Japan’s Shoma Uno pulled up from third place to strike gold in the Junior Men’s event. His teammate Sota Yamamoto earned the silver medal and the bronze went to Alexander Petrov of Russia.

Skating to “Don Juan de Marco”, Uno reeled off a quad toe, two triple Axels and six more triple jumps. The 17-year-old picked up a level four for the three spins and the step sequence to set a new personal best with 163.06 points for himself. Overall Uno racked up 238.27 points. “I am surprised with myself. I skated much better than I expected. After the short program I was sad, but today’s free skating made up for it”, the Japanese Junior Champion told the press.

Overnight leader Yamamoto singled his opening Axel but rallied back to nail seven triples in his routine to “Lorelei” by Raul di Blasio. The 14-year-old earned level fours for his three spins and achieved a new personal best with 136.98 points. Overall he had 213.12 points. “I’m happy about the result and the placement today but my goal was to land a triple Axel and I didn’t do it so I regret that a little bit”, the National Junior silver medalist commented.

Petrov’s program to music by Antonio Vivaldi included two triple Axels and six other triples, but two were somewhat shaky. The 15-year-old from St. Petersburg was ranked second in the Free Skating with 137.07 points and moved up from fourth to take the bronze at 207.14 points. “I’m happy about being in third place because I was fourth after the short program and if I hadn’t missed the Lutz maybe I could have been second. For me it is a personal victory”, Petrov said.

Boyang Jin (CHN) dropped from second to fourth after several errors (201.02 points). Roman Sadovsky (CAN) came in with 185.47 points followed by June Hyoung Lee (KOR/180.39 points).

Julianne Seguin/Charlie Bilodeau (CAN) skate to Junior Pairs gold

Canadians Julianne Seguin/Charlie Bilodeau skated to the Junior Pairs gold. Russians Lina Federova/ Maxim Miroshkin and Maria Vigalova/Egor Zakroev picked up silver and bronze respectively.

Seguin/Bilodeau delivered a clean performance to songs by Peter Gabriel that was highlighted by a triple Salchow, triple twist, throw triple Salchow and toeloop as well as difficult lifts and spins. The couple from Montreal posted a new personal best of 116.35 points and totaled 175.57 points to win the title in their first Junior Final. “We really enjoyed the moment and felt good in the program. The crowd was really nice and we really liked the program. We could feel the crowd behind us”, Seguin noted. “Every time we skate to this music we are in our own zone. We have all the emotion that the song is saying. We’ve skated together for two years now and this last year we’ve really worked on the connection between us”, added her partner.

Performing to “Khorobushko”, Federova/Miroshkin produced a triple twist, double Axel and throw triple loop, but he popped a planned double toe in a combination with a double flip while she stepped out of the throw triple Salchow. The 2013 World Junior bronze medalists posted a new seasons best with 106.74 points and accumulated 165.78 points. “We’re not very happy. Last season was not very successful and now we know each competition we need to skate as well as possible but today we did not do that. Next season we need to focus on this more”, Miroshkin told the post-event press conference.

Vigalova/Zakroev completed a triple twist, throw triple loop and flip as well as level-four lifts in their program to “The Phantom of the Opera”, but she stumbled on the double Axel-double toe combination. “In our free program today we made a lot of mistakes and I think that was very visible. We lost a lot of points as a result. We came here wanting gold and we got only bronze”, Zakroev admitted.

Daria Beklemisheva/Maxim Bobrov (RUS) placed fourth with 131.57 points. Kamilla Gainetdinova/Sergei Alexeev were ranked fifth (130.14 points) and Chelsea Liu/Brian Johnson (USA) came in sixth (124.86 points).

The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final continues later this evening with the Ice Dance Short Dance and the Men’s Short Program.