The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2016 opened in Debrecen, Hungary, on Wednesday with the Junior Men’s and Junior Pairs Short Programs. 177 skaters from 44 ISU members have been entered for the Championships. 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.
Dmitri Aliev (RUS) captures Junior Men’s Short Program
Russia’s Dmitri Aliev captured the Junior Men’s Short Program followed by his teammate Alexander Samarin. Deniss Vasiljevs of Latvia currently is ranked third.
Skating to “Nothing’s the Same” by Gary Moore, Aliev landed a triple Axel, triple flip, triple Lutz-triple toe and picked up a level four for the flying sit spin and a level three for the change camel spin as well as the step sequence. The ISU Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalist scored 80.74 points, a new personal best score. “I rate my performance today at a good level. I was able to cope with my nerves and my emotions. I was able to keep the focus from the morning until the actual performance. I’m glad that everything worked out for me”, the 16-year-old commented.
Samarin’s program to “C’est toi” included a triple Axel, triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination, triple flip and three level-four elements to post a personal best of 80.31 points. “I did everything. I’ve worked towards and prepared for this competition the whole season. Today everything worked out and I’m happy. Now we’ll see for the free skating”, the Muscovite said.
Vasiljev's upbeat performance to “Putting on the Ritz” was highlighted by a triple Axel, triple Lutz-double toe combination, triple flip and excellent spins. The Youth Olympic Games silver medalist earned 78.78 points, slightly improving his previous personal best score. “I think I did my job as good as I can. I hope I can do better the next time and show my best performance. I’m very happy to skate in this great event”, the 16-year-old noted.
Vincent Zhou (USA) remains close to the podium in fourth place at 77.31 points followed by Kevin Aymoz (FRA) with 75.53 points and Tomoki Hiwatashi (USA) with 74.97 points. A total of 38 Junior Men competed in the Short Program. Catalin Dimitrescu (GER) withdrew due to injury before the Short Program.
Duskova/Bidar (CZE) win Junior Pairs Short Program
Anna Duskova/Martin Bidar of the Czech Republic won the Junior Pairs Short Program. Anastasia Mishina/Vladislav Mirzoev of Russia came second followed by Ukraine’s Renata Oganesian/Mark Bardei.
Performing to music from “Cirque du Soleil”, Duskova/Bidar completed a double Axel, triple twist, throw triple Salchow and earned a level four for the lift, pair combination spin and step sequence. The ISU Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalists picked up a personal best score of 64.71 points. “We didn’t expect the first place. But most of all we’re happy that we did such a good program and we had no mistakes”, Duskova said. “We don’t think about placements, we just want to show our best and keep our focus”, added Bidar.
Mishina/Mirzoev produced a triple twist, double Axel and throw triple Salchow in their routine to “Bolero” to improve their personal best score significantly with 59.50 points. ”Today our skating was not very impressive, not clean, but we liked our skating. There were some mistakes, but no big ones. Tomorrow we’ll try not to do mistakes”, Mirzoev commented.
Oganesian/Bardei’s fast-paced program to “The Race II” by Yello included a big triple twist, double Axel and throw triple Salchow. The Ukrainians set a new personal best as well with 59.30 points. “Today we did everything according to plan. We skated clean and we had good speed throughout. There was just a wobble in the footwork, but overall we’re pleased with our performance”, Bardei told the post-event press conference.
Ekaterina Borisova/Dmitry Sopot (RUS) are currently ranked fourth as she missed the double Axel (58.56 points). Chelsea Liu/Brian Johnson (USA) came fifth (54.12 points) and Bryn Hoffman/ Bryce Chudak (CAN) are standing in sixth place (52.20 points).
The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2016 continue Thursday with the Junior Short Dance and the Junior Pairs Free Skating. For more information, full entry lists and results please see: www.isu.org and http://www.jwc2016debrecen.hu/en