The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2016 continued in Debrecen, Hungary, on Friday with the Junior Ladies Short Program and Junior Men’s Free Skating.
Alisa Fedichkina (RUS) leads after Junior Ladies Short Program
Alisa Fedichkina of Russia and Japan’s Marin Honda are virtually tied in the Junior Ladies Short Program. Both scored 66.11 points, but the higher technical score for Fedichkina broke the tie, putting her into first place. Maria Sotskova of Russia is currently ranked third.
Performing to “Valse Sentimentale” by Peter Tchaikovski, Fedichkina produced a double Axel, triple Lutz-triple toe combination, triple flip and level-four spins and footwork. The ISU Junior Grand Prix Finalist came close to her personal best with 66.11 points. “I’m pleased with my performance. I wanted to skate clean and that’s what I did. I was able to cope with my nerves and I’m happy with my result”, the 14-year-old from St. Petersburg said.
Honda’s performance to “Spring Sonata No. 5” was highlighted by a triple loop-triple toe combination, a double Axel, triple flip and excellent steps and footwork as well. The 14-year-old also picked up 66.11 points. “I’m satisfied with today’s performance and I hope I can do the same tomorrow (in the Free Skating)”, the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final bronze medalist commented.
Sotskova landed a triple Lutz-triple toe combination, triple flip and double Axel in her routine to “Black Magic Woman” by Santana, but her flying sit spin merited only a level two. The ISU Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalist earned 64.78 points. “I did almost everything as planned, with exception for the flying sit spin. I hope tomorrow everything will work out”, the Youth Olympic Games silver medalist told the press. “With Polina’s (Tsurskaya’s) withdrawal, obviously you feel there might be a chance to win. But I don’t want to think about that and just focus on my job”, she added.
Bradie Tennell (USA) came fourth at 58.56 points followed by Wakaba Higuchi (JPN) in fifth (58.08 points) and Angelina Kuchvalska (LAT) in sixth place (57.92 points). ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champion Polina Tsurskaya (RUS) withdrew before the Short Program as she had sprained her right ankle in the morning practice.
Daniel Samohin (ISR) strikes Junior Men's gold
Israel’s Daniel Samohin surged from ninth place to strike gold and made history by winning the first ISU Championship title for his country. It was also the first medal for Israel at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships. Nicolas Nadeau of Canada claimed the silver medal and the bronze went to Tomoki Hiwatashi (USA).
Performing to “Sherlock Holmes”, Samohin nailed a quad toe-triple toe, quad Salchow, a solo quad toe as well as a triple Axel and three more triples. The ISU Junior Grand Prix Finalist scored a new personal best of 165.38 points and racked up 236.65 points overall. “I was asked if I do aim to fight for the gold medal and I said I’ll try my best. There’re a lot of great skaters here so I couldn’t be sure that I’d be first. It’s pretty crazy to come from almost tenth place to becoming the top three. It’s really great. For Israel it is amazing”, the 18-year-old commented.
Nadeau turned in a solid performance to “Mary Poppins” that featured at triple Axel-triple toe, another triple Axel as well as four more triples and level-four footwork. He only underrotated his quadruple toeloop. The 18-year-old posted a new personal best with 150.86 points and accumulated 224.76 points to pull up from eighth after the Short Program. “I was coming to do a top five. So after the short program I just wanted to do a good program for the long. If I’d done the same program and would be in a lower position, I’d still be pretty about it and surprised that I did my best. Last year I was 25th. I didn’t even do the long program”, the Canadian noted.
Hiwatashi hit two triple Axels and five triples in his Charlie Chaplin program. However, one more triple, a flip, didn’t count as he already had repeated two other jumps. The National Junior Champion nevertheless earned a personal best score with 147.55 points which added up to 222.52 points. The 16-year-old moved up from sixth place to claim bronze in his debut at Junior Worlds. “I came here as a substitute for Nathan Chen and I wasn’t expecting to get this position right now. I was only aiming for top eight or ten. I just wanted America to get three places for Junior Worlds. It was really fun out there, I did a clean program. When I landed the second triple Axel I just felt I was going to make it”, the skater from Chicago explained.
Alexander Samarin (RUS) dropped from second to fourth at 222.11 points. Vincent Zhou (USA) came fifth (221.19 points) and Dmitri Aliev (RUS) slipped from first to sixth (211.18 points). Deniss Vasilijevs (LAT), who ranked third in the Short Program placed eighth (204.75 points).
The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2016 continue Saturday with the Junior Ladies Free Skating and the Junior Free Dance. For more information and full results please see: www.isu.org and http://www.jwc2016debrecen.hu/en