Debrecen / Hungary

The competition at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2016 concluded in Debrecen, Hungary, on Saturday with the Junior Ladies Free Skating and Junior Free Dance.

 Marin Honda (JPN) skates off with Junior Ladies gold

Japan’s Marin Honda skated off with the Junior Ladies gold medal in her debut at the event. Maria Sotskova of Russia claimed the silver and Wakaba Higuchi of Japan repeated as bronze medalist.

Honda turned in a flawless Free Skating to “Beetlejuice”, reeling off a triple Lutz, triple Salchow-triple toeloop combination as well as four more triples and two level four spins. The ISU Junior Grand Prix Final bronze medalist achieved a new personal best score with 126.87 points and totaled 192.98 points to move up one spot. “Before the competition, I was aiming at the podium. After the short program I felt stronger about making the podium”, the 14-year-old said.

Sotskova’s routine to “Romeo and Juliet” featured a triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination, a triple flip-single loop-triple Salchow combination and three more triples. She only underrotated a double Axel. The Youth Olympic Games silver medalist picked up 123.94 points, a personal best, which added up to 188.72 points. Coming here I was not in a bad form, you can even say I was well prepared and ready for this event. I was not satisfied with my short program and I wanted to skate clean in the free and give the maximum, but not everything worked out”, the ISU Junior Grand Prix Finalist commented.

Performing to “The Mask of Zorro”, Higuchi completed seven triples including a triple Lutz-triple toe combo and level-four footwork to score a personal best of 125.65 points. Overall she accumulated 183.73 points to move up from fifth place. “Before the competition my condition was good. Unfortunately I missed an element in the short program and I was very disappointed. I had some concerns in the free skating about the triple Lutz-triple loop (which she didn’t try), but I think I did a good job”, the 15-year-old pointed out.

Yuna Shiraiwa (JPN) moved up from eighth to fourth at 171.59 points. Elizabet Tursynbaeva (KAZ) pulled up from 14th place after the Short Program to fifth with 170.83 points and Tyler Pierce (USA) came sixth (167.19 points). Overnight leader Alisa Fedichkina of Russia had to withdraw as she sprained her ankle in the off-ice warm up on the floor just shortly before she was supposed to compete.

Lorraine McNamara / Quinn Carpenter (USA) dance to Junior Ice Dance gold

Lorraine McNamara/Quinn Carpenter (USA) dance to the Junior Ice Dance gold, overtaking teammates Rachel Parsons/Michael Parsons. Alla Loboda/Pavel Drozd of Russia moved up from sixth place after the Short Dance to take the bronze in their debut at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships. All three couples set a new personal best score in the Free Dance for themselves.

McNamara/Carpenter’s dance to “Carmen” featured smooth footwork and difficult lift. The ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champions collected level fours for the straight line lift, the twizzles and the spin while the step sequences and the rotational lift were graded a level three. The defending World Junior silver medalists scored 97.40 points which added up to 163.65 points overall. “For us, we’re obviously very happy to have won the gold. It wasn’t our main focus. We were focusing on skating the best that we possibly could and we are very happy that it got us where we are, but we’re very happy that we skated the program we did and accomplished what we set out to”, McNamara said.

Parsons/Parsons produced four level-four elements in their Tango routine, but the midline step sequence garnered a level two. The brother-and-sister team earned 94.86 points and slipped to second at 162.74 points. “Since the Final we’ve been working in cleaning our transitions, dancing more, telling more of a story in our program, just improving every little thing that we could leading up to Worlds. It is the last time we’re performing these skates this season, so our goal was just to do the best we possibly could and whatever happened, happened”, Michael Parsons explained.

Loboda/Drozd stood in sixth place after she had fallen in the side by side footwork, but the Russian Junior Champions rallied back with a strong Free Dance to “Lo ti penso amore” and “Paganini 5”, completing level four spin, twizzles and lifts and level three step sequences. The ISU Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalists were awarded 92.26 points and moved up with 151.19 points overall. “We didn’t have such a good short dance and it was very important today to show a good free program and I think we did it. Today we were like one team. We’re so excited and so proud to be on the podium, because this is a very serious and important event, the most important for us this season”, Drozd commented.

Elliana Pogrebinsky/Alex Benoit (USA) placed fourth (146.83 points). Youth Olympic Games Champions Anastasia Shpilevaya/Grigory Smirnov (RUS) were fifth Betina Popova/Yuri Vlasenko (RUS) finished sixth (146.21 points). Marie-Jade Lauriault/Romain Le Gac (FRA) fell from third to eighth as she made a costly error on the twizzle series (144.26 points).

The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2016 conclude Sunday with the Exhibition Gala. For more information and full results please see: and