With the conclusion of the seventh and last event of the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series 2016/17, the qualifiers for the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final have been determined.
A total of 24 skaters/couples from six ISU Members have qualified for the Final that will take place in Marseille (FRA) on December 8 to 11, 2016.
The Russian Junior Men qualified four entries for the Final, led by Alexander Samarin, who struck gold in Saransk (RUS) and Tallinn (EST). Jun Hwa Cha (KOR) booked his ticket to Marseille with two victories on the circuit as well. The other qualifiers are Alexei Krasnozhon (USA), Roman Savosin (RUS), Ilia Skidra (RUS) and defending ISU Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalist Dmitri Aliev (RUS). Apart from Aliev, all skaters will compete in their first Junior Final. The substitutes are Vincent Zhou (USA), Andrew Torgashev (USA) and Roman Sadovsky (CAN).
Russian and Japanese Junior Ladies dominated the circuit as in the past. Defending ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champion Polina Tsurskaya (RUS) returns to the Final after winning her two events. She will be joined by newcomers Anastasiia Gubanova (RUS) and Alina Zagitova (RUS). ISU World Junior Champion Marin Honda (JPN), who took a bronze in the Final 2015/16 is also back, together with teammates Rika Kihira (JPN) and Kaori Sakomoto (JPN), who both will compete in their first Final. Kihira landed a triple Axel in the long program at the event in Lubljana (SLO), becoming the first junior lady since Mao Asada (JPN) to do so. The substitutes are Elizaveta Nugumanova (RUS), Stanislava Konstantinova (RUS) and Yuna Shiraiwa (JPN).
In the Pair Skating event, 2016 World Junior Champions and ISU Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalists Anna Duskova/Martin Bidar (CZE) will meet five Russian teams in Marseille: 2016 World Junior silver medalists Anastasia Mishina/Vladislav Mirzoev, Alina Ustimkina/Nikita Volodin, defending ISU Junior Grand Prix Final bronze medalist Amira Atakhanova/Ilia Spiridonov, Alexandra Boikova/Dmitri Kozlovoskii and defending ISU Junior Grand Prix Final gold medalists Ekaterina Borisova/Dmitry Sopot. The substitutes are Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya/Harley Windsor (AUS), who became the first Australian skaters to win an ISU Junior Grand Prix event when they struck gold in Tallinn, Chelsea Liu/Brian Johnson (USA) and Lori-Ann Matte/Thierry Ferland (CAN).
In the Ice Dance event, the 2016 World Junior medalists and Junior Grand Prix Final medalists all qualified again and won their two events: World Junior Champions Lorraine McNamara/Quinn Carpenter (USA), World Junior silver medalists Rachel Parsons/Michael Parsons (USA) and World Junior bronze medalists Alla Loboda/Pavel Drozd (RUS). The remaining three couples advance to the Final for the first time: Angelique Abachkina/Louis Thauron (FRA), Christina Carreira/Anthony Ponomarenko (USA) and Anastasia Shpilevaya/Grigory Smirnov (RUS). The substitutes are Anastasia Skoptcova/Kirill Aleshin (RUS), Sofia Polishchuk/Alexander Vakhnov (RUS) and Nicole Kuzmich/Alexander Sinicyn (CZE).
Starting in August, the series consisted of seven events that were held in St. Gervais (FRA), Ostrava (CZE), Yokohama (JPN), Saransk (RUS), Ljubljana (SLO), Tallinn (EST) and Dresden (GER). The events in Russia, Czech Republic, Estonia and Germany included a Pair Skating competition.
The best six skaters/couples in each discipline qualified for the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series in Marseille. Skaters earned points according to their placements in order to qualify for the Final.
153 Ladies, 104 Men, 33 Pairs and 63 Ice Dance couples from 62 ISU Members competed in the series. Each ISU Member is entitled to enter competitors for the series while the number of their entries depends on the result of the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2016.
For the third consecutive year, live coverage of all ISU Junior Grand Prix events was provided on the ISU YouTube channel. The live coverage was a huge success with over 6.6 million views from August to October. Last season, the ISU Junior Grand Prix had 3.7 views. The Free Skating performance of Donovan Carrillo (MEX) at the JGP in Yokohama reached over one million views, which is a first for a video from the ISU Junior Grand Prix Series.