ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champion Kamila Valieva of Russia scored a runaway victory as competition at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships wrapped up Saturday in Tallinn (EST) with the Ladies Free Skating. Valieva won with 20 points to spare while teammate Daria Usacheva made it one-two for Russia by taking the silver. USA’s Alysa Liu (USA) moved up from fourth place to pick up the bronze medal. All three Ladies debuted at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships.
Kamila Valieva (RUS) | 2020 © International Skating Union (ISU)
Valieva shone in her elegant performance to “Exogenesis Symphony” by Muse, reeling off a quad toe-double toe combination, a triple Lutz-triple toe, triple flip-Euler-triple Salchow as well as two more triples and a double Axel. The 13-year-old only stepped out of her opening quadruple toeloop, but recovered instantly. Her exquisite spins and footwork garnered a level four. The ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champion posted a new personal best with 152.38 points and racked up 227.30 points.
“There was a little mistake on the toeloop, but basically I am pleased with my performance,” Valieva said. “This was my first Junior Worlds. No matter what condition I am in, I have to come here and do everything I can do like in training, even if not everything works in practice,” she continued.
Skating last, Usacheva delivered a stunning performance to “Je suis malade” that featured seven triple jumps and level-four spins and steps. The ISU Junior Grand Prix Final bronze medalist set a new personal best with 139.29 points and moved up one spot with 207.74 points.
Daria Usacheva | 2020 © International Skating Union (ISU)
“I am so happy to skate clean, but all jumps I can do better,” the 13-year-old noted. “It was a huge experience and the atmosphere and the scale of the event is like at the Grand Prix Final, but the significance of the competition feels bigger. I really enjoyed skating here,” Usacheva added.
Liu landed a clean triple Axel and six more triple jumps in her routine to “Illumination” by Jennifer Thomas. However, she fell on an underrotated quadruple Lutz and also underrotated the first triple Axel (in combination with a double toe). The ISU Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalist scored 137.31 points and accumulated 204.83 points overall.
Alysa Liu | 2020 © International Skating Union (ISU)
“I was very happy with my placement and I was very happy to be here. I don’t think the short program placement should affect how you skate in the free program. I think I kind of left it behind, it already happened and I can’t undo what happened so just skated my free skate,” the U.S. Champion commented.
Maiia Khromykh (RUS), who stumbled on a quadruple Salchow but produced seven triple jumps, pulled up from fifth to fourth at 198.24 points. Haein Lee (KOR) fell on a triple flip attempt and dropped from second to fourth at 194.01 points. Seoyeong Wi (KOR) placed sixth on 193.30 points.
The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships conclude Sunday with the Exhibition Gala.
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