U.S. Champion Alysa Liu, Ice Dancers Avonley Nguyen/Vadym Kolesnik (USA) and Pair Skaters Apollinariia Panfilova/Dmitry Rylov (RUS) secured their tickets to the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Torino with victories at the fifth ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Gdansk (POL). Men‘s champion Daniil Samsonov (RUS) has a good chance to go to Italy as well after a first and third place on the circuit. Silver medalist Yuma Kagiyama (JPN) qualified with a gold from Riga and silver from Gdansk. The 12 medals went to six ISU members.
Liu (USA) jumps to second gold
Alysa Liu added a second ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating gold medal to her resume in Gdansk. The 14-year-old ranked fourth in the Short Program after doubling her loop, but she landed a triple Axel-triple toeloop combination. In her Free Skating to “Illumination” by Jennifer Thomas, Liu reeled off a quad Lutz, a triple Axel and a wobbly triple Axel-double toeloop combination as well as six clean triples and level-four spins. With a score of 203.10 points, the Californian soared to first place. Viktoria Vasilieva (RUS) delivered two strong performances and moved up from third to second to claim her second medal this season on 196.47 points. With two more events coming up, the Muscovite will have to wait and see if a silver and a bronze is enough to get her into the Final. Anastasia Tarakanova (RUS) led following the Short Program, but in this high-level competition she slipped to third in the Free Skating although she made no mistake (194.74 points). She earned her sixth consecutive ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating medal.
“I was a little bit nervous, but I knew I could do well, because in practice, you do the programs every day, so I just acted as if this was just another practice,” Liu commented and shared her plans for the Final: “I want to improve my expression, I want to have more flow in and out of my jumps and just skate faster.”
A total of 36 Junior Ladies competed in the event.
ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Standings Ladies
Samsonov (RUS) bags gold in Gdansk
Daniil Samsonov skated to the gold medal in Gdansk in what was a strong competition. Yuma Kagiyama (JPN) and Daniel Grassl (ITA) earned the silver and bronze medals. Samsonov took the lead with a confident performance in the Short Program, scoring 87.33 points. The 14-year-old Samsonov crashed on his quad Lutz in the Free Skating to “Per Te”, but recovered to nail eight high-quality triple jumps to win his first ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating title on 250.51 points. Kagiyama, who ranked second in the Short Program, landed two quad toes and five triples in his program to music from the “Tucker” soundtrack, but stumbled on an underrotated triple Axel (245.35 points). ISU World Junior Figure Skating bronze medalist Grassl was solid in the short, but underrotated his quad loop and triple Axel in the long program. The Italian scored 228.64 points and will fight for a spot in the final in his home ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Egna in two weeks.
“At my first Grand Prix in Riga not everything worked out, because I went out to compete for the first time at such a high-level event. Now in Poland it was a lot easier to skate, because I knew how to skate at the international level and the performances went better. Overall, I think my performances at the Junior Grand Prix were not bad for my first time out there,” Samsonov noted.
„Now I‘ll wait for the results of the remaining two Grand Prix after which I‘ll know if I make the Final or not. My main goal is to make my programs harder, because the world of figure skating, especially men‘s skating, is not stagnating,“ he added.
26 competitors participated in the event.
ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Standings Men.
Panfilova/Rylov (RUS) skate into their third Junior Final
Apollinariia Panfilova and Dmitry Rylov (RUS) at the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating (POL) 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Apollinariia Panfilova/Dmitry Rylov (RUS) scored their second ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating victory this season and skated straight into their third consecutive ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. Kate Finster/Balazs Nagy (USA) claimed the silver and Annika Hocke/Robert Kunkel gave Germany its first ever ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating medal in Pair Skating, the bronze.
Panfilova/Rylov won the Short Program with a flawless performance to the „Matrix“ soundtrack and built on their lead with another clean program to „The Third Person“ soundtrack, earning positive Grades of Execution for all elements, especially for their throws and lifts. The ISU World Junior Figure Skating silver medalists totaled 192.73 points and with 25 points to spare.
Kate Finster and Balazs Nagy (USA), Apollinariia Panfilova and Dmitry Rylov (RUS) and Annika Hocke and Robert Kunkel (GER) at the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating (POL) 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
Finster/Nagy turned in two solid programs that inluded triple throws as well and picked up 166.22 points and their first ISU Junior Grand Prix medal.
Hocke/Kunkel, who competed in their first event as a team, were third in the Short Program and ranked fifth in the Free Skating, but held on to third place overall on 156.20 points.
„We skated well. The short program went better than in the USA. We were not tight and skated with more confidence. We improved our side by side spin and the throw was done better,“ Panfilova explained. „The job was to go out and to skate the way we can and are able to, to qualify for the (Junior) Grand Prix Final, to our enjoyment and the enjoyment of the coaches, judges and spectators. We feel that we accomplished that,“ continued Rylov.
Nguyen/Kolesnik (USA) book spot in Final with second gold
Avonley Nguyen/Vadym Kolesnik (USA) booked their spot in the Junior Final with their second gold medal on the circuit this season. The Lake Placid Champions won the Rhythm Dance performing to Swing and Foxtrot from the “Aladdin” musical, collecting a level four for the twizzles and the second part of the Tea Time Foxtrot pattern. It was also smooth sailing in their Rachmaninov Free Dance for the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Finalists, who earned a level four for four elements. Nguyen/Kolesnik achieved new personal best scores in both segments and accumulated 174.68 points overall.
“I think we still have a lot to work on, but I’m happy what we’ve done. There’s always space to improve and we’re going to be better and better and stronger. Hopefully by the time of the Final which is coming soon, we’re going to show higher quality skating,” Kolesnik said. “Obviously, when we go home we’ll look at our protocols. We know what we need to work on to improve,” Nguyen added.
Loicia Demougeot/Theo Le Mercier (FRA) came second in the Rhythm Dance and finished third with a dramatic “Carmen” Free Dance, but overall remained in second place for the silver medal (162.70), edging out Ekaterina Katashinskaia/Aleksandr Vaskovich (RUS). The Russian team also skated well to score 162.19 points and took their second bronze medal this season.
Overall, 19 Ice Dance couples competed in Gdansk.
ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Standings Ice Dance
The ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series continues next week in Gdansk (POL) with the fifth of seven events. Full entry lists, results, the General Announcement of the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series are available on isu.org.
Avonley Nguyen and Vadym Kolesnik (USA) at the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating (POL) 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
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Alysa Liu (USA) at the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating (POL) 2019©International Skating Union (ISU)
ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2019