MARCH 10-16, 2014
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Sofia brings luck to the US ice dance skaters Kaitlin Hawayek / Jean-Luc Baker. They have won the title of the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships, leaving behind them Anna Yanovskya/Sergei Mozgov (RUS) and Madeline Edwards / Zhao Kai Pang (CAN).
The U.S. ice dance team, coached by Anjelika Krilova, ended the 4-years domination of the Russians ice dancers. Curious detail is that here at the Junior Worlds 2008 and 2009 the wins went to skaters from USA, respectively to Emily Samuelson/Evan Bates and Madison Chock/Greg Zuerlein. Since then Russian couples only claimed the next four titles.
Kaitlin Hawayek / Jean-Luc Baker, skating on Amelie soundtrack, received 91.36 points for their Free and have collected 157.12 points total score (both new seasons best). Five of the seven technical elements had level four.
Anna Ynovskaya /Sergei Mozgov skated the best free dance (91.36 points), but their total of 155.16 wasnít enough for continue the Russian domination. Just like the champions, the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final gold medalists reached five times the highest level four.
The third place (81.73 points) in the free dance of the Canadians Madeline Edwards / Zhao Kai Pang moved them from fifth position to the world bronze medal with total score of 139.65 points and new personal bests. It was a big step forward after their 12th place at the last years Junior Worlds.
In the very close competition Lorraine Mcnamara / Quinn Carpenter (USA) stayed forth with 138.53 points, which is also personal best total score, but droped from the third place after the short skating. Alexandra Nazarova / Maxim Nikitin (UKR) 134.65 are fifth, followed by Rebeka Kim / Kirill Minov (KOR) 133.35 points.
Defending Champion Elena Radionova leads after the short program
The Russians Junior Ladies the Russian team have show that there are as strong as usual this season with Elena Radionova leading, followed by Serafima Sakhanovich and Evgenia Medvedeva after the Short program at the Junior Worlds in Sofia.
Elena Radionova, who is the only defending champion here, came back from injury, but performed close to her best, finishing with 66.90 points. She executed a clean program with solid combination triple Lutz triple Toe loop and received the highest level for all technical elements.
Radionova tested her strength at the seniorís events during the season and finished fourth at the ISU Grand Prix Final in December. She could become the only junior ladies to repeat as Junior World Champion.
Serafima Sakhanovichís skating was evaluated four points more than her seasons best for 64.75 points. The new Russian junior champion also reached the 4th levels for the elements and succeeded in the triple + triple combination.
Evtgenia Medvedeva, who entered as substitute after Maria Sotskova withdrew due to injury, took the opportunity and improved her seasons best in the Short program with 63.72 points. Her jumps were precise, but the step sequence received level three.
Close to the small medals was Satoko Miyahara, receiving 63.57 points. Fifth and sixth are Amber Glenn with 56,67 and Karen Chen 56.09, both from USA.
Ladies, after Short Program
Elena Radionova (RUS), 1st after the Short Program
Today I had a good performance, it was very confident and precise and overall I was calm when I went out for the warm up and for the competition. Maybe thatís why everything worked out today. (On receiving plus 3 GOEs) Most of the time I get plus three for my layback spin.(On the success of Olympic Champion Adelina Sotnikova and Olympic Champion in the team event Julia Lipnitskaia) I am very happy for the girls, especially for Adelina. We are skating in the same rink. We see each other every day and we are on very good terms. I saw how she prepared for the Olympic Games. She is very hard working. I am also happy for Julia. I canít tell how her preparation process went, but obviously it was good looking at the result. (On the secret of success of the Russian ladies) I think in the past time that there is a lot of competition among the Russian girls. (On dealing with the competition inside Russia) I canít even tell if it pushes me or the opposite. I think it is different for everybody, for someone it is easy to make the team for someone it is not. But it is tough. (On missing out of a chance to make the Olympic team as she was too young) This is just the way it was supposed to be. Yuna Kim also was 15 years old (in 2006) and became Olympic Champion (in 2010). Mao Asada was also 15 years old (in 2006 and not age eligible) but skated very well. It was just fate. (on combining school and training) I am home schooled, I do everything at home and only go to school for the exams. (on whether there are moments when she wants to stop) Each athlete has such moments, but it is just for a few minutes, then you realize that you already have invested so much time. I am used to being at the ice rink and when I am on vacation, I am resting for one week, but the second week I want to go back on to the ice, it is boring without ice.
Serafima Sakhanovich (RUS), 2nd after the Short Program
I am also very happy with my performance today. It was clean and I liked it, all my jumps were done ideally with plusses and I got a level four for the spins and footwork. I think I never skated better than that. I got a level four for the first time for the footowork, I always had a level three before. I was a little nervous. (On receiving plus 3 GOEs) For a clean triple-triple plus threes come up. (On the success of Olympic Champion Adelina Sotnikova and Olympic Champion in the team event Julia Lipnitskaia) I canít tell how Adelina and Julia prepared as I am living in another city, but I talked with Julia and Adelina and I am very happy for them, especially for Adelina. She worked towards this medal for such a long time, all these years, for this gold medal. And I am happy for Julia, she did not let down the team and got her gold. (On the secret of success of the Russian ladies) A new and very strong generation is growing up in Russia and I think this is the merit of our coaches. We all have very good coaches. We are pushing each other in each competition, there is just some hundredths of a point between us. (On dealing with the competition inside Russia) In this sport not everything is as easy as it looks like. To make the team is a big goal, it is hard, you have to work for it. Some girls make the team, then they get sick or injured, two girls could not come here and I am very sad for them. (on combining school and training) I have practice in the morning, then I go for three or four classes to school and back to training. I take my homework and tests and do it at home and return it the next day. (on whether there are moments when she wants to stop) It is easy to stop, but you would regret it later. These moments come and when you are so tired that your legs are falling off you can take a day off.
Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS), 3rd after the Short Program
Today I gave a quite clean and good performance, but I feel that is not my limit yet, there is still room to grow. (On receiving plus 3 GOEs) For me as well I get a plus three most of the time for the layback. I get plus threes on the spins, rarely for the jumps. (On the success of Olympic Champion Adelina Sotnikova and Olympic Champion in the team event Julia Lipnitskaia) I can say that Julia Lipnitskaia prepared very well for the Olympic Games. She worked very hard, Iíve seen how she worked and all this led to a result. And Adelina did a great job. She worked for this medal for a long time and you could see it in her competition. I liked her performances, she had clean performances, almost clean, there was just a small error. (On the secret of success of the Russian ladies) I absolutely agree that it is very competitive (in Russia). We are very close to each other in each competition. Everybody has their own secret about how to prepare for the competition and to skate clean. (On dealing with the competition inside Russia) The most important thing for me is to skate my program well and then everything comes with it. You have to prepare well and work, then you get into the team and wherever you want. I want to wish health and well-being to the girls that did not come here. I am sad for them. I know how it is to stay home and to watch how the others are working, that is very hard. (on combining school and training) I am taught at home by my parents. I go to school, take the homework and tests, and I am going to school once a week, on Friday, which is my day off, sadly enough. (on whether there are moments when she wants to stop) There are moments when you want to stop, but when there is a vacation or a longer time without competitions, your life feels empty and boring. There is nothing to do.
Kaitlin Hawayek / Jean-Luc Baker restore the triumph of USA in Ice Dance
Brian Orser: I always get excited to see young skaters experience at the
Brian Orser has amazing year as his skater Yuzury Hanuy (JPN) won the Olympic title and Javier Fernandez (ESP) the European. The great Canadian is in Sofia with three young skaters, one of them Nam Nguyen - the leader after junior menís short program. For beautyinsport.com Orser agreed to share some thoughts about this competition.
ďThis is my second time in Sofia. I was here 5 years ago for Junior Worls when I had junior boy, who became champion (Adam Rippon). I have good memories of Junior Words with other young skaters. Most of all maybe I remember my first Junior Worlds in 1978. It was the time when I realized I was at such a big event. After that year I started really focusing of the Olympics, dreaming of big things. So I always get excited to see athletes experience at the Junior WorldsĒ, said the two-time Olympic medalist.
Pairs, after Free Skating
Xiaoyu Yu/Yang Jin (CHN), 2014 World Junior Champions
Jin: Today we made a mistake, we missed one element. But overall we are pleased that we performed up to our level. I want to congratulate our competitors they showed beautiful elements and skated well. (On future plans) This was our last year in juniors and we are moving up to the senior level and hopefully will give good performances.
Yu: (on what new elements they want to learn for next season) We plan to add a new solo triple jump, the triple Salchow to our program.
Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS), 2014 World Junior silver medalists
Tarasova: This year it was easier for us to compete here, to perform and with our emotions. Weíve skated at the World Junior Championship before, we knew what to expect and we prepared very well. Yes, there were mistakes, maybe the fourth starting number (last in the group) affected us.
Morozov: We are happy with the result, but there are things we need to work on, things that were lacking today and that we can improve. (On future plans) We cannot skate in juniors next season as we are aging out. So our goal is to be a factor in the senior team for Europeans and Worlds. There is a change of generation after the Olympic Games in Sotchi. (on what new elements they want to learn for next season) As I said, we are moving up to the senior level and weíll have to learn quite a few new elements. I donít want to point out specific ones now.
Maria Vigalova/Egor Zakroev (RUS), 2014 World Junior bronze medalists
Zakroev: Today our free skating did not go so well, we made many mistakes. A lot of people are used to seeing us skating clean. Maybe it was not enough today. We are happy that we were able to reach the podium and morally this third place might help us in the future to improve. (On future plans) We donít know yet to be honest. We will have to wait for the (ISU) congress and their decision on the age limitations for juniors. After that we can make plans for the season. (on what new elements they want to learn for next season) We want to up the technical difficulty. There wonít be a double flip anymore, but a triple jump, but we donít know yet which one.
Vigalova: (on looking uncomfortable) We are not happy with the way we skated today, but we feel comfortable at the press conference.
Ice Dance, after Free Dance
Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker (USA), 2014 World Junior Champions
Hawayek: This entire season Jean-Luc and I have been preparing for Junior Worlds. From the beginning of the season weíve said, the Junior World gold medal is our goal. And I think that we worked the hardest this season and we believed the entire season that we could do it and this competition was just a showing of that this season.
(on future plans) At the end of every season we assess the season, see how successful itís been. Obviously itís been a quite successful season. Weíll talk with our coaches (and) look at not only what is best for us but whatís going in the senior level, what teams are staying, which teams are retiring. A lot changes after the Olympic season, because it is the end of a cycle. We just have to discuss with our coaches what is the best decision for us moving forward.
Baker: As for our skate today weíre very pleased. We both know how strong the competition is with Yanovskaya and Mozgov and the Canadians and also the other two American teams. We just wanted to put out a strong performance as well as everyone else. We knew the pressure was on, but we handled it quite well. (on what rules they would change if they could) I was brought up more vintage style ice dance, do ice dance and not look at me how strong I am, I throw my partner like a doll. I assume thatís more pairs. I like to see the dance in ice dance. If they could incorporate that a little more and not so much technique. Itís so hard with the quickstep this year to really show the style of a quickstep, because we are having to do so many technical things we canít really allow the dance to flow as it was created. Itís hard to do two things at once.
Anna Yanovskaya/Sergey Mozgov (RUS), 2014 World Junior silver medalists
Yanovskaya: We are very pleased with our day, it was very successful for us. We are very happy to be here and to be second. Right now we are just happy that we have a silver medal at the World (Junior) Championship and finally we reached the podium. (on future plans) We want to prepare better for the next season, have more effective programs, try to collect all possible medals at the junior level. We want to stay at the junior level and continue.
Mozgov: The performance was very good, probably the best of the season. We did everything we could do. We are very happy with the performance we added to it whatever we could, but there is no limit to perfection. But weíll strive for it. (on what rules they would change if they could) I totally agree with what Jean-Luc said, it is the correct position to say that dance should remain dance and not a kind of pairs. The rules become more difficult with each year and it never became easier. It never will be the same as under the 6.0 system when it was much easier to skate.
Madeline Edwards/Zhao Kai Pang (CAN), 2014 World Junior bronze medalists
Edwards: We could not be more pleased to be up here with two amazing teams. Everyone put out some great performances. Itís been a long season for us but we couldnít be happier to be here. (on what rules they would change if they could) I think what both teams are saying is very important, to keep the dance in ice dance. As we continue to see the growth in athleticism in our sport that we want to keep both aspects. (on coming back from last yearís disappointment at Junior Worlds) I remember standing there last year and watching the medal ceremony and thinking next year we want to be up there. We want to see our flag. Itís very cool that this came true for us. (on future plans) Like Kaitlin said weíll go back and weíre going to look at our areas of weakness. Weíll begin early with next yearís programs. I think we have one more year junior, so weíll compete in both junior and senior. We competed both junior and senior this year and I think found it to be a great learning experience to be able to compete with the older and more experienced teams, especially in an Olympic year to be able to watch everyone to prepare for that is actually very cool.
Pang: (on what rules they would change if they could) As long as they keep rewarding dance a keep rewarding good skating I donít really see any problem with the judging system. (on coming back from last yearís disappointment at Junior Worlds) We didnít really go into this competition going for redemption or anything. Our coach just told us to focus on the process, going through every motion and really just trust our training. We did, I think.
What do figure skaters do with stuffed animals?
The competitors in figure skating often receive many toys, flowers and presents after the starts. It`s interesting what they do with them. Beautyinsport.com asked this question to Russian competitors Elena Radionova, Serafima Sakhanovich and Evgenia Medvedeva who won small medals at the Junior Worlds in Sofia. Girls were tired and frozen, but the question made them laugh.
Elena Radionova: In Japan I was looking for bags to pack them. My mom said at home: ďWhat have you doneĒ but I couldnít leave them.
Serafima Sakhanovich: They are all so cute. I love hugging them. I never leave them. Everything is at home and sometimes my dog plays with them.
Evgenia Medvedeva: I also have dog - Lila French bulldog, I give her toys to play some times. I have a lot, right now on my bed there is no place to stretch my legs.
Small medals & Price Giving Ceremony
Small medal and Price Giving ceremony for the Junior Pairs and Junior Ice Dance medalists at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2014 place took place in the Winter Sport Hall this Saturday.
Mr. Roger Glenn, the ISU Referee in the Junior Pairs event, presented Xiaoyu YU / Yang Jin (CHN) with the small gold medal, Evgenia Tarasova / Vladimir Morozov (RUS) with the silver and Maria Vigalova / Egor Zakroev (RUS) with the bronze.
The ISU Referee in the Ice Dance competition, Mrs. Katalin Alpern awarded Anna Yanovskaya / Sergey Mozgov (RUS) with the gold small medal in the free dance. Kaitlin Hawayek / Jean-Luc Baker (USA) received the silver and Madeline Edwards / Zhao Kai Pang (CAN) the bronze.
Mrs. Phyllis Howard at the ISU Representative the World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Sofia presented them the prices.
Canadian Nam Nguyen is the new World Junior Champion
Nam Nguyen from Canada is the new world junior Champion. Adian Pitkeev (RUS) claimed the silver and Nathan Chen (USA) won the bronze at the tight competition at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Sofia.
Nam Nguyen was superb in the free after leading in the short program, while Pitkeev and Chen made big jumps to the podium respectively from sixth and seventh positions. Nam gave the fourth Junior Men gold medal for Canada in the history of the Worlds.
The skater of Toronto, coached by the great Brian Orser, improved his personal best with more than 10 points, collecting overall 217.06 points. The score of 144.19 in the free skating is also a new record. Nguen was just perfect in the jumps and all program elements received the highest level.
The Canadian phenomenon said he is very happy with his performance in Sofia, which made him more confident before starting at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Japan, end of March. ďI have to do what I did again, repeat it over thereĒ, the champion said.
The ISU Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalist Adian Pitkeev harassed the medals from his 6th place in the short program. With only one mistake in the jumps and one level three in the step sequence for his free program (143.75), he collecting 212.51 total score points. ďI think I gave a good performance in the free skating, but not in the short program, especially the loop (he popped), my favorite jumpĒ, Adian commented.
Nathan Chen finished third with 212.03 points. He made a mistake in the triple Axel and didnít reach the level four in the two step sequences for 142.38 in the free program. ďI am really happy. This is honestly a really cool experience. Itís my first junior worlds. Itís cool to be hereĒ, he said.
Alexander Petrov, who was in Sofia with his famous coach Alexei Mishin, is the second Russian in top six. He took the fourth place with 210.03 total points. Shoma Uno, medal contender after the short program, dropped to fifth place (206.50).
The strong favourite for the title, the Reigning Junior Grand Prix Final Boyang Jin, dropped from second to sixth place after the free, finishing with 203.64 points total score and 132.13 in the free far from his personal best of 150.31 when he made three quadruples in Fukuoka topping Pitkeev for the gold.
Men, after Free Skating
Nam Nguyen (CAN), 2014 World Junior Champion
This is the best that Iíve ever skated in competition. It is also the first time that Iíve done two triple Axel in one program. So Iím very happy. (on what he would have told himself before the free skating what he must do) Eat more food, because I need energy to skate. I need to eat more. I didnít eat as much as I used to. (On preparing for the World Championship) I fly back on Monday and I have to go back to training on Tuesday, full speed. Iíll leave on Saturday. I have to do what I did again, repeat it over there. I prefer to go back home for a few days and then go off to Japan. (on his idols in skating) Yuzuru Hanyu and Patrick Chan. (on his expectations from the World Championship) Just to soak up the experience over there and do exactly what I did here and have fun. (On what his success at Junior Worlds means to him) There are a lot of opportunities that will open up for me after this competition. I am excited to see these opportunities. (on his emotions on the podium) I had no thoughts. I was just soaking in the moment. I was enjoying it even though I had a serious face. It is very cool to hear the national anthem and to stand on top of the podium. (On since when he has been dreaming about that) Since I was five. (on plans for next season) I am not sure, I think this is what Mike (Slipchuk, Skate Canada High Performance Director) decides.
Adian Pitkeev (RUS), 2014 World Junior silver medalist
I think I gave a good performance in the free skating, but not in the short program, especially the loop (he popped), my favorite jump. (on what he would have told himself before the free skating what he must do) I would have said to myself I have to do the loop, no matter what. (on training quads) Iíve never even tried a single quad yet. (on his idols in skating) Patrick Chan. He can do everything, he can skate very well, he feels the music, he jumps well when he jumps. (on what is the biggest jump in the rankings that he did) In international competition this is the biggest jump Iíve ever done. In a minor national competition once I moved up 12 places, because my short program was terrible. (on plans for next season) I would like to compete at the senior level, I am planning on that, but I donít know what the coaches and the federation are deciding. It depends on them, not on me alone. I would like to go to the senior level, because it is a new experience. Sooner or later I have to do it anyway, or so I hope at least.
Nathan Chen (USA), 2014 World Junior bronze medalist
I am really happy. This is honestly a really cool experience. Itís my first junior worlds. Itís cool to be here. (on what he would have told himself before the free skating what he must do) I guess there is not much I would say, because I like to take one thing at a time. Donít think too far ahead, stay in your own zone. (on training quads) After this my next goal is to do a quad. (on his idols in skating) Yuzuru Hanyu and Patrick Chan. (On what his success at Junior Worlds means to him) I think it is just a good experience. (on what is the biggest jump in the rankings that he did) I think this is my biggest jump, I donít remember any others.
Junior Men small medals & Price Giving Ceremony
Small medal and Price Giving ceremony for the Junior Menís free program at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2014 place took place in the Winter Sport Hall this Sunday.
Mr. Alexander Penchev, the ISU Referee in the Junior Pairs event, presented Nam Nguyen (CAN), with the small gold medal in junior men free program, Adian Pitkeev (RUS ) received the silver and Nathan Chen (USA) get the bronze.
Mrs. Phyllis Howard, the ISU Representative at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Sofia, presented them the prices.
Ladies, after Free Skating
Elena Radionova (RUS), 2014 World Junior Champion
I am very pleased with my performance today. It was one of the best in my career so far, full of emotions and I skated like it was for the last time. This victory did not come easy to me mentally and physically. I did not know for a long time if I can come here. I havenít fully realized yet what happened, but I am getting more and more excited now. (On her music choice) The music actually is not from the movie Frida, but from a group named Frida, and someone arranged it especially for me. (On what this result means for the future) I think you should start with the small things and not go to the major senior competitions right away. You should go step by step. Obviously we do not know what the future will bring and what will become of us, but I think if we work hard, everything will work out for us. (on practicing triple jumps while she was waiting to be called to the start) I always like to warm up actively. I need to do that and to check on everything. (On her motivation) Travelling and getting to see the world is a motivation, but also to meet well known people. For example our figure skating team met the president (of the Russian Federation) and not everybody gets to meet the president. But we also can meet actors and be at social events. To become a well known person yourself (is a motivation), to leave a trace so that people will remember you. I want my children and my grandchildren to be proud of me. (On their relationship) We have known each other since childhood and we meet at the competitions and we get along very well.
Serafima Sakhanovich (RUS), 2014 World Junior silver medalist
My performance today was not ideal. I can do better than that. This competition was hard for me, because I got injured here. I had even trouble walking, but I did not feel it during my performance. (on finishing second) Second place is also good. (On her music choice) My music is from the ďClosed SchoolĒ soundtrack, but my program has nothing to do with this serial. I just want to create the image of a girl in love, that walks along the sea, there is thunder and there are clouds in the sky. (On what this result means for the future) I also think that you shouldnít got right away to the big senior competitions. Weíll probably stay in juniors. This competition means a lot to me, for the rating and for making a name for myself. (On her motivation) Figure skating is my sport and I donít want to do anything else. I always wanted to be like Evgeni Plushenko. I always like him and still like him and I feel sorry for the negative backlash there was (at the Sochi Olympic Winter Games). Travelling and sightseeing is another motivation, to try the different cuisines of the world, all this is interesting. Each competition brings something new. (On their relationship) I have known Zhenia (Evgenia Medvedeva) longer than Lena (Elena Radionova), we are best buddies, but we donít see each other so often as we live in different cities.
Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS), 2014 World Junior bronze medalist
I am not so pleased with my performance, I made many mistakes, bigger and smaller ones and not only on the jumps, but even on the spins. After I skated I did not think I would be on the podium. I watched Satoko (Miyahara) skate and I thought she would be third. When they told me that I am in third place, I didnít believe it at first. Once again I want to wish Maria Sotskova health and confidence. She could not be here and I feel very sorry for her. (On her music choice) The first part of my program is a very well known music, and the great pair Elena Berezhnaya/Anton Sikhuralidze skated to it (in 2002). The second part was especially composed, but not for me, but for someone else. But this couple doesnít skate together anymore and so they decided to give me this music. (On what this result means for the future) I completely agree with what the others said, you should not go to the major events right away, but you first would have to qualify for them anyway. This third place most of all means something for my rating and also to make a name for myself and my coaches. But of course we have Olympic Champion Julia Lipnitskaia in our group, so the coaches do have a name already. (On her motivation) I am training and working hard every day for these moments when you stand on the podium, receive your medal and hear the anthem being played. I like being at competitions where are many people. I like to talk to foreigners. My English is not that great, so I can practice with them. I can meet many interesting people and make new friends. (On their relationship) Iíve know Sima (Serafima Sakhanovich) for five years now, because she started skating rather late and we would have been friends for even longer if she had started earlier. I Ďve known Lena for longer, we even started out in the same skating school and skated at the same time, but with different coaches. I am not hanging out with her so much, but would like to hang out with her more.