MARCH 10-16, 2014
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U.S. ice dance skaters dominate at the Junior Worlds
U.S. Ice dance figure skaters took first and third places after the Short Dance at the ISU Junior Worlds in Sofia. Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker (USA) are leading, Anna Yanovskaya/Sergey Mozgov (RUS) placed second and Lorraine McNamara/Quinn Carpenter (USA) are third. The 4th place is also for U.S. team Rachel Parsons/Michael Persons -the only brother and sister at the competition.

Hawayek/Baker finished with personal best of 66.73 points and 4th level for all technical elements in their performance.

“I think we both can say that we are very happy with our skate today. We really have been working hard from the (ISU Junior Grand Prix) Final to drill our elements and get our levels. Based on our technical score we can say that we more than achieved that, getting level fours for everything. We’re very happy with what we received today. .. Definitely the US right now is building and building on an incredibly strong ice dance program. Obviously we have (Olympic Champions) Meryl (Davis) and Charlie (White) on top of the world right now. We have us included many up and coming teams. They are continuing to progress throughout the years. It’s North America’s time to dominate ice dance”, Hawayek comments.

After the press conference they said, that for their achievement a great contribution have made Kaitlyn Weaver /Andrew Poje (CAN), from whom they are learning in the group coached by Anjelka Krylova and Pascuale Camerlengo.

Without the defending champions Aleksandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin  Russian hopes are fed  by Anna Yanovskaya/Sergey Mozgov . They also achieved season’s best of 63.80 points before the Free.
“I think we skated our best performance, because it was the last one. I think we improved in everything, but it was not enough, this is how the judges saw it. The most important thing is that we were happy with ourselves and we did everything that we could do” Anna said.
Lorraine McNamara/Quinn Carpenter deserved 58.65 points with their outstanding execution, breaking the barrier of 58 points for first time.

“We are both really happy with the way we skated today. We didn’t give ourselves any sort of expectation, we just wanted to go and give our best, and I think we came very close to that. We are very happy with the results and to be up here with the small medalists. We had a really good time and it went well”, Lorraine said.

The explanation of the good ice-dancers improvement according to McNamara is that in USA there are a lot of groups that are forming and that they are all working really hard.
The only brother and sister team competing at the Junior Worlds Rachel Parsons/Micheal Persons finished fourth with 58.08 points. Madeline Edwards / Zhao Kai Pang (CAN) became fifth with 57.92  points and  Rebeka Kim / Kirill Minov (KOR) are sixth with 55.33 points.

Bulgarian couple Slaviana Tsenova/Egor Zaitsev achieved personal best 34.17 points and are at 24th place. Only the first 20 ice dance teams go to the Final.  
ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2014 was inaugurated with touching Opening Ceremony
Children with folklore garbs, two boys were wearing bagpipes, girls came with jug, bread and salt as requires the tradition for welcoming guests went on the ice. After the parade of flags skaters showed great program on folk music, which ended with the traditional dance ratchenitsa.

Tatyana Yordanova , Chairman of the Bulgarian Skating Federation and President of the Organizing Committee, welcomes the guests.
Greetings on behalf of the Ministry of Youth and Sports addressed Iordan Iovtchev, Deputy Minister.
ISU Representative Mrs Phyllis Howard spoke on behalf of the International Skating Union.
The opening ceremony was attended by Bulgaria’s most successful individual athlete in ice sports Evgenia Radanova.

“I would like to thank ISU for its confidence, giving us the opportunity to stage the ISU event. I hope these Championships will be manifestation and triumph  of the talent of our young figure skaters. II hope you will enjoy their excellent performances”, Mrs Yordanova said.
“This is one of the biggest ISU competitions this season, referring the number of participants. I would like to thank Bulgarian Skating Federation for taking the risk and the responsibility to organize this huge event. These athletes are the future of figure skating”, Mrs. Howard said, declaring open the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2014.
Chinese pair overcame Russians in the Short Program
The Chinese pair Xiaoyu Yu / Yang Jin won the short program at the ISU Junior World Figure Skating Championships in Sofia. Russians Evgenia Tarasova / Vladimir Morozov became second, followed by their fellow country-men Vasilisa Davankova / Andrei Deputat. So the expected rivalry between China and Russia took place indeed. 
Yu / Yang Jin received high level of technical elements and their total segments score went to 62.58 points. “We skated well, reached good level, but we feel we could do even better”, Xiaoyu said.
After performing their tango, Tarasova / Morozov finished with 59.46 points. “We remain with mixed feelings, maybe something emotionally was missing. We made also a slight error, but we are glad to execute well the elements”, Morozov said.
Vasilisa Davankova / Andrei Deputat made clean short program and deserved 58.35 points. “We had a great support. We are happy about the elements, but we could do better for the levels”, Davankova comments.
Within the top six are Maria Vigalova /Egor Zarkoev (RUS)  with 55.32 points, Madeline Aaron / Max Settlage (USA) , 51.95 points and Mary Orr / Phelan Simpson (CAN), 45.14 points.
Pairs, after Short Program

Xiaoyu Yu/Yang Jin (CHN), 1st after the Short Program
Jin: We skated up to our level as well as we can do in practice. However, there still were some little errors and things we can do better. We still can improve the performance aspect of our program. (on figure skating in China) There are quite a few skaters in China now, recreational and competitive skaters. We have about 300 skaters on our National Championship when you take all levels together.

Yu: (on choosing figure skating over other sports in spite of some people saying that figure skating is not a true sport such as soccer) Figure skating is not such a popular sport in China. But I love this sport, because it is beautiful and we are skating to music.

Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS), 2nd after the Short Program
Morozov: We have mixed feelings regarding our performance. We felt we were lacking the emotional part and we had some small mistakes. But overall we are happy with how we did and we hope to continue the same way. (on choosing figure skating over other sports in spite of some people saying that figure skating is not such a real sport as soccer) Whoever is saying that figure skating is not a sport, is wrong. Figure skating is a sport and at the same time it is an art. As for me, I originally wanted to play hockey but then I preferred figure skating. And it is much nicer to skate with a woman on the ice, with my partner. (on their family names, the same as famous coaches’ Tatiana Tarasova and Nikolai Morozov) This is just a coincidence, and there is no family relationship. (On their improvement compared to the 2013 World Junior Championships) At that time we were skating together less than one year, and now we have been skating together for almost two years and we have gelled much more as a team. (on their idols) Our idols are skating in our group (Olympic Champions Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov).

Tarasova: (On their improvement compared to the 2013 World Junior Championships) One year ago Junior Worlds in Milan were our first major competition and we didn’t know what to expect and it didn’t go so well. This time, we knew exactly where we are going and how to prepare.

Vasilisa Davankova/Andrei Deputat  (RUS), 3rd after the Short Program
Davankova: We are pleased with today’s performance. There were just some levels we didn’t get. But our elements were good and the emotions were good as well. The audience supported us and our friends were cheering for us and we felt we played the emotional part very well. (on choosing figure skating over other sports in spite of some people saying that figure skating is not  a real sport such as soccer) Figure skating is getting more and more popular with the Olympic Games, especially the Olympic Games in Sochi where our (Russian) skaters were so successful. Other people might say whatever they want, but we like what we are doing and it is tough. It might look easy when we perform on the ice for four minutes, but nobody knows how long we have trained for a victory or a good result. (on their idols) We are looking up to Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov, who just became Olympic Champions and we can learn a lot from them. We also look up to Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy, we like especially their Pink Panther program.

Deputat: (on their idols) Also Ksiusha (Ksenia Stolbova) and Fedia (Fedor Klimov - 2014 Olympic silver medalists) made a big step forward and they are a couple we are looking up to.
The phenomenal Nam NGUYEN from Canada leads after the short program
As anticipated, the junior men competition at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2014 was very tight. The phenomenal Nam Nguyen from Canada is leading after the short program, followed by Boyang Jin (CHN) and Shoma Uno (JPN).

Nguyen, who is here with his famous coach Brian Orser, improved his personal best by 5 points, recording 72.87 points, having executed a perfect triple Axel, triple Lutz in combination with triple Toe loop triple Rietberger and two third and forth levels each in the other elements.
The 15 year old Canadian is confidently walking in the footsteps of his great countrymen, marking successes one after the other.  Due to his remarkable rankings he also acquired the chance of representing his country at the ISU World Senior Figure Skating Championships 2014 at the end of March in Japan.

The Chinese Boyang Jin, ISU JGP Final Champion, still one of the title favourites, is close to Nam Nguyen with 71.51 points. He was flawless also in the jumps, but received level two for one of the spins, which costs him the first place.
The Third and forth places took the skaters from Japan Shoma Uno <>  with 70.67and Keiji Tanaka, very close to him with 70.57.

Alexander Petrov (RUS), Nathan Chan (USA) Adian Pitkeev (RUS) and He Zhang (CHN) who all scored over 67 points.

The Bulgarian Ivo Gatovski finished 34th out of 38 competitors. Debuting at the Junior Worlds, his clean short skating deserved a seasonal best of 45.08 points, despite starting as number one.
“I am very glad because for first time I have executed cleanly  the combination triple Lutz, double Toeloop”, Ivo said.
Men, after Short Program


Nam Nguyen (CAN), 1st after the Short Program
I think that was the best short that I’ve ever done in competition. I was able to do my triple Axel internationally and I’m very pleased with how I’ve done today. I hope to continue that for the long program on Saturday. (On the competition being very long with 38 athletes) I don’t think there should be any less competitors. Every competitor in the world should have the opportunity to compete in Junior Worlds and I think sitting here for six hours is okay. You should watch every skater from different countries compete. (On whether the quad should be allowed in the junior men’s short program) I would say yes, give us a challenge for the short program. It would make us even more motivated to take the sport even further for juniors to try the quad in the short program. (on not getting a level four on spins and footwork like Shoma Uno) One spin is supposed to be a level three, the other two are supposed to be level four. For the footwork, it was planned to be a level three. That would be the highest I could achieve for a short program. (on training with Yuzuru Hanyu and Javier Fernandez) Training with Yuzuru Hanyu and Javier Fernandez, they have inspired me a lot. Both of them have been at the Olympics. They performed very well, one was the Olympic Champion, the other one was in fourth place. Watching them compete over there, their performances have motivated myself to work even harder for my run through. When I watch them do their quads, it’s amazing. When I get back from senior Worlds I’ll work on quads. (on being ready to compete against them at the World Championships in Japan) I guess so, but we all know what the result will be.

Boyang Jin (CHN), 2nd after the Short Program
I think today my first jump, the triple Axel, wasn’t perfect, but after that the jumps, the triple Lutz-triple toe and the triple loop were okay. So it was just the first jump that wasn’t perfect. (On the competition being very long with 38 athletes) I think this competition is fine. Today we had a practice in the morning and the competition started right after that, but I think the schedule was quite okay. (On whether the quad should be allowed in the junior men’s short program) Because no quad is allowed the triple Axel is even more important. But I would do a quad if it was allowed. (on not getting a level four on spins and footwork like Shoma Uno) I didn’t perform these elements perfectly yet in my program. After the competition I will work on this to make sure that next time I get a level four for everything.

Shoma Uno (JPN), 3rd after the Short Program
I felt a lot of pressure and I was worried before my short program, but I am very glad that I was able to perform to a level I am content with. (On the competition being very long with 38 athletes) Having some time in between the official practice in the morning and the competition is more or less fine with me. I am rather happy this way. However, for all the judges and everyone else it might be quite tiresome to wait for all these hours. (On whether the quad should be allowed in the junior men’s short program) I haven’t performed one yet, so I am not sure whether I would be able to do it, but still I agree with the other two and think it would be good to have it in the short program as well. (on having all level four on his spins and footwork) In our daily work my coach follows closely everything what I am doing and she is checking everything and she is always with me in competition, I guess that’s maybe the secret.