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Figure Skating - 06. March 2010.

ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2010 Preview

The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2010 will open in The Hague, The Netherlands, on March 9. The Hague is hosting the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships for the second time. The first time the event was held in The Hague in 2004.


212 skaters/couples from 53 ISU members have been entered for the Championships. All skaters/couples will compete in the Short Program and the top 24 Men and Ladies and the top 16 Pairs will proceed to the Free Skating. In Ice Dance, all couples will compete in the Compulsory Dance, the top 30 couples will advance to the Original Dance and the top 20 dance teams will compete in the Free Dance.

Overview over the top contenders
None of the medallists in the Men’s event will return to the Championships this year. Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN/seasons best 206.77 points) won the Junior Grand Prix Final and after placing 12th in his debut at the ISU World Junior Championships in 2009, now has his eyes set on the podium. Competition should come from Denis Ten (KAZ/seasons best 211.25 ), who ranked 11th at the Olympic Winter Games as well as from Junior Grand Prix Final runner up Nan Song (CHN/seasons best 209.68), who also debuted successfully at the senior level by ranking sixth at the ISU Four Continents Championships end of January. Other contenders include Armin Mahbanoozadeh (USA), who competed at the senior Grand Prix circuit this season, Junior Grand Prix events medalists Grant Hochstein (USA), Artur Gachinski (RUS) as well as Keegan Messing (USA).

In the Ladies’ event, the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final medalists will meet again: Junior Grand Prix Final Champion Kanako Murakami (JPN) comes with a seasons best of 160.85 points to The Hague, silver medalist Polina Shelepen (RUS) has as seasons best of 159.29 points and bronze medalist Christina Gao (USA) scored a seasons best of 151.47 points at the Final. All three Junior Ladies will debut at the ISU World Junior Championships. Anna Ovcharova (RUS) was ranked fifth in the Junior Final and hopes for more in The Hague. Kiri Baga (USA) won two Junior Grand Prix events this season and now is looking forward to her debut at Junior Worlds. Others to watch include Joshi Helgesson (SWE), who finished fourth in this event in 2009, Junior Grand Prix event medalists Kate Charbonneau (CAN) and Polina Agafonova (RUS).

The Pairs competition features the top junior teams of this season. Wenjing Sui/Cong Han (CHN) have won each event they entered so far this season and would like to continue the golden streak in their debut in The Hague. They have a seasons best of 164.84 points. Both Narumi Takahashi/Mervin Tran (JPN) and Yue Zhang/Lei Wang (CHN) compete in their third ISU World Junior Championships and are eyeing the podium after taking the silver and bronze medals respectively at the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final in December. The Chinese couple has a seasons best 147.89 points while the Japanese team scored 151.83 points. After not doing so well in the Junior Final, the Russian couples are looking to prove that they are back in business in The Hague. Tatiana Novik/Mikhail Kuznetsov, Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov and Anna Silaeva/Artur Minchuk will represent Russia in The Hague. Other contenders are Kaleigh Hole/Adam Johnson (CAN) and Jessica Simpson/Nathan Miller (USA).

The Ice Dance competition shapes up to be a battle between the best young teams from Russia and the USA. ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champions Ksenia Monko/Kirill Khaliavin (RUS) will face Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalists Elena Ilinykh/Nikita Katsalapov (RUS) and reigning World Junior silver medallists Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA), who came third at the Junior Final. Monko/Khaliavin earned a seasons best of 173.15 points, while Ilinykh/Katsalapov have 171.61 points and Shibutani/Shibutani got 175.95 points. The two Russian teams will debut at the ISU World Junior Championships, while Shibutani/Shibutani come back after taking the silver last year. Ekaterina Pushkash/Jonathan Guerreiro (RUS) want to challenge the leaders. Both competed at the 2009 World Junior Championships, but with different partners. Guerreiro is the 2009 World Junior bronze medalist with former partner Ekaterina Riazanova. Piper Gilles/Zachary Donohue (USA), Lorenzo Alessandrini/Simone Vaturi (ITA), Stefanie Frohberg/Tim Giesen (GER) and Rachel Tibbetts/Collin Brubaker (USA) are others to watch.  

Prize money

The ISU awards a global prize money of US$ 200,000 at the World Junior Championships to skaters/couples placed 1st to 12th. The prize money is awarded to winners and placed skaters/couples as follows:

Men and Ladies

Pairs and Dance (per couple)

1st place US$ 10,000

1st place US$ 15,000

2nd place US$ 7,000

2nd place US$ 10,500

3rd place US$ 5,000

3rd place US$ 7,500

4th place US$ 3,000

4th place US$ 4,500

5th place US$ 2,750

5th place US$ 4,000

6th place US$ 2,500

6th place US$ 3,750

7th place US$ 2,250

7th place US$ 3,500

8th place US$ 2,000

8th place US$ 3,000

9th place US$ 1,750

9th place US$ 2,750

10th place US$ 1,500

10th place US$ 2,250

11th place US$ 1,250

11th place US$ 1,750

12th place US$ 1,000

12th place US$ 1,500

The schedule of the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2010 is as follows:

Tuesday, March 9: Compulsory Dance, Pairs Short Program
Wednesday, March 10: Men Short Program, Pairs Free Skating
Thursday, March 11: Original Dance, Men Free Skating
Friday, March 12: Ladies Short Program, Free Dance
Saturday, March 13: Ladies Free Skating and Exhibition Gala

For more information, full entry lists and results please see: Entries/Results and http://www.wcjunior.com/



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