The ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final continued Saturday in Gdansk, Poland with the Free Dance, the Pairs, Ladies and Men’s Free Skating. The top eight skaters/couples from the eight events of the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating series have qualified for the Final from December 7 to 9. Gdansk hosted the Final once before in 1999.
Pairs, Free Skating
Vera Bazarova/Juri Larionov led a Russian sweep of the pairs podium with Ksenia Krasilnikova/Konstantin Bezmaternykh and Ekaterina Sheremetieva/Mikhail Kuznetsov coming in second and third. It was the first clean sweep in the Pairs event at the Junior Grand Prix Final.
Skating to the “Eragon” soundtrack, overnight leaders Bazarova/Larionov landed a triple twist, throw triple flip, double Axel-double Axel sequence and a double loop. They showed difficult lifts including an Axel Lasso with variations and a level-four pair combination spin. The only glitch came when Bazarova two-footed the throw triple loop. The World junior silver medalists earned 98.90 points (51.21 element score/47.69 program component score) and took the told with a total of 157.35 points. It was the first medal in the Junior Final for the couple from Perm. “We skated well and we are very happy. We did not expect to finish first in this event as the competition was very tough”, Bazarova told the post-event news conference.
Krasilnikova/Bezmaternykh risked a side by side triple toeloop in their “Spartacus” routine, but she fell. The World Junior bronze medalists recovered to complete a throw triple flip, a triple twist, a double Axel-double Axel sequence, a throw triple loop and lifts with interesting variations. Krasilnikova/Bezmaternykh picked up 93.10 points (49.19/44.91) and accumulated 146.25 overall to claim their second consecutive silver medal in the Final.
Sheremetieva/Kuznetsov completed the success for the Russian team with a solid performance to “Nostradamus” by Maksim Mrvica that included a double twist, side by side double flip-double loop sequence, a slightly two-footed throw triple flip and a press lift with unusual positions for Sheremetieva. However, she fell on the throw triple loop. The Muscovites scored 83.77 points (41.41/43.36). They were ranked fourth in the Free Skating but earned the bronze, their first medal in what was their debut at the Junior Final, at 134.02 points.
Ladies, Free Skating
Mirai Nagasu and Rachael Flatt won the gold and the silver for the USA in the Ladies’ event. The bronze medal went to Japan’s Yuki Nishino.
Performing to “Coppelia”, Nagasu landed a double Axel, a triple Lutz-double toe-double loop combination, a second triple Lutz, a triple loop-double loop and produced fine spins, earning a level four for both the layback and combination spin. However, the World Junior silver medalist struggled with her triple flip today. She stepped out of the first one which was downgraded and the second one was shaky, and she added only single toe. Her triple toe was cheated as well and downgraded. Nagasu received 102.74 points (52.76 element score/49.98 program component score) and was ranked second in the Free Skating. Overall she held on to first place with 162.09 points.