Here’s a short recap of some of the things that happened during the past week in the world of figure skating.
Szolkowy Seals Russian Deal
Former multiple world champion Robin Szolkowy has officially announced that he has signed a contract to work with Nina Mozer, coach of his erstwhile rivals Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov. The German will initially work with the younger pairs in Mozer’s group and travel with them to international competitions, the first of which will be the Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany at the end of this month.
Injury Sidelines Marchei And Osmond
Valentina Marchei revealed this week that she had to take a month off to heal a knee injury. As a result her preparations for the season ahead have been hampered and she has decided to withdraw from both of her Grand Prix assignments.
More seriously, Kaetlyn Osmond broke her fibula in training and will be out of action for an unspecified amount of time while she recovers. The Canadian reportedly underwent surgery for the injury almost immediately late last week.
U.S. Sweep In Salt Lake City
In the first event of the new ISU Challenger Series, the United States of America took gold in all four disciplines and scooped up nine of the twelve medals on offer. The pairs event was comfortably won by Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim who spearheaded an American 1-2-3 on the podium. Max Aaron captured the men’s title by over forty points from teammate Ross Miner with Japan’s Daisuke Murakami finishing third. Despite only finishing second in the free skating, Polina Edmunds beat Courtney Hicks to the gold medal. The bronze went again to Japan in the shape of Riona Kato who hung on to the rostrum by a mere 0.04 points over Canada’s Alaine Chartrand. The ice dance competition was similarly close with Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton holding off Nicole Orford and Thomas Williams by less than a point.
Juniors Shine In Japan
The fourth stop of the ISU Junior Grand Prix Series was the Nagoya TV Cup in the heartland of Japanese figure skating in Aichi and the skaters got to perform in front of an enthusiastic and supportive audience at the Morikoro Park Skating Rink.
After trailing going into the free, Serafima Sakhanovich of Russia booked her place in the Junior Grand Prix Final with her second win of the series. As in Ljubljana a fortnight ago, Yuka Nagai finished second and will most likely also make the trip to Barcelona in December. This is the fourth week in a row that Russia and Japan have gone 1-2 in the ladies’ event. Elizabet Turzynbaeva claimed bronze for Kazakhstan.
Madeline Edwards & Zhao Kai Pang from Canada took their first international title when they won the ice dance gold, despite finishing second in both segments. Alla Loboda and Pavel Drozd from Russia, who had topped the Canadians in Courchevel last month, had to settle for silver this time round. Both teams look set to have another showdown in Spain in twelve weeks time. Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons from the United States dropped down from first overnight to third place.
Boyang Jin became the first man to secure a berth at the Junior Grand Prix Final when he won his second title of this year’s series. The undoubted favourite of the local crowd however was Shoma Uno who included two quadruple toe loop attempts in his free. Russia’s Dmitri Aliev was a long way back in third. The surprise of the competition was Denis Margalik from Argentina and his fourth place.
Grand Prix Assignments Updated
Valentina Marchei was scratched from both her assignments at Skate Canada and Rostelecom Cup. The Italian was replaced by Viktoria Helgesson at Skate Canada.
Hae Jin Kim of Korea was added to the Cup of China roster.