Here’s a short recap of some of the things that happened during the past week in the world of figure skating.
Russia Dominates At Finlandia Trophy
The Finlandia Trophy, the fifth event in the ISU Challenger Series, took place over the weekend. Yuzuru Hanyu pulling out of the competition no doubt dealt a blow to the organisers in terms of ticket sales and media interest, but there was plenty of fantastic skating on show at the Baron Arena in Espoo.
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva claimed her second international title of the season with a comprehensive win the ladies’ category. The Russian surpassed her total score from the Nebelhorn Trophy two weeks earlier to claim her first Finlandia Trophy gold. The silver went to Samantha Cesario who was only fifth after the short, but catapulted onto the podium with an excellent free. Rika Hongo of Japan took the bronze.
Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin were one of the few ice dance teams in Russia who survived all the upheaval that took place during the off-season and they were rewarded for sticking together with their first senior title. The 2013 World Junior champions finished well ahead of Nelli Zhiganshina and Alexander Gazsi who placed second. The Germans had a poor free dance with a fall during their circular step sequence. Anastasia Cannuscio and Colin McManus moved up from fourth after the short to take bronze.
It was a clean sweep for Team Russia as the men’s crown went to Sergei Voronov. The reigning European silver medallist could only manage second in the free after stuttering on a triple axel and had a combination deemed invalid, but hung on with the lead he had accumulated in the short to beat Adam Rippon by just 0.36 points. Alexander Petrov of Russia came third.
Junior Grand Prix Wraps Up In Croatia
The ISU Junior Grand Prix reached its conclusion with the final stage taking place at the Dom Sportova in Zagreb, Croatia.
Maria Vigalova and Egor Zakroev were convincing victors in the pairs event with a total score of 167.98 putting them well ahead of compatriots Daria Beklemisheva and Maxim Bobrov who took silver with 143.62. Ukrainians Renata Oganseian and Mark Bardei rallied from seventh after the short to take bronze with a score of 135.57. Despite only finishing fourth, Chelsea Liu and Brian Johnson joined the top two teams in securing places to the Junior Grand Prix Final in December.
The men’s title was captured by Japan’s Shoma Uno with a total of 227.51 points. In his only Junior Grand Prix appearance this season Nathan Chen from the United States bagged silver with 208.16. Korea’s June-Hyoung Lee was awarded the bronze medal with a total of 203.92. Andrei Lazukin from Russia who had won in Dresden and looked to be on course to qualify for the final wound up in eighth place. With their respective results, Uno and Lee both booked their berths to Barcelona.
Anna Yanovskaya and Sergey Mozgov of Russia won their second title of the season and headed the rankings of qualifiers to the Junior Grand Prix Final. America’s Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons, on the other hand, are first alternates after picking up the silver medal in Zagreb. Carolina Moscheni and Adam Lukacs representing Hungary received their first Junior Grand Prix medal when they won the bronze.
Russian ladies had already nabbed four out of the six titles on offer during the course of the series prior to Zagreb and it was the turn of Maria Sotskova to make it number five in the Croatian capital. Sotskova came from behind after the short to amass a total of 170.81 points and in doing so qualified for the final. Karen Chen from the U.S. had to win to travel to Barcelona, but after coming first in the short she had a disappointing free and came second on 169.41 points. Chen is the first alternate in case another skater has to withdraw. Alexandra Proklova of Russia took bronze with a total of 159.23 points.
Junior Grand Prix Final Qualifiers Decided
The entries for the Junior Grand Prix Final in Barcelona this December have now been confirmed. Russia has twelve entries which is exactly half the number available. Japan is next with five, while Canada has four. China, Korea and the United States of America have one each meaning just six countries will contest the event.
The full list is as follows:
Boyang Jin (CHN)
Shoma Uno (JPN)
Alexander Petrov (RUS)
June-Hyoung Lee (KOR)
Sota Yamamoto (JPN)
Roman Sadovsky (RUS)
Serafima Sakhanovich (RUS)
Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS)
Wakaba Higuchi (JPN)
Maria Sotskova (RUS)
Yuka Nagai (JPN)
Miyu Nakashio (JPN)
Julianne Seguin/Charlie Bilodeau (CAN)
Maria Vigalova/Egor Zakroev (RUS)
Lina Fedorova/Maxim Miroshkin (RUS)
Kamila Gainetdinova/Sergei Alexeev (RUS)
Daria Beklemisheva/Maxim Bobrov (RUS)
Chelsea Liu/Brian Johnson (USA)
Anna Yanovskaya/Sergei Mozgov (RUS)
Mackenzie Bent/Garrett MacKeen (CAN)
Betina Popova/Yuri Vlasenko (RUS)
Alla Loboda/Pavel Drozd (RUS)
Madeline Edwards/Zhao Kai Pang (CAN)
Daria Morozova/Mikhail Zhirnov (RUS)
Grand Prix Assignments Updated
Jinlin Guan (CHN) has been removed from the roster at NHK Trophy.
Jessica Calalang & Zack Sidhu (USA) have been added to the pairs entries at Cup of China and Arina Cherniavskaia & Antonino Souza-Kordyeru (RUS) have been added to the NHK Trophy.
Elisabeth Paradis & Francois Xavier Ouellette (CAN) have been added to the roster at Skate America, while Rebeka Kim & Kirill Minov (KOR) have been added to Rostelecom Cup.