We take a quick look back at what happened in the world of skating over the course of the past week.
Junior Grand Prix Series Kicks Off In Bratislava
The first stop of the this season’s ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series was Bratislava, Slovakia and it truly ushered a new generation of skating stars.
This was the seventh season in a row that a Russian won the ladies event at the opening Junior Grand Prix. Impressive is probably too mild a word to describe how Polina Tsurskaya skated both her programmes. In particular, her free skating including two difficult combinations (a triple Lutz/triple toe loop/double toe loop and a triple Lutz/triple toe loop), three Level 4 spins and a Level 4 step sequence. It was up to Japan again to provide the main competition to the Russian dominance and Mai Mihara also skated admirably and landed both a triple Lutz/triple toe loop and a double Axel/triple toe loop in her routine to claim silver. Despite having one less element in their free programmes, both ladies surpassed the technical element score of all the skaters in this year’s Senior World Championships in Shanghai, China. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. Vivian Le of the United States picked up a well-earned bronze medal.
Roman Sadovsky of Canada put himself on course to repeat his qualification to the Grand Prix Final from last season when he set three new personal bests to overcome Vincent Zhou of the United States in the men’s event. A little piece of history was made when Denis Margalik representing Argentina came through to pick up his nation’s first Junior Grand Prix medal ever. Along with his bronze medal, Margalik also hit the required technical scores which will enable him to skate at the World Championships later on this season.
The gold in ice dance went to American siblings Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons who came from behind after the short dance to overtake Alla Loboda and Pavel Drozd in the free dance. Another Russian team, Sofia Shevchenko and Igor Eremenko, rounded out the podium.
Grand Prix Assignments Updates
The big news this week was the withdrawal by Kiira Korpi from the Trophee Eric Bompard in November. The Finn has been plagued by injury in recent years and a press conference scheduled for this Thursday is likely to confirm that she will be hanging up her skates. She will be replaced in France by Roberta Rodeghiero of Italy.
The American and Canadian federations finalised some of their host picks with Karen Chen, Ross Miner and Gretchen Donlan and Nathan Bartholomay being assigned to Skate America, while Veronik Mallet was given the nod for Skate Canada.
Canadians Vanessa Grenier and Maxime Deschamps will compete in the pairs event at Cup of China where their compatriot Elladj Balde will participate in the men’s competition.
Ronald Lam from Hong Kong has been removed from the Skate Canada roster.