The Estonian capital hosted the World Junior Championships for the third time in the history of the event and put on a well-organised ISU Championships for the third time this season.
As expected, Ilia Malinin (USA) ran away with the men’s title and wound up over forty points clear of his nearest rival after a free skate that included four quads. Mikhail Shaidorov (KAZ) made history for his country with his silver medal by becoming the first skater from Kazakhstan to medal at World Juniors. In contrast to the World Championships last month, Tatsuya Tsuboi (JPN) was the only skater from Japan to mount the podium when he collected bronze in Tallinn.
An exciting women’s free skating saw the top four finishers all skate cleanly, but it was Isabeau Levito (USA) who snatched victory despite only coming second in the free. Levito became the first American skater since Rachael Flatt in 2008 to win the World Junior women’s title. Jia Shin (KOR) was one of three Korean women in the top six in the final standings and, although she won the free, she had to settle for second overall. Lindsay Thorngren (USA) was fourth after the short programme and moved up thanks to a strong performance in the free.
Karina Safina and Luka Berulava (GEO) became Georgia’s first ever World Junior gold medallists when they handsomely won the pairs title. Australia had previously claimed bronze and gold medals in the pairs event in 1976 and 2017 respectively and completed the collection with Anastasia Golubeva and Hektor Giotopoulos Moore (AUS) taking silver. Bronze medallists Brooke McIntosh and Benjamin Mimar (CAN) were the first Canadian pair to land on the World Junior podium since 2005.
Remarkably for the only the first time in the history of the championships, North American teams swept the medals in the ice dance event. Oona Brown and Gage Brown (USA) are the second team of American siblings to win the World Junior ice dance title (the first people Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons in 2017). Natalie D’Alessandro and Bruce Waddell (CAN) and Nadiia Bashynska and Peter Beaumont grabbed silver and bronze respectively. It was the first time that Canada won two medals in the ice dance event.
The 2023 World Junior Championships are scheduled to take place in Calgary, Canada.