Adelina Sotnikova wins Junior Ladies Short Program

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Adelina Sotnikova, Elizaveta Tuktamisheva and Polina Shelepen made it one, two, three for Russia in the Junior Ladies’ Short Program.

Sotnikova stumbled on the back end of her triple Lutz-triple toe combination, but landed a triple loop and double Axel and had a level four on her three spins. She got 57.27 points for her routine to Waltzes by Johann Strauss. „I think I skated well today, but I didn’t do everything to the end. I think I still can do better.So for the Free Skating tomorrow, I want to do everything as planned“, Sotnikova noted.

Skating to Oriental music, Tuktamisheva hit a triple Lutz-double toe combination,the required triple loop and double Axel to earn 53.76 points.“My Lutz wasn’t perfect and I didn’t want to risk too much. I wanted a clean performance and I felt it was better to do a good triple-double instead of a bad triple-triple“,the 13-year-old explained. „Our Russian girls have become stronger and this (result) is how it should be. Hopefully it will be the same tomorrow.“

Shelepen’s program to a modern version of „Swan Lake“ included a triple Lutz-triple toeloop, the triple loop and double Axel. She collected 53.26 points. „I skated well today. Everything worked out, and I’m especially happy to have done the triple-triple combination. But I’m disappointed with the levels of my spins. I had aimed for a level four“, the Muscovite commented.

Victoria Sinitsina/Ruslan Zhiganshin (RUS) capture Junior Short Dance

The Russian couples dominated the Junior Ice Dance event, with Victoria Sinitsina/Ruslan Zhiganshin,Ksenia Monko/Kirill Khaliavin and Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin taking the top three spots in the Short Dance.

Sinitsina/Zhiganshin were the surprise winners of the Short Dance and took the lead with an elegant Waltz to „Algo Pequenito”. The couple picked up a level four for the twizzles, the rotational lift and the first part of the Vienniese Waltz Compulsory Dance to post a new seasons best of 55.58 points. „When we came here, we didn’t think about any placement. Our goal was just to skate well”, Zhiganshin commented. „This is very unexpected for us. I was really surprised when I was in the dressing room and found out that we are in first place.”

Monko/Khaliavin danced to Edith Piaf’s „Padam Padam“, but looked slow and had only a level one for the second sequence of the Viennese Waltz which cost them a few points. The defending Junior Grand Prix Final Champions and reigning World Junior bronze medalists earned 55.50 points, which was ten points lower than their seasons best. „We were tired and we skated rather poorly today. Today it didn’t really work for us. We didn’t show what we are capable of. I can assure you, tomorrow will be better“, Khaliavin told the press.

Stepanova/Bukin gave a strong performance to a Waltz and a Tango that was highlighted by smooth footwork and a one-armed rotational lift. The couple scored 53.59 points. „We felt good about today’s performance. It’s our first time at a Grand Prix Junior Final so of course we are a little bit nervous“, Stepanova said. „We tried our best and we had hoped for third place, but it was still a surprise for us. We are very happy to be in third right now“, she added.

Richard Dornbush (USA) takes Junior Men’s Short Program

Richard Dornbush (USA) took the lead in the Men’s Short Program ahead of teammate Keegan Messing and China’s Han Yan.

Dornbush put out a strong performance to „Elena“ by Brian Setzer, reeling off a triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination, a triple Axel, and the required triple loop. The 19-year-old was awarded a level four for his three spins and earned a new seasons best of 70.25 points. „I went out there and had fun and did what I came to do. I have been training hard and think that my program is ready, I am there now“, Dornbush said. „Last year I was injured, but I did a lot of off ice training which really helped me keep in shape and body balanced. I stayed healthy and it has paid off today.“

Messing’s dynamic program to the „Robin Hood“ soundtrack featured a big triple Axel, a triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination, but two spins were graded only a level one. Messing scored 68.52 points. „I let my blades fly, came out clean and enjoyed every second of it, too. My practice (for the short program) was a bit shaky but it kept me focused on the main event“, the 18-year-old from Alaska told the press.

Skating to „Cotton Club“, Yan produced a triple flip-triple toe combination, a double Axel and fast, well centered spins to pick up 67.29 points. „I feel the pressure is a lot higher here in Beijing. I performed as I did in training and I felt good. I only did a double Axel although I have been training a triple Axel, I may do it at the National Championships“, 14-year-old said.

Narumi Takahashi/Mervin Tran (JPN) lead Junior Pairs after Short Program

Narumi Takahashi/Mervin Tran of Japan took the lead in the Junior Pairs Short Program with Russia’s Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov and Canadians Taylor Steele/Robert Schultz following in second and third.
Performing to „Feeling Good“,Takahashi/Tran completed a double twist,throw triple toeloop and got a level
four for the side by side spin,the lift and the death spiral,but she fell on their first element, the double Axel. The reigning Junior World silver medalists scored 53.94 points. „The most important thing today wasn’t the mistake but what we did after the mistake. We did the rest of the elements pretty well and got a good score“, Takahashi noted.

Stolbova/Klimov had to overcome her fall on the double Axel as well, but landed the double twist and throw triple toeloop in their Spanish routine . The current World Junior bronze medalists earned 49.63 points. „It was our worst short program of the season“, Klimov admitted. „We missed the jump, we made an error in the footwork and we lost the level on the death spiral. These were just too many errors. Maybe we were too nervous or maybe we were affected by our preparation as Ksenia was sick prior to this competition“, he added.

Steele/Schultz put out a solid performance to „Malena“ by Ennio Morricone, completing, a double twist, a double Axel and a nice toe lasso lift, but she touched down with her hand on the throw triple toeloop. The Canadian couple was awarded 48.07 points. „We are very pleased with today’s performance. We were really relaxed and let things just happen. We tend to focus more on our skating than on our elements and let the elements just happen“, Schultz offered.

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