Junior Worlds 2013: Preview
By Olga Fluegge
World Junior Championships 2013 will take place in Milan, Italy from 25 February to 3 March.
The main contenders for medals in competitions among ladies are Russians Elena Radionova and Julia Lipnitskaia. The 14-year-old Elena was invincible at the ISU Junior Grand Prix events of this season and won by a wide margin the JGP Final last December in Sochi, Russia.
The reigning World junior champion Julia Lipnitskaia, who is known as a strong competitor, made a successful senior debut this season but has withdrawn from the Grand Prix Final due to injury. Courtney Hicks (USA), who skated extremely well at the U.S. Nationals one month ago, will try to challenge Lipnitskaia.
The 17-year-old American, whose skating style remindes me a young Joannie Rochette, having a good 3F-3t combination is technically capable to keep up with top ladies. A good chances for the medal, in case of clean skating, has Satoka Myahara (JPN).
After winning a silver medal at the Junior Grand Prix Final of this season, there is no doubt that Joshua Farris (USA) would be in race for the gold in Milan. The same relates to his teammate Jason Brown, who had a solid season and to Japan´s Riuju Hino, who won bronze medal at the JGP Final.
I‘m very excited about the appearance of He Zhang and Boyang Jin of China in pair skating. Russia’s Lina Fedorova and Maxim Miroshkin are also strong and can pretend to the gold.
The deep field in pairs also includes the 2012 World Junior silver medalists Xiaoyu Yu / Yang Jin (CHN), Margaret Purdy / Michael Marinaro (CAN) and Haven Denney / Brandon Frazier (USA), who skated very well at U.S. Nationals in January.
The winners of 2012 Junior Grand Prix Final Alexandra Stepanova / Ivan Bukin (RUS) are clear favorites in ice dance event. But this does not make the competition less exiting, because the teams like Gabriella Papadakis / Guillaume Ciceron (FRA), Alexandra Aldridge / Daniel Eaton (USA) and Shari Koch / Christian Nuchtern (GER) will be looking to take another step forward.