The third ISU JGP is about to start and I’ll try to point what in my opinion will be interesting to watch.
The third event of ISU junior grand-prix is held in Colorado Springs (USA). The city stands over one mile (1.6 km) above sea level, so it can be a problem for some skaters (especially for juniors). So, the event want be easy even in terms of location.
The following three junior men have the highest personal best score, so I think that they are the main medal contenders for this event:
Nathan Chen (USA) – 222 -strugled with injuries last season, but still showed good results. I think we can expect a lot from this young men. And I believe in his coach Rafael Arutunian.
Sota Yamamoto (Japan) – 215.45 – was really strong competitor last season and has great chances to improve his results. After Shoma Uno moved to seniors Sota Yamamoto become a number one in Japan junior National team, so he is a threat)
Daniel Samohin (Israel) – 209.93 – he was surprisingly good last season and got his personal best score at senior European Championship not on junior level. He is obviously a skater to remember, in few years he can be a solid skater and a even a medal contender on European level.
If those skaters will make mistakes, than I think Yaroslav Paniot (Ukraine) and Daniil Bernadiner (Russia) can intervene in the fight for medals.
Vivian Le (USA) is a favorite to win. She has beautiful programs and solid 3 lutz-3 toe loop combination. Hope she will avoid mistakes and deliver a clean skate. With the gold of this event she will have almost 100% ticket to Junior grand prix in Barcelona.
Marin Honda (Japan) – I’m exited to see another representer of Honda’s family. I don’t know what to expect, but this girl was second at Asian Open FS Trophy this season.
The Russian ladies is a real threat for domination at the international level now. You never know how many strong skaters and strong jumpers they have and how many will come soon. This time we will see Valeriya Mikhailova and Ekaterina Mitrofanova. They are not the strongest junior skaters of the Russian team but still can deliver a solid performance and be a medal contender.
Only 8 pairs will participate in this ISO JGP. The favorite to win are obvious Anastasia Gubanova and Alexei Sintsov from Russia. Good guys with great and polished pair elements. Theis main problem is jumps, will see wether they managed to deal with during the offseason.
We will see a Korean pair Ye Ri Kim and Alex Kang Chan Kam. Korean pair it’s quite an exotica for figure skating. They trains in Colorado Springs, so at least they are prepared for skating at such hight.
Junior ice dance
Lorraine Mcnamara and Quinn Carpenter are favorite to win here. The main intrigue is their scores. Will it be higher than brother and sister Parsons got? I’m pretty sure that yes. And how much higher than Russin duos got? I think after this event we can say for sure who is US junior number one duo. Is Lorraine and Quinn US Federation bet for junior Worlds?
I’m intrigued how is Mackenzie Bent doing with her new partner Dmitre Razgulajevs. Mackenzie is a pretty strong ice dancer with good skills but whether one offseason is enough to match with a new partner? Or it was a mistake to split-up with Garrett Mackeen? Dmitre Razgulajevs is a son of Juris Razgulajevs who is one of their coaches.
Koreans Ho Jung Lee and Richard Kang In Kam have pretty good chances to medal. They produced solid performances at firs JGP in Bratislava, received the feedback from judges and had some time ro work on mistakes and on improvements.
And don’t forget the Russians. In Colorado springs we will see two duos: Ksenia Konkina and Georgy Reviya, Sofia Polishchuk and Alexander Vakhnov. Both duos are young and it will be their debute at ISU JGP events. But we can always expect some quality skating from Russian ice dancers.
See also my highlights from ISU JGP in Riga.