Second isu grand prix for juniors starts soon.
Thank to the ISU we have great opportunity to watch the event live in their youtube channel.
So, what will be interesting to see in Riga?
How are the Canadian girls are doing? Are there any girl who can be a serious medel contender in future? On this event Canada will be represented by Sarah Tamura. Will see whether she improved during the offseason.
Elizaveta Ukolova from Czech Republic always was a promising skater but unfortunately haven’t skated her best. She growth a lot, she is 173 cm now, it’s pretty much for a single skater lady. Maybe the growth was the main reason of her not best results. Hope she can deal with it.
Japanese girls always should be taken serious. In Riga we will see two girls. Yuna Aoki, it’s will be her debut on the international stage. And Kaori Sakamoto, who was 6th on junior Worlds last year.
We also well the another debutant from Russia – Alisa Fedichkina. Taking into account the overall level of Russian girls she can be really interesting to watch. The second participant from Russia is Maria Sotskova. For me it’s always a pleasure to see Maria’s skating and I think we can expect great programs from her.
USA will represent also two girls – Amber Glenn and Rebecca Peng. Rebecca is a debutante of junior international level competitions. And I think we can expect that Amber will fight for a medal.
I think we should take a serious look at Japanese junior men. Who knows maybe one day they become new big threat on senior level. In Riga we will see two participants from Japan, they are Kazuki Tomono and Sena Miyake.
My personal favorite is Deniss Vasiljevs. Denis now trains with Alexei Urmanov and I really excited about his progress in terms of technique. He is also always a joy to watch, such a component skater!
The Russin skating federation still hopes to get new Plushenko or Yagudin, but their men don’t please them with a resuls. Dmitri Aliev already showed some good result at ISU JGP series last year, so we can expect some progress. And it’ll be a debut for Petr Gumennik, whose coach is Alexei Mishin. Petr is also has a good second mark, so he can be really interesting to watch.
USA will be represented by Paolo Borromeo (coach Rafael Arutunian) and Alexei Krasnozhon. Both showed some results last season, so I think we can expect some progress from this two. I also think that thay have a chance to fight for the medal of this event.
Last season we haven’t seen any Chinese pair on the junior grand prix event. That was strange. This year they have two debutantes. Don’t know what to expect, but Chinese pairs were almost always a medal contenders. So, will see whether this two pairs will continue the tradition.
There will also be a three pairs-debutante from Russia. Also don’t know what to expect, but Russian pairs have been always famous for their high level of preparation and class. Recently Russian pairs have some struggles at the junior level, maybe the situation will improve?
Renata Oganesian and Mark Bardei from Ukraine last year won some medals and showed some good results, unfortunately weren’t that good at Worlds. But they are a pair with a great potential.
Junior Ice Dance
I always interested in Canadian ice dancers because of the quality of their skating skills and nice dances. In Riga we will see Melinda Meng and Andrew MENG. There is a strong competition in Canadian National team, so it’s interesting what this pair prepared for this season.
Angelique Abachkina and Louis Thauron from France. Really interesting duo and I think that they can surprise us with their progress and with creative dances. Last year they really were memorable with their Indian dance. With such coaching team (Igor Shpilband, Fabian Bourzat, Greg Zuerlein) it’s really exiting what they’ve come up with for this duo.
After Anna Yanovskaya and Sergei Mozgov switch to seniors the Russian junior ice dancing team has no obvious leader. We already seen Alla Loboda and Pavel Drozd and I honestly wasn’t impressed with their skating and dances. So, another two duos will try their best to get the leading position. In Riga will participate Sofia Evdokimava Egor Bazin and Betina Popova Yuri Vlasenko.
Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko from USA need to establish themselves as a duo with a potential because it’s a tough competition in US National junior team too. It won’t be easy to win a medal, but thay need two solid performances. I also like their short dance and the costumes.
See also my highlites of the first ISU JGP in Bratislava.