First of all I want to say thank you to ISU for their decision to have a Junior Grand-prix Final together with seniors. I think it can help attract viewers and increase the interest to junior sport. It also mean that we can see it on TV (not just on Youtube channel). Personally I started to watch it live only after this “merge” and I think that I’m not the only one. So, here is my preview on the Junior Grand-prix Final in Barcelona.
The competition of junior men promise to be extremely interesting! Six bright and strong skaters got into the Final:
- Nathan Chen
- Dmitri Aliev
- Sota Yamamoto
- Roman Sadovsky
- Daniel Samohin
- Vincent Zhou
Vincent Zhou without quad and 3 axel in the short probably (who knows, everything can happen, the ice is slippery) can’t claim for the medals at Final but he’s skating is really good and nice to watch.
Daniel Samohin is planning to do three quads in the free program and it’s a challenge even for seniors. His PCS is not very high in comparison with some other participants but he is progressing and if he will manage to be solid technically can win a medal here. What will be a great achievement for Israeli figure skating.
Dmitri Aliev is the only Russian men (among juniors and seniors) who managed to get into the Final. He won two grand-prix events with pretty solid results. So, he’s also a medal contender here. He also planning to do two quads in the free program.
Nathan Chen is a favorite to win, he also planning to do two quads in the free and he has the highest season best score – 236.76. I think if Nathan win the Grand-prix Final with two strong performances he will set himself not only how a contender to win the Junior Worlds but also like a medal contender at US senior Nationals.
In ladies competition we will see the battle Russia vs Japan:
- Polina Tsurskaya
- Maria Sotskova
- Yuna Shiraiwa
- Marin Honda
- Mai Mihara
- Alisa Fedichkina
I think the most possible variant of placement is Tsurskaya – Sotskova – one of japanese girls….my bet is Marin Honda.
Polina Tsurskaya is an absolute favorite to win the Junior Grand-prix Final. Her jumps are huge! And what is important she’s pretty consistent. I’m not a fan of her programs, I think she deserves a better and more sophisticated choreography. But her jumps and combos are so impressive! What gives me hope that they will survive puberty.
For Maria Sotskova it’s very important to skate as great as she can to show to the Russian figure skating federation that it was a mistake to keep her doing juniors. Her programs are interesting to watch, she is a beauty on the ice and also love her dress for the free program – a bit of a fashion lesson for the senior skaters)
In junior pairs we will see the domination of Russians + on Ukrainian and one Czech pair.
- Amina Atakhanova / Ilia Spiridonov
- Renata Oganesian / Mark Bardei
- Ekaterina Borisova / Dmitry Sopot
- Anastasia Gubanova / Alexei Sintsov
- Anna Duskova / Martin Bidar
- Anastasia Poluianova / Stepan Korotkov
Honestly, I’m not the biggest fan of junior pair skating and I haven’t been watching them carefully) So, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for my compatriots Oganesian – Bardei, but of course let the strongest win. I also wonder where all the Chinese pairs?
Ice dance will be exciting to watch, as always) Lots of emotions!
- Lorraine Mcnamara / Quinn Carpenter
- Rachel Parsons / Michael Parsons
- Alla Loboda / Pavel Drozd
- Betina Popova / Yuri Vlasenko
- Marie-Jade Lauriault / Romain Le Gac
- Anastasia Skoptcova / Kirill Aleshin
Lorraine Mcnamara and Quinn Carpenter are the favorite to win and If they do they will themselves as an obvious leaders of the junior ice dance and as almost absolute favorite to win the Junior Worlds. I’m not the fan of their dances, but they know their strengths and have a solid technique.
Rachel and Michael Parsons need to skate their best and be as close as possible to Mcnamara and Carpenter. I think they have the best short dance among all juniors! Hope they will perform it to its full potential!
It’s also interesting whether one of the Russian teams can interfere into the fight for silver, or the bronze is the only medal that can hope for. I think Loboda and Drozd have better chances for a higher place. Popova and Vlasenko have more emotional and maybe more memorable dances but it can also be a problem for them. Especially for Betina, she sometimes loses control on elements because of her hyperemotionality.