Tuesday, 17/7/2018 | : : UTC-7
Skate Today

Iliushechkina and Maisuradze Take Junior World Title

It wasn’t the best skating day for Pair Champions Liubov Iliushechkina and Nadari Maisuradze who captured the pair title with an event total of 144.32 points, but placed second in the free skate.

“Our feelings are ambivalent right now,” Nadari stated. “We are happy about the result, but our performance was poor. I’m absolutely not happy with our performance, mostly with the performance of my partner, actually only with the performance of my partner. But a medal is a medal, and it won’t go anywhere. ”

Skating to a selection of music by Edvin Marton the Muskovites struggled with their jumps and their throws. Liubov under-rotated and crashed on the triple toe of a planned triple toe/double toe combination and then put a hand down and turned out of the throw triple Lutz. She again placed a hand down on the throw triple loop. Despite the mistakes the duo hit a double twist, a double Lutz and displayed gorgeous lifts with unique upward positions.

“I was not nervous at all, but Liuba unfortunately has been struggling with her nerves all season,” Maisuradze added. “What happened to (teammates) Alexei (and Anastasia who rebounded from 11th in the short program to win the free skate and claim a silver medal) is a strong example that you never should give up.”

They pocketed 89.20 points in the free skate and claimed the gold medal with a total of 144.32 points.

Teammates Anastasia Martiusheva and Alexei Rogonov captured the audience with the best skate of the night and rose from eleventh to second. They performed to the music “Nutcracker” by Peter I. Tchaikovski.

“Yesterday we had a very bad performance, the worst, and we never would have expected such a performance,” Anastasia stated. “Today though we were able to pull it together — our thoughts, our hands and our feet and skated well.”

The pair looked picture perfect as they took off on their opening move a spectacular throw triple loop that earned the duo a +1.12 GOE for that element. They followed with a triple twist and a double Axel + double loop sequence and a gorgeous lift with her in an amazing split position. They struggled on the throw triple Salchow in which Anastasia put her hand down to keep from falling, but recouped instantly with a double Lutz and a strong forward inside death spiral. The straight line steps (level two) were neatly choreographed to the music and the pair combination spin that ended the program was strong as well.

“We were completely in shock about our skate (yesterday) and about our placement obviously,” Rogonov admitted. “Today we more or less redeemed ourselves. Nastia did a great job, she pulled herself together. Basically, we did what we were supposed to do. We probably won’t forget what happened yesterday, but each poor performance helps you to pull yourself together, and it is an extra motivation. We hope that something like this won’t repeat itself, although it is also a kind of experience. “

The Russian Junior Champions picked up 93.99 points in the free skated and captured the silver medal with an overall score of 138.59 points.

Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir were as surprised as anyone when the National Junior bronze medalists captured the bronze medal here with an event total of 137.47 points.

The Americans put out a strong performance set to the music from the “Gladiator” soundtrack which earned the team a free skate score of 88.37 points. They highlighted their program with side-by-side double Salchows, a triple twist, a throw double Axel, a throw triple Salchow and two very well-done lifts. Shnapir fell on the back-end of +.80 double toe + double toe sequence, but otherwise they skated clean.

“I’d say we skated our best program of the season. I made a small mistake at the end of the program, but Marissa made it, and her throws were beautiful,” Shnapir explained. “We’re very honored just to be up here at the Junior Worlds and to skating with some of these great skaters that are sitting at this table.”

Castelli added: “We didn’t put in our triple Salchows and we didn’t have as difficult elements, but with everything we did I think we did very well.”

For Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers it was a narrow miss for the bronze medal, however, they did manage a small bronze medal that was awarded for their third place showing in the free skate.

Their program to “The Painted Veil” included a double Axel, a double toe/double toe combination a forward inside death spiral and strong spins and lifts. However, the duo struggled on both throws. On the first throw Rudi fell to his knees as he flung Paige across the ice and she was unable to control the landing. On the throw triple Salchow Paige placed her hand on the ice to prevent falling on the landing. In the end the duo accrued 88.43 points for their free skate and 137.07 for fourth place overall.

Ekaterina Sheremetieva and Mikhail Kuznetsov of Russia dropped two spots and finished the completion in fifth place overall with 134.80 points. Their free skate which earned 85.96 points included a throw triple flip, a double twist and a side-by side double loop + double loop sequence as well. Their lifts were strong but they two-footed the throw triple loop and had a bobble on the straight line step sequence.

Maddison Bird and Raymond Schultz of Canada were happy with their free skate set to the “Braveheart” soundtrack. They started their program with a double Lutz then followed with a strong throw triple Salchow and a double flip/double toe combination. The Canadians struggled on the landing of the triple flip and on the death spiral when Schultz leaned to far back and had difficulty lifting his partner into her next position.

It was their first trip to Junior Worlds and to showcase two strong programs and maybe finish in the top ten they were elated.

“We would have been happy with a tenth place finish,“ fourteen-year-old Maddison told the press. “We came here and we skated two strong programs, and we scored well on presentation and since that has been our focus, we are really happy with that.”

The youngsters completed the event in sixth place with an overall score of 127.63 points.

Narume Takahashi and Mervin Tran had a error-prone skate yet managed to pull up one spot to finish seventh with 80.66 points in the free skate and an event total of 126.64 points overall. They had four very costly mistakes when the Japanese two-footed their side-by-side double Axels, fell on a combination spin, turned a planned double flip/double toe combination into a under-rotated single flip/ double toe combination and then two-footed a throw triple loop. They did hit the double twist a throw triple toe, forward inside death spiral, and produced strong lifts. The couple was in a virtual tie with the Chinese after the short program, but placed below them since the Chinese had higher technical scores.

Chinese pair Yue Wang and Lei Wang who was favored to be in contention for a medal here finished eighth with and event total of 125.30. The Junior Grand Prix silver medalists went hands down on the triple Salchow which was under-rotated as well. She later stepped out on their side-by-side triple toe loops and had unison problems on their flying combination spin. They did manage a strong throw triple loop, a double Lutz twist and two level four spins.

Brynn Carman and and Chris Knierm finished ninth in their first appearance at Junior Worlds. Skating to “Cityslickers” they skated a fun program which included a very strong triple twist and two solid throws. However, Brynn fell on a side-by-side double Lutz and he later singled the flip. They received 78.99 points for the free skate and 124.93 points overall.

“It’s a good program for us, it’s fun, it’s comfortable. We have been doing it for like three seasons now,” Carman stated about the huge triple twist at the beginning of the program. “We had a few problems but it was ok.”

The event continues tomorrow with the original dance and the men’s free skate.

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