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2015 JUNIOR WORLDS: A Look Back at Pairs

Tallinn, Estonia, a picturesque city overlooking the Sea of Finland, rolled out its red carpet for the 2015 World Junior Championships March 2-8. The competitions were held at the new and contemporary Tondiraba Ice Arena.

YU+JIN REPEAT AS PAIRS CHAMPIONS

 SHORT PROGRAMS
(1) Xiaoyu Yu+Yang Jin (CHN) skated on the senior GP circuit all season, but returned to Tallinn to defend their 2014 World Junior title.

The Champions used David Wilson’s choreography and their maturity and elegance to weave through the dark and hypnotic tones of “Yulanga” (Spirit Dance) by Dead Can Dance.

This [season] is the first time skating in this style [of music], and we really enjoy it,” Yu explained.

“We are pleased with our performance today, especially since we haven’t been training this [junior] short program and the double Lutz.”

Their triple twist, lift, spin, death spiral and footwork earned Level4.

(2) Julianne Sequin+Charlie Bilodeau (CAN) showed great speed and audience connection. Their music selection from the Oscar-winning The Grand Budapest Hotel allowed Bilodeau to inject humor into the program.

“Shae Zukiwsky, our choreographer, brought us the music. He thought it had more character. It’s funnier, especially with my mustache,” Bilodeau laughed at the Press Conference.

Both Bilodeau and his coach, Marc-Andre Craig, joked in the “Kiss and Cry” about the upper-lip facial hair they both grew for the program.

The JGPF gold medalists earned Level4 for five elements and collected a personal best 61.32 score.

”We reached 60 points, which was our goal, so we are happy about that, “ smiled Bilodeau.

(3) Lina Fedorova+Maxim Miorshkin (RUS) opened their Michael Buble’s “Feeling Good” program with a massive, sky-high triple twist that earned a Level4 and 7.60 points. The footwork and lift were also Level4.

The 2014 JGPF silver medalists lost points for an edge call on the 2Lz and for the shaky entrance to the combination spin.

“It wasn’t bad, but there were some small errors we need to work on. We’ll skate better tomorrow,” commented Fedorova.

FREE PROGRAMS
Yu+Jin skated straight to the top of the podium with a light and lyrical interpretation of “Humility and Love” that portrayed the couple in a different light from that of the daunting beat of the Aboriginal short program music.

The team opened with in-sync s-b-s jumps, followed by a spectacular Level4 triple twist and a powerful throw triple loop.

“I think we had a good performance technically; the elements were solid,” commented Jin. “This was especially good since we didn’t have much time to prepare the junior program.

Yu+Jin medaled at three senior international events and qualified for the Grand Prix Final during the 2014-15 season.

Seguin+ Bilodeau had their first and last World Junior Championships on the same night. In 2014 the team had to withdraw due to Seguin’s back injury. Next year, they will skate in all senior events.

The JGPF Champions chose two Peter Gabriel selections choreographed by Marie-France Dubrueil and Patrice Lauzon and executed a solid and charismatic performance. Six elements earned Level4.

“We really felt great on the ice today. We focused on the performance, and all the elements we did clean. I think it’s a great way to end our last junior competition,” noted Bilodeau.

Fedorova+Miroshkin dressed in Russian folk-dance costumes skated a lively program to “Khorobushko” and won the bronze medal.

The Moscow team scored the highest points of the evening for their Level4 triple twist. (7.70) The lifts also earned Level4, but falls on the s-b-s jumps and Level2 death spiral lowered their technical score.

“We have to train more, to work more on the jumps to make them consistent,” said Fedorova.

4.  Anastasia Gubanova+Alexei Sintsov (RUS) were 5th in the free program, but stayed in 4th.

     5. Caitlin Fields+Ernie Utah Stevens (USA) placed 4th in the free and vaulted from 7th to 5th.

     6. Ami Kogu+Francis Boudreau Audet (JPN) remained in 6th.

                                                                                ICE CHIPS

  • Yu+Jin will not compete at the 2015 Worlds in Shanghai, China since Qing Pang+Jian Tong came out of retirement for the event.
  •  Seguin+ Bilodeau are senior Canadian bronze medalists and will compete at Worlds in Shanghai, China.
  •  Fields+Stevens’s second international competition was the 2015 World Junior Championships in Tallinn, Estonia.
  •  The following countries will send three (3) pairs teams to the 2016 Junior World Championships:   Canada         China         Russia            USA
  • The following countries will send two (2) pairs teams to the 2016 World Junior World Championships:    Czech Republic       Japan

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