Day 1- Results/Full highlights - 2008 World Junior Figure Skating Championships

Day 1- Results/Full highlights - 2008 World Junior Figure Skating Championships

Post by Vick444~No Sp.. » Thu, 28 Feb 2008 08:57:18

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World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2008,
Day 1 - 26 Feb 2008

The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2008
opened Tuesday in Sofia, Bulgaria with the Compulsory
Dance and the Pairs Short Program. A record number of 207
skaters have been entered for the competition. Brazil is
for the first time represented at World Junior
Championships with an entry in both the Ladies and Mens
singles. Bulgaria has hosted the World Junior
Championships once before in 2001.

Ice Dancing, Compulsory Dance
The Compulsory Dance at the ISU World Junior
Championships 2008 was the Cha Cha Congelado. The Cha Cha
Congelado was developed by Bernard Ford, Kelly Johnson,
Laurie Palmer and Steven Belanger. It was first performed
in Richmond Hill (CAN) in 1989.

Emily Samuelson/Evan Bates (USA) edged out Russias Maria
Monko/Ilia Tkachenko by 0.12 points to take the lead.
Vanessa Crone/Paul Poirier of Canada placed third.
Samuelson/Bates performed an exact Cha Cha Congelado and
had excellent timing. They improved their previous
seasonal best of this dance significantly and earned
35.11 points (18.99 element score/16.12 program component
score). Samuelson/Bates performed an exact Cha Cha
Congelado and had excellent timing. They improved their
previous seasonal best of this dance significantly and
earned 35.11 points (18.99 element score/16.12 program
component score). "The first  time we competed the Cha
Cha was at the Junior Grand Prix Final and weve worked
on it a lot since then and we were really hoping to show
our improvement out there today. Its definitely great to
be rewarded", Samuelson told the press. "Its a fast
dance, there are a lot of steps and not a lot of ice to
fit them in. You have to be deep, you have to be quick
and also maintain speed and be on music. So theres a lot
of things to work on", Bates explained. "Weve worked
very *** this dance. When we went to the Final, we
werent really satisfied with our performance.  I think
here we did a much stronger performance and Im really
happy with the score. We work a lot off ice with a
ballroom instructor.  Last year, we had a Latin free
dance which at Junior Worlds didnt go very well. So we
brought back the dress - this is the same dress.  We
couldnt just throw the dress away after that", he
continued, referring to their fall during the Free Dance
last year in which she was injured and the couple was
forced to withdraw from the competition.
Monko/Tkachenko delivered a strong Cha Cha as well,
showing off precision at good speed. The Junior Grand
Prix Final Champions posted a new seasonal best of 34.99
points (18.92/16.07). "We skated quite well and were
just happy that this is our last competition (of the
season) and we were able to show off our work weve done
this season. We skated this dance at the Junior Final and
in England (JGP in Sheffield)", Monko said. "I started to
like this dance this season. I didnt like it as much
before. Now it was the best of all the dances for us this
season", she added. "We felt it was an advantage for us
to have skated the Cha Cha many times in competition this
season.  We didnt have to go into details of new dances
but we just had to repeat and hone the Cha Cha",
Tkachenko commented.
Crone/Poiriers Cha Cha was good as well, and the team
scored 33.71 points (18.38/15.33).They, too, set a new
personal best for themselves. "Since the GP Final, we
looked at the top teams, the teams that medaled, and we
really saw what we need to do if we want to be medal
contenders here in this event. We worked on the technical
aspects of the dance as well, and I think its really
paid off", Poirier said.

Kristina Gorshkova/Vitali Butikov (RUS) are just behind
the Canadians at 33.52 points. Madison Hubbell/Keiffer
Hubbell (USA) follow in fifth (30.52 points) and Lucie
Mysliveckova/Matej Novak (CZE) are currently ranked sixth
with 30.43 points.

Pairs, Short Program
The competition continued with the Pairs Short Program.
The required throw jump in the Junior Pairs Short Program
in the 2007/2008 season is the throw toeloop (double or
triple). The required solo jump is the double loop or
double Axel.
The Russian pairs swept the Short Program with Ksenia
Krasilnikova/Konstantin Bezmaternykh, Liubov
Iliushechkina/Nodari Maisuradze and Ekaterina
Sheremetieva/Mikhail Kuznetsov.

Krasilnikova/Bezmaternykh had drawn to skate last out of
the 20 couples and delivered a strong performance to
"Quidam" from Cirque du Soleil. The two-time and reigning
World Junior bronze medallists hit a solid side by side
double Axel followed by a throw triple toeloop, and a
high double twist, that was graded a rarely seen level
four. They also produced a level-three side by side
combination spin and a lasso lift with variations of
position to pick up a new personal best score of 56.30
points (33.56 element score/22.74 program component
score). "Overall it wasnt bad, but obviously all of us
could have skated a little better tonight. Not all of us
showed what we can do", Bezmaternykh said.
Iliushechkina/Maisuradze, who debut in international
competition, opened their routine to "The Gadfly" by
Dmitri Shostakovich with an excellent double Axel and a
double twist that was awarded a level four by the
Technical Panel. The team from Moscow also completed a
difficult toe Lasso lift with an unusual entry, but
Iliushechkina fell on the throw triple toeloop. The
Muscovites scored 52.05 points (30.31/22.74). ""Weve
been competing only since this season. Obviously we made
an error, which is too bad, but apart from that we skated
quite well", Iliushechkina commented. "It was just a
technical error. We both were single skaters before, and
the most difficult part for us was to get used to each
other. Weve been training a whole year and started to
compete only now", she added.
Skating to "Winter" from "Four Seasons" by Antonio
Vivaldi, Sheremetieva/Kuznetsov put out a solid short
program that contained a side by side double loop, a
double twist, a fast and very well synchronized side by
side spin. The throw triple toe was high, but she had
trouble to control the landing and stepped out of it. The
Muscovites received 51.94 points (30.05/21.89), which was
a new personal best for them. "We tried to do everything
at the maximum speed and we didnt quite cope with the
speed on this element", Sheremetieva said, referring to
the error. "We were trying our best. Of course, we
trained to skate our program with a clean throw, but we
tried not to think about the mistake and tried to do
everything as we should do", her partner commented. "We
dont yet do the most difficult elements, but well be
ready for next season."

Chinas Yue Zhang/Lei Wang and Huibo Dong/Yiming Wu came
in fourth and fifth and are less than a point away from
the podium. Zhang/Wangs performance included a double
twist, throw triple toe and a one armed lasso lift, but
she stepped out of the double Axel (51.22 points).
Dong/Wu as well showed a solid double twist and throw
triple loop, but she stumbled into the boards after
landing the double Axel, and they lost unison in their
side by side spin (51.16 points). Both pairs also
achieved a new seasonal best.

The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2008
continue Wednesday with the Mens Short Program and the
Pairs Free Skating. For more information and results
please see: www.isu.org and
http://SportToday.org/.
An extended version of this report will be published on
the website later tonight.  

http://SportToday.org/,10869,4844-1285...