Figure skating is back and a new season is opened with the start of ISU Junior Grand Prix in Courchevel, France.
A great start of the season thanks to the men’s champion Yuma Kagiyama (JPN) and ladies champion Kamila Valieva (RUS) who both landed quads in their Free Skating.
The son of two-time Olympian Masakazu Kagiyama triumphed in the short program and then extended his lead with a strong Free Skating performance to music from the “Tucker” soundtrack that featured two quadruple toeloops and a triple axel, winning on total of 234.87 points.
“I feel I have improved in my jumps and have gained in my expression of the music.” Kagiyama said. “My goal this season is to win the Japan Junior Championships,” Kagiyama said before the tournament, “then I can go to the world junior championships and the Youth Olympic Games, at Lausanne 2020.”
Canadian Aleksa Rakic, after two solid programs, won his first medal on the ISU Junior Grand Prix (200.71 points) and and Russia’s Andrei Kutovoi with a superb performance to “Les Miserables”, has climbed the rankings from ninth to third place (198.06 points).
The Ladies’ field was equally excited. Kamila Valieva stood in third place following the Short Program but landed a quadruple toeloop in her Free Skating set to “Exogenesis Symphony” by Muse and won with a totally of 200.71 in her JGP debut.
Rapresentig Korea, Seoyeong Wi earned the silver medal with clean performances and totaled 191.07 points. Maiia Khromykh, Valieva’s teammate under Eteri Tutberidze, Sergei Dudakov and Daniil Gleikhengauz, finished third (179.32 points).
On the Dance event Elizaveta Shanaeva/Devid Naryzhnyy (RUS) skated for gold, winning their first Junior Grand Prix with 163.90 points.
“This victory in Courchevel is a good start for us to aim for a leading position. After coming home, we’ll analyze everything and fix our deficits. Before our second event, we want to work on our musicality, emotions, technique and other nuances that make the program complete.” Shanaeva commented. “This victory is very important to us and motivates us.”
The french team Demougeot/Le Mercier, performanced to and eccentric version of “Carmen” in the Free Dance and took the silver medal, with 161.01 points. Ekaterina Katashinskaia/Aleksandr Vaskovich (RUS) celebrated a successful debut on the ISU Junior Grand Prix with the bronze medal (151.65 points).
The ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series continues next week with the event in Lake Placid (USA) for the second stop on the seven-event circuit.
Courchevel, France from August 22 to 24
Lake Placid, United States from August 29 to August 31
Riga, Latvia from September 5 to 7
Chelyabinsk, Russia from September 12 to 14
Gdansk, Poland from September 19 to 21
Zagreb, Croatia from September 26 to 28
Egna, Italy from October 3 to 5