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2013 World Junior Championships

U.S. and Canada Win Gold and Silver Despite Being Eclipsed by Chinese in the Short Program, and Russians in the Free Skate!

 by Alexandra Stevenson



Quotable

Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier (USA), 2013 World Junior Champions

Denney: I thought our performance was pretty good today. It felt like we fought through all our elements and I think that made us appreciate it even more. I had a lot of fun and was relieved when it was over. I don’t think it has sunk in yet, but I’m really happy and proud of Brandon on myself tonight. (on whether the delay affected them) Not really. At home we’re used to training on a pretty flexible schedule with a lot of adversities. So I think we handled it pretty well. It didn’t really feel that much later than what it would have felt if it was on time. But now I’m tired. (on the challenges of pair skating as there are not so many pair teams) I think everybody in their discipline whether they’re pairs or singles train really hard, work really hard to accomplish their goals and don’t think it matters where you are from. I think if you the love and the passion for what you’re doing then that’s all that matters. (On future plans) We are still age eligible for juniors, but we’ll probably do senior in the U.S. I’m not really sure yet about internationals. Our goal for next year is just to improve even more. (On competing against her older sister Caydee at the senior level in the future) I don’t really think about as competing against my sister, because she is my sister first. I love her no matter what. I think it’s going to be awesome having a friend out there that I know and that I love. I’m just going to be happy to be around. So I think if anything we’re going to have a lot of fun together.

Margaret Purdy/Michael Marinaro (CAN), 2013 World Junior silver medalists

Marinaro: We are very happy with our performances that we had. We’re pretty pleased with how it went. We’re very proud of the season that we had and it is a good way to end off our junior career and ready to step into seniors next year. (on the challenges of pair skating as there are not so many pair teams) We don’t have many pairs in Canada right now, it’s only six senior teams at our Nationals, so it’s a pretty small event.

Purdy: (on whether the delay affected them) It definitely was a first coming into the rink and hearing that your event hasn’t even started when you’re thinking you’re going on in an hour. At the same time it was a great learning experience, to learn how to deal with that. As Haven said it was already a later event so you just kind of tried to think of it as it’s just the afternoon, it’s not night. So we’re awake. I don’t think it affected us that much.

Lina Fedorova/Maxim Miroshkin (RUS), 2013 World Junior bronze medalists

Fedorova: Obviously, after the short program we were a little upset, because not everything worked out, but before the free we didn’t think about any results and didn’t think about taking a gold, silver or bronze medal, but we just wanted to skate the best we can and execute all our elements. (on the challenges of pair skating as there are not so many pair teams) We have many pairs in Russia and therefore the competition is tough. It was hard to make it to (Junior) Worlds, the selection was tough. We are glad that we made it here and that we took third place. We have something to strive for.

Miroshkin: (on whether the delay affected them) I don’t think it had any effect on the quality of the elements we executed. On the opposite, it calmed us down. I don’t know, somehow it calmed me down. I was watching how the others were skating and enjoyed it and I wanted to get out there and skate even more. (On which emotion is stronger now – the regret about having missed the Short Program or the joy of having won the Free Skating and making the podium) There is absolutely no regret and not so much joy either. Yes, we are happy that we made the podium; it is an honor for us to be on the podium at Junior Worlds. But we are a little upset about the short program. It cost us a lot.

(1 March 2013) 

The ice making machine decided it was over-worked and started a quarrel with the ice injuring it in one place which led to multiple attempts at re-surfacing which delayed the start of the pairs’ free skate for 1 hour 20 minutes. The pairs event was the only championship in which all the entrees (16) progressed to the Free.

1. Overall 155.83; 2. FS 103.22 (52.70+50.52) Haven Denney & Brandon Frazier, highly promising American pair skaters, were surprised to find themselves with gold in the first event to be concluded in the World Junior Championships. They were third in the Short Program and second in the Free Skate but walked off with gold, 1.13 points ahead of the silver medalists, who are from Canada. That was possible because those ahead of them did well in one section but were far less outstanding in the other.

Performing to the poignant music from the Italian tear-jerker movie “La Strada”, the 17-year old Denney and her partner, who is 20, reeled off a triple twist, which earned +1.30 over its base value of 5 points. Frazier then threw her a great distance in a triple Salchow, which she landed cleanly, ensuring a total of 5.5 points was deposited in their “bank”.

Overall, they had only two very minor deductions of -0.30. That was for the third and seventh of their 11 required elements, the side-by-side triple Salchows and the throw triple loop. Overall they earned   103.22 points, improving their Season’s Best by a huge 20.47 points. Despite being only second in the Free section to the Russians, their showing pulled them over both the Chinese initial round winners and the Canadians, Purdy & Marino, who had been lying second and would stay in that position, although their Free Skate was ranked only third best.

Denney admitted, “I thought our performance was pretty good today. It felt like we fought through all our elements and I think that made us appreciate it even more. I had a lot of fun and was relieved when it was over. I don’t think it has sunk in yet, but I’m really happy and proud of Brandon on myself tonight.”

They said the delay in the start of the event didn’t really affect them, possibly because they skated later in the proceedings, 13th of the 16 competitors, which was first on in the last group. Those who skated at the very beginning and had already got on their boots and warmed up would have been more affected.

About their future, she said, “We are still eligible for junior competition for another season but we’ll probably move up to seniors.” She is looking forward to competing against her older sister, Caydee, who won the U.S. pair champion in 2012 with partner John Coughlin, but is currently sitting out competition while he recovers from surgery healing his torn labrum in his left hip. “I will love her no matter whether she beats us or not. I’m just happy to have her around. We’re going to have a lot of fun together.”

2. Overall 154.70; 3. FS 101.61 (51.62+49.99) Margaret Purdy & Michael Marinaro, who are both from Ontario, she from Strathroy and he from Sarnia, were fifth in this event last year but, since he turned 21 on January 7, this is their last year of Junior eligibility. She turned 18 on January 18. He said, “We are very happy with our performances that we had. We’re pretty pleased with how it went. We’re very proud of the season that we had and it is a good way to end off our junior career and ready to step into seniors next year.”

Interpreting music from “The Artist” by Ludovic Bource, they were saddled with negative Grades of Execution for three of their 11 required elements, which put them in third place in this section but they held onto second. It was a good end to a season in which they finished fourth in the Grand Prix Final in Sochi, where they skated in the arena where the Olympic figure skating is to take place.

Their routine opened with a Level 2 triple twist but the catch was a bit messy and they lost -0.60 off the base value of 5.40. Their second move, side-by-side jumps, triple toe loop to double toe loop, lost -0.30 off its base value, which is also 5.40. Later on, the landing of their first throw, a triple loop, lost -0.50 but their second throw, a triple Salchow, which was their next to last element executed when they must have been really exhausted, was spectacular and earned +0.90 over its base value of 4.40, plus the 10% bonus for being in the second half of the routine.

3.Overall 154.57; 1.FS 105.14 (53.86+51.28) Lina Fedorova & Maxim Miroshkin are the Russian Junior champions who won the Junior Grand Prix Final in Sochi in December. They train in Moscow. Here in Milan they had a bad Short Program in which she fell on her throw triple Salchow. That buried them in seventh place, but they recovered to win the Free Skate with a superior showing Tango music, which gave them the bronze medal.

The 15-year-old Federova, whose partner is 18, said, “Obviously, after the short program we were a little upset, because not everything worked out, but before the free we didn’t think about any results and didn’t think about taking a gold, silver or bronze medal. We just wanted to skate the best we can and execute all our elements.”

They began with a sensational triple twist which earned Level 3 from the Technical Panel and four of the maximum +3 Grades of Execution from the nine-member judging panel. (The other five judges punched in the second highest award, +2.) All 11 elements received positive Grades of Execution.

4. Overall 151.47; 5. FS 96.52 (50.72+46.80 -1) Xiaoyu Yu & Yang Jin, who train in the northern Chinese city of Harbin, were obviously very disappointed to drop out of the lead to fourth. She struggled with her jumps. The 17-year old and her 18-year-old partner were also fourth last year. They performed to music from Johann Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus.”

5. Overall 148.74; 6. FS 96.49 (50.44+48.05 -2) Evgenia Tarasova & Vladimir Morozov, Russia, performed last, to music from “Phantom of the Opera”. She survived two falls which dropped them a place from fourth after the Short Program.   

6. Overall 147.97; 7. FS 96.40 (49.20+47.20) Brittany Jones & Ian Beharry, Canada, skated to music from the winter and summer sections of “The Four Seasons”. Only two of their 11 moves, received negative Grades of Execution: -0.80 was taken off the base value of their first element, the Level 1 triple twist, and their 10th move, the back outside death spiral had -0.20 removed from its “basic level” base value of 2.80.

7. Overall 147.83; 4. FS 97.88 (50.17+47.71) Annabelle Prolss & Ruben Bloomaert, from Germany, who are taught by Karel Fajfr, performed their Free to “Robin Hood” by M. Streitenfeld. The routine was judged fourth best, and they were unlucky to lose out in what was practically a three-way tie. With just 0.90 more, they would have finished fifth.

8. Overall 135.61; 8. FS 92.74 (47.02+45.72) Kamilla Gainetdinova & Ivan Rich from Russia completely messed up their opening two moves, a triple Lutz jump combination which got two arrows for a complete downgrade to a double, which was combined with only a single toe loop, and a Basic level triple twist which also was saddled with a double arrow. Later, she had a problem landing their throw triple Salchow.

9. Overall 133.01; 9. FS 87.29 (43.00+44.29) Jessica Calalang & Zach Sidhu, USA, dropped a place from their Short Dance standing. They didn’t fall, but were saddled with three minuses. Their Basic level triple twist lost -0.80 from its base value. Their throw triple Salchow had 1.40 points removed and their jump combination was penalized with -0.30 being removed from the base value of a single Lutz to single toe loop.

10. Overall 121.51; 11. FS 76.35 (37.43+42.92 -2) Britney Simpson & Matthew Blackmer, USA, also dropped a place after getting off to an unfortunate start in which she fell on their first element, side-by-side triple Salchows, in their routine set to music from the movie “Henry V” and again, later, on the first double Axel in what was meant to be a sequence of two of this jump.

11. Overall 120.75; 10. FS 80.57 (43.16+38.41 -1) Hayleigh Bell & Alistair Sylvester, from Canada, pupils of Lee Barkell, who skated first of the 16 pairs, performed to Chopin’s “Fantasie Impromptu”, dressed in blue. They performed well enough to advance three places. Earlier, they were put through a lot of waiting around and uncertainty since they were completely warmed-up and ready to get on the ice when the referee stopped the competition because of damage to the ice by the ice-making machine’s apparatus. (No! It was a different brand and NOT an obviously more reliable American made Zamboni!)

12. Overall 116.92; 12. FS 75.04 (40.11+35.93 -1) Meiji Li & Bo Jiang from China stayed 12th. They got negative Grades of Execution on eight of their elements plus no points for their choreographed section. She messed the landing of their throw triple loop, which seemed as if he had thrown her badly, and she fell on their throw triple Salchow which was scheduled immediately afterwards.

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