by Alexandra Stevenson
(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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