2017 JGP Australia Ladies Preview

This is a very young and inexperienced field, with 16 of the 24 competitors making their international or Junior Grand Prix debut.

The triple + triple is key for the ladies and they’ll want one in their short programs and at least two in their free skates.  The required solo jump for the juniors in the short program this season is the triple lutz.  Top competitors will likely be attempting triple flip + triple toes in their short for the required combination jump.

Yi Christy Leung is the highest ranking competitor from last season at this event.  She placed 9th at Junior Worlds, setting personal bests in all segments of the competition.  It was by far her best competition of the year, as she placed just 10th at JGP Germany.  She has competed once this season, placing a disappointing 6th at the Asian Open, over 20 points lower than her Junior Worlds score but equivalent to the mark she set in Germany.

Riko Takino finished 6th as a junior at Japanese nationals.  She has one prior international assignment, the Bavarian Open, where she finished 2nd in the junior ladies event.

Ting Cui made her international debut earlier this summer at the Philadelphia International Competition where she scored just over 150 points.  She won the silver medal as a novice at US nationals last year, and is competing at the junior level for the first time.

Then there are the ladies who are competing for the first time, hoping to make a name for themselves.  Over the past few seasons Russian and Japanese ladies have absolutely dominated the junior circuit, and there is no indication that this year is going to be any different.

Alexandra Trusova just barely qualified to compete this season, turning 13 just a week before the July 1st deadline.  She finished 4th at Russian Junior Nationals last year, less than 6 points from the medal stand and just behind three ladies who all finished in the top 10 at Junior Worlds.  She is a great jumper, and has landed quad salchows in practice.

Anastasiia Guliakova finished 8th at Russian nationals as a junior last season.  While she was over 10 points back from Trusova, she still put up a respectable score and even placed ahead of Trusova in the short program.

Akari Matsuoka finished 12th at Japanese nationals in the junior event.  Her score was significantly lower than the Russian ladies, however it is difficult to compare nationals scores directly.  She had a much stronger free skate at that event, finishing 10th in that segment.

Kaitlyn Nguyen is the reigning US Junior Ladies champion.  She was not old enough to compete internationally as a junior last season, but was sent to Golden Bear as a novice and took home the gold medal.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Alexandra Trusova

Silver: Riko Takino

Bronze: Anastasiia Guliakova

 

Bios of the competitors:

Amelia Scarlett Jackson, AUS: She placed 20th at JGP Estonia last season.  Her personal best is 99.21.  She is 16 years old.

Jordan Lazarus, AUS: This is her international debut.

Serena Xu, AUS: This is her JGP debut.  She is 18 years old.

Aurora Cotop, CAN: This is her JGP debut.  She is 15 years old.

Amy Lin, TPE: She finished 28th at Worlds, 17th at Four Continents, and 21st at Junior Worlds.  Her personal best is 155.61.  She is 17 years old.

Yi Christy Leung, HKG: She finished 9th at Junior Worlds.  She placed 10th at JGP Germany last season.  Her personal best is 156.26.  She is 14 years old.

Arunima Verabelli, IND: This is her international debut.

Maria Blessia, INA: This is her JGP debut.  She is 17 years old.

Sophie Abrams, ISR: She placed 14th at JGP Russia last season.  Her personal best is 106.94.  She is 15 years old.

Akari Matsuoka, JPN: This is her international debut.

Riko Takino, JPN: This is her JGP debut.

Aleksandra Shlahova, LAT: She placed 16th at JGP Japan last season.  Her personal best is 87.57.  She is 15 years old.

Andrea Montesinos Cantu, MEX: She finished 19th at Junior Worlds.  She placed 9th at JGP Japan last season.  Her personal best is 128.55.  She is 14 years old.

Nicola Korck, NZL: This is her JGP debut.  She is 14 years old.

Bianca Arianne Vinarao, PHI: She finished 21st at JGP Japan last season.  Her personal best is 60.94.  She is 18 years old.

Su Been Jeon, KOR: This is her JGP debut.  She is 14 years old.

Eun Bi Ko, KOR: This is her JGP debut.  She is 14 years old.

Anastasiia Guliakova, RUS: This is her international debut.  She is 14 years old.

Alexandra Trusova, RUS: This is her international debut.  She is 13 years old.

Ching Ting Su, SGP: This is her JGP debut.  She is 17 years old.

Selma Ihr, SWE: This is her international debut.

Guzide Irmak Bayir, TUR: She finished 22nd at Junior Worlds.  This is her JGP debut.  Her personal best is 123.23.  She is 15 years old.

Ting Cui, USA: This is her JGP debut.

Kaitlyn Nguyen, USA: This is her international debut.