JGP Australia Recap

Men

The men had another outstanding event, putting up several new personal bests.  Jason Brown of the United States took home his first gold medal from the JGP and increased his personal best by 12 points.  He has still not added a triple axel to his programs, but is showing that he can be very competitive without it.  Keiji Tanaka of Japan took home his first silver medal and Liam Firus of Canada took home the bronze with an increase of 12 points to his personal best score.

Mikhail Kolyada of Russia finished 4th in his first international event.  Yoji Tsuboi of Japan increased his personal best by 10 points.  The biggest mover was Michael Christian Martinez of the Philippines who made the jump from 17th last season to 8th and increased his personal best by 30 points.

Ladies

The ladies free skate was a splatfest, as 15 of the 22 skaters had deductions and 8 skaters had 2 deductions or more.  Courtney Hicks of the United States managed to win the free skate, even with 2 falls, to take home the gold medal from her JGP debut.  Her total score was only 2 points below the mark Polina Shelepen set at Latvia, showing Hicks has the goods to be competitive even in a larger field.  Vanessa Lam, also of the United States, took home home her 2nd medal, a bronze.

Risa Shoji of Japan won the silver medal, but was hit by several under-rotation calls.  If she can get those triples fully rotated, she could be a contender for the Worlds podium.

Polina Korobeynikova of Russia was 4th in her debut and showed just how deep the Russian ladies field is.  With only 1 spot on the Junior Worlds team likely up for grabs (with Adelina Sotnikova and Elizaveta Tuktamisheva not eligible for senior worlds) it’s going to be a tough fight at Russian nationals.

Hae-Jin Kim of Korea finished 28th at her lone event last season.  She skated an impressive short program to land in 1st but it appears nerves got the best of her in her free skate as she had 4 deductions.  Despite this, she finished 5th overall and increased her personal best by 51 points.  She is definitely one to watch this season, especially if she can go clean in her free.

Brooklee Han of Australia was a bright spot for the home team.  She finished 10th and 17th in her events last season and climbed to 8th here and increased her personal best by 8 points.

Several ladies didn’t have their best outing.  Alexandra Najarro finished 32 points below her personal best, Chaochih Liu finished 24 points below her personal best and Bahai Taleb finished 24 points below her personal best.

Dance

Despite the small field, the medalists earned their placements and all increased their personal best.  Orford and Williams of Canada took home their first gold medal and increased their personal best by 5 points.  They also currently hold the top score for the season.

Bonacorsi and Mager of the United States took home their first silver medal and increased their personal best by 6 points and hold the 3rd best score of the season so far.  Zenkova and Sinitsin of Russia won bronze and increased their personal best score by 11 points and set the bar higher than their Russian teammates at Latvia.