JGP Austria Mens Preview

This is a stacked event and it will be quite the fight for the medal stand.  


Keiji Tanaka of Japan is the reigning World Junior silver medalist and kicked off his season with a silver medal in Australia.  He’ll need another gold to guarantee a spot in the JGP Final.  He Zhang of China also kicked off his season with a silver medal, his in Latvia.  Liam Firus of Canada and Timothy Dolensky of the United States both have one bronze medal this season.


In addition to these medal winners, two skaters are kicking off their JGP season.  Han Yan of China won gold at both of his JGP assignments last season and won silver at the JGPF.  He finished a disappointing 6th at Worlds.  Gordei Gorshkov of Russia won one silver medal last season and also qualified for the JGPF.


With only 6 spots up for grabs in the Final and so many medal winners at this event, making the podium is going to be very important, and extremely difficult.  There isn’t a very deep men’s field in China, and Han Yan could have elected to go senior, but by staying junior, I believe he feels he has something to prove and that could give him the extra edge in this event.


My podium predictions:
Gold: Han Yan
Silver: Keiji Tanaka
Bronze: Gordei Gorshkov


Bios of the competitors:


David Kranjec, AUS: He finished 12th in his JGP debut in Australia.  His personal best is 128.93.  He is 17 years old.
Manuel Drechsler, AUT: He finished 21st at his international debut in Poland.  His personal best is 73.06.  He is 15 years old.
Liam Firus, CAN: He finished 20th at Junior Worlds.  He won bronze at JGP Australia.  His personal best is 180.00.  He is 19 years old.

Han Yan, CHN: He finished 6th at Junior Worlds.  He won gold at JGP Austria and Czech Republic last season to qualify for the JGPF where he won silver.  His personal best is 193.62.  He is 15 years old.


He Zhang, CHN: He won silver at JGP Latvia.   His personal best is 182.38.  He is 14 years old. 

Petr Coufal, CZE: He finished 19th at Junior Worlds.  He placed 8th at JGP Poland.  His personal best is 156.63.  He is 16 years old.

Bela Papp, FIN: He finished 20th in the preliminary round at Worlds and 22nd at Junior Worlds.  He finished 13th at JGP Australia.  His personal best is 145.18.  He is 17 years old.

Simon Hocquaux, FRA: He finished 10th in his JGP debut in Australia.  His personal best is 140.76.  He is 15 years old.

Niko Ulankovsky, GER: This is his JGP debut.  He is 14 years old.

Peter-James Hallam, GBR: This is his international debut.  He is 16 years old.

Harry Hau Yin Lee, HKG: He finished 22nd at JGP Japan last season.  His personal best is 86.12.  He is 17 years old.

Maurizio Zandron, ITA: He finished 17th at JGP Great Britain and 10th at JGP Czech Republic last season.  His personal best is 133.70.  He is 18 years old.

Sei Kawahara, JPN: He placed 6th at JGP Latvia.  His personal best is 160.49.  He is 15 years old.
Keiji Tanaka, JPN: He is the reigning World Junior silver medalist.  He won silver at JGP Australia.  His personal best is 196.98.  He is 16 years old.
Gordei Gorshkov, RUS: He placed 9th at the World Junior Championships.  He finished 4th at JGP Japan and took the silver medal at JGP Germany to qualify for the JGPF where he placed 8th.  His personal best is 185.84.  He is 18 years old.
Marco Klepoch, SVK: This is his international debut.  He is 13 years old.

Victor Bustamante, ESP: He finished 13th at JGP France and 25th at JGP Germany.  His personal best is 106.44.  He is 17 years old.

Tomi Pulkkinen, SUI: He finished 25th at World Juniors.  He placed 15th at JGP Japan and 14th at JGP Germany last season.  His personal best is 143.73.  He is 19 years old.

Burak Demirboga, TUR: This is his JGP debut.  He is 15 years old.

Stanislav Pertsov, UKR: He finished 15th at World Juniors.  He placed 10th at JGP Latvia.  His personal best is 161.92.  He is 19 years old.

Timothy Dolensky, USA: He won the bronze at his JGP debut in Latvia.  His personal best is 176.77.  He is 19 years old.

Philip Warren, USA: He finished 6th at his JGP debut in Australia.  His personal best is 166.42.  He is 18 years old.