JGP Courchevel Men’s Preview

Jason Brown headlines this event and comes into the competition as the reigning JGP Final champion and World Junior bronze medalist.  The one thing he lacks is a triple axel and he has worked to bring up his PCS scores to compensate for this element.  He’s been trying the triple axel over the summer but it has been inconsistent.  He finished over 30 points higher at Junior Worlds than the next closest competitor at this event so he should have no trouble claiming the gold here and can even widen the margin with triple axels in his programs.

Ryuju Hino also won a pair of medals on the Junior Grand Prix last season and qualified for the JGP Final.  He failed to keep pace with the big three Junior men’s competitors last season and finished a distant 9th at Junior Worlds.  He has the capability to medal here but it will be difficult for him to challenge Brown for the gold.  He’ll also be looking to push his personal best score closer to the 200 point range.

Mikhail Kolyada of Russia and Boyang Jin of China could be the dark horses for the silver medal here.  Kolyada finished just off the podium at his lone JGP assignment last season, JGP Australia.  Boyang Jin is making his JGP debut but his scores at last summer’s Asian Figure Skating Trophy are good enough to keep him in the medal hunt.  

Also looking to land on the podium are Harrison Choate who finished 6th at his JGP debut in Romania last season and Nam Nguyen of Canada, a 14 year old who claimed the bronze in Romania.

Five of the 21 skaters are making their international debuts while four are debuting on the JGP.  

My podium predictions:
Gold: Jason Brown
Silver: Ryuju Hino
Bronze: Mikhail Kolyada

Bios of the competitors:

Pavel Strakach, BLR: This is his international debut.
 
Nam Nguyen, CAN:  He placed 13th at Worlds.  He finished 12th in his JGP debut in Latvia and won bronze at JGP Romania last season.  His personal best is 169.55.  He is 14 years old.
 
Boyang Jin, CHN: This is his JGP debut.  He is 14 years old.
 
Jui-Shu Chen, TPE: He placed 15th at JGP Estonia last season.  His personal best is 106.73.  He is 18 years old. 
 
Julian Lagus, FIN: This is his JGP debut.  He is 18 years old.

Simon Hocquaux, FRA: He finished 10th at JGP Australia and 12th at JGP Austria last season.  His personal best is 141.81.  He is 16 years old.

Charles Tetar, FRA: He finished 15th at JGP Latvia and 10th at JGP Poland last season.  His personal best is 138.14.  He is 17 years old.

Panagiotis Polizoakis, GER: This is his JGP debut.  He is 17 years old.
 
Peter James Hallam, GBR: He placed 16th at JGP Austria last season.  His personal best is 122.61.  He is 17 years old.
 
Alessandro Pezzoli, ITA: This is his international debut.
 
Ryuju Hino, JPN: He placed 9th at Junior Worlds.  He won gold at JGP Latvia and silver at JGP Romania last season to qualify for the JGP Final where he finished 5th.  His personal best is 182.71.  He is 17 years old.
 
Sondre Oddvoll Boe, NOR: This is his international debut.  He is 14 years old.
 
Vlad Ionescu, ROU: He finished 18th in the preliminary round at Junior Worlds.  He placed 18th at JGP Romania and 19th at JGP Italy last season.  His personal best is 118.59.  He is 18 years old.
Mikhail Kolyada, RUS: He placed 4th at JGP Australia last season.  His personal best is 177.55.  He is 17 years old.
Alexander Petrov, RUS: This is his international debut.  He is 13 years old.
Victor Bustamante, ESP: He placed 15th in the preliminary round at Junior Worlds.  He finished 14th at JGP Austria and Italy last season.  His personal best is 132.28.  He is 18 years old. 

 
Marcus Bjork, SWE: He placed 24th at Junior Worlds.  His personal best is 123.33.  He is 18 years old.
 
Vincent Cuerel, SUI: This is his JGP debut.  He is 16 years old.  
 
Ivan Pavlov, UKR: This is his international debut.  He is 13 years old.   

 
Jason Brown, USA: He is the reigning World Junior Bronze Medalist.  He won gold at JGP Australia and silver at JGP Italy last season to qualify for the JGP Final where he won gold.  His personal best is 214.90.  He is 17 years old. 

 
Harrison Choate, USA: He placed 6th at JGP Romania last season.  His personal best is 166.38.  He is 18 years old.