JGP France Dance Preview

This is a strong opening to the season with several high Junior Worlds placers along with JGP medalists competing.

Edwards and Pang did not make the cutoff for the Junior Grand Prix Final despite a strong showing on the JGP with a silver and bronze medal.  They had a breakout performance at Junior Worlds to win the bronze medal.  Despite this, they were fairly consistent throughout the season and will need to show more improvement and growth as the season progresses if they hope to fend off newcomers to the scene and contend for the World Junior title.

Nazarova and Nikitin finished a solid 5th at Junior Worlds after finishing 5th at the JGP Final.  Their showing at the Final was a bit of a disappointment as they scored below where they were the rest of the season.  They have had several up and downs over the years and scored well enough to earn a Grand Prix slot several years ago but then fell off the radar before rebounding last season.  They’ll need to build on that momentum if they want to claim a medal at Junior Worlds and make the jump to the senior level.

Loboda and Drozd were the victim of a strong Russian contingent and did not qualify for the Junior Worlds team despite winning two medals on the JGP.  Look for them to have another solid outing here in their bid for Junior Worlds.

These three teams were heads and tails above the field last season (in addition to being very closely matched) and should be the medal winners here.  Meng and Meng could be a spoiler if any of the above teams falter.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Edwards/Pang

Silver: Nazarova/Nikitin

Bronze: Loboda/Drozd

 

Bios of the competitors:

Tkachenka/Gulitski, BLR: They placed 13th at JGP Poland and 12th at JGP Belarus last season.  Their personal best is 96.44.  She is 16 and he is 18.

Edwards/Pang, CAN: They are the reigning World Junior Bronze Medalists.  They won silver at JGP Mexico and bronze at JGP Czech Republic last season.  Their personal best is 139.65.  She is 18 and he is 19.

Meng/Meng, CAN: They placed 8th at JGP Poland last season.  Their personal best is 114.96.  She is 15 and he is 17.

Vadskjaer Grapek/Jones, DEN: They placed 28th at Junior Worlds.  They finished 18th at JGP Slovakia and 16th at JGP Czech Republic last season.  Their personal best is 77.14.  She is 18 and he is 20.

Elias/Koreline, EST: They placed 25th at Junior Worlds.  They finished 19th at JGP Poland and 13th at JGP Estonia last season.  Their personal best is 80.65.  She is 17 and he is 18.

Rouffanche/Brissaud, FRA: They placed 14th at JGP Slovakia last season.  Their personal best is 89.61.  She is 17 and he is 16.

Wagret/Couyras, FRA: This is their JGP debut.  She is 15 and he is 15.

Loboda/Drozd, RUS: They won bronze at JGP Latvia and bronze at JGP Poland last season.  Their personal best is 134.11.  She is 15 and he is 18.

Shpilevaya/Smirnov, RUS: This is their JGP debut.  She is 15 and he is 17.

Jurchenko/Belikov, UKR: This is their JGP debut.  She is 14 and he is 15.

Nazarova/Nikitin, UKR: They placed 5th at Junior Worlds.  They won silver at JGP Poland and silver at JGP Estonia last season to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final where they finished 5th.  Their personal best is 135.22.  She is 17 and he is 19.

Day/Leahy, USA: This is their international debut.  She is 17 and he is 16.

Lewis/Bye, USA: They placed 5th at JGP Mexico and 11th at JGP Czech Republic last season.  Their personal best is 104.32.  She is 14 and he is 16.