JGP Slovenia Dance Preview

This is a great opportunity for several young and new teams to make their mark on the JGP scene.  None of the teams have personal best that would have placed them in the top 8 at Junior Worlds last season.  Several teams seem poised to make the most of the opportunity.

Morozova and Zhirnov won two bronze medals on the JGP last season and are the most experienced and polished in this field.  The Russian dance field is always deep and this seems to be their time to go to the next level and earn a spot in the Final and at Junior Worlds.  They had some injuries at the end of the season and if they are fully recovered, they’re one of the favorites for this event.

Delmaestro and Lum had two solid 5th place finishes in their JGP debut last season.  However, their score at one of their events was better than both of Morozova and Zhirnov’s and they could have medaled had their assignments been different.  With several of the top teams not competing here, they seem ready to take home their first JGP medal.

Moore and Klaber won a bronze medal on the JGP last year and finished 4th at US Nationals, just missing the Junior Worlds team.  The junior US ice dancers have been especially strong the last several years, sending three teams to the Final.  With Hawayek and Baker moving to the senior level, Moore and Klaber should be able to fill the void.  They made a coaching change in the offseason to Igor Shpilband’s camp and this will be their first opportunity to show off their progress.

Also in the mix are Khachaturian and Bagin who formed a new partnership this season but were successful with their previous partners and Biechler and Dodge who are in their third season together but are steadily climbing the ranks nationally.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Morozova/Zhirnov

Silver: Delmaestro/Lum

Bronze: Moore/Klaber

 

Bios of the competitors:

Smith/Eisenbauer, AUT: They finished 22nd at Junior Worlds.  They finished 17th at JGP Slovenia and 15th at JGP Czech Republic last season.  Their personal best is 85.50.  She is 17 and he is 16.

Kalehanava/Palkhouski, BLR: This is their international debut.  She is 13 and he is 16.

Delmaestro/Lum, CAN: They placed 5th at JGP Poland and 5th at JGP Estonia last season.  Their personal best is 129.81.  She is 18 and he is 19.

Taillefer/Chan, CAN: This is their international debut.  She is 15 and he is 18.

Li/Xiang, CHN: This is their international debut.  She is 15 and he is 19.

Abachkina/Thauron, FRA: They finished 18th at Junior Worlds.  They finished 10th at JGP Poland and 8th at JGP Estonia last season.  Their personal best is 105.42.  She is 14 and he is 19.

Muller/Dieck, GER: This is their international debut.  She is 18 and he is 18.

Hirst/Fearnley, GBR: This is their JGP debut.  She is 15 and he is 17.

Ghislandi/Ortenzi, ITA: They finished 26th at Junior Worlds.  They placed 7th at JGP Latvia and 11th at JGP Slovakia last season.  Their personal best is 103.21.  She is 15 and he is 18.

Khachaturian/Bagin, RUS: This is their international debut.  She is 15 and he is 18.

Morozova/Zhirnov, RUS: They won bronze at JGP Belarus and bronze at JGP Estonia.  Their personal best is 128.64.  She is 17 and he is 19.

Jurchenko/Belikov, UKR: They placed 13th at JGP France.  Their personal best is 79.62.  She is 14 and he is 15.

Biechler/Dodge, USA: This is their international debut.  She is 15 and he is 19.

Moore/Klaber, USA: They won bronze at JGP Slovakia and placed 4th at JGP Estonia.  Their personal best is 127.74.  She is 18 and he is 20.