2014 JGP Slovenia Ladies Preview

Serafima Sakhanovich started last season with great expectations but finished just 4th at her first JGP assignment.  She rebounded to win her second assignment and qualified for the Final where she won silver.  She also won the silver medal at Junior Worlds in a Russian sweep of the podium.  With Elena Radionova competing as a senior this season, Sakhanovich is the top ranked skater to return to the junior circuit.  Especially in this field, she should easily take home the gold here.

After Sakhanovich the rest of the field becomes hazy.  Only one other skater has won a medal on the JGP and only one other skater competed at Junior Worlds.

Leah Keiser had great expectations placed on her when she debuted in 2012.  She won a gold medal in her debut and qualified for the Final.  However, she missed the 2013 US Nationals and the 2013 fall season due to injuries.  This is her first international competition in nearly two years and she has a new team with her.  If she can replicate her past performances she should find herself on the podium.

Mai Mihara finished 5th at her JGP debut last season.  She’s had few international competitions since then but finished a strong 2nd as a junior at Japanese nationals.

Selena Zhao has competed nationally for the United States for the past several seasons but is competing internationally for the first time for Canada.  She placed 7th as a novice in 2012 and won gold at the Challenge Skate that fall ahead of Polina Edmunds.

Other skaters in the mix include Jenni Saarinen who finished 13th at Junior Worlds and Alsu Kaiumova who finished 7th in her JGP debut last season.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Serafima Sakhanovich

Silver: Leah Keiser

Bronze: Mai Mihara

 

Bios of the competitors:

Sophie Almassy, AUT: She finished 22nd at JGP Slovakia last season.  Her personal best is 98.19.  She is 17 years old.

Lizaveta Avsiukevich, BLR: This is her JGP debut.  She is 14 years old.

Julianne Delaurier, CAN: She finished 9th at JGP Poland last season.  Her personal best is 121.89.  She is 16 years old.

Selena Zhao, CAN: This is her international debut.  She is 16 years old.

Xiangning Li, CHN: She placed 10th at JGP Latvia last season.  Her personal best is 129.27.  She is 14 years old.

Jia Jennifer Hsu, TPE: This is her JGP debut.  She is 17 years old.

Tena Copor, CRO: She finished 29th at JGP Slovakia last season.  Her personal best is 71.73.  She is 15 years old.

Polina Ustinova, CYP: This is her international debut.  She is 15 years old.

Jenni Saarinen, FIN: She placed 13th at Junior Worlds.  She finished 10th at JGP Poland and 7th at JGP Czech Republic last season.  Her personal best is 142.98.  She is 15 years old.

Cassandra Perotin, FRA: This is her international debut.  She is 13 years old.

Nicole Schott, GER: She finished 14th at JGP Poland last season.  Her personal best is 106.54.  She is 18 years old.

Julia Batori, HUN: This is her JGP debut.  She is 15 years old.

Micol Cristini, ITA: She finished 11th at JGP Slovakia last season.  Her personal best is 122.37.  She is 17 years old.

Mai Mihara, JPN: She finished 5th at JGP Belarus last season.  Her personal best is 141.82.  She is 15 years old.

Yuka Nagai, JPN: She finished 8th at JGP Latvia last season.  Her personal best is 135.80.  She is 15 years old.

Hwi Choi, KOR: Her personal best is 116.42.  She is 16 years old.

Alsu Kaiumova, RUS: She finished 7th at JGP Mexico last season.  Her personal best is 127.56.  She is 15 years old.

Serafima Sakhanovich, RUS: She is the reigning World Junior Silver Medalist.  She placed 4th at JGP Slovakia and won gold at JGP Estonia last season to qualify for the JGP Final where she won silver.  Her personal best is 182.13.  She is 14 years old.

Jovana Tomovic, SRB: This is her JGP debut.  She is 18 years old.

Nicole Rajicova, SVK: She placed 24th at the Olympics, 25th at Worlds and 17th at Europeans.  She finished 8th at JGP Slovakia and 15th at JGP Poland last season.  Her personal best is 128.25.  She is 19 years old.

Naja Ferkov, SLO: She finished 23rd at JGP Czech Republic last season.  Her personal best is 91.62.  She is 17 years old.

Monika Peterka, SLO: This is her JGP debut.  She is 17 years old.

Nina Polsak, SLO: This is her international debut.  She is 14 years old.

Tanja Odermatt, SUI: She finished 26th at Europeans.  She placed 13th at JGP Mexico last season.  Her personal best is 110.04.  She is 17 years old.

Elif Erdem, TUR: She finished 28th at JGP Belarus last season.  Her personal best is 71.42.  She is 16 years old.

Alina Beletskaya, UKR: This is her JGP debut.  She is 18 years old.

Leah Keiser, USA: Her personal best is 156.33.  She is 16 years old.