Junior World Championships: Dance Preview

Monko and Khaliavin by far have the best scores of the season and easily won the Junior Grand Prix Final.  They are the only returning medalist from last season’s Junior Worlds and they should easily win gold here.  I think they’ll win by a comfortable margin that will set them up for a jump to the senior level and a tough Russian field.

Pushkash and Guerreiro from Russia have consistently scored behind their teammates but put up a big score at Russian nationals to make the team.  They have a great opportunity to set themselves apart from the other Junior teams by claiming a medal here.

Lichtman and Copely are the top U.S. team here.  They are coached by Zoueva and Shpilband, arguably one of the best coaching teams in the world.  I don’t think this team looks as polished yet as some of the other teams they coach, but they’ve had a breakout season this year.  The U.S. Dance field is especially deep and they’ll need a medal here to stay competitive as they move to the senior ranks next season.  I think the bronze is well within their grasp, but they tend to make small errors and if they can have two clean programs, they could definitely move up the podium.

Kosignia and Moroshkin will be looking to make this a Russian sweep, but there scores have been at both ends of the spectrum during the season.  If they perform like they did at Russian Nationals, they could be very competitive for a medal.

Orford and Williams of Canada and Galyeta and Shumski of Ukraine will also be in the hunt and should be able to pull together a top 10 finish if not better.  The Ukrainians were really consistent in their two JGP assignments but their score dropped considerably at the Final.  If they can take care of these problems, they may be looking at a possible medal.

My podium predictions:
Gold: Monko/Khaliavin
Silver: Pushkash/Bukin
Bronze: Lichtman/Copely

Russia’s dance field is so deep that they are leaving behind three of the world’s best junior teams, including two Junior Grand Prix Final medalists.  Stepanova and Bukin won two gold medals on the JGP and qualifed for the JGPF where they won bronze; Sinitsina and Zhiganshin won two silver medals on the JGP and qualified for the JGPF where they won silver; Antipova and Kudashev won a silver medal on the JGP and qualified for the JGPF.

The teams (a D indicates a direct entry)

Hew-Low/Hemmert, AUS:

Kavaleav/Bieliaiev, BLR: They finished 9th at JGP Romania and 11th at JGP Czech Republic.

Tremasova/Lichev, BUL: They finished 15th in the preliminary round at Europeans.  They placed 13th and 16th at their two JGP assignments this season.  They finished 32nd at the World Junior Championships last season.

Oliveira/Hockley, CAN (D): They finished 5th at JGP Japan and 6th at JGP Germany.

Orford/Wiliams, CAN (D): They won bronze at JGP Great Britain and finished 5th at JGP Czech Republic.

Zhang/Wu, CHN: They finished 6th at JGP Japan.  They placed 25th at World Juniors last season.

Prochazkova/Ceska, CZE (D): They finished 9th at JGP Germany and 6th at JGP Czech Republic.

Shtork/Rand, EST: They finished 23rd at the Olympics.  They placed 21st at Europeans.  They finished 8th and 6th at their two JGP assignments this season.  They placed 28th at Junior Worlds last season.

Karmi/Lindholm, FIN: They finished 14th at JGP Great Britain.

Papadakis/Cizeron, FRA: They finished 4th at JGP France and won bronze at JGP Austria.  They placed 22nd at World Juniors last season.

Zahorski/Miart, FRA (D):  They finished 4th at JGP Romania and won silver at JGP Czech Republic.

Dieck/Zenkner, GER (D): They finished 8th at JGP Japan and 14th at JGP Germany.

Aiken/Whidborne, GBR (D): They finished 9th at JGP Great Britain and 11th at JGP Germany.  They placed 15th at World Juniors last season.

Bugrov/Rogov, ISR:

Rizzo/Manenti, ITA: They finished 17th at JGP Czech Republic.

Sforza/Fioretti, ITA (D): They finished 6th at JGP Romania and 8th at JGP Germany.  They placed 31st at Junior Worlds last season.

Komatsubara/Mizutani, JPN: They finished 11th at JGP Japan and 15th at JGP Germany.

Uzurova/Ali, KAZ:

Pecherkina/Jakushin, LAT: They finished 13th at JGP Austria and 17th at JGP Germany.

Vellrath/Pirogov, LTU: They finished 14th at JGP Austria and 12th at JGP Czech Republic.

Yitig/Speden, NZL: They finished 20th at JGP Germany and 13th at JGP Japan.  They placed 34th at Junior Worlds last year.

Carroll/Gerber, POL:

Kosignina/Moroshkin, RUS (D):  They won bronze at Courcheval and gold at Pokal der Blauen to qualify for the JGPF where they finished 6th.

Monko/Khaliavin, RUS (D): They are the reigning World Junior bronze medalists.  They won gold at Brasov Cup and J. Curry Memorial to qualify for the JGPF where they won gold for the second year in a row.

Pushkash/Guerreiro, RUS (D): They won silver at SBC Cup and gold at Czech Skate to qualify for the JGPF where they placed 4th.  They finished 6th at the World Junior Championships last season.

Visnova/Csolley, SVK:  They finished 9th in the preliminary round at Europeans.  They placed 10th and 7th at their two JGP assignments this season.  They placed 19th at World Juniors last season.

Hurtado/Diaz, ESP:  They finished 15th at Europeans.  They placed 10th and 5th at their two JGP assignments this season. They finished 16th at Junior Worlds last season.

Elsener/Roost, SUI: They finished 19th at Europeans.  They finished 7th and 13th at their two JGP assignments.  They placed 27th at the World Junior Championships last season.

Demirsal/Akalin, TUR: They are the reigning national champions.

Galyeta/Shumski, UKR (D): They won silver at Brasov Cup and bronze at Czech Skate where they finished 7th.  They finished 8th at the World Junior Championships last season.
Nosulia/Kholoniuk, UKR: They finished 5th at JGP Austria and 10th at JGP Germany.

Bonacorsi/Mager, USA (D): They won bronze at JGP Romania and finished 5th at Great Britain.

Cannuscio/McManus, USA (D): They won silver at JGP France and finished 4th at JGP Japan.

Lichtman/Copely, USA (D): They won gold at JGP Austria and bronze at Germany to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final where they finished 5th.

Comments

  1. Pushkash and Gurreiro, not Bukin.
    Ivan Bukin skates with Aleksandra Stepanova, they placed 3rd at Grand Prix Final, but did’t qualify for the Worlds.

  2. Thanks for catching that! I’ve fixed it in the top portion. The teams were correct in the bio section.