Junior Worlds: Pairs Preview

Sui and Han are the two-time reigning Champions of this event and the only medalist returning from last season.  They also just won the Four Continents title at the senior level.  They won two gold medals on the JGP and the JGP Final this season as well as a silver medal on the Senior Grand Prix.  They have a quad twist and a throw quad in their free skate which gives them a technical content unmatched in the world.  Their size difference also allows from some interesting and difficult lift entrances and exits.  This is their title to lose, but they’ve shown that big elements can be costly as a mistake on the throw quad at Cup of China cost them a medal and a trip to the Grand Prix Final.  They have the best short program, free skate and total score of the season.  They have the 4th best short program, 3rd best free skate and 3rd best total senior scores of the season.


Bobak/Beharry won a gold and silver medal on the JGP to qualify for the JGP Final where they won silver.  Their silver medal came in their first competition together and they improved by 15 points to take the gold in Estonia.  They have been known to come from behind after a poor short program, but have really cleaned this segment up to keep them in contention the whole competition.  They have the 2nd best short program, 3rd best free skate and 3rd best total score of the season.


Yu/Jin won two silver medals on the JGP to qualify for the Final and took home gold from the Youth Olympic Games.  They increased their score by 15 points from Latvia to Austria.  However, they dropped to a disappointing 5th place at the Final, even though they were only 2 points from the podium.  They have the 3rd best short program, 2nd best free skate and 2nd best total score of the season.


Simpson/Blackmer won a gold and silver medal on the JGP and qualified for the Final where they won bronze.  Their gold medal came in their first event together as a team and they were the first U.S. team to win JGP gold since 2007.  Their free skate is especially breathtaking set to the music from Titanic and is wonderfully emoted.  They have the 4th best short program, 5th best free skate and 4th best total score of the season.


Petaikina/Kurdyukov won bronze at JGP Austria and qualified for the JGP Final.  They showed significant improvement between Latvia and Austria with a 17 point improvement in their score.  They just missed the podium at the JGP Final, finishing .18 behind Simpson and Blackmer.  They have the 7th best short program, 4th best free skate and 5th best total score of the season.  


Li/Jiang: While they didn’t win a medal on the JGP, their scores are some of the best in this field and they showed significant improvement during the season with a 38 point bump in their scores between Latvia and Austria.  They have the 8th best short program, 6th best free skate and 7th best total score of the season.  


Purdy/Marinaro won bronze at JGP Latvia showing a big improvement over their previous placements but dropped to 10th place with a score 17 points lower in Austria. They have the 7th best free skate and 9th best total score of the season.


Other teams in the mix include Davankova/Deputat who won the Russian Junior National title and Denney/Frazier who won the US Junior National title.


Teams who won a medal on the JGP but are not at this event include Russians Tudvaseva/Lisiev (alternates) and Americans Calalang/Sidhu (alternates).


My podium predictions:
Gold: Sui/Han
Silver: Yu/Jin
Bronze: Bobak/Beharry


Bios of the competitors:
Kestila/Bullard, AUS: They finished 20th at their international debut in Austria and 14th at JGP Estonia.  Their personal best is 75.84.  She is 13 and he is 18.
 
Martini/Kiefer, AUT: They finished 16th at Junior Worlds last season.  They placed 21st at Worlds.  They finished 15th at Europeans.  They finished 16th at JGP Austria.  Their personal best is 112.10.  She is 19 and he is 21. 

 
Paliakova/Fomichev, BLR: They finished 18th at Junior Worlds last season.  They placed 18th at Europeans.  They placed 8th at their JGP debut in Poland and 9th at JGP Estonia.  Their personal best is 109.01.  She is 19 and he is 21. 

 
Ilieva/Savinov, BUL: She is 15 and he is 20.
 
Bell/Sylvester, CAN: She is 15 and he is 17.
 
Bobak/Beharry, CAN (D): They won silver at their JGP debut in Poland and gold at JGP Estonia to qualify for the JGP Final where they won silver.  Their personal best is 152.65.  She is 17 and he is 20. 

 
Purdy/Marinaro, CAN (D): They won bronze at JGP Latvia and finished 10th at JGP Austria.  Their personal best is 134.46.  She is 17 and he is 20. 

 
Li/Jiang, CHN: They finished 10th at their JGP debut in Latvia and 4th at JGP Austria.  Their personal best is 138.92.  She is 14 and he is 19. 

 
Sui/Han, CHN (D): They are the reigning Junior World Champions.  They are the reigning Four Continents Champions.  They won silver at Skate Canada and finished 5th at Cup of China.  They won gold at JGP Latvia and Austria to qualify for the JGP Final and won gold.  They are the 2010 World Junior Champions.  Their personal best is 201.83.  She is 16 and he is 19. 

 
Yu/Jin, CHN: They won gold at the Youth Olympic Games.  They finished 7th in their Grand Prix debut, Skate Canada and 6th at Cup of China.  They took home the silver from JGP Latvia and Austria to qualify for the JGP Final where they finished 5th.  Their personal best is 162.96.  She is 16 and he is 17. 

 
Mendozza/Boyadji, FRA: They finished 10th at their international debut in Estonia.  Their personal best is 103.36.  She is 17 and he is 21.
 
Wenzig/Landgraf, GER: She is 14 and he is 19.
 
Cernuschi/Ambrosini, ITA (D): She is 15 and he is 18.
 
Manacorda/Macii, ITA: She is 14 and he is 16.
 
Epstein/Epstein, NED: They finished 17th at Junior Worlds last season.  They finished 18th at their JGP debut in Austria and 12th at JGP Estonia.  Their personal best is 86.33.  She is 18 and he is 18 (they are twins).   

 
Klatka/Chruscinski, POL: They finished 14th at Junior Worlds last season.  They placed 7th at JGP Poland and 7th at JGP Estonia.  Their personal best is 115.07.  She is 14 and he is 20. 

 
Davankova/Deputat, RUS (D): She is 13 and he is 19.
 
Gainetdinova/Bich, RUS (D): She is 14 and he is 19.
 
Petaikina/Kurduykov, RUS: They finished 4th at JGP Latvia and won bronze at JGP Austria to qualify for the JGP Final where they finished 4th.  Their personal best is 146.17.  She is 17 and he is 21. 
 
Rodriguez/Maestu, ESP: They finished 17th at their international debut in Austria and 11th at JGP Estonia.  Their personal best is 91.30.  She is 15 and he is 21.
 
Lavrentieva/Rudik, UKR: They finished 15th at Junior Worlds last season.  They placed 9th at JGP Poland and 12th at JGP Austria.  Their personal best is 107.77.  She is 14 and he is 20.
 
Denney/Frazier, USA: They placed 8th at their JGP debut in Latvia and 7th at JGP Austria.  Their personal best is 125.50.  She is 16 and he is 19. 

 
Duarte/Grafton, USA (D): They placed 9th at JGP Latvia and 6th at JGP Austria.  Their personal best is 127.54.  She is 18 and he is 20.
 
Simpson/Blackmer, USA (D): They won gold at their international debut at JGP Poland and silver at JGP Estonia to qualify for the JGP Final where they won bronze.  Their personal best is 146.35.  She is 15 and he is 20. 

Comments

  1. If the Russian Junior National Champs hit their routines they will MEDAL. And frankly I think they as a Pair are better than Sui/Han. They are special, special team.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think you will see Denney and Frazier on the podium.