Saturday, December 1, 2012

Junior Grand Prix Final singles preview

When the senior season starts off the whole attention is on it and the Juniors don't seem so appealing any more. The junior circuit is not only played by younger skaters but it's a completely different story if compared to the Seniors. The Junior Grand Prix Final will take place just few days before the Senior one in Sochi. Actually, it is going to be a great competition from some points of view. The single's event will be dominated dominated by USA and Russia.

In the ladies competition, three US skaters qualified for the final, but the win is in the young Radionova's hands. The Russia 13 years old skater won both her Grand Prixs with stunning performances in which she shined for her technical abilities (triple lutz-triple toe seems to be so easy for her) and she scored the best components scores of the category. She scored around 180 overall in both events, more or less 15 points more than any of her rivals.
Angela Wang was a kind of surprise for me at Grand Prix USA where she got the bronze medal after being 8th in the short program. She has some nice jumps too but she is not as consistent as Elena Radionova.
Other competitors are Anna Pogorilaya (RUS), Hannah Miller (USA) the only lady not having a triple-triple in her repertoir at the moment but with some more maturity in her skating, Leah Keiser (USA) and Satoko Miyahara (JPN).

As for the men, the battle for gold will be between US Joshua Farris and Russian Maxim Kovtun. They both won both of their Grand Prixs and could land a quad toe. Joshua Farris has a very elegant style that reminds me of Jeremy Abbott with long beautiful lines. He nailed his quad toe only at Grand Prix USA (turned into triple the one he attempted in Slovenia) but anything else in his skating is very well executed. On the other hand, Maxim Kovtun is pretty consistent on his quad (did it in combo in Croatia) but he has not the same skating quality Joshua has, plus he usually flutzes. 
Jason Brown of USA could be considered the most mature men of the competition in terms of interpretation and connection with the music, but his technical content is the weakest of all. He is the only one who has not a triple axel (he tried one in Turkey in the short and in the free, but got a under rotation on one and got the downgrade call on the other).
Other competitors are Boyang Jin (CHN) who could also land a quad toe, Keiji Tanaka (JPN) and Ryuju Hino (JPN).

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