POSTED: Friday February 27th 2009

ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2009

Day Four

The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2009 went on Friday in Sofia, Bulgaria with the Ladies Short Program and the Free Dance.


Ladies, Short Program

54 Ladies competed in the event. The required solo jump in the Junior Ladies’ Short Program in the 2008/2009 season is the Lutz (double or triple). The required flying spin for this season is the flying camel spin.

Elene Gedevanishvili of Georgia captured the Ladies Short Program ahead of Ashley Wagner (USA). Alena Leonova (RUS) came in third.


Gedevanishvili sparkled in her entertaining routine to “Cabaret”. She hit a triple Lutz, a triple toe-triple toe combination, a double Axel and was awarded a level four for her combination spin. The layback and the flying camel spin were graded a level two. The Georgian earned a new personal best score of 60.32 (35.60 element score/24.72 program component score), slightly improving on her previous personal best that dates back to the 2006 European Championships. “It feels pretty good. I was prepared. I was trying to stay positive and focused and it worked”, Gedevanishvili said. “Robin (Wagner) has been working with me the last couple of months and of course Elaine (Zayak) helped a lot, mentally. I’m really happy right now and I don’t want to look back”, she added referring to her recent coaching change and her disappointing 25th place at the European Championships. “The reason is that the World Championships are coming in one month. I really had to get up there; I couldn’t just (go to Worlds) after the thing that had happened at the European Championships.”

Wagner’s romantic program to “Somewhere in Time” featured a triple flip-double toe combination, a double Axel and a triple Lutz, but the judges deducted on the grade of execution for the wrong edge take-off on that jump. The 17-year-old picked up a level four for her layback and combination spin, and the flying camel spin and straight line footwork were graded a level three. Wagner scored 57.50 points (32.24/25.16).

Performing to “Al Andaluz”, Leonova produced a triple flip-double toeloop combination, a double Axel and three level-three spins, but had to fight for the landing of her triple Lutz. The Russian set a new personal best for herself with 55.50 points (32.30/23.20)


2007 World Junior Champion and reigning World Junior silver medallist Caroline Zhang (USA) fell on a flip. Both the flip and the Lutz were downgraded by the Technical Panel. Zhang finished 10th.


Ice Dance, Free Dance

Madison Chock/Greg Zuerlein (USA) cruised to the gold and the title in what was their first appearance at the ISU World Junior Championships. Their teammates Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani, newcomers as well, moved up from fourth to take the silver medal and Russia’s Ekaterina Riazanova/Jonathan Guerreiro earned the bronze.


Chock/Zuerlein gave a confident performance of their dramatic routine to “The Phantom of the Opera” that was highlighted by a straight line lift, a straight line-rotational lift and intricate footwork. The Technical Panel graded the lifts, the twizzles and the combination spin a level four and the two step sequences got a level three. The Junior Grand Prix Final Champions received 82.11 points (42.80 element score/39.31 program component score) which added up to a total of 172.55 points. “We are overwhelmed. It feels so good. We’ve worked so hard”, Chock said. “It’s awesome. The Free Dance is definitely our best of all the segments. We just felt we connected well with each other and the audience”, her partner explained.

Dancing to “Cinema Paradiso”, Shibutani/Shibutani produced flowing footwork and effortless looking lifts including a rotational lift with him spinning on one foot, a straight line lift in a low position and a serpentine lift. The brother and sister team was awarded a level four for the lifts, twizzles and spin and a level three for the step sequences. They scored a new personal best of 80.34 points (43.40/36.94) and racked up a total score of 162.15 points.

Riazanova/Guerreiro had chosen a dynamic program to a selection from James Bond movies. They produced well synchronized twizzles, a level-three serpentine step sequence and a level-three midline step sequence as well as a curve-rotational lift. While the twizzles and two lifts were a level four, the straight line lift got a level two. The Muscovites earned 78.98 points (40.90/38.08) and had a total score of 161.80. They were edged out of the silver medal by less than one point and remained in third place. It was their second appearance at Junior Worlds. Last year, they had finished sixth.


The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2009 continue Saturday with the Ladies Free Skating. For more information and full results please see: and An extended version of this report will be available on the website later tonight.


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Keywords · ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2009 · Sofia · Bulgaria

Name: Devra Pitt-getaz
Organization: ISU
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