POSTED: Monday February 28th 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2011 Preliminary Rounds Men and Ice Dance
The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships kicked off in Gangneung, Republic of Korea, on Monday with the Preliminary Rounds for Men and Ice Dance. The Preliminary Rounds take place before the official competition starts. In total 30 Men and Ladies, 20 Pair Skating couples and 25 Ice Dance couples compete in the Short Program/Short Dance. As there are 19 entries in the Pairs event in total, no Preliminary Round is necessary.
Men, Preliminary Round
27 Junior Men competed in the Preliminary Round, and 14 proceeded to the Short Program. There are only 16 Direct entries (instead of 18) for the Short Program as Kazakhstan and Brazil didn't use their quota.
With Keji Tanaka and Ryuichi Kihara two Japanese skaters finished first and second in the Preliminary Round. Russia's Artur Dmitriev came third.
Tanaka turned in a clean performance to “The Bolt” by Dmitri Shostakovich that was highlighted by two triple Axels and six more triple jumps. The 16-year-old earned a new seasons best with 128.56 points. “It was my best performance this season so far. But this isn't yet the real competition, so hopefully I'll be able to skate as well in the short and free program”, Tanaka commented.
Skating to “The Man in the Iron Mask”, Kihara produced a triple Lutz-triple toe, five more triples and two double Axels to score 123.07 points. However, he crashed on crossovers after the second jump but recovered instantly. “I was overexcited, but I don't really know what happened. Actually, I was more relaxed after the fall”, the 18-year-old said. “I was pretty nervous as this is my first time at Junior Worlds, so I'm happy to show what I'm able to do”, he added.
In spite of struggling with equipment failure, Dmitriev pulled off a triple Axel and four more triples in his routine to Gypsy music, but singled the other Axel. In the warm up, the heel of his left skating boot had started to come off and as he was not able to fix it completely, it was still loose during his performance. The 18-year-old picked up 110.86 points. “I made a few mistakes, because of my problem with the boot”, Dmitriev explained. “It was a completely different feeling to skate. I couldn't do the (triple) Salchow at all and the Axel was hard, but at least I managed to do one.”
Ice Dance, Preliminary Round
19 Ice Dance couples competed in the Preliminary Round and 11 of them qualified for the Short Dance. Hungary didn't use its Direct entry, so there were only 14 Direct entries instead of 15.
Gabrielle Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron of France came first ahead of Slovakia's Nikola Visnova/Lukas Csolley and Spain's Sara Hurtado/Adria Diaz.
Papadakis/Cizeron delivered a strong performance of their Tango Free Dance to score a seasons best of 74.27 points. The French surpassed their previous seasons best by 9.06 points. “It was a good performance for the qualifying, we did everything we wanted to do. Now the competition will start”, Papadakis said. “We skated better at the French Championships, but internationally it was our best performance of the season so far”, she continued.
Visnova/Csolley's performance to “Notre Dame de Paris” was very solid and earned them a seasons best of 66.67 points. “We made no mistake, but we can skate better than that. We could have had more speed”, Visnova commented. “The qualifying was a good preparation for Friday (the Free Dance)”, she added.
Hurtado/Diaz' dance to “Be Italian” featured innovative lifts, but he fell in the circular step sequence. The couple collected 64.42 points. “I don't really know why I fell. It was just a lazy leg maybe”, Diaz said. “The rest of the program was good, but we felt that the music was a bit slower than usual and we waited for it to pick up. The preliminary round makes the competition longer for us, but it is a good practice”, Hurtado noted.
For more information, full entry lists and results please see: www.isu.org and http://www.wjfc2011.com/new2011/main/main.php
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Name: Selina Vanier
Organization: International Skating Union
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