2003 World Junior Figure Skating Championships: Men

The men’s competition at the 2003 World Junior Figure Skating Championships was the closest of all the disciplines with Russia’s Alexander Shubin and the USA’s Evan Lysacek battling it out to the end with Shubin prevailed by a one-vote margin in the long program. France’s Alban Preaubert was a surprise third, the same results as in qualifying round A. In that event, one of the top contenders, USA’s Parker Pennington, pulled out due to a back injury midway through his program, leaving only Lysacek to represent the U.S.

But Lysacek was up to the task. He skated three clean programs, landing his first clean triple Axel in competition in the qualifying round and another in both the short and the free skate. He packed eight solid triples into his “Drop Zone” program, including a triple lutz/triple toe combination and a triple flip-half loop-triple salchow sequence. Lysacek used “Espana Cani” for the short.

Shubin landed seven triples in the qualifier, including a triple Axel/triple toe and a triple lutz/triple toe. But he finished behind Lysacek and teammate Sergei Dobrin in the short after falling out of his triple Axel in the combination. He missed his opening triple Axel in the long, completing only a single, but landed another later in his program along with six other triples including a triple salchow/triple toe and a triple/lutz/triple toe. But a clean quad toe loop gave him just enough to beat Lysacek in the free even though his program was heavily front loaded with all but two jumps in just over two minutes from the start. Shubin’s music included a cha cha in the short and “a modern version of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” for the long.

Preaubert, whose skating seems to be across between that of Laurent Tobel and Stannick Jeannette, landed six triples in both his qualifier and his long. He skated to a medley of Santana, Peter Gabriel, and Daft Punk tunes. Preaubert’s program included a triple Axel/triple toe and a triple lutz/double toe in the long. He was fourth in the short after falling out of the triple Axel in his combination, but he landed the following triple toe loop skating to songs from Keith Jarrett’s Koln Concert.

None of the men from Qualifying Round B made the podium. Japan’s Kazumi Kishimoto, who won the round, finished sixth in his “All That Jazz” short when he missed his triple lutz out of footwork. However, he landed eight triples in his long program to “The Mission” to take fourth in the free and overall. He landed a triple Axel/double toe and a triple lutz/double toe but did not attempt a triple-triple. Canada’s Shawn Sawyer, who finished second in the qualifiers with six triples but missed both triple Axel attempts, plummeted to eighth in the short when he two-footed both the triple lutz and his triple Axel in the combination to his “Cirque du Soleil” program. He came back with a strong free skate to “Spartacus” which featured six triples including a nice spread-eagle to a triple loop to finish fifth in the long and sixth overall.

Martin Liebers of Germany skated a solid qualifier with six triples including a triple loop/triple loop, but was tenth in the short and 13th in the long to finish 11th. He used Abba’s “Intermezzo No. 1″ in the short and “The Way to El Dorado” in the long. Russia’s Sergei Dobrin was fourth in the qualifying group, landing five triples including a triple lutz/triple toe and showing a nice Biellmann spin, then skated a strong short with a triple flip/triple toe combination to “Variations on a Theme of Paganini” to finish second there. But he dropped to sixth after he performed his long program to Bond’s “Duel”.

Some of the newer skaters who performed well included Ukraine’s Anton Kovalevski, who finished seventh in the qualifying round and the short and Jialing Wu of China, who finished eighth after a fifth in qualifiers and a seventh in the long. Daniel D’inca of Italy placed seventh after the qualifying round and short, but dropped to ninth overall after the long.

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