2004 World Junior Figure Skating Championships: Ladies Highlights
In the Ladies event, Japan’s Miko Ando won the gold in her third trip to this event. Kimmie Meissner (USA) won the silver while teammate Katy Taylor won the bronze.
The ladies event begin with the Qualifying Rounds which account for 20 percent of the final score. The short program is worth 30 percent while the long is worth 50 percent. The top 15 skaters from each qualifying group advanced to the Short Program.
Qualifying Round – Group B
Skating to Romance by Beethoven, Japan’s Mai Asada put her hand down on the opening double Axel, but came back to land a triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination (the second jump was underrotated), a triple flip-double toeloop combination, a triple loop, a triple Salchow, a triple toeloop-double toeloop combination, and a double Axel. Her marks ranged from 5.0 to 5.5 for a first place finish in her group.
“It was ok, but I think I could have smiled more,” said Asada. “I wasn’t nervous, but I had too much power going into the double Axel. I didn’t plan to do a triple Axel. I don’t need that in Qualifying, but I want to try it in the final free skating.”
Taylor skated to an American medley, landing a triple flip, a double Axel, a triple toeloop, a triple lutz-triple loop sequence, a triple Salchow, a triple loop, and a triple Lutz-double toeloop combination. The 14-year-old received marks from 5.0 to 5.7, placing second in her group.
“I’m excited about how I did,” said Taylor. “I think I held back on [the triple toeloop], knowing that it was a new jump, but I’m pretty happy with it.” Taylor also explained that she really didn’t learn the triple toeloop until after her Junior Grand Prix event in Japan last fall. Referring to the triple Lutz-double toeloop combination, she added, “I like it down there [at the end] because it gives me a goal to set towards. I’m not as focused on the triple Lutz, and it kind of takes a little bit the pressure off.”
Hungary’s Viktoria Pavuk opened her routine with a slightly cheated triple Lutz followed by a triple loop in which she fell. She then executed a triple flip, a triple loop, a triple Lutz-double toeloop combination, a double Axel and a triple toeloop in which she fell out of. The The 2003 Junior Grand Prix bronze medalist, who has a foot injury, scored marks from 4.8 to 5.5 for a third place finish in her group.
“Viktoria injured her left foot yesterday in practice when setting up for a triple Salchow,” explained her coach, Szabolcs Vidrai. “She hardly was able to walk yesterday, therefore we changed our program today. We left out the triple Salchow, and she had problems with the triple toeloop.”
USA’s Danielle Kahle place fourth in Group B, followed by Lina Johansson of Sweden.
Qualifying Round – Group A
Skating to Firebird, Ando opened with a triple Lutz-triple loop combination with a slight cheat in the loop, and then fell hard on her stomach after attempting a quadruple Salchow. She then went on to land a double Axel, a triple toeloop-double toeloop combination, a triple flip, a triple loop, and a double Axel. The 16-year-old earned marks from 5.4 to 5.7 for a first place finish in her group.
“I enjoyed skating today,” said Ando. “It was almost like in practice. The fall on the quad Salchow would have affected me one year ago, and this is something we have been working on. The practice paid off, and I feel stronger than last year.”
Meissner opened her routine to Pines of Rome with a triple flip followed by a triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination (underrotating the toeloop), a triple Salchow, a triple loop, a double Axel, a triple Lutz (two-footed), a triple Salchow-double toeloop combination, and a double Axel. The two-time and reigning US Junior champion earned scores from 4.9 to 5.7 for a second place finish in her group.
“I’m very happy,” said Meissner. “I did the triple Lutz-triple toeloop for the first time [in competition], although I did it in sequence before.”
Skating to Spirit Away, Japan’s Aki Sawada opened with a triple Lutz-double toeloop and then attempted a triple Axel but fell out of it. She went on to land a triple loop, two triple flips, a triple Salchow, and a triple toeloop-double Axel sequence. The 2004 Japanese Junior bronze medalist scored marks from 5.0 to 5.4 for a third place finish in her group.
“I was nervous,” admitted Sawada. “Until I did the triple Lutz, my heart beat so fast! I was relieved when I realized the program was over.” She added, “My coach (Mie Hamada) told me that it was 70 percent. I felt I was holding back. Overall, competing at Junior Worlds doesn’t feel so much different from the [Junior] Grand Prix.”
Russia’s Angelina Turenko placed fourth in her group followed by Cynthia Phaneuf of Canada.
Lucie Krausova of the Czech Republic withdrew from the competition due to illness.
Performing to The Pianist by Chopin, Ando opened with a triple Lutz-double loop combination, footwork (on one foot) into a triple flip, and a double Axel. The 2004 Junior Grand Prix champion, who also produced a nice flying sit spin, held her spirals, and exhibited a well-centered and fast combination spin, earned marks ranging from 5.1 to 5.8 to finish first in the short and overall.
Ando was happy to land the double Axel as she had missed that element in 2002 and 2003. “I’m in first place heading into the Free Skating for the first time,” she said, “but I don’t feel pressure. I just want to do my best and to enjoy skating tomorrow.”
Taylor opened her short with footwork into a triple flip followed by a triple Lutz-double toeloop combination (a true Lutz with a nice edge), and a double Axel. With good straightline footwork and a lovely layback spin with changes of position, her routine to an Irish Medley by Leahy Lakefield earned marks ranging from 5.0 to 5.7 for a second place finish in the short and overall.
“This is probably my best performance of the season,”said Taylor. “It was the most solid. I felt confident when I went out there. I just trusted my training and I had a lot of fun.”
Skating to Sand and Water, Meissner produced a triple Lutz-double toeloop combination, a triple flip, and a double Axel to earn marks ranging from 4.9 to 5.7, finishing third in the short and overall.
“I’m very excited [about my program] because it was the first clean one of the whole year,” said Meissner. “I would usually land my jumps and miss my flying sit [spin]. It’s just something that I started learning too late, so then I never got it down as good.” She added, “I felt confident and relaxed today. For my Short Program that was actually unusual. I was really calm.”
Sawada opened her short with a triple Lutz-double toeloop, two-footing the Lutz. She rallied back with footwork into a triple flip, a double Axel, and nice spirals and spins to earn marks from 4.9 to 5.5 for a fourth place finish in the short and overall.
Asada, performing to Spanish Dance No. 1 by Manuel de Falla, landed a triple Lutz-double toe Axel combination followed by a triple flip and a double Axel. The 15-year-old placed sixth in the short for a fifth place finish overall with marks ranging from 4.7 to 5.5.
Pavuk had a good start in her short to Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, landing a triple Lutz-double toeloop combination, but then turned out her triple flip. The Hungarian scored marks from 4.8 to 5.6 to finish fifth in the short and sixth overall.
Ando opened her long program to Firebird with a triple Lutz-triple loop followed by a quadruple Salchow. However, it was short 1/2 revolution and she put her hands down and stumbled out it. The overnight leader came back to land a double Axel, a triple toeloop-double toeloop combination, a triple flip, a triple loop (hand down), and a double Axel. The 2003 World Junior silver medalist scored marks from 5.4 to 5.8 to place first in the long and overall.
A pleased Ando said, “I was able to keep my concentration throughout the competition and therefore I was able to perform very well today. I’m pleased with this development.” She added, “The quadruple Salchow wasn’t important for this competition, but it was important for the future. It was important for me personally to try it.”
Meissner, who stood in third after the short, opened her long with a triple flip that wasn’t fully rotated. She then executed a tripe Lutz-triple toeloop combination (toeloop appeared underrotated), a triple Salchow, a triple loop, a double Axel, a triple Lutz, and then popped a triple Salchow. The 14-year-old landed another double Axel and displayed a layback with good position, earning marks from 5.1 to 5.7 to place second in the long which moved her up one spot from third to finish second overall.
“It’s very exciting to be on the podium today,” said Meissner. “I came in to be in the top ten and then I ended up on the podium.” Referring to the popped Salchow, she explained, “I lost my focus, I guess. At the very end of my program I was so happy after I landed my second Lutz. I think I just made a mistake.”
Teammate Taylor landed a triple flip, but fell on her double Axel and fell out of a triple toeloop. She went on to land a triple Lutz-triple loop sequence, a triple Salchow, a triple loop, and a triple Lutz-double toeloop combination. Her layback showed nice variations and good position as did her fast flying camel. The straightline footwork was also fast and flowed with music, showing good detail. The 2004 US Junior silver medalist earned marks from 5.1 to 5.7 for a third place finish in the long. The mistakes cost her, and she slipped from second to third overall.
“My goal also was to place in the top ten,” said Taylor. “So to have the bronze medal to take home is really cool. My performance was probably one of my better ones. My double Axel was kind of scary, but I put it out of my mind and I went on.”
Asada, who stood in fifth after the short, landed a double Axel, a triple Lutz-triple toe Axel combination (Axel was two-footed), a triple flip-double toe Axel combination, a triple loop, a triple Salchow, a triple toeloop-double toe Axel combination, and a triple Lutz. Her performance to Beethoven’s Romance earned marks from 5.1 to 5.6 for a fourth place finish in the long and overall.
Skating to Spirit Away, Sawada landed a triple Lutz, a triple toeloop that was two-footed, and fell on a triple Axel which was underrotated. She then produced a triple loop, a triple flip (but hopped out of it), a triple Lutz, a triple Salchow, a triple toeloop-double toeloop combination, and a nice combination spin with a catch foot. The 15-year-old earned marks from 5.0 to 5.6 to finish fifth in the long, slipping to from fourth to fifth place overall.
Pavuk skater her long to Art on Ice, landing a triple Lutz-double toeloop combination, three turns into a double loop with a step out, a triple flip that was a bit wild and tight on the landing, three turns into a triple loop, a triple Lutz, a double Axel, and a triple toeloop. The 18-year-old earned marks from 5.0 to 5.6 to place sixth in the long and overall.
The New Judging System, which was developed following a decision of the ISU Congress in 2002, was used for the 2003 Grand Prix of Figure Skating series and Grand Prix Final. As the ISU Council prepares the New Judging System for a Congress decision in June, the interim 6.0 system will be used at ISU Championships. The New Judging System received widespread support from skaters and officials during the Grand Prix series and the Council will propose that it be included in ISU Regulations from 2004/5 onwards. The ISU’s Figure Skating Member Federations will debate and vote on the proposal at the Congress in June.