2005 World Junior Figure Skating Championships: Ice Dance Highlights
USA’s Morgan Matthews and Maxim Zavozin were the gold medal winners, while Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada won the silver. Russia’s Anastasia Gorshkova and Ilia Tkachenko claimed the bronze in their second season together as a team.
The Compulsory Dance (CD) of the event was the Blues. The dance was invented by Robert Dench and Lesley Turner and was first performed in 1934 in London at the Streatham Ice Rink.
Matthews and Zavozin took the lead (39.89 points) in the CD, followed by Virtue and Moir (36.91 points) and Israel’s Alexandra Zaretski and Roman Zaretski (36.58 points).
Italy’s Anna Cappellini and Matteo Zanni tied Gorshkova and Tkachenko for fourth place with 34.58 points.
Original Dance (OD)
The event continued with the Original Dance (OD) with the “Rhythm Combination”, which is being used for the 2004-2005 season. Couples can choose any two or three of the following rhythms: Slow Foxtrot, Quickstep, and/or Charleston.
Matthews and Zavozin maintained the lead after performing a fun OD which included the Charleston, Slow Foxtrot, and Quickstep rhythms. The 2004-05 Junior Grand Prix Final Champs displayed a good midline step sequence that was in sync and a complex diagonal sequence with close holds. The team also produced a fast dance spin and level four rotational lift, placing first (58.89 points) in the OD and overall (98.78).
“We felt really strong today, really confident in our OD,” said Matthews. “We of course wanted to have the best performance of all season, because it was the last performance. We’ve enjoyed ourselves.”
Virtue and Moir scored 58.35 points for their performance to Call Me Irresponsible and Puttin’ On the Ritz, trailing the Americans in the OD by less than a point (58.33 points). The 2004 Canadian junior champions delivered a difficult diagonal step sequence, a good level four curve-rotational lift, a nice midline step sequence, and a level four rotational lift. With a total score of 95.24, the team maintained second overall.
“Scott and I felt great out there with our OD,” said Virtue. “It was so nice to get in front of a Canadian audience and to feel the support we received. It was just incredible.” The 15-year-old went on to say that they were prepared for this skate and just wanted to go out do their best. “We really felt the connection between each other and with the audience.”
Gorshkova and Tkachenko, who stood in fourth after the CD, performed to Why Don’t You Do Right? and Give Me That Thing, executing a level four rotational-curve lift as well as a good midline and diagonal step sequence. The Russian team earned 55.35 points for a third place finish in the OD, and with a total score of 89.93, moved up one spot to third overall.
“It was not a bad skate at all for us today,” said Tkachenko. “It’s an unexpected debut (at this event), but we could have done better. There are no limits for perfection.”
Zaretski and Zaretski (brother-and-sister team) put out a good dance using the Foxtrot and Quickstep rhythms, but dropped from third to fourth overall (89.40 points) after placing fourth (52.82 points) in the OD.
Cappellini and Zanni placed eighth in the OD (47.09 points), dropping from fourth to seventh overall (81.67 points), while Russia’s Anastasia Platonova and Andrei Maximishin rose one spot to fifth overall (89.42).
Free Dance (FD)
Last to to skate were overnight leaders Matthews and Zavozin. The reigning World Junior bronze medalists performed to Lord of the Dance, opening with a good dance spin followed by a nice level four curve-rotational lift and a good circular step sequence. The two-time Canadian junior champions also produced a difficult twizzle sequence as well as a nice curve and rotational lift. The team received 88.73 points (a personal best) for a first place finish in the FD and overall (187.51) to win the gold.
“We had a really strong skate tonight,” said Matthews. “It was definitely the best we’ve done this free dance all year long, which was great for the last competition of the season. It felt like every step was clean, and we really enjoyed ourselves while we were out there.” She continued: “Right after we skated, we thought how hard we’ve worked, how many days you just think you can’t do this anymore, this is too hard, but then you keep going and this is why, this is what we wanted. Now we want even more. We knew if we skate confidently that we could win. We were not sure of course, because Tessa (Virtue) and Scott (Moir) have an incredible program.”
Virtue and Moir performed their FD to Adios Nonino by Astor Piazzolla, exhibiting a difficult circular step sequence, followed by a nice dance spin, a level four curve lift, and a complex twizzle sequence. Moir had a small slip after the last twizzle, prior to going into a level four curve-rotational lift, but it didn’t affect the program or their score. The 2004-05 Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalists earned 88.18 points for a second place finish in the FD and overall (183.52) to win the silver medal. They were 11th last year.
“It was a great skate for us,” said Virtue. “Again, the energy of the crowd was incredible and to see the support we received was just awesome. We’re really pleased with our skate and we’re looking forward to next season.” “It was just a little bobble,” Moir explained of the slip where he fell on his knee during the last twizzle, “but we both handled it very well.”
Russia’s Natalia Mikhailova and Arkadi Sergeev were in sixth going into the FD. The 2004 Russian junior champs performed to a modern version of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, opening with a complex twizzle sequence that was out of sync. However, the team produced four good lifts (one in combination) as well as a good circular and midline step sequence. The team placed third in the FD (77.34) for an overall fifth place finish (162.08).
Performing to music from the Kill Bill soundtrack, Gorshkova and Tkachenko’s routine included a good twizzle sequence, nice lifts, and a good dance spin. Despite placing fourth in the FD (77.29), the team held onto third place overall to claim the bronze (167.22).
“I think it was the best free dance for us this year. We were ready,” said Tkachenko said. “Today I felt we could make it and win a medal. I was confident and so it happened. Overall it was still unexpected as ranked third at our Junior Nationals.”
Zaretski and Zaretski also delivered a solid performance in their routine which featured a good twizzle sequence, a good circular and diagonal step sequence, and a nice level four curve-rotational lift. The four-time Israeli junior champs received 76.36 points for their routine to The Phantom of the Opera, and managed to hold onto fourth place overall with a total score of 165.76. They were ninth at this event last year.
Platonova and Maximishin earned a score of 75.48 to place sixth in the FD and overall (160.40), while Canada’s Siobhan Karam and Joshua McGrath finished in seventh (153.45).
Cappellini and Zanni, who were seventh after the OD, withdrew after Zanni learned he was suffering from gastritis as a result of food poisoning.
Hungary’s Zsuzsanna Nagy and György Elek, who were 19th after the OD, withdrew as well.