Golden Skate

Hochstein first after Men’s Short; Messing second

USA’s  Grant Hochstein placed first in the Men’s Short Program, followed by teammate  Keegan Messing and Japan’s  Yuzuru Hanyu.

Hochstein delivered a flawless program to Tchaikovski’s Sleeping Beauty which featured a triple Lutz-triple toeloop, a double Axel, and a triple flip. The 18-year-old also earned a level 4 on all of his spins and showed very good level 3 footwork to place first with a new personal best of 71.35 points (41.40/29.95).

“I didn’t have expectations for where I wanted to place,” Hochstein later told the press. “My big goal for this event was just to focus on myself and on my love of skating. That’s what I went out and did, and I’m surely very happy with the result.”

“Competing at the Junior Grand Prix series has built my confidence a lot,” he added. “I wanted to skate with my heart, and I skated with my heart, and I think you always skate better when you love to skate.”

Messing nailed a triple Axel and a triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination, but had an edge call on his   triple flip in his performance to music from The Soloist. He also and earned high Grades of Execution (GoE) for a level 4 Combination spin with change of foot, and placed second with a new personal best of 68.90 points (40.90/28.00).

“I felt pretty good about how I skated,” said the 18-year-old. “I went out there expecting to have some fun, and I had a blast out there.”

Messing came into the event as an alternate after Ross Miner withdrew due to injury.

“When I got the call, I felt sorry for [Ross] that he couldn’t compete, but I couldn’t help to be excited. To actually be here competing at Junior Worlds and to place second in the Short Program is pretty awesome.”

Hanyu also received an edge call on his triple flip in his Mission Impossible routine, but otherwise landed a solid triple Axel as well as a triple Lutz-double toeloop. The two-time and reigning Japanese Junior champion also earned a level 3 for two of his spins and circular footwork to place third with  68.75 points (37.90/30.85).

“Today’s performance was not very good, but I am satisfied to be in third place,” the  Junior Grand Prix Final Champion told the press. “I missed my triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination, but I am especially disappointed with my spins and footwork. I lost a few levels there.”

Denis Ten of Kazakhstan landed a triple flip and showed good level 3 circular footwork in his routine, however he fought for the landings of his triple Axel and triple Lutz-triple toeloop, and completely missed a flying sit spin. The 2010 Olympian currently sits in fourth with 68.40 points.

Nan Song of China landed a triple Lutz-triple toeloop and triple Axel, but received a deduction on a triple flip for use of the wrong take-off edge. The Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalist is currently in fifth place with 67.97 points after his routine to music by ABBA.

Artur Gachinski of Russia sits in sixth place, followed by Sweden’s Alexander Majorov and USA’s Armin Mahbanoozadeh.

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