Golden Skate

Ilinykh and Katsalapov maintain lead

Russia’s Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov maintained their lead lead after the Original Dance (OD), while Alexandra Paul and Mitchell Islam of Canada pulled up from fifth to second overall.

Russia’s Ksenia Monko and Kirill Khaliavin moved up to third while teammates Ekaterina Pushkash and Jonathan Guerreiro fell to sixth.

USA’s  Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani slipped to fourth.

Ilinykh and Katsalapov produced a flowing performance to an Andean Folklore dance entitled Incantations in which all elements were awarded a level 4 as well as positive Grades of Execution (GoE). The team produced good synchronized twizzles, a straight line lift, and showed good midline (non-touching) and circular footwork. The Russian Junior silver medalists earned a new personal best score of 59.94 points (32.10/27.84), and were able to easily maintain their lead with  97.46 points overall.

“Our program went well today,” Katsalapov told the press. “There was nice support from the crowd and you really feel that in competition.” “There were a few minor errors in the programs, errors that probably only we and our coaches noticed and not the spectators and the judges, but we know what we have to work on for the future,” Ilinykh added.

Paul and Islam showed good interpretation in their Spanish Waltz/Flamenco dance which featured a level 4 lift, twizzle sequence, and diagonal footwork, however, their midline steps were only awarded a level 3. Nevertheless, the Canadian Junior Champions scored a new personal best of  55.90 points (30.20/25.70), and rose to second overall with a total score of 89.22 points.

“We are very happy with tonight,” said Islam. “We wanted to come out and to basically skate our personal best and that’s exactly what we did. We were confident going into the OD this afternoon.”

Monko and Khaliavin produced good level 4 twizzles and level 3 rotational lift, however, their circular steps were only awarded a level 2. The  Junior Grand Prix Final Champions scored 53.55 points (27.40/26.15) for their Ukrainian Folk dance for third place, and are now in third overall with 87.72 points.

“Our performance was good,” Khaliavin told the press. “There were a few glitches, but overall it was clean and our coach was happy with it.”

Shibutani and Shibutani  skated a solid dance to Japanese Folk music which featured a a good level 4 straight line lift and level 4 twizzles, however, their midline (non-touching) steps only received a level 2. The defending silver medalists placed fourth in the OD with 52.67 points, and are currently fourth overall with  86.94 points.

Lorenza Alessandrini and Simone Vaturi of Italy moved up one spot to fifth overall (84.97 points) after placing fifth in the OD with 52.62 points. The two-time and current Italian Junior Champions delivered a level 4 straight line lift and twizzles, as well as good level 3 midline and diagonal footwork.

Pushkash and Guerreiro had problems on their twizzle sequence which was subsequently graded a level 1, and their circular footwork was only awarded a level 2. They are sixth overall with 82.80 points.

USA’s Rachel Tibbetts and Collin Brubaker are currently in seventh, followed by Ukraine’s Anastasia Galyeta and Alexei Shumski.

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