Sui and Han win Junior World Pairs title
Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China won the Pairs event by more than 12 points, while Japan’s Narumi Takahashi and Mervin Tran placed second. Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov of Russia maintained third place overall to win the bronze.
Sui and Han opened their City Lights routine with side-by-side double Axels followed by a quad throw Salchow, however, Sui two-footed the landing.
“The quad throw is hard to do and we’ve worked together with our coach (Bo Luan) step by step in practice to be able to put it out in competition,” Han later told the press.
The Junior Grand Prix Final Champions also produced a very good throw triple flip, a triple twist, and were awarded a level 4 for the spins, the death spiral and their two lifts. They earned a new personal best score with 109.77 points (60.73/49.04), placing first in the long and overall with 170.71 points.
“We are pleased with our performance and especially happy that we were able to show the quadruple throw, which is a very difficult element,” Han said. “There were a few little mistakes, but overall we think it was good.”
With the win, Sui and Han became the second Chinese pair to win the ISU World Junior Championships since Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang, who won the title in 2001 and 2003.
Takahashi and Tran nailed their side-by-side double Axels in their routine to Vanessa Mae’s Madame Butterfly, followed by a double twist. The Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalists also delivered a very good throw triple Salchow, as well as three level 4 spins and difficult lifts.
The two-time and current Japanese Champions scored 97.69 points for second place, and with a total score of 157.23 points, maintained second overall.
“We’re happy with our performance,” Tran told the post-event press conference. “It’s a lot better than the other two Junior Worlds we have done. It wasn’t clean-clean, but basically clean, so we are happy about that. It’s great to finish the season like this.”
“It was not the best performance tonight, but I’m happy, because there was no big mistake,” Takahashi added.
Performing to “Oriental Fantasy”, Stolbova and Klimov produced two very good throws: a triple toeloop and a triple Salchow – both of which scored high Grades of Execution (GoE). However, Stolbova fell on the second jump in a triple toeloop-double Axel sequence.
Nevertheless, the current Russian Junior Champions otherwise earned a level 4 with high GoEs on two of their spins, and scored a new personal best of 91.09 points for third place in the long. With a total score of 145.35 points, they were able to maintain third overall.
“Today not all our elements worked out,” Klimov commented. “We were not able to fight for the highest spots on the podium, but we are happy to have held on to third place. This is basically our biggest success so far, our first international success.”
Teammates Tatiana Novik and Mikhail Kuznetsov placed fifth in the long with 90.25 points, however with a total score 139.63 points, finished fourth overall. Their routine to music from Cadillac was highlighted by side-by-side triple toeloops.
Yue Zhang and Lei Wang of China, who stood in 12th after the Short Program, pulled up to sixth overall after placing fourth in the long (90.96). The Junior Grand Prix Final bronze medalists produced a triple twist as well as a good throw triple loop and throw triple Salchow.
USA’s Britney Simpson Nathan Miller slipped from fourth to fifth overall (138.00) points after Simpson fell on a double Axel and throw triple loop.
Brittany Jones and Kurtis Gaskell of Canada maintained seventh place overall, followed by Xiaoyu Yu and Yang Jin of China.