Golden Skate

Sotnikova bags Junior World title

Adelina Sotnikova of Russia captured the Ladies title at the 2011 World Junior Figure Skating Championships

Adelina Sotnikova of Russia dominated the Ladies at Junior Worlds and took the title in convincing fashion. Teammate Lisa Tuktamysheva claimed the silver medal, trailing the leader by 5.85 points, while USA’s Agnes Zawadzki captured the bronze.

Russia was the most successful country at Junior Worlds with five medals – two golds and three silvers. Japan and the USA both had two medals each, while Canada, China and Sweden took home one medal each.

Sotnikova looked in command when she took the ice as the third skater in the final flight. She opened her routine to Rondo Capriccioso” with a spectacular triple Lutz-triple loop combination (which alone was worth 12.10 points), followed by a double Axel-triple toeloop, three more clean triples, and two level-four spins. She only stepped out of the landing of the triple flip. The Muscovite scored 115.45 points and had 174.96 points overall.

“Overall I skated well for myself,” the 14-year-old from Moscow said. “There was one mistake, but it didn’t prevent me from winning. I am so happy to have won my first Junior Worlds. I don’t have words right now. I was lucky to win at my first attempt, but I deserved it.”

“When I came here I didn’t think about that this is the Junior World Championship,” she explained. “It was like an ordinary competition for me and I was calm.”

The equally talented Tuktamysheva produced five triples and two level-four spins in her stylish program to Asturias. She earned 110.51 points which added up to 169.11 points.

“The competition was at a very high level, the 14-year-old acknowledged. “I skated well in the short program, but my free program wasn’t so good today. The second place is good, but I could have won if I had shown my technical content, but it didn’t work out. Well, I still have everything ahead of me.”

Tuktamysheva regretted her errors.

“My triple Lutz-triple toe combination. I didn’t show it as I had planned,” she sighed. “Then there was this inexplicable pop of the Salchow (into a double), but even if I had done the Salchow, it would not have made a difference in the result. If I had the chance, I’d go back out on the ice right away and would skate my program again.”

Both the gold and the silver medalist competed in their first Junior Worlds.

Zawadzki had drawn to skate last and ended the competition on a high note with her strong Gypsy-themed program to Zigeunerweisen. The 16-year-old from Colorado Springs nailed a double Axel-triple toe, three more triples and three level-four spins, but underrotated the triple loop and Salchow. She picked up a seasons best with 107.90 points and pulled up from fifth to third at 161.07 points.

“I am ecstatic about my long program,” said Zawadzki. “I’ve worked very hard for getting it clean and finally I did it at the right time. I’m not so happy with my short program. I did a triple-double (toeloop combination) instead of a triple-triple, but I worked through that and fought hard for the long.”

Teammate Christina Gao stepped out of her opening triple flip and couldn’t do her triple-triple combination. She also did a three-turn out of the triple Lutz and her shaky double Axel was underrotated. The American dropped one spot to fourth (155.27 points).

Japan’s Risa Shoji managed to rotate almost all her triple jumps (except for the loop) and finished fifth at 151.27 points.

USA’s Courtney Hicks came in sixth (150.92 points). The 15-year-old skated well and showed off her precision her Malaguena routine. She landed five clean triples, but the back end of her triple flip-triple toe was downgraded as in the short program.

Polina Shelepen of Russia missed a triple Lutz in her Russian Folk program, and together three jumps were underrotated. She dropped from fourth to seventh.

Japan’s Miyabi Oba missed her triple Lutz attempt, but landed five triples to place eighth.

Zijun Li of China started well into her program, but ran out of steam later on and fell on a triple loop. She was ranked ninth.

Ira Vannut made the biggest leap today. The Belgian turned in a solid program with four triples and cracked the top ten. She was only 18th in the short program, but ranked 10th overall in the end.

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