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Nguyen and Kolesnik dance to Junior World title

2020 Junior Worlds

Free Dance

USA’s Avonley Nguyen and Vadym Kolesnik moved up from third to capture the Ice Dance title after the Free Dance took place in Tallinn, Estonia, on Saturday afternoon. Maria Kazakova and Georgy Reviya from Georgia maintained second to win the silver—the first medal of any color for Georgia in this event, while Russia’s Elizaveta Shanaeva and Devid Naryzhnyy settled for bronze.

Nguyen and Kolesnik delivered a powerful performance to “Piano Concerto No. 2” by Rachmaninov which featured level 4 twizzles, spin, and lifts. The circular steps received a rare level 4, while the one-foot steps were graded a level 3 for her and 4 for him. All elements received positive grades of execution (GOE), and the 2019-20 Junior Grand Prix silver medalists finished first in the free dance with a new personal best of 108.91 points, rising to first overall with a total score of 177.18.

“I’ve dreamed about this moment for so long and to know that our work finally paid off, it just feels great!” said Nguyen. “We’re so happy, we’re elated, we’re just overjoyed!”

Honestly, it’s the biggest moment of my life happening right now,” said Kolesnik, adding that he felt they have done all they can on the Junior level. “We’ll have to discuss with our coach if we are going to move to seniors or stay junior. We’ll just work hard when we come back. Of course, we’ll have some rest, but we’ll get back to work as soon as we feel like it’s time.”

Kazakova and Reviya arguably produced the strongest level 4 twizzles of the teams, earning a level 4 with 2.69 GOE. The lifts were graded a level 4, while the diagonal steps were a level 3. However, she received a level 2 on the one-foot steps, while he a 4. The spin was also graded a level 2, and the 2019-20 Junior Grand Prix champions picked up 106.21 for second in the free dance and overall (176.19).

“We skated well and we’re basically pleased,” said Reviya. “We did everything that depended on us. The most important thing is that people enjoyed how we skated. We gave it our all and the audience was very supportive. A big ‘thank you’ to the spectators who came to watch.”

The team will continue training after they return to Moscow to mount new programs for next season at the senior level.

Shanaeva and Naryzhnyy, who stood in first after the Rhythm Dance, finished third with a new personal best (105.14) in with their Free Dance to “River.” The the 2019-20 Junior Grand Prix bronze medalist displayed strong level 4 twizzles, lifts, and spin, while the diagonal steps were graded a 3. The one-foot steps were graded a level 4 for her and 2 for him, and they finished third overall with another personal best total score of 175.17.

“We still have a junior year left and we want to work on and polish what did not work out here,” said Shanaeva. “Although for our first debut season, we are very pleased, this is new for us. We got a lot of energy to show our maximum next season and to be ready to beat everyone.”

Teammates Arina Ushakova and Maxim Nekrasov finished fourth (102.21) in the Free Dance and overall (169.18). The 2018 World Junior bronze medalists earned a level 4 on the spin and lifts, while the diagonal steps were a level 2. She received a level 3 on the one-foot steps, while he a level 2, and the twizzles were graded a level 4 (her) and 3 (him).

“We are very satisfied with our skates and showed everything we’ve been working on,” said Ushakova. “We are satisfied with this Junior Worlds because we showed the maximum in both dances.”

Russia’s Diana Davis and Gleb Smolkin took one-point deduction on an extended rotational lift that was graded a level 3. The team otherwise showed very good level 4 twizzles, spin, and straight line lift, while the circular steps were graded a level 3. The national junior bronze medalists scored a new personal best of 98.69 for fifth in the Free Dance and overall (165.22).

“We didn’t expect higher points, we just wanted to skate better,” said Smolkin. “It’s been a pretty good season. Our first full season with international competitions and the audience and judges seemed to like us.”

Loicia Demougeot and Theo Le Mercier of France finished sixth overall (162.52), followed by USA’s Katarina Wolfkostin and Jeffrey Chen (159.20).