Golden Skate

Panfilova and Rylov claim Pairs’ title at Junior Worlds

2020 Junior Worlds

Pairs’ Free Skate

Russia’s Apollinariia Panfilova and Dmitry Rylov maintained their overnight lead, securing a Russian sweep in the Pairs’ event on Thursday night in Tallinn, Estonia. Teammates Kseniia Akhanteva and Valerii Kolesov and Iulia Artemeva and Mikhail Nazarychev pocketed the silver and bronze, respectively, in their first outing at this event.

Panfilova and Rylov gave a near-stellar performance to “No One Ever Called Me That,” opening with a beautiful level 3 triple twist which garnered 5+ grades of execution (GOE) from all nine judges. The defending silver medalists also landed a solid throw triple loop, throw triple flip, and earned a level 4 on all lifts and spins. The only error came when Rylov fought for the landing on the side-by-side double Salchows. They scored 122.25 points for first place in the free skate and easily held on to first overall (195.96) with over 21 points to spare.

It (the victory) is very important to us since we have won throughout the season almost all junior competitions,” Rylov said. “Coming here, we wanted to end the season with the gold medal.”

It was not our best performance, but we did what we could do,” Panfilova said. “The preparation was not ideal, like basically throughout the season. Maybe it was for the better – the more difficult your preparation is, the more valuable is the medal.”

Teammates Akhanteva and Kolesov suffered two falls when Akhanteva went down on the side-by-side triple Salchows and triple toes. She also put a foot and hand down on the throw triple loop, but the 2019-20 Junior Grand Prix bronze medalists were otherwise clean in their routine to Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.” They produced a strong throw triple flip and earned a level 4 on the pair combination spin and two lifts, scoring 104.41 points for second place in the free skate. Their total score was 174.85.

“The performance was bad today,” said Kolesov. “I don’t know the reason, but the result is good, because the short program was good.”

It is nice to win a medal at Junior Worlds at our first try,” he added. “The performance didn’t work out so well, there were serious mistakes. It helped us that we had a good short program.”

Artemeva and Nazarychev, who stood in third after the short, finished fourth in the free skate (100.92). Artemeva fell on three jumping passes: the side-by-side double Axel combination, as well as the throw triple flip and throw triple loop. The Russian National junior bronze medalists still showed level 4 lifts and spins and were able to hold on to third place overall with a total score of 171.18.

After the performance we had mixed feelings,” Nazarychev said. “I didn’t know how many points we would get. I waited for the total score and then for the score of the next pair before I knew we were on the podium. It was an important competition and an experience for us. We’ll definitely stay in juniors, we just got started.”

Germany’s Annika Hocke and Robert Kunkel had a near-solid performance in their upbeat program, executing a level 2 triple twist and triple Salchows, but Hocke put a foot down on the throw triple loop and later stepped out of throw triple flip. Both lifts were graded a level 4, however, the final combination spin received no value. The 2019-20 Junior Grand Prix finalists finished third (103.58) in the free skate and fourth overall (167.15)

“We both are overwhelmed with our emotions!” said Hocke. “I can’t even realize it right now. Our first and last Junior World Championships—it was amazing!”

Cleo Hamon and Denys Streakalin of France had a fall on the side-by-side triple toes and the throw triple flip, but showed good lifts and a level 4 combination spin to finish fifth (98.12) in the free skate and overall (156.35).

“It wasn’t our best program, like the fall on the throw and a triple toe, said Streakalin. “We have one week to prepare before worlds. It was a good preparation for Canada.”

USA’s Kate Finster and Balazs Nagy, who stood in fifth after the short, finished seventh (97.93) in the free skate and sixth overall (156.26).

“I’m really happy with how our skate went,” said Finster.

“We fought through the whole program,” said Nagy. “This program was a fight.”

Alina Butaeva and Luka Berulava of Georgia placed seventh overall (153.17), followed by China’s Yuchen Wang and Yihang Huang (152.10).