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On the rise, Neset and Markelov set higher goals

Leah Neset and Artem Markelov

Two-time U.S. Junior National Champions Leah Neset and Artem Markelov took the gold at the 2023-24 Junior Grand Prix Final in Beijing, China.

Leah Neset and Artem Markelov

American ice dancers Leah Neset and Artem Markelov are setting higher goals as they continue to rise through the ranks. The duo dominated on the Junior Grand Prix circuit this season, winning both solo events and the Final. They have improved significantly since last season which they capped off with a fifth-place finish at 2023 Junior Worlds. They are now considered the frontrunners and carry the weight of expectations as favorites for the upcoming Junior Worlds in Taipei.

In this interview we reflect on their week of big success in Beijing. The duo shares how they met three years ago and how Markelov moved in with Leah’s family without knowing any English. He tells about his first challenges in the new country and how he managed to settle in. We talk about the secret of their success and what makes them such a good match, both on and off the ice.

We also go back in time and learn how both of them started skating and what made them switch from singles to ice dance and what fascinates them about their discipline. We learn what they enjoy doing next to skating, and when speaking about one another, it gets obvious that they have a deep bond between each other off the ice.

Neset and Markelov will compete next at the 2024 U.S. Junior Championships and will then prepare for Junior Worlds.

It has not yet been decided if they will move up to the senior ranks next season. They are still age-eligible for one more year as juniors.

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