Wednesday, March 10

World Junior Championships Useful Links

There seems to be a surprisingly low number of links to articles concerning these Championships. I'd imagine most people are worn out after Vancouver..

Day 2 summary from the ISU

Ice Skating International Online Detailed Reviews by Alexandra Stevenson

Day 1 video highlights courtesy of wcjunior.com

Included in the video are the top compulsory dances, and then the top pairs short programs. I'm not going to comment on the dance, but here's some quick thoughts about the pairs... none of which I have seen prior!

Takahashi/Tran from Japan - Scratchy edges and their posture can be much improved, but a really nice overhead lift with a lot of distance and nice positions! All of the elements were pretty good and they kept in pretty decent unison on the side-by-side spins. Good music, and a good performance. I definitely liked them!

Stolbova/Klimkov from Russia - Shades of Petrova/Tikhonov from the early 2000/2001 season-- same music and he has the same shade of blue on that Tikhonov wore for the program... I'm actually pretty sure it's the same costume. Not much height on the twist, but it was OK. A bit stronger in the basics than the Japanese but they seemed to be mechanical in their approach to the program. Got real close on the side-by-side spins and had moments of being a bit off unison.. eh. They were OK but the music got too fast for them at the end.

Sui/Han from China - Difficult entries into the side-by-side Axels, very nice! In typical Chinese fashion, nice and high on the twist. Another difficult entry with a lift into their throw and she basically held on even with the hands down. Lift went up really shaky but ended with some nice positions, same music as Alena Leonova is using for her short program this year.. no real interpretation yet but some "cute" young choreography. For both being as young as they look, they are both already pretty decent singles skaters.

Overall, I thought Takahashi and Tran had the most enjoyable program, but they can really improve the quality of their skating. Sui/Han had some small issues. but they are already trying a tremendous amount of difficulty for being so young. None of the pairs really related to the music as it seemed they were all too focused on the elements, but this is a junior competition and all of them have time to grow.

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