The first Gold Medal of the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final was awarded today: it went to the Russian skater Kamila Valieva who triumphed in the Junior Ladies program, climbing upwards from yesterday’s fourth position after the short program. The Junior Ice Dance program started as well, eith the pair Kazakova/Reviva (GEO) in the lead after rehearsals.

Junior Ice Dance

Maria Kazakova/Georgy Reviya of Georgia captured the Rhythm Dance, edging the hot favorites Avonley Nguyen/Vadym Kolesnik (USA) by just 0.04 points. Russia’s Elizaveta Shanaeva/Devid Naryzhnyy follow in third place. Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva/Andrey Filatov (RUS) are a little over one point behind in fourth place (65.07 points). Loicia Demougeout/Theo Le Mercier (FRA) are currently ranked fifth on 62.84 points and Diana Davis/Gleb Smolkin (RUS) came sixth (59.89 points).

Dancing to Quickstep and Foxtrot set to “Beautiful the Carole King” and “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, Kazakova/Reviya achieved a new personal best score with 68.76 points. “It wasn’t easy today, we are very happy with our marks but not so happy with the skate. We had a few small issues with the twizzles which didn’t go quite as we needed them to, and on a few transitions we lost speed, but we got back into the program quite quickly,” Reviya observed.

Nguyen/Kolesnik put out an upbeat dance to “Aladdin” and they earned 68.72 points. “We just want to do as well as we can and keep improving our programs. We hope the judges like what they see and we hope the people who see us feel something from our skating,” Ngyuen noted. “We prefer the new Aladdin to the old one because it has energy. We draw on the vibrancy and energy of the Broadway show in our program,” she added.

Shanaeva/Naryzhnyy’s dance to “Bonnie and Clyde” and they scored 66.21 points. “We are quite happy with our skate, it was nice today, the skating was easy, the mood was just right. We were not really nervous but so very excited. There was quite a gap between the competitions but we never stopped feeling inside the competition,” Shanaeva commented.


Junior Ladies

Russia’s Kamila Valieva came from behind to snatch the Junior Ladies gold as the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final continued Friday in Torino (ITA). Alysa Liu (USA) settled for the silver medal and the bronze went to Daria Usachva of Russia. Kseniia Sinitsyna (RUS) slipped from third to fourth on 195.57 points. Haein Lee (KOR) finished fifth (194.38 points) followed by Viktoria Vasilieva (RUS) in sixth place (184.37 points).

Valieva delivered an excellent performance to “Exogenesis Symphony Part 3 Redemption” by Muse and she collected a level four for her spins and footwork and scored 138.45 points. She totaled 207.47 points to rise from fourth to first place.

“It is a little unexpected. I just went out to skate clean and show what I can do. I was in fourth after the short program, but the points gap (to the podium places) was not big, so I thought I have a chance if I skate clean,” the 13-year-old said. “I’m happy with the skate and with the jumps I did. It was a simple version today but it was clean so that’s the main thing.”

On “Illumination” by Jennifer Thomas, Liu earned 133.46 points and slipped to second place with a total of 204.65 points. “I’m happy I came here and it’s a relief it’s over but I’m disappointed. My goal is always to skate a clean program but I didn’t do it. It went OK but it could have been better in a lot of things”, the American skater commented.

Usacheva’s performance to “Je suis malade”, she managed a personal best with 130.22 points and dropped one spot to third at 200.37 points overall. “I’m happy to be on the podium but not so pleased that I didn’t get all my elements clean and perfect. There were mistakes and issues and that’s not what I wanted today,” the Muscovite noted.