Wednesday, October 15, 2014

2014 JGP Croatia Cup: Ladies Review & JGP Final Standings + Finlandia Trophy

Just like that, we're at the end of the Junior Grand Prix season! At this last event spots to the Final were on the line and it all came down to who could deliver.  I'll take a look back at the event as well as who has earned a trip to the Final.  Lastly I'll do a quick review of the ladies at this year's Finlandia Trophy

2014 JGP Croatia Cup

The final results

Maria Sotskova (RUS):  58.48 (SP) + 112.13 (FS) = 170.81 (1st)
Maria started off her SP strongly with a solid 3F-3T but ran into trouble with her 3Lz(<) and lost points on a lower level spin.  She finished 2nd in the SP and was in perfect position to challenge for the gold.  Maria opened with a nice 3F-3T but then went down on her 3Lz(<<).  Luckily she was able to refocus and hit four more triples including a 2A-1L-3S combination.  Despite the fall, Maria did enough to beat out Karen by winning the FS and finishing in first place overall to win the gold medal.  This win earns Maria another trip to the Final and the chance to defend her JGPF title.

Karen Chen (USA):  62.71 (SP) + 106.70 (FS) = 169.41 (2nd)
Karen's combination was only a 3L-2T but the rest of her elements were executed beautifully (including a monster 3Lz and beautiful spins) and her skating skills were the class of the field.  Karen started off her FS well with a Yu-Na-esque 3Lz-3T that earned six +2s from the judges.  Unfortunately, her axels gave her fits here.  She popped the first one and fell on her second attempt.  Maria won the event by only 1.40 points; had Karen landed that final 2A she would have won gold here and qualified for a trip to the Final.  

Alexandra Proklova (RUS):  51.30 (SP) + 107.93 (FS) = 159.23 (3rd)
Alexandra doesn't appear to have recovered completely from whatever injury she was battling.  Her SP was a disaster: fall on her 3F-combo and a fall on her 3Lz.  Luckily she fought back in the FS with a stronger performance.  She removed some of the difficulty from her program by changing her opening 3-3 into a 3Lz-2T, but kept the 3F-1L-3S.  Alexandra lost points on her step sequence (only level 2) and also popped a 3F to a single.  Still, after the horrible showing in the SP, Alexandra was able to place 2nd in the FS and land on the podium in 3rd place overall.

As for the rest...

Nicole Rajicova (SVK; 147.50, 4th) had a really lovely SP and placed 3rd in the segment.  She ran into quite a bit of trouble in the FS (two falls) but was able to keep it together and finish 5th in the segment and 4th overall.

You can watch all of the videos here at the ISU's JGP YouTube channel.  Thanks again to the ISU for covering these events.  So with the results of this competition in the books, the 2014 Junior Grand Prix Final is set....

2014 Junior Grand Prix: Final Standings

After seven events, we've got our six qualifiers for the 2014 Junior Grand Prix Final.

Serafima Sakhanovich (RUS) qualifies in first place with a total of 30 points.  Given that both of her wins were 15+ point blowouts, Serafima is the favorite for gold at the Final.

Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS) also earned 30 points with two wins this season.  Her overall point total was less than Serafima's which puts her in second place.

Wakaba Higuchi's (JPN) silver and gold medal gave her 28 points and places her 3rd overall in the standings.

Maria Sotskova's (RUS) win last week along with her silver medal also gave her a total of 28 points.  Wakaba's overall total is higher than Maria's which places Maria in fourth place.

Yuka Nagai (JPN) earned a total of 26 points from her two silver medals which qualified her for the Final in 5th place.

Miyu Nakashio (JPN) placed 4th in her first event but won her second event which gave her 24 points total.  It should be noted that Miyu tied in total points with two other skaters and lost the scoring tiebreaker to both as well.  However, since gold medals are weighted more than silver or bronze Miyu gets the sixth and final spot despite only medaling at one event.

Karen Chen (USA) earned a total of 24 points and is the first alternate.  Elizabet Turzynbaeva (KAZ) also earned 24 points and is the second alternate.  Rin Nitaya (JPN) finished with 22 points and is the third alternate.

As always the junior ladies will have an extended break to prepare for the Junior Grand Prix Final which will take place December 11-14 in Barcelona, Spain.  Hopefully these ladies will stay healthy and focused and be ready to battle it out for gold.  

So that wraps up the 2014 Junior Grand Prix.  It's almost time for the senior ladies to take the ice!  The first event of the season, Skate America, will take place October 24-26 in Chicago, Illinois.  The headliners at this event are Gracie Gold (USA), Elena Radionova (RUS) and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS).  We'll also see Mirai Nagasu (USA), Samantha Cesario (USA), So Youn Park (KOR), Mae Berenice Meite (FRA), Joshi Helgesson (SWE), Haruka Imai (JPN), Elene Gedevanishvilli (GEO), Brooklee Han (AUS) and Natalia Popova (UKR).  This should be a great season opener!

2014 Finlandia Trophy 

Just a very quick review of what went down at Finlandia.  The final results...

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS):  Let's just say Liza T is really looking like she's on it so far this season.  She has had one great showing after the other and, to me at least, it looks like she's getting stronger and stronger.  The confidence, which was MIA these last two seasons, seems to have returned and it brought Liza T's consistency with it.  I think these two programs are perfection for her; they scream "Liza!"  Both play to her strengths and allow her to shine.  So far the judges seem to really like what she's putting down.  Hopefully Liza T will keep that confidence and consistency going once the Grand Prix starts.

Samantha Cesario (USA):  It's good to see Samantha getting her programs out there early this season.  She ran into some trouble in the SP but I was really happy to see her bounce back so well in the FS.  Samantha threw down a technically sound program that included a 3L-1L-3S and four other triples.  I really love the revamped version of her "Carmen" FS; new music edits, new choreography, but I'm thrilled she kept the ending the same (that kick-ass choreographic sequence).  Samantha does need to work on getting her spin and step levels up (one level 3 and the rest were level 2s) but other than that, it was a solid debut skate for her.


  1. Great post as always! I wanted to tell you that I do so enjoy your blog! Makes me wish that you covered the other disciplines that I'm interested in (men & pairs), as I've not seen anything equivalent to this pertaining to them - insightful, humourous, yet never mean-spirited. Thank you.:)

    What I especially loved to see with Liza was that she looked to be having FUN out there - it's so good to see that she is able to go out there and enjoy herself again. I'm so happy for her.:)


  2. Cesario's revamped Carmen seems less 'angry' than her previous one..I may be wrong, but I still kinda like the previous version! The ending pose is still a big win for me :3