1. Anastasiia Gubanova (RUS): 185.59 (1st)
I'm such a fan of Anastasiia's skating. She has polish and attention to detail that very few 13 year olds have. She listens to the music, she feels the movements, she doesn't rush, lovely programs, great spins, good presentation...she's a gorgeous skater! Anastasiia had trouble on her 3Lz-3T combo in both programs though she did hit a 3Lz-3T-2T in the bonus in the FS. Some of her technique on her jumps seems a little whipish (i.e. she cranks her upper body around for rotation, especially in her combos) and that worries me, but I'm hoping she'll work on that. It was a tight race but Anastasiia managed to edge out Rika for gold by only 0.08. I'm excited to see what she can do this season.
2. Rika Kihira (JPN): 185.51 (2nd)
It took me about 10 seconds into Rika's SP for me to become a fan. I love the way she took command of her program. I loved it! Great jumps, wonderful speed, excellent skating skills, very good spins and lovely programs. Rika went for the 3A in the FS but it was nowhere close (3A<<) and she took a hard fall. A stumble out of her 3-jump combo cost her gold here but I was very happy to see her rebound so well after the fall on the axel--she still landed 7 triples cleanly. I'm excited to see how Rika does this season as well. When she's on she can go toe-to-toe with the Russians so that should make this season very interesting.
3. Alisa Lozko (RUS): 162.28 (3rd)
Yet another lovely skater. Alisa has a more mature look on the ice in terms of her body (longer arms and legs) so she stands out. Her base is very good: solid skating skills, nice presentation...I can tell she'll be quite lovely in a year or two. Unfortunately it looks like she already has under-rotation issues and that doesn't usually get much better with age. Alisa does have gorgeous spins though, especially her layback. Hopefully she'll have a stronger technical showing at her next event.
As for the rest...
4. Yuna Aoki (JPN; 155.79, 4th): Yuna has all of the pieces to be competitive but her nerves are doing her in. She has to learn how to settle herself down and compete.
5. Hanul Kim (KOR; 149.25, 5th): Hanul was solid here though she did have under-rotation issues. Korea is still searching for its next star...
6. Megan Wessenburg (USA; 148.82, 6th): I can tell Megan has potential. She has really solid jumps but she's going to need to do much better than she did here if she wants to move up.
This week is JGP Yokohama which will take place in Japan. We'll get to see the season debut of Junior World champ Marin Honda (JPN) as well as Kaori Sakamoto (JPN) who is coming off of a silver medal from the first JGP event. A trip to the Final is on the line for her. We'll also see the debut of Alisa Fedichkina (RUS). This should be another good event!