Friday, 20 February 2009

Junior Worlds

I have a confession to make; I've never really been interested in Juniors. It's obvious that they are the future of figure skating and so I should really pay some attention, but to be honest it always made me depressed, watching these incredibly young children nail perfect triples, when, at 16, I still can't land an axel.

However, British Eurosport is, for the first time ever, showing some of the Junior Worlds, and I never pass up a chance to watch skating live, so this year I will be delving into the world that is the junior circuit. They're showing both the Mens FS and the Ice Dance OD this year, and both live!

The Junior World Championships are taking place in Sofia, Bulgaria, starting on the 22nd February, so not long now, and despite my obvious lack of knowledge, I've turned to the internet to help me predict the "ones to watch out for".

For the mens, I'm going to keep my eye on Michal Brezina; he is obviously very talented (winning gold at two of the JGP this season) but performed well below par at the Europeans in January due to injury. I really hope he's fully recovered because when he's on form, he's great, as you can see from his LP from 2008 Jr Worlds below.

Whilst looking through the Ice Dance entrance, I spotted that the first substitutes for Great Britain were Danielle Bennet and Lloyd Jones. Danielle skated at my rink up until a few months go, when she formed her partnership with Lloyd, so it's very exciting that she's got so far with him in such a short space of time, since she showed obvious talent and dedication at the rink.

Ladies is the event that I believe will be the most exciting. US Figure Skating has chosen to send Ashley Wagner and Caroline Zhang, with Mirai Nagasu withdrawing to leave the spot open for Katrina Hacker. Caroline Zhang's performances at Trophee Eric Bompard that I saw live were just wonderful, with her supposed lack of speed not at all noticable, so I really hope she can skate consistantly and get the result she hopes for. Ashley Wagner has also been amazing this season; she's a beautiful skater, as you can see below from this year's NHK.

Of course, I won't be able to watch any of the Ladies or the Pairs unless Eurosport miraculously add to its skating TV schedule, but none-the-less, it'll be an exciting competition in Sofia, one which might even make find a brand new love of Juniors.

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