Canada’s Stephen Gogolev wins gold at ISU Grand Prix Final

VANCOUVER, BC – Thirteen-year-old Stephen Gogolev of Toronto brushed aside a fall on his opening quad Lutz and roared to the gold medal in junior men’s competition Friday at the ISU Grand Prix Final figure skating competition.

Gogolev put on an amazing display of poise, skating and jumping skills to finish with 233.58 points. Petr Gummenik of Russia took the silver at 218.75 and Koshiro Shimada of Japan was third at 214.38.

“I can’t believe it yet, that I won this competition,” Gogolev said. “I was a bit disappointed after falling on the quad Lutz but I did everything else so I’m happy overall.”

In his free skate to the Sherlock Holmes soundtrack, Gogolev’s three quad jumps were planned at the start of the program. After the Lutz he landed the quad toe and the quad Salchow (in combo with a triple toe). His triple Axel- triple toe was also solid.

It was his second victory this season on the circuit. He won this past September in Slovakia but was fifth a few weeks later at the fourth stop in Richmond, B.C.

“I learned that you need to work on everything,” Gogolev said. “Skating skills are very important. Not just jumps, but spins and skating skills.”

In junior ice dancing, Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of Greenfield Park, Que., came within 0.03 from the podium finishing fourth with 164.51.

Russia was 1-2-3. Sofia Shevchenko and Igor Eremenko won the gold with 170.66, Arina Ushakova and Maxim Nekrasov were second only 0.01 behind while Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva and Nikita Nazarov were third at 164.54.

“Technically it wasn’t perfect but the emotion was there,” said Lajoie. “We felt really confident in our performances.”

This past fall on the circuit, Lajoie and Lagha won the Richmond Junior Grand Prix stop and were second in Austria.

In men’s senior competition, world champion Nathan Chen of the U.S. was the winner with Shoma Uno of Japan second and Junhwan Cha of South Korea third.

Keegan Messing of Sherwood Park, Alta., moved from sixth to fifth.

“I skated as strong as I could and fought for everything,” said Messing. “I only made one big mistake on the triple Axel. There were some shaky elements but it was my first Grand Prix Final so there was some nervousness.”

Full results:

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