ZAGREB, Croatia – Toronto’s Stephen Gogolev recovered from a painful fall in his men’s free skate Friday and soared from 10th to fifth overall in his debut at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships.
Tomoki Hiwatashi of the U.S. won the gold medal with 230.32 points, Roman Savosin of Russia was second at 229.28 and Daniel Grassl of Italy third at 224.67.
The 14-year-old Gogolev, the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champion in December, scored the third best free skate to place fifth at 220.66. After singling his opening quad Lutz, he recovered brilliantly with a solid quad toe and quad Salchow-triple toe combo.
However about two minutes in his free skate, he fell awkwardly on his triple Axel attempt and needed a few seconds to make sure his leg was flexible. He appeared to slam his right knee on the ice in his fall. Still he soldiered on to complete his program cleanly capped by a dizzying spin.
Joseph Phan of Laval, Que., made mistakes on his first two jump attempts and dropped from seventh after the short to 12th overall.
“I’m disappointed,” said the 17-year-old Phan, fourth last year. “I took off too fast on my first jump and my feet didn’t follow. I’ve never made a mistake like that in my life in a competition. My quad toe is usually more consistent but I’m pleased with how I came back to land the triple Axel.”
Russia is 1-2 after the women’s short program led by Anna Shcherbakova in first.
Alison Schumacher of Tecumseh, Ont., is 16th.
Competition ends Saturday with the women’s free skate and free dance. A reminder that Canada’s Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha were first after Thursday’s rhythm dance.
Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/season1819/wjc2019/