Canadians Win Three Medals at ISU Junior Grand Prix

RIGA, Latvia (September 10, 2022) – Canadian figure skaters collected two silver and a bronze at the third stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit which concluded Saturday.

The ice dancing competition went down to the wire with Germans Dray Grimm and Michai Savitskiy snaring the win with 161.42 points. Sandrine Gauthier of St-Constant, Que., and Quentin Thieren of Mont-St-Hilaire, Que., first after the rhythm dance, took the silver with 156.92. Mariia Pinchuk and Mykyta Pogorielov of Ukraine were third at 150.28.

‘’We had no expectations in terms of results’’ said Thieren, 18. ‘’We felt we were ready entering the competition, but to finish second that was a surprise for us.’’

‘’We wanted to skate and stay connected,’’ added Gauthier, also 18. ‘’We wanted to present what we’ve been working on. Despite some difficulties at the start we fought until the end.’’

Jordyn Lewis of Komoka, Ont., and Noah McMillan of Ilderton, Ont., were seventh.

‘’There’s lots of room for improvement,’’ said Lewis, 18. ‘’For our first time being out on the international circuit there were a of nerves and different feelings than what we are used to. It was a good experience.’’

The other two Canadian medals were in pairs. Cayla Smith and Andy Deng of the U.S. took the gold with 137.23 points. Canadian novice champions Ava Kemp and Yohnatan Elizarov of Winnipeg followed for the silver with a personal best 124.73 and Ashlyn Schmitz of Shellbrook, Sask., and Tristan Taylor of Regina were third at 113.40.

‘’We didn’t have any expectation coming out to our first junior Grand Prix,’’ said Elizarov, 18. ‘’We just wanted to skate our best. I really enjoyed the team environment here which pushes you to do better.’’

‘’We wanted to reach our technical score goals for both the short and the long,’’ added Kemp, 14. ‘’And experience an international competition.’’

Despite the bronze, Schmitz and Taylor were not totally satisfied with the result.

‘’It wasn’t the performance we wanted,’’ said Taylor, 20. ‘’It’s been a fun experience being here and coming home with a medal is awesome. We didn’t get some of the technical levels we wanted but overall, it was a good learning experience.’’

‘’We did improve on our skating skills and components, and we are proud about that,’’ added Schmitz, 16.

It was a Junior Grand Prix debut for all three Canadian medallists.

In women’s competition, Ji Shin of South Korea won the gold, Soho Lee of the U.S. was second and Ami Nakai of Japan third. Canadian junior champion Justine Miclette of Chambly, Que., was eighth. She was seventh after the short program.

‘’I made some big mistakes in my long program,’’ said Miclette, 16, ranked 11th for her free skate. ‘’What I’ll take out of this is that I was much more confident after those errors and didn’t let them get to me for the rest of the skate.’’

In the men’s event, Nikolaj Memola of Italy was the winner with Rio Nakata of Japan second and Rakhat Bralin of Kazakhstan third. Grayson Long of Oakville, Ont., was 12th and David Shteyngart of Ottawa 14th.

‘’There were some things I could definitely improve on,’’ said Long, 14. ‘’I’m pretty happy with my first junior Grand Prix experience. I was happy to achieve all the levels for my spins because I know international judges can be harsh.’’

Shteyngart, 15, said he was hesitant at times.

‘’When it came to the technical part, I think I slowed down,’’ he said. ‘’I wanted to make sure I completed my elements because my short wasn’t my very best. That ended up costing me more than I was expecting in the free skate.’’

The fourth stop on the circuit is in two weeks in Yerevan, Armenia. Full results can be found here.

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