Gdansk, Poland (October 1, 2023) – Canadian junior pair skaters had a fantastic competition in Gdansk, Poland this week at the sixth stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating circuit, coming home with two medals – a gold for Ava Kemp and Yohnatan Elizarov, both of Winnipeg, and bronze for Jazmine Desrochers of Mississauga, Ont., and Kieran Thrasher of Amherstburg, Ont.
Kemp and Elizarov, who competed last week at the Junior Grand Prix stop in Hungary and just missed the podium finishing fourth, were sitting in third following their short program, but a great free skate vaulted them to the top of the podium with a total score of 159.91.
“I’m happy about (the win), but both Ava and I are both really analytical and think we can always do better,” said Elizarov. “Once we have that super good skate and then a gold medal — then we’ll be happy. We need to work on our transitions, and maybe adding one more triple throw.”
Desrochers and Thrasher were sitting in first following their short program, but with a fifth-place finish in the free skate, ended up with their second bronze medal of the season with a total score of 136.95. Violetta Sierova and Ivan Khobta of Ukraine captured silver with a total score of 151.53.
“It was definitely a fun experience with a lot of learning,” said Desrochers, who together with Thrasher also won bronze at the Junior Grand Prix in Hungary. “The short program went well, even though we didn’t feel as great going into it, we were able to put in a good skate with good results which we were happy about. The long program didn’t go as we hoped – we hoped to put out something closer to what we do in practice, which unfortunately we weren’t able to do this time.”
Canada has now qualified three pair teams for the Grand Prix Final which will be held in Beijing, China from December 7th to 10th – Martina Ariano Kent, of Montreal and Charly Laliberté Laurent of Boucherville, Que., Kemp and Elizarov, and Desrochers and Thrasher.
Canada was represented by two brand new teams making their international competitive debuts in ice dance – Jamie Fournier of Brossard, Que., and Everest Zhu of Waterloo, Ont., finished sixth with a total score of 137.41, while Audra Gans of Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Que., and Michael Boutsan of Thornhill, Ont., finished 17th with a total score of 115.03.
Darya Grimm and Michail Savitskiy of Germany won gold (155.88), while Mariia Pinchuk and Mykyta Pogorielov of Ukraine took silver (154.52), and Sara Kishimoto and Atsuhiko Tamura of Japan took bronze (150.85).
Also making her international competitive debut was Lulu Lin, 13, of Mississauga, Ont., who finished seventh in the women’s competition.
“I thought I could have done better, but leading up to the competition, I had some small injuries (hip flexor strain), so a couple jumps hurt a bit more than usual, but overall I think I had a really good skate,” said Lin who was the silver medallist at the 2023 NextGen Competition.
Winning gold was Rena Uezono of Japan with a total score of 192.31 followed by Korean skaters Minsol Kwon (183.52), and Seojin Youn (176.31) who captured silver and bronze respectively.
In the men’s competition, Alec Guinzbourg of Aurora, Ont., finished 11th overall with a total score of 159.25. Juheon Lim of Korea won gold with a total score of 221.55, while Beck Strommer of the USA took silver with a total score of 200.22, and Daiya Ebihara of Japan took bronze with a total score of 184.73.
The final event in the 2023 ISU Junior Grand Prix series takes place from October 4-7, 2023 in Yerevan, Armenia where Canada will be represented by two men and two ice dance teams.
For full results, please click here.