Junior Skaters Shine on First Day of 2024 Canadian National Skating Championships

Calgary, AB (January 9, 2024) – The 2024 Canadian National Skating Championships kicked off Tuesday at the WinSport Arena in Calgary, Alberta with the short program for the junior men, women, and pair skaters, and the rhythm dance for junior ice dance.

The junior men got the competition going, and John Kim of Mississauga, Ont., had the best performance of the day with a score of 67.79 to take the lead. Kim was the 2020 national novice champion, and finished third at the 2022 National Championships, but missed last year’s championships after taking a year off. David Bondar of Richmond Hill, Ont., finished the day in second with a score of 67.45, followed by David Shteyngart of Ottawa, Ont., in third with a score of 65.65.

Next up was the junior pair competition which saw Ava Kemp and Yohnatan Elizarov of Winnipeg, Man., silver medallists at the recent ISU Grand Prix Final, dominating the competition to take the top spot with a new personal best score of 60.45 in their short program.

“I thought our program went very well. I stumbled a little bit throughout the program, but I’m really happy with the elements we performed,” said Elizarov, who together with Kemp finished sixth at the 2023 World Junior Championships held at the WinSport Arena last year. “For tomorrow, we just need to focus on ourselves, and the elements, and maybe we’ll get another PB.”

Jazmine Desrochers of Mississauga, Ont., and Kieran Thrasher of Amherstburg Ont., who brought home a bronze medal from the 2023 ISU Grand Prix Final are sitting in second with a score of 51.54, while Martina Ariano Kent of Mount Royal, Que., and Charly Laliberté-Laurent of Boucherville, Que., who finished fourth at the Grand Prix Final, are sitting third with a score of 49.74.

Megan Woodley of Oro Station, Ont., skated a very strong technical program to finish the day in the top spot in the junior women’s competition with a new personal best score of 59.15.

“My program went really well,” said Woodley. “My goal for tomorrow’s free skate is to just take it jump by jump and focus on just doing the technique right and then it’ll just go where it goes.”

Aleksa Volkova of Lac-Brôme, Que., is sitting second with a score of 57.13, while Lulu Lin of Mississauga, Ont., sits third with a score of 56.58.

The day wrapped up with the ice dance teams performing their rhythm dance, with 2023-2024 Skate Canada Challenge winners Chloe Nguyen of Vancouver, B.C. and Brendan Giang of Burnaby, B.C. scoring a season’s best of 67.06 to place first. Layla Veillon and Alexander Brandys of London, Ont., were second with 64.41 and the new team of Jamie Fournier of Brossard, Que., and Everest Zhu of Waterloo, Ont. sit in third with 58.67.

“I think we put out what we wanted to, and we felt really good on the ice when we were out there so we’re happy with what we did,” said Giang.

Wednesday will feature the completion of the junior competition with the free skate for men, women, pair, and ice dance, and the beginning of the synchronized skating competition with the short program for the juniors.

Follow the action via Skate Canada’s livestream here. For full results please click here.

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