Calgary, AB (January 10, 2024) – Four new Junior Canadian Champions were crowned on Wednesday at the WinSport Arena in Calgary, Alta., as the 2024 Canadian National Skating Championships continued.
Starting things off for the second day in a row were the junior men. John Kim of Mississauga, Ont., who was leading after the short program and skated last, had a tougher time with his jumps and finished the day in fourth overall. That meant that the title was up for grabs, and Terry Yu Tao Jin of Surrey, B.C., was ready and willing to grab it – he laid down an almost flawless performance to improve from fourth in the short program to take the junior national title with a total overall score of 185.20.
“I’ve worked towards this for a long time, so I feel like I belong here – this feels great,” said Yu Tao Jin who hasn’t previously won a Canadian title. “This competition, I knew I just had to turn my mind off, trust in my technique and my training, and just see where it took me, and it turned out well!”
David Li of Richmond, B.C., who will be heading to the 2024 Youth Olympic Games in a couple of weeks, took the silver medal with a total score of 179.45, while David Shteyngart of Ottawa, Ont., took the bronze with a total score of 175.40.
In the junior pair competition, ISU Grand Prix Final silver medallists Ava Kemp and Yohnatan Elizarov of Winnipeg, Man., continued to dominate, finishing first in the free skate to win gold and their first junior national title with an overall score of 165.50.
“It feels good, we’re still a little bit upset with our performance today as it was a little bit messy, and not quite what we can do, so we’re a little bit disappointed in that, but overall, I think we’re pretty happy with how this went,” said Kemp of their free skate which scored a 105.05, well shy of their personal best score for the routine of 110.92 which they scored at the Grand Prix Final.
Martina Ariano Kent of Mount Royal, Que., and Charly Laliberté-Laurent of Boucherville, Que., moved up from third after the short program to take the silver medal with an overall score of 149.44, leaving Jazmine Desrochers of Mississauga, Ont., and Kieran Thrasher of Amherstburg Ont., to take bronze with a total score of 149.24.
There was a shake-up in the junior women’s competition from the short program as well with Lulu Lin of Mississauga, Ont., skating a very strong technical program to move up from third after the short program to win gold with an overall score of 166.74.
“I’m really happy. I came into this competition not really expecting to win, but I skated my best and I think that’s what matters the most,” said Lin who won gold at the 2023 Skate Canada Challenge – Junior/Senior competition this past December. “I landed most of my jumps. I think by the end, I got a little bit overexcited, so moving forward, I’m going to work on being calm throughout the whole program.”
Aleksa Volkova of Lac Brôme, Que., maintained second place to win silver with an overall score of 158.00, while Mély-Ann Gagner of Sherbrooke, Que., improved mightily with her free skate to move up from eighth after the short program to take bronze with a total score of 147.84. Megan Woodley of Oro Station, Ont., who was leading after the short program, struggled with her free skate and finished sixth overall.
The junior ice dance competition closed out the day and saw 2022 novice champions Layla Veillon and Alexander Brandys of London, Ont., deliver a flawless free dance to take the win with a score of 160.80. Skate Canada Challenge gold medallists Chloe Nguyen of Vancouver, B.C. and Brendan Giang of Burnaby, B.C. finished second with 154.25 and Alisa Korneva and Kieran MacDonald of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont. moved up from fourth to win the bronze with a score of 147.
“We really tried not to focus on how close we were to first and the distance between second and third because in the end anything can happen, and we just wanted to put out our best skate. Whatever was going to happen we were going to be proud and obviously winning is an amazing bonus,” said Veillon.
The synchronized skating portion of the competition also began today, with the junior synchronized skating teams taking to the ice to perform their short programs. Les Suprêmes from Saint-Léonard, Que., finished the day in first with a score of 72.29, with the Nexxice team from Burlington, Ont., just behind them with a score of 71.60, followed by Nova from St-Hubert, Que., in third with 69.23.
Thursday will see the junior synchronized skating teams perform their free skate, and the senior synchronized skating teams will complete their short program.