COURCHEVEL, France (August 27, 2022) – Junior Grand Prix season is officially back! The next generation of Canadian skaters began the 2022-2023 ISU Junior Grand Prix season with a strong start as all the Canadians at the event finished in the top 10.
Chaima Ben Khelifa of Laval, Que., and Everest Zhu of Waterloo, Ont., produced the best finish for Canada as they finished fifth in junior ice dance. Right behind them were Layla Veillon and Alexander Brandys of London, Ont., who placed sixth in their first ISU Junior Grand Prix.
“It felt amazing, it was exactly what we had hoped for. We did exactly what our coaches wanted us to do,” said Veillon, 16. “Good confidence boost knowing that we can do it internationally, now domestically we can go and show even more and keep on improving”.
Hannah Lim and Ye Quan of South Korea took home the gold medal with a score of 161.96. In second place were Celina Fradji and Jean-Hans Fourneaux of France with 147.66 points and capturing bronze were Americans Vanessa Pham and Jonathan Rogers finishing with 143.26
Lia Pereira of Milton, Ont., had the sixth-best free skate in junior women as she climbed from tenth to finish in sixth place.
“The short did not go as planned but I am glad that I fought to the end,” said Pereira, 18. “The long today I am very proud of, I was able to get out some really positive GOE in the first couple elements and I was able to fight towards the end and I’m happy with my skate today”.
It was a one, two finish for Japan in junior women as Hana Yoshida came in first place with 203.52 points and Ayumi Shibayama took the silver with 188.39 points. South Korean Yujae Kim finished in third place with 185.67
Another newcomer to the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit, David Li of Richmond, B.C., fought from 12th to finish the event in tenth place in junior men.
“I really cherish the opportunity to be able to come here and it was a great opportunity to learn, improve and experience new things”, said Li, 15. “The short I think I was a little nervous because it was my first JGP (junior grand Prix) and wasn’t too sure what to expect, for the long I was a little nervous but when I skated, I got into the right mindset and the long was a lot better”.
Japan had two top-three finishes in junior men with Shunsuke Nakamura capturing the gold medal finishing with 219.65 and Ryoga Morimoto taking home the bronze with 188.66. Younghyun Cha of South Korea came in second with 196.15
The next stop on the circuit starts Wednesday, August 31st in Ostrava, Czech Republic.