Event Preview
August 24 - 26
2017 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Brisbane

Queensland has played host to a prestigious list of international figure skating competitions. These events included the 1988 and 1996 World Junior Figure Skating Championships, the 2001 Goodwill Games, and the 2011 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Brisbane.

Making a welcome return to Australia after a six year absence, the ISU Junior Grand Prix Series will kick off in Brisbane, then work its way around Europe from August to October, before wrapping up in December with the Series Final in Nagoya, Japan.

Athletes will skate for the experience of performing in international competition, as well aiming for personal bests, precious ranking points, and prize money. With seven stops in total, the top six singles, dance couples and pair teams overall in each division from the series, will then have one more chance to skate against each other in the final.

Fun Facts

Twenty - five ladies, nineteen men, and ten dance couples are scheduled to skate in the three day event.

Helpful Links

Click here for the Event Overview and Full List of Competitors. Click here for the Practice Schedule.

Venue Location & Directions

Ice World Boondall is located 20km north of Brisbane, with easy access via public transport. Click on the Translink Website Link for Brisbane suburban train and bus routes, departure and arrival times.

The arena’s street address is 2304 Sandgate Road, Boondall 4034.

Spectator entry to watch competition is free.

Below is the provisional competition schedule    
     
Thursday August 24 Starts Ends
Ladies’ Short Program 2:00pm 5.35pm
Men’s Short Program 6:15pm 8:55pm
     
Friday August 25    
Short Dance 2:15pm 3:30pm
Men’s Free Skating 4:15pm 7:20pm
Men’s Medal Presentation & Victory Ceremony    
     
Saturday August 26    
Ladies’ Free Skating 12:00pm 4:00pm
Free Dance 4:30pm 5:55pm
Ladies' Medal Presentation & Victory Ceremony    
Ice Dance Medal Presentation & Victory Ceremony    
     
Please Note:    
No gala exhibition has been scheduled for this competition.    

Competitors representing Team Australia Competitors representing Team New Zealand
   
Ladies' Division  
Amelia Jackson Nicole Korck
Jordan Lazarus  
Serena Xu  
   
Men's Division  
Darian Kaptich Harrison Bain
James Min  
Guiseppe Triulcio  
   
Dance Division  
Joanne Cho & Jake Meyer  
Jessica Palfreyman & Charlton Doherty  

2011 Junior Grand Prix of Brisbane Medallists  
   
Ladies' Division  
Courtney Hicks
USA
Risa Shoji
JPN
Vanessa Lam
USA
 
Men's Division
Jason Brown
USA
Keiji Tanaka
JPN
Liam Firus
CAN
 
Dance Division
Nicole Orford & Thomas Williams
CAN
Lauri Bonacorsi & Travis Mager
USA
Valeria Zenkova & Vaerlie Sinitsin
RUS

Event Recap
March 29 - April 2
2017 ISU World Figure Skating Championships - Day 1 Recap - Wednesday March 29

Day One of official competition provided a new standard of excellence, some surprising results, and as expected, a dash of drama.

In comparison to last year’s event in Boston, it was also not enough just to deliver a clean performance. Skaters with that little bit extra, were given the edge. The cut - off score in the ladies’ short program was also more than a point higher, and in pairs, a good ten points greater than 2016.

Starting with the ladies’ short program, 37 athletes took to the ice and strutted their stuff.

Australia’s Kailani Craine started relatively early in the field.

Skating with the same determination we have seen in practice, Craine was precise, musical and focussed. Her performance level was also excellent, giving everything to the routine, but entertaining the crowd as well. We also learned that her choice of music to ‘Dream A Little Dream’ was a touching tribute to athlete’s late grandmother, who exposed Craine to this big band style.

Contrary to her own beliefs, the young skater is elegant and balletic. Further, she is fast, fun and dynamic as well. Speaking with her briefly in the mixed zone, she was so excited to be here, and it was a privilege to watch all of her hard over the years work paying off.

aussieSKATES looks forward to seeing what Craine can achieve in Friday evening’s free program.

Italy’s Carolina Kostner skated early, but an uncharacteristic bobble on the flying change foot camel spin, put her down in the rankings in 8th position. It is our understanding that Kostner is suffering from a cold.

Another medal contender, Japan’s Mai Mihara, was skating like gangbusters and really into the performance. Perhaps due to a loss of concentration, Mihara doubled and fell on her very last element, a solo triple flip. That error placed the current Four Continents’ Champion out of the running in 15th place.

USA’s Mariah Bell stumbled on the jump combination, but didn’t let that affect her performance level. However, it left her team - mates, Karen Chen and Ashley Wagner to carry the challenge of qualifying three ladies’ for next year’s Olympic Games. Chen’s performance was both mature and controlled, and Wagner skated with characteristic flair. They are standing 5th and 7th heading into the free skate.

Excellent skates were also given by Wakaba Higuchi (JPN), Dabin Choi (KOR), Elizabet Tursynbayeva (KAZ), and Ivett Toth (HUN).

Of the medal contenders, the trio of Russians did not disappoint. Maria Sotskova was having trouble in the warm up, falling twice on the triple lutz / triple toe loop combination, but nailed it when it counted. Anna Pogorilaya, last year’s bronze medal winner, skated with sophisticated passion. As expected, the defending world champion, Evgenia Medvedeva, made her routine look like a walk in the park. Everything looked easy, and she delighted the audience with a light and gentle performance.

The biggest surprise was that the two Canadian ladies, ended the day in second and third place. This season, Kaetlyn Osmond and Gabrielle Daleman, have shown tremendous improvement in their skating. Their routines, though entirely different, were equally exciting. Both have outstanding jumps, spins, speed, and presentation.

Should Osmond and Daleman maintain this intensity for the free skate, Canada has an excellent shot at not only making the podium here, but earning three spots for their ladies’ team heading into 2018.

At the press conference following the segment, the athletes seemed focussed, happy, and ready for the challenge.
Day One concluded with the pairs’ short program.

Australia’s Alexandrovskaya and Windsor skated early, but did not let the challenging draw affect them. Building on the momentum from winning the world junior title two weeks ago, the young team showed tremendous confidence and attack. Each of the seven elements was strong and assured.

Thanks to the strong international media coverage Katia and Harley have been receiving since taking that title, it seems that everyone in the building not only knows their story, the audience absolutely loved these new stars in the making. It was quite something to watch in person.

Other stand out routines were performed by Tae Ok Ryom and Ju Sik Kim (PRK), two Italian teams, Nicole Della Monica and Matteo Guarise, and Valentina Marchei and Andrej Hotarek, Canada’s Luibov Ilyushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch, and Natalia Zaiiako and Alexander Enbert of Russia.

All five teams broke both their season’s and personal bests.

Perhaps the biggest heartbreak was experienced by the new United States champions, Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier. Two falls, one from Frazier on the side by side triple salchow, and Denney, on the throw triple loop, combined with some negative grades of execution on the side by side spin combination, dropped them into 20th place and out of qualification.

Fortunately, their team mates, Alexa Scimeca - Knierim, and her husband, Chris Knierim, skated a powerful and flawless routine. Sitting in eighth place and earning a career - best score in the process, they will need to finish tenth or better to assure the United States two teams heading into 2018.

Three other teams in medal contention, Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres from France, Julianne Seguin and Charlie Bilodeau (CAN), and Russia’s Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov, all experienced problems.

James had a dramatic tumble on the triple twist lift, and Seguin couldn’t hold the landing of the throw triple lutz. Later, Klimov fell on the triple twist lift catch, with his partner, falling on the throw triple flip.

The stars of the field were China’s Wending Sui and Cong Han. Known for their outstanding technical skating, this time, they also offered a new standard in performance. The young team also broke their personal best score with a modern and innovative routine.

Second place went to Germany’s Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot. With a handful of teams struggling with the triple twist lift, it has to be said this team has the biggest one in the world. Together, they generated tremendous height with the element, earning +3 grades of execution from every judge.

Third went to the 2017 European Champions, Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morosov of Russia. Tarasova took a nasty fall in the morning practice, requiring ten stitches. It is a testament to their toughness that she was able register this kind of performance, let alone skate.

The final pair of the evening, Canada’s Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, were a question mark heading into today’s event. Radford was carrying a hip injury, resulting in crucial loss of points., when the team had to substitute their trademark side by side triple lutz jumps for easier triple toe loops.

Eric fought for the landing of the jump and later, Meagan touched down on the throw triple lutz. They are sitting in seventh place heading into today’s free skate.

The overall impression we are getting from this event is that, given Australia’s encouraging results this year, it is showing us that if our skaters want it enough, and are prepared to put in the hard years of training, that we are competitive with the other athletes on the world stage.

Australia’s skaters in Helsinki are not only outstanding ambassadors, they are proving to be wonderful role models for youngsters competing in, as well as considering trying, the sport back home.

Day Two continues with the men’s short program featuring Australia’s Brendan Kerry, and concludes with the pairs’ free skate.


2017 ISU World Figure Skating Championships - Day 2 Recap - Thursday March 30
In the morning session, thirty - six men took to the ice for the short program. That segment was followed in the evening, by the pairs’ free skating final.

Again, the standard of technical content continued to rise at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki. Final qualification in the men’s short rose a full four marks since the 2016 World Championships in Boston. The cut - off score to make the free was close to 70 points this year.

Brendan Kerry skated in Group Three, and he didn’t disappoint.

The twenty - two year old who trains in Southern California, registered not only a season’s best, but a personal best score. His routine, skated to ‘Singing In The Rain’, was everything this music requires, and more. Charming and happy - go - lucky, Kerry’s jumps, spins and footwork were all sublime. The opening quadruple toe loop was masterful, immediately followed by a triple lutz / triple toe loop combination. Later, Kerry landed his money jump, the triple axel, with total ease.

It was a total joy to watch live.

In the mixed zone following his skate, Kerry was on cloud nine. This is his highest ever placement at the world level. Currently thirteenth, his goal of qualifying Australia an Olympic spot next year, is a strong possibility.

Stand - out performances from the earlier skaters included a fine career comeback from Canada’s Kevin Reynolds, the first man in the world to land two different quadruple jumps in a short program. He repeated that feat here.

Sweden’s Alexander Majorov got the crowd clapping to his routine set to traditional folk music, while Deniss Vasilljevs was fluid and dynamic with his funk - inspired performance.

Denis Ten (KAZ) handed in a skate with his trademark flair. He looked solid and confident on every element, as did Russia’s Mikhail Kolyada.

As expected, it was a battle royale between the medal favourites. Boyang Jin from China got the audience excited with his Spiderman routine. The young skater matched his jumping prowess with animated abandon.

Both Nathan Chen (USA) and Yuzuru Hanyu struggled, but didn’t let that affect their level of performance, either. Chen fell on the triple axel linked from a spread eagle, and Hanyu touched down his free leg on the quadruple salchow. Both skaters are still in the hunt, respectively sitting in 6th and 5th.

Canada’s Patrick Chan was understated and elegant. Every element looked easy, and it has to be said his edges are the best in the world.

Japan’s Shoma Uno continues to capitalise on the momentum he started after winning bronze at the Grand Prix Series Final, and bronze again at the recent Four Continents Championships. This young man is ready to fight.

The defending world champion, Javier Fernandez from Spain, not only skated out of his skin, he registered a career - best score with 109.05 points.

Closing out the event, USA's Jason Brown showed why he is one of skating's finest artists. Though lacking a quadruple jump, that didn't matter. Everything was on point, and the performance level helped him earn a personal best score of 93.10 points. We can’t wait for Saturday’s final.

The pairs final had a few up and down moments, but some excellent routines were handed in as well.

Team Australia’s Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya and Harley Windsor achieved their goal of making the top sixteen. In their first season together, they exceeded their personal expectations by winning the World Junior Title, as well as adjusting to the demands of skating in senior competition. From here, the delightful team plan to take a short break, before heading back to the rink and building next year’s routines.

With the technical elements in place, the pair will be working hard to maintain and strengthen their consistency, as well as continuing to develop their program components. Windsor also mentioned that a quadruple twist lift could be in the works as well as side by side triple toe loop / triple toe loops.

Italy’s Valentina Marchei and Ondrej Hotarek handed in a playful and exciting routine, set to themes from James Bond and Mission Impossible. Marchei’s ending pose, where she mimed blowing out a hand gun, was the perfect touch!

Returning from injury, Canada’s Julianne Seguin and Charlie Bilodeau skated a soft and romantic free skate. This pair remind us very much of Barbara Underhill and Paul Martini, both in style and presentation. Their team mates, Liubov Ilyushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch also created an emotional mood, highlighting their routine with some innovative and creative lifts.

The defending world champions, Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford struggled on the throw quadruple salchow attempt. Otherwise, they skated a routine set to Non, je ne regrette rien, with elegance and maturity.
USA’s husband and wife team of Alexa Scimeca - Knierim and Chris Knierim wove their trademark magic with a powerful and dramatic routine to the music of Ghost. Apart from a small bobble on the side by side triple toe loops, they looked strong and smooth.

Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov (RUS), fought back from Wednesday’s disastrous short program. Their technically demanding free skate was ranked third best of the night, placing the team fifth overall.

The fight for the podium was between three teams.

The current Grand Prix Series Final and European Champions, Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, pulled out all the stops to take the bronze medal. Only a shaky dismount on their second last lift marred an otherwise difficult routine.

A close silver went to Germany’s Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot. They included a gigantic throw triple axel, and some outstanding lifts, in their gentle and emotional performance.

After taking silver for the past two seasons, China’s Wenjing Sui and Cong Han came through to win the title. Other than a fall from Sui on the side by side triple salchow, the couple mostly earned scores of two and three for grades of execution. Their skate, performed to Paul Simon’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, was magical to watch.

Competition continues on Day Three with the short dance and the ladies’ free skating final featuring Australia’s Kailani Craine.

2017 ISU World Figure Skating Championships - Day 3 Recap - Friday March 31
It would not be figure skating without high drama and surprises, and of course, the skaters didn’t disappoint.
Friday kicked off with the short dance. Much to the delight of the audience, it seems that almost everyone brought their best today.

Canada’s comeback team, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, skated early in the draw. Performing to a medley by Prince, they did not let their starting position affect the level of performance in any way. In fact, the team created a new world record for themselves, putting tremendous pressure on the remainder of the field.

Not even a pair of Russian and Italian teams, in particular, Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte, could catch them. The former world champions from 2014 are currently in 7th place heading into tomorrow’s free dance.

Of the other front - runners, the defending World Champions from France, Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume skated with their trademark elegance. However, a small bobble from Papadakis on the twiddle sequence cost them precious points.

They were immediately followed by three teams from the United States, in reverse order from how the couples finished at the National Championships in January. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue provided the biggest shock of the day, placing third with a technically demanding and emotionally strong performance.

Fourth and fifth went to their team mates, Madison Chock and Evan Bates, with the sibling pair, Maia and Alex Shibutani, right behind them. The fight for the podium is going to be very good.

Day Three concluded with the ladies’ free skating final.

Australians Kailani Craine skated in Group One. Splitting her training time between her home base in Newcastle, NSW and Southerna California, Craine achieved her goal here which was to make the top twenty - four. Giving a mature and understated performance, the capacity audience more than appreciated her work.

Following a slightly disappointing short program, Japan’s Mai Mihara came back strongly in the free skate. Skating with speed and typical Japanese deep knee bend, Mihara was completely in the zone. In fact, she produced a career best score for her free skate, bettering her mark by four points.

Italy’s Carolina Kostner had a slightly up and down performance, but still managed to entrance the crowd with a mature and soft routine. She finished the event in sixth place.

Two stars of the future, Elizabet Tyrsynbayeva (KAZ) and Dabin Choi (KOR), are skaters to watch. Each skated a clean routine, breaking their personal best scores in the process, as well as making the top ten.

Last year’s silver and bronze medal winners, Ashley Wagner and Anna Pogorilaya, each had their own set of challenges.

Wagner looked uncharacteristically nervous, and never seemed into her performance. Lacking speed and attack, these were compounded by under - rotations on several jump elements, costing her dearly. The twenty - five year old finished in seventh.

Sitting in a close fourth after the short, Pogorilaya seemed to sense that it had to be all or nothing. Her routine contained three dramatic falls, but to her credit, the Russian skater never gave up.

She ended her routine for some time curled up at centre ice, before leaving in tears. With the audience’s heartfelt encouragement, Pogorilaya did give everyone a smile afterwards in the Kiss & Cry. When she is on, the eighteen year old is beautiful to watch, and we are sure that tomorrow will be another day.

Making her debut here, Karen Chen from the USA silenced her critics, and for the most part, skated a solid and emotive performance. She finished in fourth.

The top three after the short program would also close of the event.

As expected, Evgenia Medvedeva from Russia was untouchable.

Once again, her consistency stood the teenager in good stead, and she was completely able to concentrate on the performance. To the surprise of no one, she broke her world record in the free skate and overall once again. Medvedeva won gold for the second year in a row.

Perhaps the most emotional performances of the night came from a pair of Canadian ladies.

Twenty years ago, that country was criticised for lacking skaters with the mental toughness needed to skate at this level. Not any more.

Gabrielle Daleman skated immediately after Medvedeva and, building on the energy in the house, skated ten points better than her previous career best. Daleman’s routine, set to Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue, was the perfect showcase for her jumping and spinning fireworks.

Lucky last went to her team - mate, Kaetlyn Osmond. Known for being a strong short program skater who struggles in the free, this time Osmond took her performance one element at a time. It was masterful to watch, and she finished with the silver medal.

We believe this is the first time in history two Canadian ladies have finished on the world podium, guaranteeing the country three spots heading into next year’s Olympic Games.

Competition ends today with the men’s free skating followed by the free dance.

2017 ISU World Figure Skating Championships - Day 4 Recap - Saturday April 1
Today, competition concluded in the men’s and dance events.

Of the early skaters, stand - out programs were handed in from Malaysia’s Julian Zhi Jie Yee, and one of our personal favourites, Misha Ge (UZB). Ge is apparently hanging up his competitive skates after this event. He will be missed.

Once again, Australia’s Brendan Kerry registered a personal best here, earning a career high for his free skating performance. The capacity audience really appreciated Kerry’s animated skate to the soundtrack from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’. He really sold the performance today.

Canada’s Kevin Reynolds produced close to a career best with a strong program containing four quadruple jumps. Other skaters to shine in the penultimate group included Israel’s Alexei Bychenko and USA’s Jason Brown.

Brown in particular, showed that even without a solid quadruple jump, that the audience still appreciated great skating. He interpretation to the soundtrack from the film, ‘The Piano’, was spellbinding.

In the last group it was clear that if you didn’t have multiple quad jumps, you weren’t in the running. Yuzuru Hanyu from Japan retained his title with a performance that was not only technically magnificent, his performance was one for the ages. Rewarded accordingly, it was a world record - breaking score. His team - mate, Shoma Uno, was equally as strong, and took the silver medal.

Booing Jin repeated as the world bronze medallist. His presentation and skating skills are both much improved since Boston.

Nathan Chen from the USA cited boot issues for the problems he had at this event. Scheduled to land six quadruple jumps, he nevertheless landed four, and finished the event in sixth place.

Canada’s Patrick Chan was very good as well, and held onto fifth place, while the defending champion, Javier Fernandez, struggled today and dropped to fourth.

Overall, it was a privilege to watch the standard rise yet again.

Dance proved to be drama to the very finish. It is clear that the current judging system requires skaters to perform all out if they hope to do well. With so many couples in a virtual tie after the short dance, there were some fine performances as well as some disappointments.

Of the early skaters, China’s Shiyue Wang and Xinyu Liu were cute and playful. Skating to a medley from the film, “New York. New York’, the couple delighted the crowd with their showmanship and elegance.

Italy’s Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri demonstrated ballet and precision with a modern take on the Pas de demux from ‘The Nutcracker’, while the 2014 World Champions, Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte (ITA) gave a sublime tribute to the music of Charlie Chaplin.

Canada’s Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje were on the comeback trail with a passionate and dramatic free dance to Concerto de Aranjuez, while the two Russian teams of Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin, and Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Solovjev were powerful and fast.

Maia and Alex Shibutani moved up for bronze with a soft and emotional program to Evolution by Anne Akiko Meyers and Akira Eguchi.

The battle for gold was between three team with France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, winning the free dance with a record - breaking score, and taking silver. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (CAN), won the title, but it wasn’t a perfect skate. Moir stumbled slightly in a side by side step sequence.

The heartbreak kids of the evening were Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue. With a medal for the taking, Donohue took a hard fall on the twizzle sequence. The couple dropped from third place to ninth. Their program, despite the error, was still beautiful.

Thank you for joining us this week. Until next time, ‘Happy spectating’.

Event Preview
March 29 - April 2
2017 ISU World Figure Skating Championships

Thirty - seven men, thirty - eight ladies, thirty - three dance couples and twenty - nine pair teams will compete for cash prizes, podium placements and personal bests at the 2017 World Figure Skating Championships.

Helsinki, the capital of Finland, has been selected to host this year’s competition. The World Championships were last staged in the gateway to Scandinavia eighteen years ago, and prior to that, in 1983.

Australia is sending a very strong quartet consisting of one lady and one man, and one pair to the event.

This meet is an excellent opportunity for our athletes to gain important international exposure, in the lead - up to next year’s Olympic Winter Games. It should be noted that the 2017 World Figure Skating Championships are also the key qualifying event for Pyeongchang 2018.

Consideration for a place at the games is limited and with competition especially fierce this year, it is crucial that everyone brings their very best form to make the free skate final. Essentially, that means skating a mistake - free short program.

Team Australia: Ladies’ Singles

Kailani Craine is a three - time National Senior Champion.

Earlier this season she won bronze at the Volvo Open Cup in Riga, Latvia, and silver at the Challenger Series Warsaw Cup in Poland. Craine earned a career - high of 110.07 points for her free skate at the latter event.

Last month at the Four Continents Championships in Taipei City, Taiwan, the athlete was further rewarded with a personal best score for her short program.

Splitting her training schedule between Sydney and Los Angeles, Craine is coached in the United States by former U.S. Ladies’ Champion and 2 - Time World Bronze Medallist, Tiffany Chin.

This year Craine and her team have assembled two new routines that showcase a high level of technical difficulty, as well as strong musical awareness.

Both programs could not be more different. Craine’s short is skated to a jazz / hip – hop cover of ‘Dream A Little Dream Of Me’, and her free is set to ‘Hallelujah’ by Leonard Cohen.

Team Australia: Men's Singles

Brendan Kerry is a 5 - Time National Men’s Senior Champion.

He is also based in the United States, working with Tammy Gambill in Southern California. Her other students include the 2017 United States Senior Ladies’ Champion, Karen Chen, and the 2017 United States Senior Men’s Runner – Up, Vincent Zhou.

Kerry’s hard work is paying dividends this season, earning three official personal best scores (short, free, and combined overall) at the recent Four Continents Championships. He is also landing two different quadruple jumps in competition, and has previewed a third, the loop, on Instagram.

His team have created two outstanding routines that bring out the skater’s performance skills. ‘Singing In The Rain’ shows Kerry’s happy - go - lucky side for the short, and ‘Pirates of The Caribbean’ highlights his theatrical passion and power.

Team Australia: Pairs


Skating together for little over a year together, Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya and Harley Windsor have made an immediate impression on the international scene. They also compete at the junior level, creating history by being the first Australians to win gold at an ISU championship Grand Prix event.

The couple include all of the big tricks in their programs such as side by side triple jumps, complex lifts, fast spins, and strong throws. For such a short time in tandem, the young team already have excellent on – ice appeal, using Adele’s ‘Skyfall’ for their short and the soundtrack from ‘W.E’ for the free.

Alexandrovskaya and Windsor split their training between Sydney and Moscow, Russia.

The Race To The Podium
The men’s event will likely be a showdown between Spain’s five - time European Champion, Javier Fernandez, Yuzuru Hanyu and Shoma Uno (both from Japan), and the man of the hour, Nathan Chen (U.S.A.).

Chen made history at his national championships by becoming the first man to land seven quadruple jumps (two in the short program and five in the free skate) at a single event. He repeated that feat at the recent Four Continents Championship, not only winning the competition on his first try, but beating Hanyu and Uno in that order for the gold.

Other skaters in the mix include Canada’s Patrick Chan, China’s Boyang Jin and Han Yan, Mikhail Kolyada and Maxim Kovtun from Russia, and Jason Brown from the United States.

Taking world gold at her first attempt in 2016, Russia’s Evgenia Medvedeva has been unstoppable since.  The teenage phenom’s stellar winning streak includes a pair of European titles, two Grand Prix Final wins, as well as taking the senior national title twice. Quickly earning a reputation as this generation’s Katarina Witt, Medvedeva loves to compete.  Barring an unlikely mishap, the crown is hers to retain.

A five – time European Champion, 2012 World Champion, and 2014 Olympic Bronze Medallist, Carolina Kostner (Italy) made a triumphant return to competition this season after a three - year absence.  Winning bronze at the recent European Championships, the thirty - year old dazzled audiences in Ostrava with her elegant presence. 

Other challengers for the podium in Helsinki include Russia’s Anna Pogorilaya and Maria Sotskova, and the recent winner of the Four Continents Championship, Japan’s Mai Mihara. Look out for Satoko Miyahara (JPN), Ashley Wagner (USA), Gabrielle Daleman (CAN), Dabin Choi (KOR) and Laurine Lecavelier (FRA) to make an impression as well.

Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir also made a comeback to eligible international competition.  This season, the team not only won every event they entered, Virtue and Moir broke world records for both the short and free dance.

Their biggest rivals for the title are also the Canadian’s training mates.  Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France, ranked second to Virtue and Moir at the Grand Prix Series Final in December, will be hungry to retain their world crown.

Bronze will likely be a race between Maia and Alex Shibutani , as well as Madison Chock and Evan Bates (both from the U.S.A.), Italy’s Anna Capellini and Luca Lanotte, and Russia’s Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev.

Canada’s Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford are the current two - time and defending pairs’ champions. Known for their big tricks, elements such as side by side triple lutz jumps and a throw quadruple salchow helped the couple secure world gold in 2015 and last year.

This year their biggest rivals, as well as some emerging teams, are stepping up to the plate and matching the North Americans element for element.

China’s Wenjing Sui & Cong Han recently returned to competition, winning gold at Four Continents.  Their compatriots, Xiaoyu Yu and Hao Zhang took silver at the 2016/17 Grand Prix Series Final.

Russia’s Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov are the new European Champions.  In December, they won the 2016/17 Grand Prix Series Final, but were beaten by Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov at the Russian National Championships.

Germany’s Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot won silver for the second year in a row at the European Championships, and are aiming to improve upon the bronze medal they won at the 2016 World Championships in Boston.

Other teams to look out for include Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres (FRA), Liubov Ilyushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch (CAN), Natalia Zabiiako and Alexander Enbert (RUS), and Anna Duskova and Martin Bidar (CZE).

Click here for the list of competitors, the event timetable and results links. Click here for the official website.

aussieSKATES: Figure Skating DownUnder will be posting practice reports and daily recaps in person at the Hartwall Arena. We will also do our best to source and post You Tube & Daily Motion program highlights to our Facebook page following each day of competition.

The event officially begins on Wednesday March 29.

 
Date Event Starting Times Scheduled Events
     
Wednesday March 29 10:15am Ladies’ Short Program
  5:15pm Opening Ceremony
  6:10pm Pairs’ Short Program
     
Thursday March 30 12:30pm Men’s Short Program
  6:55pm Pairs' Free Skate
     
Friday March 31 11:00am Short Dance
  6:00pm Ladies’ Free Skate
     
Saturday April 1 10:50am Men’s Free Skate
  4:35pm Free Dance
     
Sunday April 2 2:00pm Gala Exhibition
 
Team Australia Members    
     
Men Brendan Kerry 2014 Winter Olympian
    3 – Time World Team Member
    7 – Time Four Continents Team Member
    5 – Time National Champion
     
Ladies Kailani Craine 2016 World Team Member
    3 – Time Four Continents Team Member
    3 – Time National Champion
     
Pairs Katia Alexandrovskaya 2016 JGP Tallinn Cup Champions
  Harley Windsor 2016/17 JGP Final - 5th
    2017 Four Continents Team Members
    2017 World Junior Team Members
    2016/17 National Champions
 
Our Medal Picks    
     
Men United States of America Nathan Chen
  Japan Yuzuru Hanyu
  Spain Javier Fernandez
     
Ladies Russia Evgenia Medvedeva
  Italy Carolina Kostner
  Japan Mai Mihara
     
Pairs China Wenjing Sui & Cong Han
  Russia Evgenia Tarasova & Vladimir Morozov
  Canada Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford
     
Dance Canada Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir
  France Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizero
  United States of America Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani

Event Preview
March 15 - 19
2017 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships

Forty - five men, forty - five ladies, thirty - one dance and sixteen pair teams will compete for cash prizes, podium placements and personal bests at the 2017 World Junior Figure Skating Championships.

Taipei City in Taiwain has been selected to stage this prestigious competition for the very first time. (It may be noted that the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships were held there in 2011, 2014, and 2016.)

Australia will be using this event as a good opportunity for its athletes to gain important international exposure. We are sending one ladies' single, one men's single, one dance couple, and one pair team.

Team Australia: Men's Singles

South Australia's James Min is a three - time Australian Junior Men's Champion.

An experienced veteran on the Junior Grand Prix and International Skating circuit, the highly talented sixteen year old recently won his third national title with a pair of commanding performances.

Team Australia: Ladies' Singles

Making her World Junior debut, Holly Harris is definitely on the fast - track. In 2015, she was the Australian Novice Ladies' Champion, and in December last year, won the national junior crown. Harris has already caught the attention of international judges and sports commentators alike, for both her complex artistry and fierce competitive spirit.

Team Australia: Dance

Matilda Friend and William Badaoui make their second trip in a row to the World Junior Championships. In 2015, they were Australian Junior Dance Champions, following that up in 2016 with a win on their first try at the national senior level. The couple recently earned personal bests for both their short and free dance programs at the Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan.

Team Australia: Pairs

It is no secret that Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya and Harley Windsor have been the talk of the junior global skating circuit. Appearing virtually from nowhere, the team paired up in January 2016 and have had immediate international success together.

The Race To The Podium

Medals in all four disciplines are expected to be shared between Australia, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States of America.

In the men's event, look out for Russia's Dmitri Aliev to bring home gold. Aliev recently placed first at the 2016/17 Junior Grand Prix Series Final.

His biggest rivals to challenge for the title will likely be from team - mate, Alexander Samarin, South Korea’s Jun Hwan Cha, and the defending World Junior Champion from Israel, Daniel Samohin. Other skaters in the mix for medals include Vincent Zhou and Alexei Krasnozhon (both from the USA), Deniss Vasiljevs (LAT), and Nicolas Nadeau (CAN).

In the ladies’ event, Russia’s Alina Zagitova has dominated the junior international scene this year, culminating in a huge win at the 2016/17 Junior Grand Prix Series Final. Zagitova may also be a future force on the senior level, having placed a strong second to the current world champion, Evgenia Medvedeva, at the recent Russian National Championships.

Her strongest competition at this event will likely come from two team - mates, Polina Tsurskaya, and Stanislava Konstantinova. Competitors to watch out for include the defending Japanese World Junior Champion, Marin Honda, Kaori Sakamoto, also from Japan, Kazakhstan's Elizabet Tursynbaeva, and Bradie Tennell (USA).

In dance, Rachel and Michael Parsons are aiming to continue their momentum into this event, having won the 2016/17 Junior Grand Prix Final and the 2017 United States Junior Championship Crown. Their team - mates and the defending World Junior Champions, Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter, will be looking to claim a second victory.

Four dance teams also in the hunt include Russia’s Alla Lobodva and Pavel Drozd, Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarkenko (USA), Angelique Abachkina & Louis Thauron (FRA) and Anastasia Shpilevaya and Grigory Smirnov, also from Russia.

Two key pair teams will not be competing in Taipei City.

The current World Junior Champions from the Czech Republic, Anna Duskova and Martin Bidaf, have permanently moved up to the senior ranks, and the 2016/17 Junior Grand Prix Series Final winners from Russia, Anastasia Mishina & Vladislav Mirzoev, are rumoured to have split up.

In their shared absence, and combined with a fifth - place finish at the 2016/16 Junior Grand Prix Final, puts our own Alexandrovskaya and Windsor in a firm medal position. The Australians’ strongest rivals for the podium are three teams from Russia, Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitri Kolovskii, Alina Ustimkina and Nikita Volodin, and Amina Atakhanova and Ilia Spiridonov.

Click here for the official website.

Click here for the list of competitors, the event timetable and results links.

aussieSKATES: Figure Skating DownUnder will also do our best to source You Tube & Daily Motion event highlights which we will post to our Facebook page following each day of competition.

Official competition begins on Wednesday March 15.

 
Date Event Starting Times Scheduled Events
     
Wednesday March 15 10:30am Men’s Short Program
  6:15pm Opening Ceremony
  7:00pm Pairs’ Short Program
     
Thursday March 16 11:30am Short Dance
  5:50pm Men’s Free Skate
     
Friday March 17 11:00am Ladies’ Short Program
  7:30pm Pairs' Free Skate
     
Saturday March 18 11:30am Free Dance
  4:00pm Ladies’ Free Skate
     
Sunday March 19 3:00pm Gala Exhibition
 
Team Australia    
     
Men James Min 3 - Time National Junior Champion
    2015 & 2016 World Junior Team Member
     
Ladies Holly Harris 2016/17 National Junior Champion
    2nd Place - 2016/17 Volvo Open Cup
     
Dance Matilda Friend 2015/16 National Junior Champions
  William Badaoui 2016 World Junior Team Members
     
Pairs Katia Alexandrovskaya ISU JGP Series Tallinn Cup Champions
  Harley Windsor 2016/17 National Senior Pairs' Champions
 
Our Medal Picks    
     
Men Russia Dmitri Aliev
  United States of America Vincent Zhou
  South Korea Jun Hwan Cha
     
Ladies Russia Alina Zagitova
  Russia Polina Tsurskaya
  Japan Marin Honda
     
Pairs Russia Aleksandra Boikova & Dmitri Kozlovskii
  Russia Alina Ustimkina & Nikita Volodin
  Australia Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya & Harley Windsor
     
Dance United States of America Rachel Parsons & Michael Parsons
  United States of America Lorraine McNamara & Quinn Carpenter
  Russia Alla Lobodva & Pavel Drozd

Event Preview

February 15 - 19

2017 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships

Twenty - six men, twenty - three ladies, sixteen dance couples and fifteen pair teams will compete for cash prizes, podium placements and personal bests at the 2017 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships.

Exactly one year from now, Pyeongchang in South Korea will be staging the XXIII Olympic Winter Games. Using their brand new Gangneung Ice Arena as the host venue, this competition has been selected as the official test event for next year’s games.

The top nations in contention for medals at Four Continents include Canada, China, Japan, and the United States of America. Each of these countries have sent their very best skaters in preparation for Pyeongchang.

Four Continents is also a good opportunity for Team Australia to gain important international exposure in the lead up to 2018. Featuring a mix of veterans and rookies new to the senior international circuit, our Four Continents representatives include three men, two ladies, three dance teams and one pair.

Click here for the official website.

Click here for the list of competitors, the event timetable and results links.

aussieSKATES: Figure Skating DownUnder will also do our best to source You Tube & Daily Motion event highlights which we will post to our Facebook Page following each day of competition.

You may also catch event highlights on demand via the SBS TV Australia website at a later date.

Official competition begins on Thursday February 16.

 
Team Australia Members    
     
Men Andrew Dodds 3 – Time Four Continents Team Member
     
  Brendan Kerry 2014 Winter Olympian
    3 – Time World Team Member
    6 – Time Four Continents Team Member
    3 – Time World Junior Team Member
    5 – Time National Champion
     
  Mark Webster 3 – Time World Team Member
    4 – Time Four Continents Team Member
    2010/11 National Champion
     
Ladies Kailani Craine 2016 World Team Member
    2 – Time Four Continents Team Member
    2 – Time World Junior Team Member
    3 – Time National Champion
     
  Brooklee Han 2014 Winter Olympian
    3 – Time World Team Member
    4 – Time Four Continents Team Member
    3 – Time World Junior Team Member
    2013/14 National Champion
     
Dance Matilda Friend 2016 Four Continents Team Members
  William Badaoui 2016 World Junior Team Members
    2016/17 National Champions
    2015/16 National Junior Champions
     
  Kimberley Hew - Low 2016/17 National Championships - 3rd
  Timothy McKernan  
     
  Adele Morrison 2016/17 National Championships - 2nd
  Demid Rokachev  
     
Pairs Katia Alexandrovskaya 2016 JGP Tallinn Cup Champions
  Harley Windsor 2016/17 JGP Final - 5th
    2016/17 National Champions
 
Skaters to watch    
     
Men Patrick Chan (CAN) 2014 Olympic Winter Games - 2nd
    3 - Time World Champion
    3 - Time Four Continents Champion
    9 - Time National Champion
     
  Nam Nguyen (CAN) 2015 World Championships - 5th
    2015 National Championships - 1st
    2014 World Junior Championships - 1st
     
  Kevin Reynolds (CAN) 2013 Four Continents Champion
    2010 Four Continents Championships - 3rd
     
  Shoma Uno (JPN) 2016/17 Grand Prix Final - 3rd
    2016/17 National Champion
    2015 World Junior Champion
     
  Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) 2014 Olympic Winter Games Champion
    2014 World Champion
    4 - Time Grand Prix Series Final Champion
    4 - Time National Champion
     
  Boyang Jin (CHN) 2016 World Championships - 3rd
    2016 Four Continents Championships - 2nd
    4 - Time National Champion
     
  Han Yan (CHN) 2016 Four Continents Championships - 3rd
    2015 Four Continents Championships - 3rd
    2013 Four Continents Championships - 3rd
    2012 World Junior Champion
     
  Nathan Chen (USA) 2016/17 Grand Prix Final - 2nd
    2017 National Champion
     
  Jason Brown (USA) 2015 World Championships - 4th
    2015 National Champion
     
Ladies Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN) 2016/17 Grand Prix Final - 4th
    3 - Time National Champion
     
  Zijun Li (CHN) 2014 Four Continents Championships - 3rd
    4 - Time National Champion
     
  Wakaba Higuchi (JPN) 2016/17 National Championships - 2nd
    2016 World Junior Championships - 3rd
    2015 World Junior Championships - 3rd
     
  Rika Hongo (JPN) 2016 Four Continents Championships - 3rd
    2015 Four Continents Championships- 3rd
     
  Karen Chen (USA) 2017 National Champion
     
  Mariah Bell (USA) 2017 National Championships - 3rd
    2016 Grand Prix Skate America - 2nd
     
  Mirai Nagasu (USA) 2016 Four Continents Championships - 2nd
    2010 Olympic Winter Games - 4th
     
Dance    
  Tessa Virtue 2016/17 Grand Prix Final Champions
  Scott Moir (CAN) 2010 Olympic Winter Games Champions
    2 - Time World Champions
    2 - Time Four Continents Champions
    7 - Time National Champions
     
  Kaitlin Weaver 2 - Time Grand Prix Final Champions
  Andrew Poje (CAN) 2015 World Championships - 3rd
    2014 World Championships - 2nd
    2016 Four Continents Championships - 3rd
    2015 Four Continents Champions
    2 - Time National Champions
     
  Piper Gilles 2014 Four Continents Championships - 2nd
  Paul Poirier (CAN)  
     
  Maia Shibutani 2016/17 Grand Prix Final - 3rd
  Alex Shibutani (USA) 2016 World Championships - 2nd
    2011 World Championships - 3rd
    2016 Four Continents Champions
    2 - Time National Champions
     
  Madison Chock 2016 World Championships - 3rd
  Evan Bates (USA) 2015 World Championships - 2nd
    2016 Four Continents Championships - 2nd
    2015 Four Continents Championships - 2nd
    2015 National Champions
     
  Madison Hubbell 2016/17 Grand Prix Final - 5th
  Zachary Donohue (USA) 2014 Four Continents Champions
     
Pairs Meagan Duhamel 2 - Time World Champions
  Eric Radford (CAN) 2016/17 Grand Prix Final - 3rd
    2015/16 Grand Prix Final - 2nd
    2014/15 Grand Prix Final Champions
    2 - Time Four Continents Champions
    6 - Time National Champions
     
  Wenjing Sui 2 - Time World Silver Medallists
  Cong Han (CHN) 3 - Time Four Continents Champions
     
  Xiaoyu Yu 2016/17 Grand Prix Final - 2nd
  Hao Zang (CHN)  
   
  Cheng Peng 2016/17 Grand Prix Final - 6th
  Yang Jin (CHN) 2016/17 National Champions
     
  Alexa Scimeca Knierim 2016 Four Continents Championships - 2nd
  Chris Knierim (USA) 2014 Four Continents Championships - 3rd
    2015 National Champions
 
Date Event Running Times Scheduled Events
     
Thursday February 16 11.00am - 1.27pm Short Dance
  2.15pm - 4.37pm Pairs’ Short Program
  5.30pm Opening Ceremony
  6.30pm - 9.44pm Ladies’ Short Program
     
Friday February 17 1.30pm - 4.47pm Free Dance
  5.45pm - 9.55pm Men’s Short Program
     
Saturday February 18 2.00pm - 4.51pm Pairs’ Free Skate
  6.00pm - 9.47pm Ladies’ Free Skate
     
Sunday February 19 11.00am - 3.07pm Men’s Free Skate
  5.30pm - 8.00pm Gala Exhibition
 
Our Medal Picks    
     
Men Japan Yuzuru Hanyu
  United States of America Nathan Chen
  Canada Patrick Chan
     
Ladies Canada Kaetlyn Osmond
  Japan Wakaba Higuchi
  United States of America Karen Chen
     
Pairs China Xiaoyu Yu & Hao Zhang
  Canada Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford
  China Wenjing Sui & Cong Han
     
Dance Canada Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir
  United States of America Maia & Alex Shibutani
  United States of America Madison Chock & Evan Bates

Event Recap

2016 Australian National Figure Skating Championships / November 25 - December 2

Day Seven Highlights - Friday December 2
Today was the seventh and final day of competition at the Australian National Figure Skating Championships from Docklands in Melbourne.

The events being contested were the Junior & Senior Free Dance, as well as the Senior Ladies’ & Senior Men’s Free Skating.

Anastasia Ozerova & Nicholas McCreary (NSW) finished the Junior Dance event in first place. Jessica Palfreyman & Charlton Doherty (QLD) placed second, with Courtney Tyerman & Beau McElroy (NSW) placing third.

After winning the Junior Title last year, Matilda Friend & William Badaoui (NSW) took their first senior title in dance. Silver went to Adele Morrison & Demid Rokachev (NSW), with bronze going to Kimberley Hew - Low & Timothy McKernan (NSW).

Kailani Craine (NSW) moved up to first place with a solid and musical skate, winning the Senior Ladies’ Title. Claiming a segment score of 98.31 points, Craine earned a total score of 157.66 points. Close behind in second place, Brooklee Han (QLD) also skated with elegance and grace. Noted for her world - class spins, Han once again earned level four for each of these free skating elements. Bronze went to Katie Pasfield from New South Wales.

In the Senior Men’s Event, Brendan Kerry (NSW) held onto first place with an excellent free skating performance.

His complex routine skating to the rousing movie soundtrack from “The Pirates of the Caribbean” included two triple axels and a quadruple toe loop attempt. Earning a segment score of 144.83 points, Kerry’s combined total was 225.84 points. Buoyed by the high of winning the junior men’s title yesterday, James Min (SA) took the silver medal while Andrew Dodds (QLD) won bronze.

Day Six Highlights - Thursday December 1

With the pairs events now complete, today it was all business as athletes in the remaining junior and senior divisions competed for personal bests, podium placements and international assignments.

None of the top contenders held back. In the lead - up to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, skaters were striving particularly for precious berths on the upcoming Four Continents, Junior & Senior World Championships squads.

Holly Harris (NSW) maintained her lead in the Junior Ladies’ Event to claim the national title.

Unlike yesterday’s solid short program, she faced several technical challenges today. But showing experience beyond her years, the teenager never backed away from her trademark elegance and artistry. Silver went to Jordan Lazarus (NSW) and bronze to Amelia Jackson (QLD).

James Min (SA) won the Junior Men’s Event with a personal best skate. The diminutive sixteen year old is in his third year on the international circuit, and that experience paid off in spades today with a fantastic free skate. Min landed seven triple jumps as well as two double axels, earning a segment score of 123.94 points for a total of 184.70 points.

Silver and bronze went to two skaters from Queensland, Darian Kaptich and Charlton Doherty. Doherty, it should be noted, is also doing double duty in the junior dance event.

Five teams skated in the Junior Short Dance category.

Two teams in particular, drew on their solid international experience so far this season. Anastasia Ozerova & Nicholas McCreary (NSW) are in first place with Jessica Palfreyman & Charlton Doherty (QLD) close behind in second.

Queensland’s Brooklee Han made a coaching change this year and is now training in Dallas, Texas with Peter & Darlene Cain.

The switch appears to have paid - off as she is in first place after the Senior Ladies’ Short Program with 59.45 points. Including a big triple lutz in combination with the double toe loop, Han also landed a smooth triple salchow out of steps as well as a strong double axel. Her outstanding trademark spins as well as the straight line step sequence were all marked at Level 4, and given positive grades of execution from the judging panel.
Mere decimal points behind in second, Kailani Craine (NSW) skated to a pleasing combination of big band and hip hop music, earning 59.35 points. Crane’s combination was a solid triple flip / double toe loop. Her solo jump was the triple loop.

Brendan Kerry (NSW) was the clear leader in the Senior Men’s Short Program, earning 81.01 points. Skating with confidence and power, Kerry not only gave a technically commanding performance, he backed up elements like a quadruple salchow out of steps and a strong triple axel with excellent showmanship.

Queensland’s Andrew Dodds skated with balletic elegance, earning 60.24 points. Skating at the national senior level for the first time, James Min (SA) is in third place with 58.21 points.

Four teams all from New South Wales contested the Senior Short Dance. With little over a point separating the top three, Adele Morrison & Demid Rokachev are in first place. Matilda Friend & William Badaoui are in second, and Kimberley Hew - Low & Timothy McKernan lie third.

Competition concludes tomorrow with the Junior Free Dance, the Senior Free Dance, the Senior Ladies’ Free Skate, and the Senior Men’s Free Skate.

Day Five Highlights - Wednesday November 30

On Day Five of the Australian National Figure Skating Championships from Docklands in Melbourne, Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya & Harley Windsor (NSW) maintained their lead after the short program with a solid free program packed with technical and choreographic content.

Highlights included a split triple twist lift, side by side triple toe loop / double toe loop / double toe loops, and a throw triple lutz, earning the young team a segment score of 92.93 points for a total of 153.04 points.
Queenland’s Paris Stephens & Matthew Dodds performed with confidence and attack, earning a segment score of 60.89 points for a total of 90.02 points.

Jessica Rotondo & Ryan Dodds (QLD) skated well in the junior pairs division, earning a total competition score of 75.92 points.

After winning the Australian Novice Ladies’ Championship last year, Holly Harris (NSW) is in first place after the Junior Ladies’ Short Program. Skating with balletic precision and grace, she hit all of the elements to earn a segment score of 48.79 points.

Two other skaters from New South Wales, Jordan Lazarus and Shania Sime, placed second and third, with Queensland’s Amelia Jackson and South Australia’s Ashley Colliver still in the hunt for the podium, currently standing in fourth and fifth spot.

James Min from South Australia leads the junior men’s event with 60.76 points. Two strong skaters from Queensland, Darian Kaptich and Charlton Doherty, are currently in second and third place.

The Advanced Novice Ladies’ Championship was convincingly won by last year’s silver medallist, Corina Ormston from Queensland. Skating with power and precision, her elegant program included two double axels as well as some intricate spins and footwork. Silver went to Milan Whitsed (WA) while Danielle Gebser (NSW) held on to third place for the bronze.

Hektor Giotopoulous - Moore (NSW) earned a combined total of 101.27 points to win the Advanced Novice Men’s Championship. Silver went to Juan Camilo Yusti (VIC) with 87.67 points, and bronze to Sam Gillard (NSW) with 84.51 points.

Competition continues on Day Six with the Junior Ladies’ Free Skate, the Junior Men’s Free Skate, the Basic & Advanced Novice Free Dance, the Junior Short Dance, the Senior Short Dance, the Senior Men’s Short Program, and the Senior Ladies’ Short Program.

Day Four Highlights - Tuesday November 29

On Day Four of the Australian National Figure Skating Championships from Docklands in Melbourne, Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya & Harley Windsor (NSW) skated a sharp and powerful short program.

Their elements included a split triple twist lift, a throw triple lutz, and side by side triple toe loops, earning the senior pair 60.11 points.

Paris Stephens & Matthew Dodds (QLD) had a few challenges, finishing second with 29.13 points.

Jessica Rotondo & Ryan Dodds (QLD) were solid in the junior pairs' short program, earning 31.99 points.
Other highlights for today included a clean skate from Corina Ormston (QLD) in the Advanced Novice Ladies' Short Program. She leads that event with 33.34 points.

Event Preview

March 28 - April 3

2016 ISU World Figure Skating Championships

Thirty - one men, thirty - eight ladies, thirty dance couples and twenty - two pair teams will compete for cash prizes, podium placements and personal bests at the 2016 World Figure Skating Championships.

This year, Boston, Massachusetts has been selected to stage the competition. The United States of America has hosted the event on twelve previous occasions.

Australia will be using this meet as a good opportunity for its athletes to gain important international exposure in the lead - up to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. We are sending two singles skaters, one lady and one man, to the event.

Team Australia: Ladies’ Singles

Making her debut at the Senior World level, Kailani Craine is a two - time National Senior and four - time National Junior Ladies’ Champion. Six months shy of eighteen, Craine is already a veteran on the international circuit, and shares the same birthday as the former Japanese World Ladies’ Champion, Midori Ito.

Splitting her training schedule between Sydney and Los Angeles, Craine is coached in the United States by former U.S. Ladies’ Champion and 2 - Time World Bronze Medallist, Tiffany Chin.

At the recent Four Continents Championships in Taipei City, Craine earned the highest free skating score ever for an Australian female, with 108.80 points.

Known for her confidence, speed and attack, Craine is also a crowd - pleasing performer. A solid jumper, watch out for her triple loop - half loop - triple salchow combination. Earlier this season, Craine also attempted the triple lutz / triple loop combination in competition, too.

Team Australia: Men's Singles

Brendan Kerry is a 4 - Time National Men’s Senior Champion. He is also based in the United States, working with Tammy Gambill in Southern California. Kerry’s training mates include Richard Dornbush and Tyler Pierce.

In his ISU Grand Prix debut last October at Skate America, Kerry had a breakthrough free skate, earning 138.07 points. At his best, Kerry has one of the best triple axels and quadruple toe loops in the world. Look out for him to try them both in the short program and free skate.

The Race To The Podium

The men’s event is shaping up to be a tense battle between Patrick Chan (Canada), Javier Fernandez (Spain), Denis Ten (Kazakhstan), Yuzuru Hanyu & Shoma Uno (both from Japan), and Boying Jin & Han Yan (both from China).

Hanyu made history at the recent Grand Prix Final, with world record - scoring performances in both the short program (110.05 points) and free skate (219.48 points), and a combined total of 330.43 points. His training partner, Fernandez, also broke the 200 point barrier at the same event in the free skate with 201.43 points.

Returning to eligible competition after a two - year hiatus, Chan fought back from fifth place in the short program at the 2016 Four Continents Championships with a career - best performance free skate.

Russia’s Evgenia Medvedeva is the overwhelming favourite to take the ladies’ title. In this her senior debut season, she won Skate America, the Grand Prix Final, and the European Championships.

Her strongest competition should be from her team - mate, Elena Radionova, (2016 European Silver Medallist, 2015 World Bronze Medallist), Japan’s Satoko Miyahara (2016 Four Continents Champion, 2015 World Silver Medallist), Mao Asada (the 2014 World Champion) and a pair of U.S. skaters, Gracie Gold and Ashley Wagner.

Shockingly, the 2015 World Champion, Russia’s Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, skated less than her best at the Russian National Championships qualifying event, and did not make the world team.

Dance will be a showdown between the defending World and 2 - Time European Champions, Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron of France, the current Grand Prix Champions, Canada’s Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje, the new U.S. National & Four Continents Champions, Maia & Alex Shibutani from the U.S, and the 2014 World Champions, Italy’s Anna Capellini & Luca Lanotte. Other skaters in consideration are Madison Chock & Evan Bates (U.S.A), Italy’s Charlene Guignard & Marco Fabbri, and Canada’s Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier.

Potentially the most exciting division this year, pairs sees the return of Russia’s 2014 Olympic Champions, Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov. The husband and wife team recently won gold at the European Championships, and will likely be challenged for the title by their compatriots and training mates, Ksenia Stolbova & Fedor Klimov (2015/16 Grand Prix Final winners), the defending World Champions, Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford (Canada), China’s 2016 Four Continents Champions, Wenjing Sui & Cong Han, and home town favourites, Alexa Scimeca & Chris Knierim.

Click here for the official website.

Click here for the list of competitors, the event timetable and results links.

aussieSKATES: Figure Skating DownUnder will also do our best to source You Tube & Daily Motion event highlights which we will post to our Facebook page following each day of competition.

Official competition begins on Wednesday March 28.

Team Australia    
     
Men Brendan Kerry 4 - Time National Senior Champion
    2014 Olympic Team Member
     
Ladies Kailani Craine 2 - Time National Senior Champion
    2 - Time Four Continents Team Member
    2 - Time World Junior Team Member

Our Medal Picks    
     
Men Japan Yuzuru Hanyu
  Spain Javier Fernanez
  Canada Patrick Chan
     
Ladies Russia Evgenia Medvedeva
  Japan Satoko Miyahara
  Russia Elena Radionova
     
Pairs Russia Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov
  Russia Ksenia Stolbova & Fedor Klimov
  China Wenjing Sui & Cong Han
     
Dance France Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizero
  United States of America Maia & Alex Shibutani
  Italy Anna Capellini & Luca Lanotte


March 16 - 20

2016 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships

Thirty - nine men, forty - six ladies, thirty - one dance and fifteen pair teams will compete for cash prizes, podium placements and personal bests at the 2016 World Junior Figure Skating Championships.

This year, the European city of Debrecen, Hungary has been selected to stage the competition. Hungary previously hosted the event in 1991 and 1995.

Australia will be using this event as a good opportunity for its athletes to gain important international exposure. We are sending one ladies' single, one men's single, and one dance team.

Team Australia: Men's Singles

South Australia's James Min is a two - time Australian Junior Men's Champion.

A natural performer, the highly - focussed fifteen year old has been working hard to increase both his jump and choreographic program content.

Team Australia: Ladies' Singles

Making her World Junior debut, Katie Pasfield from New South Wales recently skated at the 2016 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in the senior division.

Very much at home in the rink, Katie's short and free programs highlight her wide range of musical interpretation. It should also be noted that Pasfield's father, Michael, forms part of her coaching team. (Michael Pasfield is a former National Junior and Senior Men's Champion, who also represented Australia at the Junior and Senior World level.)

Team Australia: Dance

The 2015/16 National Junior Champions, Matilda Friend and William Badaoui (NSW) will represent us in the dance event. Like Pasfield, the couple recently skated at Four Continents, and they too are making their World Junior debut in Hungary.

Trained by Monica MacDonald and John Dunn, MacDonald represented Australia at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in ice dance.

The Race To The Podium

Medals in all four disciplines are expected to be shared betwen Canada, the Czech Republic, Japan, Russia and the United States of America, with China, Israel, Kazakhstan, Latvia and Ukraine also in the running.

In the men's event, look out for Russia's Dmitri Aliev to bring home gold. His biggest challenge is likely to come from team - mate, Roman Savosin, and Israel's Daniel Samohin. Other skaters in the mix include Vincent Zhou (USA) and Deniss Vasiljevs (LAT).

In the ladies' event, Russia's Polina Tsurskaya has dominated the 2015/16 junior international circuit. Her strongest competition will likely come from team - mates Alisa Fedichkina and Maria Sotskova, Wakaba Higuchi and Marin Honda (both from Japan), Latvia's Angelina Kuchvalska and Kazakhstan's Elizabet Tursynbaeva.

Dance could be a head to head battle between the USA's Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter, and their team - mates, Rachel and Michael Parsons. Russia's Alla Lobodva and Pavel Drozd will likely feature on the podium as well.

The pairs' event could see Russia's Ekaterina Borisova & Dmitri Sopot take on Ukraine's Renata Oganesian & Mark Bardei and the Czech Republic's Anna Duskova & Martin Bidar.

Click here for the official website.

Click here for the list of competitors, the event timetable and results links.

aussieSKATES: Figure Skating DownUnder will also do our best to source You Tube & Daily Motion event highlights which we will post to our Facebook page following each day of competition.

Official competition begins on Wednesday March 16.

Date Event Running Times Scheduled Events
     
Wednesday March 16 11:00am - 5:00pm Men’s Short Program
  6:00pm Opening Ceremony
  6:45pm - 9:10pm Pairs’ Short Program
     
Thursday March 17 12.30pm – 5:30pm Short Dance
  7:00pm – 9.45pm Pairs’ Free Skate
     
Friday March 18 10:15am – 5:00pm Ladies’ Short Program
  18.00pm – 9.55pm Men’s Free Skate
     
Saturday March 19 1.00pm – 4:45pm Ladies’ Free Skate
  6:30pm – 9:40pm Free Dance
     
Sunday March 20 3:00pm – 5:00pm Gala Exhibition
 
Team Australia    
     
Men James Min 2 – Time National Junior Champion
    2015 World Junior Team Member
     
Ladies Katie Pasfield 3rd Place - 2015/16 National Championships (Junior)
    2nd Place - 2016 FMBA Trophy
    2016 Four Continents Team Member
     
Dance Matilda Friend 2015/16 National Junior Champions
  William Badaoui 2016 Four Continents Team Members
 
Our Medal Picks    
     
Men Russia Dmitri Aliev
  Israel Daniel Samohin
  Russia Roman Savosin
     
Ladies Russia Polina Tsurskaya
  Russia Maria Sotskova
  Japan Wakaba Higuchi
     
Pairs Russia Ekaterina Borisova & Dmitri Sopot
  Czech Republic Anna Duskova & Martin Bidar
  Ukraine Renata Oganesian & Mark Barde
     
Dance United States of America Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter
  Russia Alla Lobodva and Pavel Drozd
  United States of America Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons
 

February 18 - 21

2016 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships


Twenty - five men, twenty – two ladies, sixteen dance and ten pair teams will compete for cash prizes, podium placements and personal bests at the 2016 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships.

This year, Taipei City in Chinese Taipei has been selected to stage the competition, having hosted it previously in 2011 and 2014.

With the 2018 Olympic Winter Games exactly two years away, this event will be a good opportunity for Team Australia to gain important international exposure. Featuring a mix of veterans and rookies new to the senior international circuit, our Four Continents representatives include three ladies’ singles, two men’s singles, and one dance team. 

Team Australia: Men's Singles

The 2015/16 Australian Men’s Champion, Brendan Kerry, will be looking to match or better the breakthrough performance he gave at Skate America last October, earning him a career best free skate score. 

Watch also for Andrew Dodds, one of four elite skating brothers from Queensland. On form, his artistry is second to none.

Team Australia: Ladies' Singles

Kailani Craine swept the senior and junior ladies' crowns for the second straight year at the recent national championships.  Training in the United States with two – time world medallist, Tiffany Chin, has helped the teenager climb the international ladder. 

Brooklee Han's competitive record speaks for itself. Known for her world class spins, the twenty year old has been to three world championships and the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Making her Four Continents debut, Katie Pasfield recently placed second in the junior ladies’ division at the FMBA Trophy in Abu Dhabi.  (It should be noted that her older sister, Zara, competed at the Four Continents Championships in 2012).

Team Australia: Dance

The 2015/16 National Junior Dance Champions, Katrina Friend and William Badaoui, are making their senior international debut at this event.  Having earned the technical points necessary to skate at next month’s World Junior Championships, the pair are also both age and TES eligible to compete in Chinese Taipei.

The Race To The Podium
 
Medals in all four disciplines are expected to be shared amongst the powerhouse nations, Canada, China, Japan and the United States of America, with South Korea and Kazakhstan also in the running.

In the men’s event, look out for Canada’s three – time World Champion, Patrick Chan to make a splash.  Chan returned to eligible skating this season after a two - year hiatus, and looked very strong at his recent national championships, winning with ease.

His strongest challengers should come from Kazakhstan’s Denis Ten, (the defending Four Continents Champion, and 2015 World Bronze Medallist), Japan’s Shoma Uno (2015 World Junior Champion and 2015/16 Grand Prix Final Bronze Medallist), China’s Boyang Jin (fifth at the 2015/16 Grand Prix Final) and Canada’s Kevin Reynolds (Four Continents Champion in 2013).

China’s Han Yan, Max Aaron, Ross Miner, and Grant Hochstein, all from the USA, are in the hunt as well.

In the ladies’ event, Polina Edmunds from the USA looks set to defend her title against tough competition including two compatriots, Gracie Gold (the 2016 United States National Champion), Mirai Nagasu (Bronze at the 2011 Four Continents Championships) and three Japanese skaters, Satoko Miyahara (Silver Medallist at the 2015/16 Grand Prix Final), Rika Hongo (Bronze at the 2015 Four Continents Championships) and Kanako Murakami (Four Continents Champion in 2014). 

Other skaters to watch out for include a trio of Canadians, Alaine Chartrand, Gabrielle Daleman, and Kaitlyn Osmond, China’s Zijun Li (Bronze at the 2014 Four Continents Championships), and Korea’s So Youn Park.

Dance looks to be a showdown between Canada’s defending Four Continents and current Grand Prix champions, Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje, the new United States Champions, brother and sister, Maia and Alex Shibutani, as well as their compatriots, Madison Chock & Evan Bates (2015/16 Grand Prix Silver Medallists, 2015 World Silver Medallists, and 2015 Four Continents Silver Medallists). 

Further couples in contention include USA’s Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donahue (sixth at the 2015/16 Grand Prix Final) and Canada’s Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier (silver at the 2014 Four Continents Championships).

The pairs’ event will most likely be a face - off between Canada’s defending Four Continents and current World Champions, Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford, and the 2015 World Silver Medallists from China, Wenjing Sui & Cong Han. 

Other teams fighting for the podium should include Canada’s Julianne Seguin & Charlie Bilodeau (the 2015 World Junior Silver Medallists and fourth at the 2015/16 Grand Prix Final) China’s Xiaoyu Yu & Yang Jin (2015 World Junior Champions and fifth at the 2015/16 Grand Prix Final), and the newly – crowned United States champions, Tarah Kayne & Daniel O’Shea.

Click here for the official website.

Click here for the list of competitors, the event timetable and results links.

SBS TV Australia will show highlights from the event on Saturday February 20 (short dance & short programs) and Saturday February 27 (free dance & free skates).

You may also catch the event on demand via the SBS website.

aussieSKATES: Figure Skating DownUnder will also do our best to source You Tube & Daily Motion event highlights which we will post to our Facebook page following each day of competition.

Official competition begins on Thursday February 18.

Date Event Running Times Scheduled Events
     
Thursday February 18 12.45pm – 3.12pm Short Dance
  3.40pm – 4.20pm Opening Ceremony
  4.40pm – 7.48pm Ladies’ Short Program
  8.30pm – 10.12pm Pairs’ Short Program
     
Friday February 19 1.30pm – 4.15pm Free Dance
  5.55pm – 9.45pm Men’s Short Program
     
Saturday February 20 2.30pm – 4.30pm Pairs’ Free Skate
  6.15pm – 9.55pm Ladies’ Free Skate
     
Sunday February 21 12.00pm – 4.05pm Men’s Free Skate
  6.00pm – 8.00pm Gala Exhibition
 
Team Australia    
     
Men Andrew Dodds 2 – Time Four Continents Team Member
     
  Brendan Kerry 2014 Winter Olympian
    2 – Time World Team Member
    5 – Time Four Continents Team Member
    2 – Time World Junior Team Member
    2015/16 ISU Grand Prix Skate America Entrant
    2015/16 ISU Grand Prix NHK Trophy Entrant
    4 – Time National Champion
     
Ladies Kailani Craine 2015 Four Continents Team Member
    2 – Time World Junior Team Member
    2 – Time National Champion
     
  Brooklee Han 2014 Winter Olympian
    3 – Time World Team Member
    3 – Time Four Continents Team Member
    3 – Time World Junior Team Member
    2013/14 National Champion
     
  Katie Pasfield 3rd Place - 2015/16 National Championships (Junior)
    2nd Place - 2016 FMBA Trophy
     
Dance Matilda Friend 2015/16 National Junior Champions
  William Badaoui  
 
Our Medal Picks    
     
Men Japan Shoma Uno
  Kazakhstan Denis Ten
  Canada Patrick Chan
     
Ladies Japan Satoko Miyahara
  United States of America Gracie Gold
  United States of America Polina Edmunds
     
Pairs China Wenjing Sui & Cong Han
  Canada Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford
  Canada Julianne Seguin & Charlie Bilodeau
     
Dance United States of America

Maia & Alex Shibutani

  Canada Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje
  United States of America Madison Chock & Evan Bates
 
Upcoming Events
ISU Junior Grand Prix Brisbane
Brisbane, Australia
August 24 - 26, 2017
 
 
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