The last time there was a sweep at the Junior Grand Prix Final was six years ago - and it was by Russia. This year, Team Russia makes up 14 out of the 24 entries at the Junior Grand Prix Final, with the US with four entries, Canada with two, and four other countries with one each. The chances of a Russian sweep of the titles? Pretty good.
Junior Grand Prix Final predictions
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GOLD Alexandra Trusova RUS
SILVER Alena Kostornaia RUS
BRONZE Anna Shcherbakova RUS
4. Yelim Kim KOR
5. Anastasia Tarakanova RUS
6. Alena Kanysheva RUS
What a showdown this is going to be. As with other rivalries, this one may come down to technical content vs. artistic prowess. And that’s not to say that Alena Kostornaia, on the artistic prowess end of the spectrum here, is any slouch in technical skill either. It’s just that Alexandra Trusova and Anna Shcherbakova have quad lutzes, and that’s something to behold. Last year, Trusova, Kostornaia, and Anastasia Tarakanova swept the podium at JGP Final. They will all be back for a second go at it. Yelim Kim is the sole non-Russian entry in the ladies’ event.
GOLD Camden Pulkinen USA
SILVER Petr Gummenik RUS
BRONZE Koshiro Shimada JPN
4. Stephen Gogolev CAN
5. Tomoki Hiwatashi USA
6. Adam Siao Him Fa FRA
Among the men here, US junior champion Camden Pulkinen is the most complete skater, with basics and musicality that rival the senior men, but inconsistency that has kept him from reaching his potential. Two clean programs and he will follow up his silver last year with a title this year. Petr Gummenik has been something of a comeback story this season - he was an up-and-coming junior a few years ago but made a coaching change last season and took the entire international season off. He comes back this season better than ever, winning both of his JGPs and setting himself up for a podium finish here. Perhaps the wildest card will be Stephen Gogolev, who was incredible in his win at JGP Slovakia and then sloppy in his fifth place at JGP Canada. His risky technical content will make or break his podium chances.
GOLD Arina Ushakova/Maxim Nekrasov RUS
SILVER Avonley Nguyen/Vadym Kolesnik USA
BRONZE Marjorie Lajoie/Zachary Lagha CAN
4. Sofia Shevchenko/Igor Eremenko RUS
5. Elizaveta Khudaiberdeiva/Nikita NazarovaRUS
6. Maria Kazakova/Georgy Reviya GEO
As far as dance fields are concerned, this may be one of the most tightly-contested. World junior bronze medalists Arina Ushakova/Maxim Nekrasov may be the one team that has a bit of an edge over the rest, but expect these medals to be decided by mere points. Two rising junior teams this season have impressed a great deal in their second season on the JGP - Avonley Nguyen/Vadym Kolesnik and Elizaveta Khudaiberdeiva/Nikita Nazarov were both fifth at their respective national junior championships last year, but they have made great strides this past season - both exciting teams to watch in Vancouver.
GOLD Anastasia Mishina/Aleksandr Galliamov RUS
SILVER Kseniia Akhanteva/Valerii Kolesov RUS
BRONZE Polina Kostiukovich/Dmitrii Ialin RUS
4. Apollinariia Panfilova/Dmitry Rylov RUS
5. Sarah Feng/TJ Nyman USA
6. Anastasia Poluianova/Dmitry Sopot RUS
You don’t really get much more dominant than Russian junior pairs. Russia has historically focused lots of energy in pairs, and it pays off greatly. That said, there have been a few junior pair switches in Russia over the past few seasons - Anastasia Mishina, Anastasia Poluianova, and Dmitry Sopot all had strong junior international success with different partners. But it is perhaps Mishina who comes in with the greatest potential - she won the Junior GPF two years ago with Vladislav Mirzoev, and now with Aleksandr Galliamov, she’s an even more polished skater. They are certain the favorites coming into Vancouver.