The 2016 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships took place in Debrecen, Hungary, from March 14 through March 20. This year’s junior championships marked an historic win for Japan, as Japanese skater Marin Honda, 14, won gold in Junior Ladies’ Singles on Saturday, ending a long winning streak for Russia. According to Kyodo News, Honda impressively set personal bests in both her short program and her free skate. She achieved a final score of 192.98. Russia’s Maria Sotskova took silver in Junior Ladies’ Singles with a final score of 188.72, and the bronze also went to a Japanese skater, Wakaba Higuchi, who achieved a final score of 183.73. The highest-ranking American in Junior Ladies’ Singles was Tyler Pierce, 17, who placed sixth with a final score of 167.19.
The 2016 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships mirror the senior figure skating competitions by comprising the same four events: the ever-popular Ladies’ Singles, Men’s Singles, pairs, and ice dancing. Pairs is different from ice dancing in several key ways: pairs focuses more on jumps and lifts, whereas ice dancing does not involve jumps and is judged primarily on the precision of the skaters’ footwork. Ice dancing also contains a requirement that the couple must be touching almost at all times, and they cannot separate more than two arm lengths. Ice dancing also requires a piece of musical accompaniment with an audible beat.
The 2016 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships also resulted in an historic victory for Israel in the Junior Men’s Singles event, with an unusual gold medal win for Israeli skater Daniel Samohin, 17. The young skater landed an incredibly impressive three quadruple jumps, while there are men at the senior level who have not yet managed to land a quad in competition, like American Jason Brown. Samohin is coached by his father. He achieved a final score of 236.65. The Jerusalem Post reports that this is the first World Junior Championship medal to ever be won by an Israeli skater. Canadian skater Nicolas Nadeau took silver despite having under-rotated his quad toe loop, achieving a final score of 224.76.
American skater Tomoki Hiwatashi won the bronze medal for the United States in Junior Men’s Singles, and managed to do it without a quadruple jump. Hiwatashi achieved a final score of 222.52. Another American skater, Vincent Zhou, placed fifth with three under-rotated jumps. Zhou also stepped out of a triple axel and touched down; both are automatic deductions.
The 2016 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships resulted in gold medals for the Czech Republic in Junior Pairs, which was the first event. Anna Duskova, 16, and Martin Bidar, 17, achieved a final score of 181.82. Duskova and Bidar weren’t perfect — Bidar barely hung onto his landing at the end of a side-by-side double axel-double toe loop-double toe loop combination, but he managed to land it without touching down.
Russia filled out the rest of the podium, taking both silver and bronze. The silver medals were awarded to Anastasia Mishina and Vladislav Mirzoev, who achieved a final score of 172.60, and the bronze medals went to Ekaterina Borisova and Dmitry Sopot, who achieved a final score of 169.00.
The 2016 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships ice dancing event had the best result for the United States — American ice dancing teams won both gold and silver! Lorraine McNamara, 17, and Quinn Carpenter, 20, won the gold medals. McNamara and Carpenter achieved a final score of 163.65. The silver medals in Juniors Ice Dancing went to siblings Rachel and Michael Parsons, who are 20 and 18, respectively. The Parsons achieved a final score of 162.74.
Russian ice dancing team Alla Loboda and Pavel Drozd received bronze medals in Juniors Ice Dancing with a final score of 151.19. Another American ice dancing team, Elliana Pogrebinsky and Alex Benoit, placed fourth with a final score of 146.83.
[Image courtesy of Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images]