The 2017-18 Junior Grand Prix Final begins Dec. 7 with the pairs, men′s and ladies short programs. One skater/team from each of the four disciplines that competed in the 2016 edition will return to the Junior Final stage next week: Japan′s Rika Kihira, Alexei Krasnozhon of the U.S., Russia′s Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitri Kozlovskii (pairs), and the American ice dance team of Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko.
Kihira is the only non-Russian lady to qualify this season, which speaks volumes about the depth of her talent. Alena Kostornaia and Alexandra Trusova dominated the Junior Grand Prix circuit and are sure bets to finish first and second. To date, Trusova has won every meeting with her Russian teammate.
The field is more open in the men′s field. Alexey Erokhov of Russia finished first in the standings at the end of the Grand Prix Series but he will have his work cut out for him with five other strong competitors all challenging for the top step of the podium.
Viewers around the world in nations without TV rights holders can watch the 2017-18 Junior Grand Prix Final on the ISU live stream.
The stars at this year′s Junior Grand Prix Final will be in good company. In singles, six of the senior competitors who qualified for the Final were former Junior Grand Prix Final champions, as were one ice dance duo and one pairs team.
Men: Adam Rippon – 2007; Jason Brown – 2011; Shoma Uno – 2014, Nathan Chen – 2015
Ladies: Maria Sotskova – 2013; Alina Zagitova – 2016
Ice Dance: Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (the only Canadian ice dance team to ever win a Junior Final title) – 2005
Pairs: Wenjing Sui and Cong Han – 2009 and 2011
Junior Grand Prix Final gold medalists heading to Nagano who competed with different partners:
Aljona Savchenko and Stanislav Morozov – 1999
Hao Zhang and Dan Zhang – 2000 and 2001
Madison Hubbell and her brother, Keiffer Hubbell – 2006
Madison Chock and Greg Zuerlein – 2008
Yu Xiaoyu and Yang Jin – 2013
Out with injury:
Yuzuru Hanyu 2009; Boyang Jin – 2013; Evgenia Medvedeva – 2014
SENIOR GRAND PRIX FINAL