2017 JGP Belarus2017 JGP Belarus — the fourth event of the  Junior Grand Prix Series — gets underway in Minsk, Belarus on Thursday, Sep. 21, with the short dance, and the ladies and men’s short programs. This is one of the four stops on the circuit that will include the pairs discipline. Currently, there are 24 men, 33 ladies, 11 pairs and 14 ice dance teams. It is possible that Russia could sweep all four podiums at this competition.

The young Russian, Alexey Erokhov and Andrew Torgashev of the U.S. are top-ranked men in the field. Both will be looking for a podium finish to kick off their season with the goal of earning a trip to the Junior Grand Prix Final in Nagoya, Japan, in December.

In ladies, Russia’s Alexandra Trusova seems a sure bet to win in Minsk, following her runaway victory in her Junior Grand Prix debut in Brisbane, Australia, a month ago. She will be joined by 17-year-old Stanislava Konstantinova who will also be in the hunt for a podium finish. The Japanese ladies could prove to be the spoiler at this competition, and in particular, Nana Araki. 

It will be unlikely that anyone will stop a Russian sweep of the pairs podium with Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin leading the way. They will be joined by Anastasia Poluianova and Dmitry Sopot and Apollinariia Panfilova and Dmitry Rylov.

The ice dance competition will be fierce with the young American team of Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko going head to head with two Russian duos — Anastasia Skoptcova and Kirill Aleshin and Irina Ushakova and Maxin Nekrasov — and a place at the Final following their victory in Austria. if Carreira and Ponomarenko can fend off the challenge of these rivals, they will likely be the only non-Russian victors in Minsk.

2017 JGP Belarus will be live streamed on the ISU channel with Ted Barton as the host.

The 2017 Grand Prix Final takes place in Nagoya, Japan, Dec. 7-10.