Croatia Cup

2017 JGP Croatia — the fifth of the seven-event Junior Grand Prix Series — plays out in Zagreb, Croatia, Sep. 27-30. Pairs are included in this competition.

The competition opens with the men′s, pairs and ladies short programs. With two events remaining after this one, the pressure is mounting for those who are in the running to earn a berth at the Junior Final in Nagoya. There are currently 23 men, 34 ladies, 12 pairs and 14 ice dance teams slated to compete.

In the men′s event, Alexei Krasnozhon of the U.S. will have his work cut out for him if he hopes to win over this field. Canada′s Joseph Phan and Russia’s Makar Ignatov will be hot on his heels for a top podium finish. Japan will be represented by Mitsuki Sumoto and Koshira Shimada who trains in Switzerland with former World champion Stéphane Lambiel. Another former World champion, Brian Joubert, will also be at the board guiding his young star Adam Siao Him Fa. 

Russia′s Sofia Samodurova headlines the ladies field. She will be joined by teammate Anastasia Tarakanova. South Korean champion Young You has made leaps and bounds this season and will be a threat for a podium finish. There are no Canadian ladies slated to compete at this event and just one American, Kaitlyn Nguyen.

Though three Russian pairs teams are on the roster, only one will be a definite threat for the top step of the podium. Polina Kostiukovich and Dmitrii Ialin are the favourites to take the title. The second Russian team of Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii show a lot of potential but have not yet hit their stride on the circuit. And don′t count out the Chinese duo of Yumeng Gao and Zhong Xie, who could very well capture a medal at this competition and it could be silver. 

The ice dance event has all the makings of a showdown between Canada′s Marjorie Lavoie and Zachary Lagha and two Russian teams: Sofia Shevchenko and Igor Eremenko and Ksenia Konkina and Girgory Yakushev. The Canadians are the stronger team and are favored to win this event. 

Ted Barton will, as always, be the host of 2017 JGP Croatia via the ISU live feed for this competition.

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