2017 JGP Italy – the final event of the 2017 Junior Grand Prix Series and the last chance to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final — takes place in Egna/Bolzano, Italy, Oct. 11-14.
With most of the berths in Nagoya already assigned, this will be a do-or-die competition for the few that have the chance to claim one of the remaining spots at the Junior Final.
In ladies, Russia′s Alena Kostornaia and Sofia Samodurova, along with Rika Kihira of Japan are strong contenders to claim berths at the Final.
The young American, Andrew Torgashev, will also be chasing a podium finish to earn a trip to Nagoya in December, but he will have to fend off a number of challengers. Italy’s Matteo Rizzo is one of them. Though he will not have a chance to qualify for the Final, having a good outing on home soil will be an important step for his confidence and future development. Another is Torgashev′s teammate, Tomoki Hiwatashi who has the potential to also land on the podium.
With the 2018 Olympic Winter Games on the horizon, Rizzo needs that boost to his confidence and up his performance levels. This is the perfect opportunity to do both. With a solid outing, he could surprise and/or cause an upset at this competition by winning it for the second year in a row.
Russia has already qualified four pairs and four ice dance teams, so those rosters are now set. Two more Russian ice dance teams seem set to take the two remaining places at 2017 JGP Italy: Arina Ushakova and Maxim Nekrasov and Sofia Polishchuk and Alexander Vakhnov. Both teams will need to place first and second to secure a berth in Japan.
The 2017 Grand Prix Final takes place in Nagoya, Japan, Dec. 7-10.
2017 JUNIOR GRAND PRIX