Following a two-week break, skating fans should prepare for a few long days of skating with two other competitions taking place on the opposite side of the world at the same time.
The fourth event of the 2021 Junior Grand Prix Series will take place in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, Sep. 16-18. Reigning World champion Anna Shcherbakova will perform an exhibition number at the opening ceremony.
On Sep. 1, the Japan Skating Federation announced it will not field any singles skaters to any Junior Grand Prix competitions this season due to the quarantine requirements when returning home.
There are currently 60 skaters/teams — 15 men, 24 women, six pairs and 15 ice dance teams — slated to compete.
Due to the Russian skaters not being permitted to enter France for the first two Junior Grand Prix competitions, five men, five women, four pairs and five ice dance teams from that nation have been assigned to this stop of the Series.
The battle for the men′s podium will likely be interesting. Expect a showdown with Gleb Lutfullin, Egor Rukhin and Artem Kovalev going up against Canada′s Wesley Chiu, the victor at the second event in Courchevel, and Lucas Broussard from the U.S. who finished second at the first JGP in France. India′s Pratham Tated who captured the hearts of skating fans at his debut in Courchevel has withdrawn.
With five Russian entries in the women′s event a homeland sweep of the podium is a possibility, but given the results of the last four JGPs nothing is a certainty. Which three Russian women could scoop the podium is an unknown factor given that all five will make their international debuts at this competition.
At the top of the list are Sofia Akatieva, the reigning national junior champion, who has a quad toe and a triple Axel; Sofia Samodelkina, fourth at the 2021 Russian junior championships, has previously landed a clean quad Salchow and a triple Axel-triple toe combination; and Anastasia Zinina, who is coached by Evgeni Plushenko and his team, landed two quad toes in her free skate at the Moscow Championships in late August. This discipline will also be a battle behind the boards with two skaters coached by the Tutberidze team; two coached by Sergei Davidov and one coached by Plushenko.
With only six pairs teams on the roster — four of which are Russian — the odds of a homeland sweep of the podium are high. The other two teams in the field represent Australia and Uzbekistan.
In ice dance, Russia has five teams entered led by Irina Khavronina and Dario Cirisano, the 2020 Youth Olympic Winter Games champions. Canada′s Nadiia Bashynska and Peter Beaumont should prove to be the strongest challengers for the top step of the podium. Also in the line up is the America team of Angela Ling and Caleb Wein who finished second at the 2021 Lake Placid Ice Dance International.