Riga, Latvia plays host to the third event of the Junior Grand Prix Series, Sep. 7-10. This competition is one of the four designated pairs events.
A total of 28 men, 34 women, six pairs and 14 ice dance teams are set to take the ice. As with the first two competitions, many new faces will grace this stage of the Series. If the first two competitions are anything to go by, we can expect to see a high level of skating and some fabulous performances. Who will be the stars of the show in Riga?
Italy′s Nikola Memola should be considered a contender to claim a step on the podium following his silver-medal finish in Ostrava last weekend. This will be the first international competition for both Japanese men as well as the two U.S. men in the line up. Canada′s Grayson Long, who is coached by Brian Orser, and David Shteyngart will also make their Junior Grand Prix debuts.
South Korea′s Jia Shin, 14, the 2022 World Junior silver medalist, is the highest-ranked skater in the women′s field drew first to skate in the short program. Ami Nakai, 14, of Japan is set to make her Junior Grand Prix debut in what will be just the second international outing of her budding career.
Of the six pairs teams in the line up, only two have ever competed on an international stage in the past, so that will be a particularly interesting discipline to watch. Top team in the field is Cayla Smith and Andy Deng of the U.S. who finished second in Ostrava last week.
In ice dance, Vanessa Pham and Jonathon Rogers of the U.S., bronze medalists in Courchevel two weeks ago, lead the field. The duo will be looking for a top finish in Riga to qualify a place at the Junior Grand Prix Final. For the first time in history, a Brazilian team will take part in a Junior Grand Prix competition. Catharina Tibau and Cayden Dawson both previously represented Canada in the novice division.
Ted Barton will lead the commentary remotely from Vancouver with co-host Mark Hanretty on site in Riga.