Dances and pirouettes on Minsk`s hospitable ice

Minsk-Arena hosts ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships, bringing together 207 figure skaters from 52 countries

For a whole week, young athletes fought for medals, with the Russians claiming the greatest number, followed by China and the USA.

In the individual skating, Han Yan of China (earning 222.45 points) claimed gold for his short and voluntary programmes. He was followed by Joshua Farris of the USA (221.97) while bronze went to another American — Jason Brown (214.90). Unfortunately, Belarusian figure skater Pavel Ignatenko came last among thirty entrants in the short programme, knocking him out of the tournament.

Yulia Lipnitskaya of Russia (187.05 points) won the women’s gold, with Gracie Gold of the USA (171.85) taking silver and Russian Adelina Sotnikova (168.45) following in third place. The latter was last year’s champion and is currently considered to be one of the most promising figure skaters worldwide. Belarusian figure skater Kristina Zakharenko came 29th (among 31) in the short programme and failed to qualify for the voluntary competition.

Victoria Sinitsyna and Ruslan Zhiganshin (153.81) won gold for their performance, while Russian duo Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin (147.74) took silver and Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton from the USA (141.14) followed behind. Belarusian duo Victoria Kovaleva and Yuri Belyaev finished 18th (of 20 pairs) in the voluntary programme, earning 58.37 points; they came 19th after two disciplines.

Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China (175.69) won the short and voluntary programmes, followed by teammates Xiaoyu Yu and Yang Jin (167.48) and Russian Vasilisa Davankova and Andrey Deputat (153.66). Belarusian Maria Polyakova and Mikhail Fomichev were knocked out after their short programme, finishing 19th out of 20 couples.

The task for all Belarusian figure skaters before the tournament was to reach the top twenty. In the final standings, Russia earned 5 medals (1 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze), followed by China (2, 1, 0) and the USA (0, 2, 2). The programme finished with a colourful gala-performance, featuring those in 1st to 4th place, as well as those invited by the organisers.

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