The 2012 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships opened in Minsk, Belarus, on February 27 with the preliminary rounds for men, ice dance and pairs.
Canada's Nam Nguyen won the men's preliminary round followed by Korea's June Hyoung Lee and Michael Christian Martinez from the Philippines.
Nguyen, 13, the youngest male competitor at the event was the only skater to land a triple Axel. He followed that up with four clean triples, but popped a Lutz and scored a new seasons best of 116.33 points. “It felt really good out there. I had a lot of fun and it was my first time to do a clean triple Axel. It looked easy, but it was pretty hard,” Nguyen said.
“I try to think about competing with the other skaters, not about the age. I just want to do my best out there. Although it wasn't my best, I still felt it was really good.”
Shari Koch and Christian Nüchtern from Germany won the ice dance preliminary round ahead of Karolina Prochazkova and Michal Ceska of the Czech Republic and Uzbekistan's Anna Nagornyuk and Viktor Kovalenko.
Koch and Nüchtern put down a solid performance to “Big Spender” and “Fever,” completing five level-four elements. They earned 72.36 points. “I was very pleased to see that so many spectators had come to watch,” Nüchtern said.
China's Xiaoyu Yu and Yang Jin won the pairs preliminary round. Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier from the U.S. were second while Meiyi Li and Bo Jiang of China placed third.
Yu and Jin produced a triple twist, throw triple loop and Salchow in their program set to “Requiem for a Dream,” but she missed a double Axel and the triple toe. The team earned 96.37 points. “It wasn't our best today, but the preliminary round is a good practice for us before the main competition,” Jin said.
Originally published in February 2012