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Top 20 Juniors in the World

Given the outstanding performances of the skaters at the junior level last season and more particularly at the 2011 Junior World Championships, the sport is undergoing a fabulous evolution. These junior skaters are the faces of the future, and no doubt some of these rising stars will grace the podiums at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Ladies

Adelina Sotnikova

Adelina will make her debut on the senior Grand Prix circuit next season. As her birthday falls on the cutoff date, she will be age-ineligible to compete at senior Worlds or the European Championships until 2013.

Born: July 1, 1996
Age: 15
Nationality: Russian

2010-11 Results:
1st – Junior Grand Prix, Austria
1st – Junior Grand Prix, Great Britain
1st – Junior Grand Prix Final
1st – World Junior Championships
World Ranking: 29

Christina Gao

Christina said training alongside the 2010 Olympic champion Yu-Na Kim for a year was inspiring. “When I saw Yu-Na standing on the podium, I was like, ‘Wow, I really want that too.’”

Born: March 7, 1994
Age: 17
Nationality: American

2010-11 Results:
2nd – Junior Grand Prix, Austria
2nd – Junior Grand Prix, Germany
6th – Junior Grand Prix Final
4th – World Junior Championships
World Ranking: 22

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva

Elizaveta is part of the new wave of ladies skating in Russia. Last season she earned the 10th-highest score in international competition.

Born: December 17, 1996
Age: 14
Nationality: Russian

2010-11 Results:
1st – Junior Grand Prix, Romania
1st – Junior Grand Prix, Germany
2nd – Junior Grand Prix Final
2nd – World Junior Championships
World Ranking: 32

Risa Shoji

Risa Shoji tied with China’s Zijun Li for the bronze at the Junior Grand Prix Final but lost the tiebreaker because Li ranked higher in the free skate.

Born: July 5, 1996
Age: 15
Nationality: Japanese

2010-11 Results:
1st –
Junior Grand Prix, Japan
2nd – Junior Grand Prix, Czech Republic
4th – Junior Grand Prix Final
5th – World Junior Championships
World Ranking: 42

Courtney Hicks

Courtney is the 2011 U.S. junior champion. The World Junior Championships was the first international event of her career.

Born: December 15, 1995
Age: 15
Nationality: American

2010-11 Results:
6th – World Junior Championships
World Ranking: 96

Men

Andrei Rogozine

Andrei broke a 33-year drought for Canada when he claimed the World junior crown.

Born: January 29, 1993
Age: 18
Nationality: Canadian

2010-11 Results:
1st – Junior Grand Prix, France
1st – Junior Grand Prix, Japan
3rd – Junior Grand Prix Final
1st – World Junior Championships
World Ranking: 23

Keiji Tanaka

The 2011 World Junior Championships was his first major international assignment.

Born: November 22, 1994
Age: 16
Nationality: Japanese

2010-11 Results:
3rd – Junior Grand Prix, Romania
6th – Junior Grand Prix, Great Britain
2nd – World Junior Championships
World Ranking: 49

Alexander Majorov

Alexander made history last season when he claimed Sweden’s first medal at the World Junior Championships.

Born: July 19, 1991
Age: 19
Nationality: Swedish

2010-11 Results:
5th – Junior Grand Prix, Japan
3rd – Junior Grand Prix, Czech Republic
3rd – World Junior Championships
World Ranking: 15

Keegan Messing

Keegan was inspired to take up skating after watching Canada’s Elvis Stojko. He won the short program at 2011 Junior Worlds but placed forth overall.

Born: January 23, 1992
Age: 19
Nationality: American

2010-11 Results:
1st – Junior Grand Prix, Romania
4th – Junior Grand Prix, Czech Republic
4th – World Junior Championships
World Ranking: 28

Max Aaron

Max is the 2011 U.S. Junior champion, and comes from a family of skaters. His sister Madeline Aaron is the 2011 U.S. novice pairs champion (with Max Settlage) and his sister Molly is a senior level pairs competitor.

Born: February 25, 1992
Age: 19
Nationality: American

2010-11 Results:
3rd – Junior Grand Prix, France
2nd – Junior Grand Prix, Great Britain
5th – World Junior Championships
World Ranking: 48

Pairs

Wenjing Sui/Cong Han

Wenjing and Cong, two-time World junior champions (2010-11), competed at the junior and senior levels last season and earned berths to both Grand Prix Finals.

Born:
July 18, 1995/
August 6, 1992
Ages: 15 and 18
Nationality: Chinese

2010-11 Results:
2nd – Junior Grand Prix, Austria
1st – Junior Grand Prix, Germany
1st – World Junior Championships
Current World Ranking: 5

Narumi Takahashi/Mervin Tran

Narumi was born and raised in Chiba, Japan while Mervin hails from Regina, Sask. The duo train in Montréal, Canada with Richard Gauthier and Bruno Marcotte.

Born: January 15, 1992/
September 22, 1990
Ages: 19 and 20
Nationality: Japanese

2010-11 Results:
2nd – Junior Grand Prix, Great Britain
2nd – Junior Grand Prix, Germany
1st – Junior Grand Prix Final
3rd – World Junior Championships
World Ranking: 7

Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov

Ksenia and Fedor are coached by Ludmila Velikova and Nikolai Velikov in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Born: February 7, 1992/
September 7, 1990
Ages: 19 and 20
Nationality: Russian

2010-11 Results:
1st – Junior Grand Prix, Austria
1st – Junior Grand Prix, Great Britain
2nd – Junior Grand Prix Final
2nd – World Junior Championships
World Ranking: 12

Ashley Cain/Joshua Reagan

Ashley is the daughter of four-time Australian pairs champion and 1976 World junior bronze medalist Peter Cain.

Joshua took a five-year break from skating after an accident on the ice left him temporarily without vision in one eye. He returned to the sport in 2009.

Born: July 22, 1995/November 5, 1989
Ages: 15 and 21
Nationality: American

2010-11 Results:
6th – Junior Grand Prix, Great Britain
2nd – Junior Grand Prix, Czech Republic
5th – Junior Grand Prix Final
4th – World Junior Championships
World Ranking: 31

Natasha Purich/Raymond Schultz

Natasha and Raymond had only been a pairs team for five months when they were selected to compete at the Grand Prix event in Sheffield, England, where they skated into third.

Born: June 5, 1995/April 25, 1990
Ages: 16 and 21
Nationality: Canadian

2010-11 Results:
3rd – Junior Grand Prix, Great Britain
3rd – Junior Grand Prix, Czech Republic
7th – Junior Grand Prix Final
5th – World Junior Championships
World Ranking: 32

Ice Dance

Ksenia Monko/Kirill Khaliavin

Ksenia and Kirill have won two consecutive Junior Grand Prix Final and Russian junior dance titles. They have been skating together for 11 years.

Born: February 8, 1992/November 21, 1990
Ages: 19 and 20
Nationality: Russian

2010-11 Results:
1st – Junior Grand Prix, Romania
1st – Junior Grand Prix, Great Britain
1st – Junior Grand Prix Final
1st – World Junior Championships
World Ranking: 15

Ekaterina Pushkash/Jonathan Guerreiro

Ekaterina was a ballroom dancer who took up skating 11 years ago.

Jonathan was born and raised in Sydney, Australia. At age 14, he moved with his family to Moscow. His mother, Svetlana Liapina, was a two-time World junior ice dance medalist with partner Gorsha Sur.

Born: May 27, 1992/April 3, 1991
Ages: 19 and 20
Nationality: Russian

2010-11 Results:
2nd – Junior Grand Prix, Japan
1st – Junior Grand Prix,
Czech Republic
4th – Junior Grand Prix Final
2nd – World Junior Championships
World Ranking: 19

Nikola Vinová/Luká Csolley

Nikola originally hails from the Czech Republic city of Brno. Lukáš is a native of Bratislava, Slovakia.The three-time Slovakian ice dance champions (2009–11) earned personal best scores at 2011 Junior Worlds.

Born: May 25, 1992/June 18, 1990
Ages: 19 and 21
Nationality: Slovakian

2010-11 Results:
10th – Junior Grand Prix, Austria
7th – Junior Grand Prix,
Czech Republic
5th – World Junior Championships
World Ranking: 42

Charlotte Lichtman/Dean Copely

Charlotte and Dean joined forces in late 2010. They claimed the U.S. junior ice dance title in January 2011.

Born:
March 25, 1993/
August 28, 1989
Ages: 18 and 21
Nationality: American

2010-11 Results:
1st – Junior Grand Prix, Austria
3rd – Junior Grand Prix, Germany
5th – Junior Grand Prix Final
3rd – World Junior Championships
World Ranking: 25

Tiffany Zahorski/Alexis Miart

Tiffany was born and raised in the United Kingdom. After winning a number of solo dance titles, she moved to France in 2007 to train with Muriel Zazoui and Romain Haguenauer.

Alexis turned to ice dancing in
2008 and moved to Lyon.
He was paired with Tiffany in 2009.

Born:
August 16, 1994/
February 20, 1992
Ages: 16 and 19
Nationality: French

2010-11 Results:
4th – Junior Grand Prix, Romania
2nd – Junior Grand Prix, Czech Republic
4th – World Junior Championships
World Ranking: 32

Photo credits: Jay Adeff, Tatjana Flade, F. Scott Grant/Skate Canada, Klaus-Reinhold Kany, Robin Ritoss


Originally published in August 2011

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