2018 JGP Austria (Cup of Austria), the second event of the Series takes place in Linz, Aug. 29 – Sep. 1. A total of 82 skaters are scheduled to compete at this event: 22 men, 34 ladies, 13 pairs and 13 ice dance teams.
Alena Kostonaia, the 2017 Junior Grand Prix Final and World Junior silver medalist, will be the star of the ladies show in Austria. Alena Kanysheva, a relatively unknown but very talented skater, will make her international debut at this event.
Japan′s Riko Takino also heads into her second season on the circuit. She is co-coached by Nobunari Oda who choreographed her long program. Her teammate, Shiika Yoshioka, fourth in juniors at the 2018 Asian Open in early August, will make her Grand Prix debut in Linz.
The U.S. is fielding one its brightest young stars, Ting Cui, 15, who placed sixth in her 2017 debut in Brisbane. Canada′s sole entry, Emma Bulawka, will get her first taste of international competition, having never competed outside her homeland before.
America′s Camden Pulkinen, the silver medalist at the 2017 Grand Prix Final, heads into this event as the highest-ranked skater from last season. He will be joined by the talented Dinh Tran who got his first taste of international experience at the final Junior Grand Prix event last season.
Italy’s Daniel Grassl, who won bronze at the first Grand Prix event of the season in Slovakia, will be chasing another podium finish in Linz.
Canada′s Conrad Orzel (who showed a lot of improvement at his summer competitions) is returning for a third consecutive season and aiming for higher placements this year. Likewise, Japan′s Koshiro Shimada, competing in his fourth season on the junior circuit, will be looking to improve on his sixth and seventh place finishes in 2017. Shimada is coached by Stéphane Lambiel.
ThIs discipline is wide open. Russia’s Anastasia Poluianova and Dmitry Sopot, sixth at the 2017 Junior Grand Prix Final, have a good shot at winning this competition. Laiken Lockley and Keenan Prochnow of the U.S. also have a solid chance of landing on the podium.
The battle for the top spot in this discipline will likely be between Canada′s Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha — sixth at the 2017 Junior Final and fourth at the 2018 World Junior Championships — and Russia′s Sofia Shevchenko and Igor Eremenko, fourth at the 2017 Junior Final and fifth at 2018 World Juniors.
POST-COMPETITION INTERVIEWS:ALENA KOSTORNAIA
LINK TO ALL VIDEOS FROM COMPETITION
MEDAL COUNT AFTER TWO EVENTS