2018 JGP Czech Republic, the fifth event of the Series, takes place in Ostrava Sep. 26-29.
As of Sep. 18 there are 97 skaters currently slated to compete at this event: 36 ladies, 24 men 19 pairs and 18 ice dance teams registered. This will be the longest event of the 2018 Series.
Alena Kostornaia will be chasing a second title to secure her place at the Final in December. With her win in Austria two weeks ago, she is now just one step away from achieving that goal. She will be joined by yet another young Russian — Viktoria Vasilieva, 13, who will make her international debut at this event.
Two skaters will be hot on her heels: Shiika Yoshioka of Japan, third in Austria, and South Korea’s Lim Kim, second in Lithuania. (Kim subsequently claimed bronze at the 2018 U.S. Classic in mid-September). Both skaters, realistically at this point, need a second place finish here to have any hope of snaring a berth at the Final.
The men’s event could turn out to be a battle royale with three men chasing a podium finish to ensure a place at the Junior Final. Camden Pulkinen of the U.S. is in the best position. He heads into this competition with 15 points following his win in Austria in late August. He can place no lower than fourth here. Japan’s Mitsuki Sumoto, second in Bratislava, and Kirill Iakovlev of Russia, second in Lithuania, need to place no lower than third to book a place at the Final. Sumoto will be the only Japanese man competing in Ostrava.
In pairs, Russia′s Polina Kostiukovich and Dmitrii Ialin, and Anastasia Poluianova and Dmitri Sopot, who placed first and second, respectively, in Austria, will likely punch their tickets to the Final. Another North Korean pairs team is on the horizon. Hyang Mi Ro and Kim Chol Han will make their debut at this competition.
Russian ice dancers, Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva and Nikita Nazarov, first in Bratislava, should have no trouble repeating that result in Ostrava. Their teammates, Diana Davis and Gleb Smolkin, will make their international debut at this event. Davis is the daughter of Russian coach Eteri Tutberidze.
MEDAL COUNT AFTER FOUR EVENTS: