Gdańsk, Poland, hosts the fifth event of the Series, 2019 JGP Baltic Cup. All four disciplines will be contested with 26 men, 37 ladies, 16 pairs and 20 ice dance teams currently on the rosters.
Japan′s Yuma Kagiyama scored a convincing victory with a 34-point margin in Courchevel in week 1 of the Series and needs a first or second-place finish at this competition to guarantee a trip to the Junior Grand Prix Final. He will go up against Daniel Grassl of Italy, the reigning World junior bronze medalist, and Russia′s Gleb Lutfullin, who finished third in Lake Placid and Daniil Samsonov, the bronze medalist in Latvia. Canada′s Joseph Phan will be looking for a better result at his second assignment, after finishing a disappointing sixth in Riga two weeks earlier. The U.S. has assigned its top two men from 2019 junior nationals: Ryan Dunk, who placed fifth in Lake Placid in week two, and Dinh Tran.
The ladies will be the highlight of this competition with Alysa Liu, 14, who mined gold in Lake Placid, will go up against 14-year-old Seoyeong Wi of South Korea, the silver medalist in Courchevel, and her teammate Seoyeon Ji, 13, who missed the third step of the podium in Lake Placid by 0.06 of a point; Russia′s Viktoria Vasilieva, third in Chelyabinsk, and Anastasia Tarakanova who snared the bronze in the U.S. in week 2.
Japan′s Tomoe Kawabata, fifth at both her assignments in 2018 and again in Courchevel in 2019, will be joined by Moa Iwano.
Three Russian pairs teams will compete in Gdańsk led by Apollinariia Panflova and Dmitry Rylov, who mined gold in their first event in Lake Placid. This team should have no trouble scooping the gold in this somewhat inexperienced field. Their teammates, Alina Pepeleva and Roman Pleshkov, who finished third at the U.S. event, will be looking for top-two result in Poland to book a ticket to the Final.
Avonley Nguyen and Vadym Kolesnik are the most experienced team in the ice dance field. The American duo will be looking to repeat their first-place result in Lake Placid and earn a place at the Final. They will be in a battle with Russia′s Ekaterina Katashinskaia and Aleksandr Vaskovich, who finished third in Courchevel in week 1. The second Russian team of Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva and Andrey Filatov, the gold medallists in Riga who were slated to compete at this event — and would have been the main challengers of the Americans — have withdrawn citing illness.
Other teams to watch include Loicia Demougeot and Theo Le Mercier of France, silver medalists in Courchevel, and Canada′s Miku Makita and Tyler Gunara who missed the third step of the podium in Lake Placid by a slim margin of 0.37 of a point.
The Junior Grand Prix Series will be broadcast worldwide, live on the ISU YouTube channel (link below).
2019 JGP PREVIEW/SCHEDULE