The Series moves to Chelyabinsk, Russia, for the fourth event of the JGP Series, Sept. 12-14. This competition takes place at the same time as two Challenger Series events — Autumn Classic International (Sept. 12-14) and Lombardia Trophy (Sept. 13-15) — which will make for long days for those who want to watch all three competitions.
The four disciplines will be contested in Chelyabinsk. A total of 79 skaters/teams are on the roster: 22 men, 30 ladies, nine pairs and 18 ice dance teams.
Russia’s Petr Gumennik, runner-up at the 2018 Junior Grand Prix Final headlines the men’s field, He will be joined by Artur Danielian, fourth at the 2019 World Junior Championships, and Ilya Yablokov, the 2019 European Youth Olympic champion. Canada has assigned Alec Guinzbourg and Iliya Kovler to this competition.
Lev Vinokur, who was very impressive in his JGP debut in Riga, has been deemed ineligible to compete at this event under the Israeili flag. Vinokur, 13, who hails from Moscow, previously represented Russia as late as last November and was named to the Russian junior team in July. Online reports state no documents were filed by the Russian federation for his release to Israel. In any event, he would have to sit out a year under the ISU rules re changing countries.
Adam Siao Him Fa of France was slated to open his season in Russia after withdrawing from the first event in Courchevel, but has also withdrawn from his event.
Russia will field three ladies at this competition: Ksenia Sinitsyna 15, Kamila Valieva, 13, and Viktoria Vasilieva, 15. This is the second junior Grand Prix season for Sinitsyna and Vasilieva, and the first for Valieva, who mined gold at her first event in Courchevel, France. Sinitsyna was forced to miss her first JGP assignment in Lake Placid due to a visa problem. With so many junior ladies on the Russian back burner waiting for an opportunity to compete internationally, these three athletes will be fighting for the top step of the podium on home soil.
Japan′s Nana Araki, 17, (fourth in Courchevel) will be joined by Chisato Uramatsu, who will make her international debut in Chelyabinsk. Vietnam also makes its debut on the 2019 circuit, represented by Linh Khanh Tran, 14.
In pairs, Russia will field four teams led by Kseniia Akhanteva and Valerii Kolesov, who mined silver in Lake Placid two weeks ago. The other three teams will make their international debuts. Canada′s Brooke McIntosh and Brandon Toste have the potential to land on the podium, but they — like all the other teams in the field — have little or no experience on the international circuit. It might all come down to a triple twist or the side-by-side jumps.
Russia′s Elizaveta Shanaeva and Devid Naryzhnyy, the gold medalists in Courchevel, headline the ice dance field. Contenders include Canada′s Nadia Bashynska and Peter Beaumont who won the 2019 Lake Placid Ice Dance International in early August, and their teammates, Irina Galiyanova and Grayson Lochhead won the junior ice dance event at Minto Summer Skate a week earlier. Patterns, twizzles and lifts will likely determine who claims the hardware at this competition.
Former British ice dance champions Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland will make their coaching debut at this competition with the Azerbajani team of Ekaterina Kuznetsova and Daniel Brykalov.
The seven-event Junior Grand Prix Series will be live-streamed worldwide on the ISU YouTube channel (link below).