For the first time, Taipei City, Chinese Taipei, will host the 2017 World Junior Championships. The event begins on March 15 with the men’s and pairs short programs.

A total of 184 skaters from 43 International Skating Union (ISU) members will contest the four disciplines. All skaters will compete in the short program segments with the top 24 singles skaters, 16 pairs and 20 ice dance teams moving on to the long programs.

Overview of the Top Contenders

The men’s event will be very competitive. Reigning World junior champion Daniel Samohin (ISR) heads into the competition with a season’s best of 226.53 points and will be aiming at defending his title. But he will face tough competition from Russia’s Dmitri Aliev, the reigning Junior Grand Prix Final champion (seasons best 240.07 points), and Alexander Samarin, the 2016-2017 Junior Grand Prix Final silver medalist (seasons best 236.52 points); Korea’s Jun-Hwan Cha, the current Grand Prix Final bronze medalist (seasons best 239.47 points); Canada’s Nicolas Nadeau, the 2016 World Junior silver medalist; America’s Alexei Krasnozhon and Vincent Zhou and Russia’s Alexander Petrov.

In the ladies event, World junior champion Marin Honda from Japan (season’s best: 184.11 points) will be out to defend her title, but she will face stiff competition from Russia’s Alina Zagitova, the reigning Junior Grand Prix Final champion (season’s best: 207.43 points); her teammate, Polina Tsurskaya, who missed the Junior Final due to injury, but won her two Junior Grand Prix events earlier this season, Junior Grand Prix Final bronze medalist Kaori Sakamoto from Japan; Eunsoo Lim from Korea; Russia’s Stanislava Konstantinova and Japan’s Yuna Shiraiwa.

The pairs event is wide open. Top contenders are Russia’s Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii, the Junior Grand Prix Final bronze medalists, Alina Ustimkina and Nikita Volodin and Amina Atakhanova and Ilia Spiridonov, and Australia’s Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya and Harley Windsor. Reigning World Junior champions Anna Dušková and Martin Bidař moved into the senior ranks following the Junior Grand Prix Final last December.

All 2016 World Junior ice dance medalists have returned this year. Reigning World Junior champions Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter from the U.S. hope to defend their title and are aiming at their third consecutive World Junior podium. Their teammates, Rachael Parsons and Michael Parsons, the reigning Junior Grand Prix Final champions and defending World Junior silver medalists will provide tough competition, as will Russia’s Alla Loboda and Pavel Drozd, the 2016 World Junior bronze medalists.

The season best total scores are compiled from the Grand Prix events (senior and junior), ISU Championships, the Olympic Winter Games and the Challenger Series only. No other international competitions or national championships are factored in.

Sideline Notes

  • Ice dancer Louis Thauron, 21, (FRA) is the oldest competitor (dob 5 Aug 1995)
  • Ice dancer Rikako Fukase, 19, (JPN) is the oldest lady competing (dob 12 Aug 1997)
  • Ice dancer Wing Yi Valerie So, 13, (HKG) is the youngest skater in the event (dob 8 May 2003)
  • Ice Dancer Marcus YAU,14 (So’s partner), is the youngest man competing (dob 22 Jan 2003)

Two skaters celebrate their birthdays during the Championships:

  • Ice Dancer Viktoria Semenjuk (EST) turns 16 on March 13
  • Ice Dancer Stephano Schuster (AUT) will celebrate his 17th birthday on March 15

There are three sets of siblings competing:

  • Sisters Viveca and Monica Kundfors (FIN) in ladies singles and ice dance
  • Su Yeon Kim and Hyungtae Kim (KOR) in pairs
  • Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons (USA) in ice dance

Prize Money

The ISU will award prize money of US$138,500 to skaters and couples that place first to fifth. The prize money will be awarded as follows:

Men/Ladies                                                         Pairs/Ice Dance (per couple)

1st place US$10,000                                                 1st place US$15,000

2nd place US$7,000                                                 2nd place US$10,500

3rd place US$5,000                                                  3rd place US$7,500

4th place US$3,000                                                  4th place US$4,500

5th place US$2,750                                                  5th place US$4,000