Alexandra Trusova of Russia defended her title as World Junior Ladies champion title and scored a gold medal at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships, held in Zagreb, Croatia, on Saturday last week. Anna Shcherbakova, also from Russia, took the silver medal, and Ting Cui (USA) claimed the bronze.
The Russian Champion earned 147.08 points and slipped to second at 219.94 points overall. “I’m quite pleased with what I did today,” she said. “There were some small mistakes, and I’ll work on them. The landing of the quad Lutz was not perfectly clean, but it was still better than last time.”
Young Post spoke to Trusova after her win, who said the programme she did this year was "harder" than last year's. But she powered through till the end despite her falling on her opening quad Lutz jump. "There is no time to think in those moments. During your performance, after each element, be it a jump or a spin, I immediately concentrate on the next one," she explained. "So if I fall, my mind goes straight to excecuting the next element."
"If I make a mistake, then the rest of my programme needs to not just be good, but perfect to fix the situation," she added.
When asked what her plans are for the next season, Trusova said: "I will have a little rest, and then continue working. I don't have any special plans yet."
Hong Kong figure skater Christy Leung-yi, who won a historic gold at the 2018/2019 Chinese National Figure Skating Championships in Harbin, China in December last year tells Young Post what Trusova's win means to skaters everywhere.
"This is the second time she's won the Junior World Championships with quad jumps, it’s really impressive. I feel like for now this will be the only way to win: with some difficult jumps like a quad or triple axel. So, now, many skaters are working on those moves, and figure skating is getting more competitive and harder."
Shcherbakova had been in the lead on Friday, after beating her teammate by less than half a point in the Short Programme. In Saturday’s Free Skating event, 14-year-old Trusova fell on her opening quad Lutz (under-rotated) as she skated to The Fifth Element. But she recovered instantly to hit a quad toe-triple toe and quad toeloop, as well as five triple jumps and a double Axel, plus level-four spins and footwork.
The Russian Junior champion scored 150.40 points and racked up 222.89 points overall to successfully defend her title. “I’m pleased with my performance, but I will continue to work on my quads, triples, spins and skating skills,” the 14-year-old said.
“I’m looking forward to performing at the senior level, I liked it at senior Nationals and I hope I can compete on the Grand Prix. I want to learn new elements, the triple Axel and quad loop.”
In October, Trusova became the first woman to successfully land a quadruple Lutz jump in a competition.
Shcherbakova stepped out of her quadruple Lutz and then reeled off a triple flip-triple loop combination, triple Lutz-triple toe and three more triples as well as exquisite spins in her routine set to Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso by Camille Saint-Saens.
Cui’s performance to Giselle included six clean triple jumps and two level-four spins, but she fell on an underrotated triple flip. With 126.72 points, the US skater was ranked third in the Free Skating category, and remained in third overall at 194.41 points.
“My programme wasn’t clean like I was hoping for, but I am still very happy with it, how I skated and performed the character of the story,” the 16-year-old said. “This is my second Junior Worlds so coming in I was a little bit more relaxed because I knew a bit more what to expect. I am very happy I was able to medal and make it to the podium.”
In the men’s event, Tomoki Hiwatashi (USA) battled his way to the gold medal in an unpredictable final. Russia’s Roman Savosin rose from sixth to claim the silver medal, and the bronze went to Daniel Grassl of Italy.