U.S. claims two spots on JGP Final dance podiumRussia's Yanovskaia, Mozgov win out; Hawayek, Baker grab silver
Anna Yanovskaia and Sergei Mozgov of Russia claimed the ice dance gold medal at the 2013 Junior Grand Prix Final in Fukuoka, Japan. Americans Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker earned the silver medal, and Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter, also from the U.S., took the bronze.
Yanovskaia and Mozgov delivered a strong dance to "La Mirta and la Rosa" by Alessandro Safina. They picked up a Level 4 for their twizzles, two lifts and the spin while the step sequences were rated a Level 3. The Muscovites posted a new personal-best score of 88.77 points and totaled 152.48 points to return to the podium.
"Everything was super, but our performance still wasn't perfect; there were a few minor glitches," Mozgov said. "We have worked harder on the choreography, on the technique. We gave a 200, a 300 percent, and so we were able to improve [compared to last year]."
Hawayek and Baker's program to Amélie included a Level 4 lift and spin, but the twizzles and step sequences garnered only a Level 2. The couple from Detroit scored 81.37 points and accumulated 139.42 points overall.
"We're very happy with not only the medal but the two performances we put out this week," Hawayek said. "We skated from the heart and gave every ounce of energy we had."
"We try to put as much heart and soul into the programs as we can," Baker said. "It's thrilling to know the hard work pays off, and we are really happy to put out performances we are proud of."
Hawayek and Baker plan to keep devoting themselves to productive training.
"Levels are something we're going to be pushing toward for our next competitions: nationals and, hopefully, junior worlds," Hawayek said. "We're not going to give up the fight. We are going to really work on drilling those levels."
Performing to Sherlock Holmes, McNamara and Carpenter produced five Level 4 elements and scored 80.75 points, just below their season's-best score. The Americans collected 135.89 points overall.
"It felt great," McNamara said. "It's a really intense program, and that's what I love about it. It feels great to have done a clean and powerful skate."
Carpenter was thrilled to perform so well in Fukuoka.
"We were lucky to go to two JGP events this year, and then to be able to qualify for the Final is almost a dream come true," he said. "The fact that we did so well is really gratifying."
Betina Popova and Yuri Vlasenko of Russia came in fourth with 129.47 points, followed by Alexandra Nazarova and Maxim Nikitin of Ukraine (123.17 points) and Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons of USA (116.60 points).