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Russia takes lead in two disciplines at JGP Estonia

Torgashev in fourth for U.S.; Glenn sits fifth in ladies competition
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Russia's Alexander Petrov will look to win gold in men's after taking first place in the short program in Estonia. -Getty Images

The 2014 Junior Grand Prix (JGP) Series resumed Thursday after a one-week layoff. JGP Estonia began from Tallinn with the ladies, men's and pairs short programs. Team USA is represented by a large slate of athletes, including previous JGP bronze medalists Amber Glenn (France) and Holly Moore and Daniel Klaber (Slovenia).


Glenn sits just out of medal contention in fifth place behind a quartet of athletes from Japan and Russia. Rin Nitaya finished just ahead of Glenn in France and leads this event with a five-point cushion over Russia's Maria Sotskova. En route to 57.85 points, Nitaya executed a triple toe-triple toe combination, a double Axel and two Level 4 spins.

The fight for medals is a tight one, with less than one point separating Sotskova and her teammate, Alsu Kaiumova, with Glenn just behind the latter. Though she didn't fall, Glenn struggled with her jumps Thursday. Her opening triple flip-triple toe combo was called for not having a clear edge on the sequence's opening flip, her triple Lutz was under-rotated and she received no credit for a single Axel.


Competition started with the men's short program, which saw Team USA's highest finish of the day. Andrew Torgashev bettered his score from his first JGP event of the season in the Czech Republic by seven points, finishing the segment with 64.70. His clean performance saw positive Grades of Execution (GOE) on all seven elements, including three Level 4 spins.

Torgashev is just over one point out of medal contention behind China's He Zhang, who has 66.08 points. A JGP Series competitor since 2012, Alexander Petrov is poised to win his fifth medal and will skate Friday in hopes of taking home his first JGP gold. Russia's Petrov was the only competitor to break the 70-point mark for the day with 70.74 points. He has a four-point lead over Japan's Sota Yamamoto. Also representing Team USA, Spencer Howe is in 11th.


In their season debut, two-time Junior Grand Prix Final medalists Maria Vigalova and Egor Zakroev of Russia finished first in the pairs short program with 54.32 points. They are joined atop the leaderboard by Ukraine's Renata Oganseian and Mark Bardei. The duo is fresh off their junior pairs win from a week ago at the Lombardia Trophy in Milan and is making its JGP debut. A second Russian team, Kamilla Gainetdinova and Sergei Alexeev, is in third place.

Two young American teams are competing in Estonia, with Olivia Allan and Austin Hale in seventh and Jessica Lee and Robert Hennings in 11th.