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Tsurskaya earns first gold medal of 2015 JGP Series

Mihara takes silver; Bronze for Le; Sadovsky jumps in front of men's field
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The ladies medalists (L-R): Silver medalist Mai Mihara of Japan, gold medalist Polina Tsurskaya of Russia and bronze medalist Vivian Le of the United States. -Getty Images

Polina Tsurskaya grabbed gold for Russia and Canada's Roman Sadovsky took the lead in a tightly contested men's field Friday at the Junior Grand Prix (JGP) in Bratislava, Slovakia.


Tsurskaya earned a comfortable victory over Japan's Mai Mihara, scoring 123.42 points for her free skate and totaling 189.50 for the competition.

Tsurskaya opened her Chess free skate with an impressive triple lutz-triple toe-double toe, which earned the skater 13 points. The combination is the second-highest-scoring element in the history of the international judging system (IJS), behind only Japan's Miki Ando's triple lutz-triple loop-double toe at the 2004 NHK Trophy.

Tsurskaya also landed a triple lutz-triple toe worth 12.23 points, the most ever for that element. The Russian was the only skater in the segment to earn positive Grades of Execution (GOEs) on all 11 elements.

Mihara finished more than 10 points back of Tsurskaya to earn silver, her first medal at a JGP, with a score of 179.36. She earned a personal-best 118.55 points for her Giselle free skate, which featured a clean triple lutz-triple toe.

Team USA's Vivian Le earned bronze in her JGP debut with a final score of 176.30.

Le's teammate, Emily Chan, placed sixth with 138.88 points.


Less than one point separates the top three men following the short program, with Sadovsky taking the slimmest of leads over Team USA's Vincent Zhou and Russia's Alexander Samarin

Sadovsky set the pace with a personal-best score of 68.49. Skating to "The Prophet" by Gary Moore, the 2014 JGP Finalist landed a triple lutz-triple toe in the second half of his program and gained Level 4 on all of his spins and his step sequence.

Making his debut in the series, Zhou gained positive GOEs on all seven of his elements, the only skater in the event to do so. The 2013 U.S. junior champion performed the best triple-triple combination (lutz-toe) and triple flip of any skater in the competition.

Samarin, a four-time JGP medalist, sits in third with 67.87 points. American Kevin Shum is sixth with a score of 58.74.