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Sotskova, Mihara book tickets to JGP Final

Aliev builds sizable lead; Atakhanova, Spiridonov solid in JGP debut
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The ladies medalists (L-R): Silver medalist Mai Mihara of Japan, gold medalist Maria Sotskova of Russia and bronze medalist Da Bin Choi of South Korea. -Getty Images

Maria Sotskova took ladies gold and Russia went in front in both men's and pairs on the second day of competition at the Junior Grand Prix (JGP) in Linz, Austria.


Sotskova clinched her third straight trip to the JGP Final after her 122.47-point free skate to music from Romeo and Juliet leapfrogged short program winner Mai Mihara of Japan. The 2013 JGP Final champion took home her second gold of the 2015 JGP Series with a total score of 185.44. The Russian landed seven triple jumps, including triple lutz-triple toe and triple flip-loop-triple salchow combinations. She also hit two double axels, one in combination with a double toe.

Earning 118.50 points for her free skate to "Giselle" by Adolphe Adam, Mihara took home silver to clinch her first appearance in the JGP Final. She earned positive Grades of Execution (GOEs) on all 11 of her elements, highlighted by a double axel-triple toe combination, and finished with a total score of 182.05.

South Korea's Da Bin Choi rallied from fourth after the short program to take bronze, turning in a 115.11-point free to music from Les Misérables. The JGP Latvia bronze medalist put on an impressive jump display, including three combinations (triple lutz-triple toe, double axel-triple toe, triple lutz-double toe-double loop).

Team USA's Bradie Tennell and Anna Grace Davidson finished 11th and 15th, respectively.


Dmitri Aliev earned a personal-best score of 75.61 to build a sizable 8.18-point lead over the field. The JGP Latvia champion opened his short program with a big triple axel and also hit his triple flip and triple lutz-triple toe combination. 

Ukraine's Ivan Pavlov fell on his opening triple axel but composed himself to nail his remaining jumps (triple lutz-triple toe, triple flip), coming away with 67.43 points. The Ukrainian silver medalist sits in second place, putting him in good position to take his first career JGP medal.

Buoyed by a technically sound program that saw each of his elements receive positive Grades of Execution, 2013 U.S. junior champion Vincent Zhou is in third place with 66.59 points. The JGP Slovakia silver medalist's performance was highlighted by an excellent triple lutz-triple toe combination, the highest-scoring element in the segment (12.43 points).

Team USA's Oleksiy Melnyk sits in sixth place with 57.39 points.


Amina Atakhanova and Ilia Spiridonov were solid in their JGP debut, turning in a short program score of 56.11. Skating to The Nutcracker, the Russian duo registered Level 4 on their lift and step sequence, and landed sound side-by-side double axels.

Anna Duskova and Martin Bidar sit just 0.35 back after earning 55.76 points for their Cirque du Soleil short. The Czech champions were awarded positive GOEs on each of their elements, and executed a fine triple twist and throw triple salchow.

Renata Oganesian and Mark Bardei are in good position to take their second medal of the JGP season (gold, Latvia) after netting 53.17 points. The Ukrainian champions had problems on their jumps and throw, but they made up for those mistakes by performing the best triple twist (1.50 GOE) and lift of the event.

Chelsea Liu and Brian Johnson rebounded after she fell on a double axel, performing clean elements the rest of the way. The U.S. junior silver medalists sit in fifth place with 47.37 points.

Team USA's Lindsay Weinstein and Jacob Simon are in ninth place with 40.00 points.