Krasilnikova, Bezmaternikh win pairs

Russian team grabs gold

Ksenia Krasilnikova and Konstantin Bezmaternikh are the new junior pairs champions.
Ksenia Krasilnikova and Konstantin Bezmaternikh are the new junior pairs champions. (Klaus-Reinhold Kany)


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By Klaus-Reinhold Kany, special to
(02/27/2008) - Despite a flawed program, the Russian pair team of Ksenia Krasilnikova and Konstantin Bezmaternikh earned the gold medal at the 2008 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships. Krasilnikova and Bezmaternikh led after the short program, but a planned triple toeloop (that they doubled), and a stumble on a double Axel relegated them to second place in the free skate. Their combined scores, however, were enough for the top spot.

Bezmaternikh, who always smiles, said: "We are not completely happy with our performance, but certainly we are happy with the result. We did the toeloop only [as a] double because we had no opportunity during the warm up to practice [the] triple. We hope to compete at the next two Olympics."

Lubov Iliushechkina and Nodari Maisuradze from Moscow finished second. They started their free program with a combination of triple and double toeloops, followed by an excellent triple throw flip. Iliushechkina missed the double Axel, but their triple throw loop garnered high scores.

"We are not very experienced and made mistakes," said Iliushechkina. "We did much better at Russian Nationals."

The bronze medal went to the Chinese team of Huibo Dong and Yiming Wu. Except for a step out of a triple throw Salchow they had a flawless program. They nailed their combination of a triple and double toeloop, which was followed by a huge triple throw toeloop.

"We did almost everything we train," said Wu. "We progressed a lot compared to our Junior Grand Prix (where they were 11th and 7th), because we have trained harder and more with our hearts than before. We come from Changchun, a different city than the older Chinese pairs, because we were both single skaters. We've only done pairs skating since 2006 [Dong] and 2003 [Wu]."

Jessica Rose Paetsch and Jon Nuss were the best of the three American duos, ending up fifth. They had good speed, starting off with a triple twist followed by a clean triple throw Salchow. Paetsch fell on their side-by-side double Axels, and later on a double toeloop.

Chelsi Guliien and Danny Curzon wound up tenth. Despite winning the short program, they lost numerous points when Guillen popped an Axel which was a planned double. Several of their other elements were also downgraded.

The third American pair, Bianca Butler and Joseph Jacobsen finished eleventh. Jacobson missed a double toeloop after landing a clean double Lutz, and later Butler fell on a triple throw Salchow.