Press Release

Top international juniors head to Brisbane

Tanaka, Dimitriev in strong men's field

Japan's Keiji Tanaka is among the favorites for men's gold in Australia.
Japan's Keiji Tanaka is among the favorites for men's gold in Australia. (Getty Images)


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By Kristin Zinsmeister, special to
(09/07/2011) - The International Skating Union's (ISU) Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating (JGP) Series continues this week in Brisbane, Australia, where several top skaters will be competing for the gold.

American Courtney Hicks won the junior title at the U.S. Championships last year and placed sixth at the World Junior Championships in Gangneung, Korea. Japan's Risa Shoji, who placed fifth at the 2011 World Junior Championships and fourth at last year's JGP Final, is another skater to watch. Also competing in Brisbane is American Vanessa Lam. Lam placed sixth at last year's U.S. Championships and won gold at 2010 JGP Czech Republic.

Keiji Tanaka of Japan is a front-runner for the gold. His resume includes a second place finish at the 2011 World Junior Championships and, this season, a third place finish at JGP Romania in 2010. Close behind Tanaka is American Joshua Farris. Farris is a Junior Grand Prix veteran, having placed first and second at his Junior Grand Prix events last year and sixth at the JGP Final. Another name to look for is that of American Jason Brown. Brown's accomplishments include a first place finish as a junior at the Gardena Spring Trophy in 2010 and a second place finish at the 2010 JGP France.

Ice dancing
Lauri Bonacorsi and Travis Mager are the American front-runners this week in Brisbane. They placed second on the junior level at the U.S. Championships and third at JGP Romania last year. The Russian duo of Valeria Losevea and Denis Lunin are experienced competitors. They placed sixth as juniors at the 2011 Russian Championships and first at the Junior Bavarian Open. Madeline Heritage and Nathaniel Fast, also of the U.S., will make their international debut in Brisbane.