Spots at JGP Final up for grabs in Estonia

Last event in series will set field for Dec. 8-11 competition in Quebec City

Japan's Risa Shoji looks for earn a berth to the JGP Final with a medal in Estonia.
Japan's Risa Shoji looks for earn a berth to the JGP Final with a medal in Estonia. (Getty Images)


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By Renee Felton, special to
(10/11/2011) - The Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series wraps up this weekend from Tallinn, Estonia. At the conclusion of the competition, the field will be set for the 2011 Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final, set for Dec. 8-11 in Quebec City, Quebec.

Japan's Risa Shoji is the 2011 JGP Australia silver medalist. The 15-year-old skates for a medal and another shot at the Junior Grand Prix Final, an event at which she placed fourth a year ago.

American Samantha Cesario returned to competition after an injury-plagued 2010-11 season to win bronze at JGP Poland.

The hometown favorite is Gerli Liinamäe, who fell just short of a podium finish at JGP Latvia.

In a relatively inexperienced field, look for American Joshua Farris and Russia's Maxim Kovtun to stand on the podium. Farris is one of two men, along with China's Han Yan, to have reached the 200-point mark in this year's JGP Series, totaling 202.45 points in his gold-medal win at JGP Poland.

Like Farris, Kovtun looks for his second gold medal of the season in hopes of qualifying for the JGP Final. He won the JGP Romania title by nearly eight points with a total score of 182.91 points.

Britney Simpson and Matthew Blackmer, who teamed up over the summer, became the first American pairs team to win JGP gold since 2007. They look to add to their medal count and qualify for the JGP Final.

Canada's Katherine Bobak and Ian Beharry made their competitive debut together at JGP Poland, where they won silver. Team USA's Jessica Calalang and Zack Sidhu look to improve on their fourth-place finish in Poland. Another team to watch is Klara Kadlecova and Petr Bidar of the Czech Republic.

Ice Dancing
Russia's Evgenia Kosigina and Nikoli Moroshkin have three JGP medals to their credit, including a silver at the season's opening event in Latvia. They look to earn a second medal and, in turn, a second trip to the JGP Final, where they placed sixth in 2010.

Kaitlin Hawayek and Michael Bramante, the lone American representatives, hope to improve on their fourth-place finish at JGP Romania.

Also in the mix for medals will be Russia's Anna Yanovskaia and Sergei Mozgov and Canada's Mackenzie Bent and Garrett MacKeen. Both teams won bronze in their season-opening events.