Worlds 2016- junior men

I saw on Twitter that the competition started and the two leading men are from Russia.
Very exciting stuff, although I can’t help but wonder if that’d be the case if Nathan Chen hadn’t reinjured his hip at the Nationals exhibition… he was so far ahead of everyone else- at least in consistency.
Dmitry Aliev and Daniel Samohin have equally good skill level.

So since I have some time, I’m going to go through a playlist uploaded by a YouTube user (who rocks on that alone)

I’ll go through my previous blog posts on the JGP series and compare notes.

I hadn’t written about Roman Savosin before, but since he’s from Russia, I’ll check him out.
His technique on his jumps scares me a bit- it looks very uncertain going into the jump, but he landed on one foot each time. interesting, two jumping passes were in the second half of the program and some interesting spin positions. could use a lot more polish, but there’s always time. He’s only 16.

Don’t recognize a lot of the names, so I’ll be skipping around a little bit.
If I had more time I’d watch everybody…
right now, I recognize James Min (little prodigy), Aleksandr Selevko (from Estonia, I wrote that “Je Suis Malade” was his free skate music and it almost worked for him), Roman Galay (from Finland, I liked him A LOT), Nicola Todeschini (I’d been impressed with him, but he lacks consistency), Jiri Belohradsky (from Tomas Verner’s country, Czech Republic, wasn’t always on point, but flashes of brilliance), Se Jong Byun (had a really good free skate at one competition), Vincent Zhou (great talent from the US), Kevin Aymoz (from France- there was a competition where I thought he was really good and could have been on the podium- I even said that he might have been better for the podium than my new favorite blonde-haired Russian who happens to be skating for the US), Yaroslav Paniot (who I might have been hard on cuz he didn’t embody the emotion of “maybe I maybe you”), Sondre Oddvoll Boe (from Norway- I’ve been a fan and that resulted in him liking some of my tweets about him), Daniel Samohin (rock-star from Israel, lol), Deniss Vasiljevs (from Latvia, he’d finished in 2nd twice, really talented), and finally Dmitry Aliev from Russia.
Also need to watch Alexander Samarain from Russia because he’s in 2nd behind Dmitry. My comments on him were all over the place- I felt comfortable around him nailing his jumps, but his free skate was where he lacked the confidence I thought he had.

Josh Brown from the UK, I was hard on the last time I wrote. Said that he tried too hard to bring his personality across. He put a hand down on his opening jumping pass, but he pulled it together. the rest of his jumps were good and his spins were really good.

James Min didn’t get enough height on his combination so he fell on the second jump, but still did really well.
Too bad the sound cut out entirely from the video or this could have been something great. The crowd definitely liked it (they’re a very good crowd).

Aleksandr Selevko… deserved a higher score than he got. [60.41 is respectable but he’s in 3rd at the moment]. He had a good clean program, good jumps and great spins. But most important, his program started and he pulled me in like he had his own gravity. Hope to see him in seniors in a couple years and what progress he’ll make from here.

Roman Galay- when he is on point, he’s amazing. But this was catastrophic almost from start to finish. His technique was sloppy on his jumps so he fell. To me, it looked like he was someone who’d recently had a growth spurt and is still trying to regain control of his body.

Nicola Todeschini- skating to a Scorpions song [“Still Loving you”], this should be interesting.
He got a season’s best, nailed all his jumps and did really well. I just wished he used the music more 😛 the vocals are really passionate and he didn’t rise to that.

Jiri looked like he had the best skate of his life. And he did everything that Nicola did not- he lived his music and put all of himself into the performance. Great clean jumps, lots of passion.
He’s only 17, but so much talent and potential. And Tomas is actually one of his coaches! That explains why he was in the kiss & cry with him at one competition. I guess he’s taking interest in him for reasons other than them sharing the same country 😛

Se Jong Byun fell on his combination jump, popped the 2nd and nailed the third. But he never sacrificed his performance, which was nice to see amongst the issues. He got 5 more points for presentation as a result.

Now let’s see how Vincent does… hopefully he does better here than he did at Nationals. Where he was good, but had some issues with under rotations.
Like just now… just love him with Lindsey Stirling’s violin piece “Crystallize”… it’s so cool to watch. probably got the edge cuz he put the combination jump after the halfway point and had the hands over the head on the first jump.
They announced his score 77 and his jaw dropped “what?”… like he didn’t even believe it. That was really good (also a season’s best for him). Cute that his coach is waiting for him to get over his shock and accept his high five, lol

Kevin Aymoz
“Halleujah” is one of my least favorite songs in the world (thanks a lot, American Idol!) but he skated to it so well. that was flawless, the technique, but also living in the space of the music. With Florent Amodio retiring, France might already have its next great skater. Cannot wait to see where he goes in a couple years.
His technical score is only a couple points behind Vincent, but won in presentation.

Yaroslav Paniot did very well. Maybe I have him confused with someone of the same name or “maybe I maybe you” was his free skate music… I’ll have to see what happens when his free skate comes. Good technique and movement with the music.

Sondre Oddvoll Boe had trouble finding his center on his jumps and his technique suffered for it. He kept it together in performance, trying to make the best of it, but just wasn’t enough.

Now onto the really good ones 😛

I knew it! I had a feeling Daniel Samohin had the same Scorpions song. No wonder it was so fresh in my mind.
Yep, he’s a rock star. If he didn’t turn out of that quad, he would have had a huge lead, I think. Only got 3 points for it when a good quadruple toe loop is worth at least 10 points.
Another performance- so his presentation score has to be really good… 35.69… I thought it was worth at least a couple extra points. puts him at 71 points overall, 6 points out of the lead at the current time.
Yeah, I freaking love this guy 😛 I just hope I’ll still feel that way when he loses this program. It’s such a good one.

Alexander Samarin was really good across the board. Not sure why I don’t remember him- with this particular outfit (pinstripes with some pink trim) especially. solid technique, but his step sequences looked a little haphazard, not very composed. He beat Vincent by 3 points, mostly on presentation. Personally, I disagree :shrug: but that’s how it goes sometimes.

Deniss Vasiljevs enjoyed every minute of his performance 😀 it’s hard not to smile at that. his jumps weren’t as crisp as some of the skaters before him, but he was definitely one of the best there. really fun to watch.
In a couple years, who knows? Lots of potential 😉
Bested Vincent in presentation by a good 4 points, but not technically. Only ahead of him by a point.

Now for Dmitri… here we are finally…
even with only a handful of skaters, it’s been a long night

I knew he was leading so this would be good regardless. he’s just as good as I remember. as he was doing, I remembered that he had this difficult entry into his 2nd jumping pass, sliding across the ice on his knees leading into it. he seems so confident and self-assured.
I really hope his “Notre Dame de Paris” free skate is as amazing as the competition he won JGP Linz.
He and Alexander are very close in scores, but Vincent has a chance at a medal if he skates really well and some mistakes are made. Dmitri, I see winning if he skates like I know he’s capable of 😉

Two days later…

Johnny Weir was the first indication I had that this wasn’t your average competition… I know it’s the WORLD championships, but I was sure that a Russian was locked for a medal.
I mean, Dmitri is fantastic when he’s on point. I think I’ve made that point clear throughout my junior men figure skating blogging.
I just hope that when I do watch him that he didn’t have a meltdown like he did at the Grand Prix Final.
But to be fair, Nathan Chen was going to be hard to beat since he had an amazing season- really far ahead of his competitors. Hopefully after he recovers from hip surgery, he’ll be able to maintain that level and really show the American judges that he deserves to be National champion.

Final three were from Israel, Canada and the US… but not Vincent Zhou…

I didn’t watch Tomoki Hiwatashi’s short program at all… and now it seems I have will have.
I have to double-check my notes about him at Nationals, but I don’t think I was super impressed with him. The only reason he’s here at all was because of Nathan Chen’s injury.
…good thing I double checked because he wasn’t at Nationals. I had him confused with Shotomi Otomi.

Just because I have dozens of figure skaters logged into my brain, doesn’t mean I am able to remember everybody.
I have my eye on the Russian men, but even then, I don’t have all of them differentiated from one another. I only really remember my favorites and the ones who’ve won medals.

Now that I think about it, I do remember Tomoki. I had to go back to my junior grand prix blogging to find what I wrote about him. He shined with a lot of personality and he had a one-handed Biellmann spin that floored me.
And it’s hard to forget his Charlie Chaplin free skate- complete in costume 😉

Nicolas’s short program wasn’t uploaded, so I didn’t see it. But I know he has a Mary Poppins free skate that’s a real crowd-pleaser (when Patrick Chan is ready to retire for good, Nicolas could possibly be Canada’s next great skater. he’s skilled and an entertainer).

According to Johnny, Daniel Samohin had three quads and came from behind to win. Don’t know how far back he was.
My notes have him 6 points behind Vincent- all based on him missing that one quad he had.
I think Vincent finished in 4th going into the free. I guess a really buffed technical score from three quads takes you a long way. I just hope that everyone ahead of Daniel didn’t give him the win by making mistakes.

ok, Tomoki’s SP first.
it’s hard not to smile watching him. he’s so cute, great personality, and he makes the jumps look easy.
young talent with lots of promise. it’ll be interesting to see how he develops as a skater when he grows and gains more maturity and composure.
he was only behind Vincent by less than 3 points. And Vincent got 5th place.
So the math figures- just not well for Vincent. It suggests Vincent missed some jumps in his free skate.

so the game plan is to watch everyone that I watched earlier with the exception of the medalists (just adding Nicolas and Tomoki- but again, Nicolas, I didn’t see his short program)

Sondre Oddvoll Boe is a beautiful skater to watch (especially with Josh Groban singing his music). His performance score was quite a bit higher than technical.
He popped a few jumps and triples became doubles, so he isn’t going to compete with the others right now.
I really do enjoy watching him, though.
Also liked towards the end when he did a spiral, but reached back to grab his skate. [It amazed me that Plushenko was able to do that a year and change after his back surgery- and now I just miss seeing him skate. I just wouldn’t feel right about it when I know he’s not physically capable… his previous surgery was different- I had 20 years of his career to catch up on… that’s the last time I’ll bring him up in this entry, I promise.]

Josh Brown surprised me a little with his free skate. His music “Sentimientos” was interesting. Started with some violin, then went into something out of a tango. His costume and some of his steps fit that.
He started clean with the jumps, but I think he just got tired halfway through so he started falling and making mistakes. His spins got progressively better- the first looked lazy, like he was someone who didn’t practice them as much.
But I found his steps really interesting to watch. They were a bit more complicated than most junior performances. He’s just missing that confidence and it will look for effortless.

Aleksandr Selevko
oh man, if his “Je Suis Malade” program is true to the music, I will probably cry 😛
ok, I didn’t cry- the first couple seconds in, I thought about it, though.
Some of his jumps were under rotated and he got tired with his final spins, but he lived up to the promise of the music. Great artistry. That was what I was hoping to see. Very happy.
And he was happy too with his scores.
His presentation mark is outstanding- 60 points. quite a bit ahead of his technical mark.
But I know an excellent presentation mark in senior ranks is 80.

Jiri’s skating to Carmen?!… this’ll be interesting.
his music has lyrics and it focuses mostly on the matador character (I don’t know how to spell his name so I won’t even try, lol). it was a little repetitive, so that took a little away from it.
he only fell on one jump and had a couple under rotations that’ll keep his score from getting too high.
but I’m liking him more each time I see him. he has good skating skills, nice spins, and he has confidence. more self-possessed than most of the junior skaters.

Nicola Todeschini had “Cry me a river” as his music- which has me thinking that was why he impressed me when I saw him lost.
I got goosebumps but from the music more than his skating. he fell a number of times, under rotated jumps and he wasn’t as composed as he should have been. It’s disappointing, but I know he is capable of better.
[going through my previous comments- he has had rough free skates in the past, but I have liked his short program]

Yaroslav Paniot has “Interview with a Vampire” for his music
…either I confused him with another Yaroslav from Ukraine or he changed his short program music because there’s no sign of “Maybe I Maybe You”
which is probably for the best- although I was able to focus on Aleksandr and Jiri without having flashbacks to Plushenko’s past program, so maybe that wouldn’t have been an issue.
He has an enigmatic presence on the ice that intrigues me with this program. My feeling is that he is on the cusp of being extraordinary. He did a triple-triple combination where his feet got tangled on his triple loop 2nd jump. Sometimes I felt he skated the choreography well to the music, but he didn’t always live the music.
Another bright interesting future in the sport.

Roman Savosin had a clean skate, but I didn’t like his music. It was a medley that had too many changes and it was hard to stay invested.

Now for our gold medalist, Daniel Samohin… I remember off the top of my head that Sherlock Holmes is his music.
He destroyed the technical score of the person ahead of him.
The quad in the 2nd half was perfect, even better than his opening quads. Only mistake was popping a triple lutz into a double. His steps looked out of control at times and needed some refinement still.
Hearing the crowd, I remembered how he takes off his ascot and uses it to bow to the crowd- still in character 😉

wow! his technical mark was 90. And his overall was over 236.
That’s a similar score to what Plushenko got in his 2005-2006 Olympic season.
If his short program score was stronger than it was this time… seriously, this guy is too good to stay as a junior skater!

Nicolas Nadeau- maybe one of my favorite skates from anyone in some time. maybe because I’d only recently seen “Mary Poppins”- first time I’ve seen it in years. He needs to bring this back for when he does exhibitions, it’s a real crowd pleaser. I smiled so much during this.
only mistake- two footed one jump.
he’s behind Daniel by at least 12 points, but those three quads probably had something to do with that.

can’t believe I still have 6 skaters left to watch… it’s gonna be another long night for me.
probably isn’t going to get much better. now I’m getting to the guys I thought would get medals and somehow missed out.

Starting with Dmitri.
Same music, different costume- instead of an abbott or monk, he’s dressed as a priest.
it was probably over as soon as he popped that opening quad. Only got a point for it. Put a hand down on one jump and one in the 2nd half was under rotated.
I really hope he’ll be able to pull himself together for next season so he can finish as well as he starts.
I’d hate to pin all my expectations on him of being the next great skater to come from Russia 😛 but I can’t help it… I don’t have a lot to work with right now. Maxim Kovtun is being labeled as the heir apparent, but he’s terribly inconsistent. And for me, he’s missing a lot on the presentation side of things.
Dmitri got a presentation score of 70 (technical was only 60).
Forget the legacy left behind by the legendary Russian men. There are lots of great skaters from Russia [Sergei Voronov, Konstantin Menshov to name a couple] and they’re being overlooked.
Hopefully Mikhail (who I saw for the first time at Europeans a couple months ago) will make an impact at Worlds.

Deniss has Tron as his music- Adagio for Tron… the costume gave that away.
And I think he has the same coach as Yulia Lipnitskaya- Alexei Urmanov- who she recently left her old coaches for.
Interesting how his SP is so light and happy and this is so serious.
He popped a jump and had to fight for a couple landings, but overall a good skate. I just kept thinking how cool this would be if his costume glowed in the dark and he skated in the dark with only lighting on the edge of the rink. That would look so cool. Still has a way to go smoothing the edges of his technical skills, but a really great skater. Presentation score of 72? wow! he did maintain that character all the way through, so a lot of credit is deserved.

Vincent had two major mistakes- he popped his first jump and he turned out of another one.
But he fought all the way through to give a good performance and that’s probably what matters most at the end.
In third place overall right now. Which means that he got edged by two skaters. Tomoki is easily one of them.

three skaters to go… I’d stop but I don’t know for sure if these videos will still be here by the time I get to them tomorrow (or at this point, later this morning. almost 1am right now)

Looks like Tomoki gave the best performance of his life. Not a single mistake. And the crowd really got behind him.
Beat Vincent by just a point.

Alexander Samarin gave away a lot of points in his jumps. There were few without any mistakes. He’s not among the Russians I remember mainly because of lack of presentation. Without hitting the jumps, the rest falls flat.
Not to mention Roman Galay has this same music from “Pearl Harbor” and he gives everything to his performance of it.

Finally- Kevin Aymoz from France
I had a feeling he was memorable because of his music.
It’s by Nathan Lanier, Torn and Resolve are the names of the pieces.
Loved his choreography and how it worked with the music.
Unfortunately, his skating didn’t match it. He didn’t fall, but he under rotated or popped every jump so there were a lot of triples he turned into doubles. At the end, he was clearly upset and I felt so bad about it. I know he is much better than this.
They gave him a really good score on presentation- 71, but his technical mark is way behind where it should be.
My heart breaks for him 😦

So in the end, lots of great skaters, but it sucks that some of the best ones had their difficulties and didn’t get on the podium.
Vincent in 5th and Dmitri in 6th.
But still happy with the medal winners

Hopefully when the senior men take the ice next week at their worlds, there’ll be some great memorable performances from them too.
But with Yuzuru and Javi in the mix, it’s hard not to imagine that possibility 😉

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