The outcome of 2013/14 Ladies JGPF is one of the most difficult to predict in a number of years.
The highest scores for each of the competitors in the 7 events leading up to the final are as follows:-
1. Alexandra Proklova (RUS) - 181.18
2. Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS) - 179.96
3. Karen Chen (USA) - 179.08
4. Polina Edmunds (USA) - 171.21
5. Maria Sotskova (RUS) - 166.49
6. Serafima Sakhanovich (RUS) - 164.48
Proklova is the 2nd youngest of the competitors (age 13 - just a week older than Sotskova) and goes into the final with the highest score. Made a solid start at the JGP in Kosice, finishing 2nd in the SP. Then won the FS, to finish 2nd (behind Chen) overall with the total score of 175.11. Then stepped up to another level altogether with a superb performance, winning the Czech JGP with the highest score of the series (181.18)
Medvedeva, like Proklova, is still only 13 (in fact, all 4 of the Russians in the final are just 13). Last season, she finished 4th in junior Russian Nationals (a competition won by Radionova, with Sakhanovich 2nd, and Sotskova 3rd). However, this season, she has improved markedly, winning the JGP events in Latvia and Poland (the latter with the 2nd highest score of the series)
Last season, Karen Chen finished 4th in the U.S. Junior Championships (a competition won by Polina Edmunds). She began this season by finishing 3rd in the JGP in Latvia (won by Medvedeva, with Sotskova 2nd). She then won the JGP event in Slovakia.
Polina Edmunds (who is actually half Russian - her mother having been born and raised in Russia) is the current U.S. Junior Champion. During the current JGP series, she has won the events in Mexico and Belarus. At 15, she is the oldest of the finalists (New York Times Article on Polina Edmunds from January 2010)
Maria Sotskova is the youngest of the finalists. During the JGP series so far, she has put in 2 solid performances, finishing in 2nd place in both of her events
Serafima Sakhanovich was perhaps the favourite going into the JGP series at the outset. She had finished 4th in senior Russian Nationals last season (beaten only by Tuktamysheva, Radionova, and Sotnikova, and beating Leonova and Makarova), and then finished 2nd in Junior Russian Nationals (score = 191.55) behind Radionova. However, following a growth spurt, she has been well below top form so far this season. Nevertheless, after having finished 4th in the JGP event in Poland, she won JGP event in Estonia.
So, who will win the JGPF?