Articles/News, Photos & Clips, etc. from Taipei - 2024 Jr. Worlds

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Team USA press release (Feb. 26):
"All the action can be livestreamed on the ISU YouTube channel."

Team Canada (Feb. 21):

Team Japan's skaters are featured on JSF's Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/skatingjapan/
 
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Brief glimpses of the ice dance practice yesterday, followed by clips from the pre-event media session featuring TPE's successful singles skaters, Yu-Feng 'Phoebe' TSAI and Yu-Hsiang 'Jordan' LI (also invited were Japan's Rio Nakata and KOR's Jia Shin & Kim twins): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIiN-U6PnTY&t=2s (this 1:40 video is embedded at the top of the article below)

Local article that focuses on the 2 TPE skaters (Feb. 26): https://www.cna.com.tw/news/aspt/202402260257.aspx

Machine translation:

Facing the 2024 World Youth Figure Skating Championships, the last youth competition of his career, Taiwanese teenager Li Yuxiang pointed out that he hopes to show his most perfect side.

He has been training in Taiwan since he was 8 years old. At last year's National Figure Skating Elite Championships, Li Yuxiang became the first future star to receive full local training and score more than 200 points.

This participation in the 2024 World Youth Figure Skating Championships is also the last youth [junior] event of his career. As a landlord [local TPE skater], Li Yuxiang's performance has naturally attracted attention from the outside world. He admitted that he has felt pressure and nervousness in training recently, especially in practice. It went very smoothly, "I hope to show everyone the most perfect side, achieve good results, and end my youth career."

In addition, the first skater in the history of Taiwanese figure skating to qualify for the Winter Youth Olympics, young player TSAI Yufeng, also attracted attention. She said she was very much looking forward to it, especially adding the "3+3" jump to the women's short program for the first time. "Although competing in Taiwan, there is pressure. It’s a little bigger, but it will also become my motivation, and I hope it can be perfectly presented.”

She started figure skating at the age of 7 and received professional training in the third grade of elementary school. TSAI Yufeng said with a smile that she started her "figure skating life" because of her sister relationship. "I thought it was fun at the beginning. Even though there are many things that are not fun now, this sport What attracts me most is that I can get applause from the audience alone. This is also the last game of the youth group this season. I hope it ends well."


ETA link to 3 screen shots from the media event that were shared via Li's Insta stories: https://x.com/eunju975/status/1762046651185954848

ETA #2 - English version of the article above:
Taiwan news report in English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10leyx3HgOI

Phoebe Tsai was a sweeper at 2017 Junior Worlds in Taipei - she was 7 at the time. :)
 
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ISU's preview article: https://www.isu.org/figure-skating/...figure-skating-championships?templateParam=15

Where to watch the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2024:
The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships will be live streamed on the Skating ISU YouTube Channel. Geo-restrictions will apply in markets [Korea, Japan] where TV rights are in place. You will find the full list in the Where to Watch news here.

Skating ISU livestream links in event order:

Pairs SP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCOWmEuZiwc
Women's SP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQv9jO17ZM4

Men's SP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MK2bnizpgWI
Pairs FS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msyXC3smuhs

Rhythm Dance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj18JAK6Klc
Women's FS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHjs4dgPkFI

Free Dance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXS9zENA-Og
Men's FS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEzoeHbuoig

Commentary-free this year? ETA: No, Ted Barton is commentating again this year but from home (Vancouver), I’m told.
 
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Golden Skate’s Judith D. is on site and will be covering for Golden Skate on their social media platforms.
Link to GS' Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/goldsk8/ (includes 22 women in the mixed zone after SP)
One cute pic, for example:

Getty Images (355 photos of the Junior Pairs & Women SP by Toru Hanai for the ISU) - includes a cool shot of Flores/Wang's sbs split falling leaf jumps near the end :)
 
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PRESS CONFERENCE
Junior Ladies, after Short Program

Jia Shin (KOR) 1st after the Short Program

This is the last competition of the season and the last time I show my Short Program for this season. I tried to focus on the spins, on the facial expression to improve my performance and I am happy to bring my best performance today. (on her plans for the day in between Short Program and Free Skating) There is one day of rest. Tomorrow after my practice I will come to the ice rink to cheer for my Korean teammates in the Men’s event. (on the key to success for the Free Skating) It is focus. Each element will count and I will focus to bring each element to perfection.

Mao Shimada (JPN) 2nd after the Short Program
I had a marvelous performance today and I am very happy about it, but I still want to do better next time. (on her plans for the day in between Short Program and Free Skating) Before the Short Program, I was practicing every day and in the day before the Free Skating I will just practice and prepare. (on the key to success for the Free Skating) I always keep in my mind not to make a mistakes. I not only want to get the levels and points for the steps, spins and jumps, but I want to do everything perfectly and fit the music
better. I am planning to do two very difficult elements (triple Axel and quadruple toeloop) in the Free Skating and the key point will be to land them.

Ikura Kushida (JPN) 3rd after the Short Program
I was really nervous today, but I did everything I can do. (on her plans for the day in between Short Program and Free Skating) I was practicing with Mao very hard for the Short Program. Tomorrow I will rest and adjust my condition and practice. (on the key to success for the Free Skating) To complete every jump is the key point, but it is also important to give a fabulous performance.
 
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PRESS CONFERENCE
Junior Pairs, after Short Program

Anastasiia Metelkina/Luka Berulava (GEO), 1st after the Short Program

Metelkina: (on competing at the ISU World Junior Championships) I've actually competed a senior Worlds before, but every competition is really nice and you feel the support. For us, the competition is a celebration, and I really want to thank the organizers for this opportunity, because not everybody gets that. (on their preparation coming off the ISU European Championships) We prepared the same way we always do. This is already our fifth competition this season I believe (coach corrected: sixth competition). We’ll focus more on (senior) Worlds.
Berulava: We feel really good and we are happy that we were able to improve our score a little bit. We will continue to work. (on competing at the ISU World Junior Championships) Actually, for me competing in Juniors is harder than at the senior level because of the double Axel. (on their approach for the Free Skating) The thing is not to think about any approach, but just to pull yourself together, that’s it. (on whom they want to give credit for taking them to this point) The coaches, obviously, the president of the Georgian Figure Skating Federation and our parents.

Olivia Flores/Luke Wang (USA) 2nd after the Short Program
Wang: (On how they felt after today’s performance) Relieved! I think we've really learned a lot from this season and all of the challenges we've faced and then how we overcame them. We've been really working really hard on defining our process and trusting that process and so yeah that's what we're going to continue to do moving forward. (on what it’s been like to be here in Taiwan at their first Junior Worlds) We feel just so fresh, not knowing really what to expect coming into our first Junior Worlds, so just trying to have a lot of fun. And I do want to say something in Mandarin for the Taiwanese federation & fans. [He proceeded to summarize what he said in Mandarin] I just said thank you to the Taiwanese skating union, thank you to the Taiwanese fans who came and watched today. We took so much energy from them and we couldn't do it without the help and the support from the federation and from the fans. (on their plan for tomorrow’s FS) We talked a lot about building our momentum, so we're going to just continue our confidence that we gained from today to tomorrow. (on the people who have helped get you to this moment) Obviously parents are the most crucial support system in my life, as I'm sure for everyone. But also my sister – she sacrificed a lot for me to skate and to continue my passion. I was spending many hours at the rink, and my parents were driving me to the rink, back and forth, and so I give thanks to her for continuing to be supportive and to support me through this journey. Shout out to Drew [Meekins] and Natalia [Mishkutenok] and everyone else at WASA [World Arena Skating Academy in Colorado Springs] Pairs for being the best training environment .
Flores: (on their plan for tomorrow’s FS) For us, definitely staying calm and knowing our process and staying in the moment. (on the people who have helped get you to this moment) I would say just my whole family for always pushing me to be better and, of course, our coaches who also push us to be the best you
can be.

Martina Ariano Kent/Charly Laliberte Laurent (CAN) 3rd after the Short Program
Ariano Kent: (on how they felt about their performance today) Well, I felt really good about it. It was like a lot better than how we were doing in practice, so I was really happy that we were able to improve and do a good performance. (on what it’s been like to be at their first Junior Worlds) It's really great to be out here in such an amazing environment and being around amazing people is very special and exciting. (on their plan for tomorrow’s FS) Well, we're just going to take each element one at a time and just enjoy the moment and have fun. (on the people who have helped get you to this moment) For me, my whole family – they've been really supportive, and my coaches too, through everything.
Laliberte Laurent: (on what it’s been like to be at their first Junior Worlds) It feels really great to be here, just the experience to see so many great skaters competing. It’s very cool to be here. (on the people who have helped get you to this moment) Yeah, it's pretty much the same thing – my family, my parents, my coach
 

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The "Press Conference Highlights" (copied out above - thanks!) and "Facts & Figures" documents are linked from the ISU's event info page: https://www.isu.org/figure-skating/...figure-skating-championships?templateParam=11

Facts & Figures

The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships are held in Taipei City (TPE) for the second time. Taipei
City has hosted the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships previously in 2017. This marks the 48th
edition of the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships. The first two were held as ISU Junior Figure
Skating Championships in 1976 and 1977 and since 1978 the event has been called ISU World Junior Figure
Skating Championships. The championship was cancelled once in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

187 Skaters from 45 ISU members have been entered for the Championships: 41 Men, 46 Ladies, 19 Pair
Skating couples and 31 Ice Dance couples.

• 21-year-old Pair Skater Tobija Harms (GER) is the oldest competitor (dob 23 Jun 2002)
• Single Skater Gian-Quen Isaacs (RSA), 19, is the oldest lady competing (dob 12 Dec 2004)
• 13-year-old Angel Delevaque (NED) is the youngest Skater in the event (dob 15 Jun 2010)
• 14-year-old Luka Imedashvili (LTU) is the youngest male Skater competing (dob 25 Dec 2009)

There are five sets of siblings competing:
• Anita Straub/Andreas Straub (AUT) in the Ice Dance
• Natalie Blaasova/Filip Blaas (CZE) in the Ice Dance
• Sonja Loewenherz/Robert Loewenherz (GER) in the Pairs
• Twins Yujae Kim and Yuesong Kim (KOR) in the Women’s
• Elliana Peal/Ethan Peal (USA) in the Ice Dance

Former ISU World Junior Champions and medalists competing:
• Mao Shimada (JPN), 2023 World Junior Champion
• Jia Shin (KOR) 2022 & 2023 World Junior silver medalist
• Luka Berulava (GEO), 2022 World Junior Pairs Champion (with former partner Karina Safina)
• Violetta Sierova/Ivan Khobta (UKR), 2023 World Junior Pairs bronze medalists
 

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PRESS CONFERENCE
Junior Men, after Short Program

Minkyu Seo (KOR) 1st after the Short Program

I missed the Junior Grand Prix Final and the Youth Olympic Games and I really wanted to go there. So I am really happy to compete here at Junior Worlds and happy to pull out my best in the Short Program. (on his music choice) This music was chosen by my coach and my mother, she is also a skating coach. I like the step sequence in my Short Program the most because I feel it is the very essence of my music. (on his strategy heading into the Free Skating) All the skaters today showed great performances and it is very close. It will be a tough competition in the Free Skating and I will do my best to pull out the best of myself to show my strength. (on being inspired by Jia Shin) Of course I went to cheer for the Ladies singles and seeing Jia coming in first place was very encouraging for me and I thought maybe I can also do well. We live in different areas, so we don’t see each other often, but I know she is hard working and always motivating other skaters.

Francois Pitot (FRA) 2nd after the Short Program
I am really happy about my performance. Not everything went well, I tripped a little bit, but I remained calm during my program, so I'm very happy about that. Second place is a nice place to be in, and I will keep focusing on the free. (on his music choice) My music is from the show ‘Stranger Things’. I really like this show and when I hear this music on one episode, I really enjoy the song and the motivation about this. My choreographer Angelique Abashkina had an idea that we liked. I really appreciate this idea and I think it's worked nicely. We really enjoy performing this program. (on what will be the key to success in the Free Skating) I think the key for Saturday is the quality of jumps, spins and choreography in the Free Skating to make a lot of points. Now I have a quad Salchow in the beginning of the program and we’ll see with my coach and staff at the practice what we will do. Of course I want to go for it, but quality is the key and we are very close.

Adam Hagara (SVK) 3rd after the Short Program
I'm really happy with the skate. Of course there are things I can improve and I will work on them but I think I did my best and I will try to do my best in the free skate as well. (on his music choice) I chose the song with my sister and mom. It represents the feeling of love when you are heart broken and I try to show my experience on the ice trying to show what I feel. (on what will be the key to success in the Free Skating) My strategy for the free skate is not to put too much pressure on myself. I'm just trying to enjoy the free skate, not going to do something special. Just concentrate on the elements and try to feel the music and enjoy the moment that I'm here and I can skate.
 

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PRESS CONFERENCE
Junior Pairs, after Free Skating

Anastasiia Metelkina/Luka Berulava (GEO), 2024 ISU World Junior Champions

Metelkina: I am grateful to our coaches, to the Federation and my partner that we were able to win this competition even though I made some errors. I'll work on that. We'll work to improve the elements, first of all the jumps and work on the consistency.
Berulava: I am not happy. There were big mistakes. I don’t know (what went wrong). This is sport, it is a casino. This competition was a lesson for us. I hope that from this points we’ll work even harder in training, because practice leads to the result and the result comes from practice. (on what is unique about them) I think we haven’t found that point yet. (on possible competing in Juniors again if the age limit is raised) I haven’t though yet about junior competitions yet next season as the next season we’ll be senior. I am quite old actually.

Olivia Flores/Luke Wang (USA), 2024 ISU World Junior silver medalists
Wang: (On their first Junior Worlds and what it means to them) First of all, I want to congratulate all the athletes sitting with me here, including our teammates who we train with every day. It means a lot. Our coach was saying this event feels like the culmination of all of the hard work we put into the year and all of the lessons we've learned thus far. And so, we take away a lot – a lot to learn, a lot to be happy about –and so no regrets. And we're really just really honored and excited to be here sitting with these wonderful athletes beside me. (how do you develop being expressive on the ice and selling a program) It’s definitely something we work on and we emphasize. I think it starts also with the packaging and the repertoire we choose to skate to. Being really excited for us, just in our long, we always say we never feel tired of it. We're always excited even during training to skate to that (Star Wars) music, so it starts with that feeling of being really excited. And then obviously Drew did a great job of choreographing, really highlighting our strengths and highlighting that we are expressive skaters. For me personally, I grew up a musical theater kid so that's where I get that from. I also did dance, but I think for sure, (it’s) the whole process, and of course, working on it too. I did also want to add – just watching my inspirations too, seeing how they are able to tell a story first and foremost and that inspires me and us to try to follow in their paths. One of them being our coach, Natalia Mishkutenok (1992 Olympic pairs champion), who was a legend in pair skating herself. Just watching her videos when I got into the discipline was really inspiring – all her legendary performances. (on your biggest strength as a team) For us, regardless of how the performance of the competition may turn out to be, we can always rely on the fact that we are putting our full effort into our performance and really showcasing that character and musicality - I think that’s one of our strengths. And the performance of it – we like to showcase that. (on your future plans if the ISU pairs age rule changes) We have one (more) year regardless of any age change. We actually don't know about the Grand Prix season. I mean it heavily relies on world rankings so we will see. Junior Worlds is always fun and this is our first one so I'd love to come back. We'd love to dabble in senior as well, so definitely something we're going to work for.
Flores: (On their first Junior Worlds and what it means to them) I'm just very excited and surreal to be here and definitely grateful even though, you know, you have hopes and you always want to do your best and sometimes that doesn't happen. And moving on and learning the lessons from this competition and taking it to the next. (how do you develop being expressive on the ice and selling a program) I think just having fun when we skate. So much of it is actually enjoying skating and skating together and that helps us build our own confidence.

Naomi Williams/Lachlan Lewer (USA), ISU World Junior bronze medalists
Lewer: (on having missed the Junior Grand Prix season due to Williams’ foot injury and what it means to be on the podium here in the 2nd Junior Worlds) It's just such a relief to be here after the season we had, the ups and downs, things like that. Naomi did a great job to get back on the ice as quickly as she did. Her surgeon didn't even think she was able to go to nationals, so to go (and win the silver medal), and then to come here, is just such a huge accomplishment for both of us. I'm super proud of my partner and everyone else here. They all worked super hard and they earned everything they got. Thank you to the medical staff who did work on me all week because I could hardly skate so thank you guys, thank you to my coaches and congrats to everyone else. Thank you. (how do you develop being expressive on the ice and selling a program) Well, I think Naomi has always been an expressive skater and I think that has motivated me to do a better job, especially with Drew (Meekins) as my coach. He likes to encourage me to smile a lot, so I've worked on it a lot these past couple of seasons and try to catch up to Naomi. I think what Olivia said as well, like the joy of skating, like really trying to find that and express that, really trying to engage with the audience and things like that, let them know how fun it is to be out on the ice. (on your future plans if the ISU pairs age rule changes) So I think hopefully our plan for next season is to move up to Senior, hopefully get maybe a Senior Grand Prix if we train hard enough and get the elements that we need to get. But if they change the rules (note: he turned 21 in January) maybe Junior Worlds once again? I mean this is such a fun event – the atmosphere, the skaters, the crowd, I mean it’s fantastic! But I think we’re going to go up to senior next year and work our butts off to get there.
Williams: (on having missed the Junior Grand Prix season due to her foot surgery and what it means to be on the podium here) I'm very proud of everyone. I thought everyone did great, especially since it was so late at night. We train with Luke and Olivia every day and we see how hard they work, and I'm really, really proud of them especially. Our goal in the season was obviously to compete in the Junior Grand Prix and Junior Worlds and, after missing the first goal, it meant a lot to be here. And I'm so happy to be here with the best training mates so thank you guys! (how do you develop being expressive on the ice and selling a program) I think we all love skating so showing how much we love it through our skating and, like Luke said, making sure our programs are something that we know we can enjoy and really get into the character. Because our short program is very happy – it's about like a girl and a boy falling in love and the (Miss Saigon) free skate is more character-y so kind of getting into the mindset before really helps me. (on your biggest strength as a team) I think for us maybe our lifts because Lachlan is so strong and I trust him with my life when I’m up there. It really makes it easy to do some fun things and positions and then, when I'm up there, I'm like flying and I can express to the audience. I think that's something that we can keep improving and keep making it even better.
 

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PRESS CONFERENCE
Junior Ladies, after Free Skating

Mao Shimada (JPN), 2024 ISU World Junior Champion

Last year I had won all my competitions even though it was my first year of juniors. I had a fresh feeling
going into the competition, but I was a little nervous as I have won last year. Before the competition I tried
to make sure I make myself calm. (on her happiest moment today) Of course I’m happy for my second title
but I did make a mistake on the triple Axel which I haven made this season. But I was happy I was able to
land the quad toe after that. (on what she is looking forward to in the off season) I did make a mistake, but I
am happy with the result. I want to enjoy the off season and do practices that I’m not able to do during the
season. I want to prepare myself for next season.

Jia Shin (KOR), 2024 ISU World Junior silver medalist
I am very honored to win my third silver medal at the Junior Worlds. I got a lot of experience this year, I did
a lot of competitions and I think that experience has made me stronger. I am very happy with my result
today and this year’s third silver medal is the most impressive for me. (on what was her happiest moment
today) My happiest moment was the point when I landed my last triple Lutz. Going into my choreo
sequence I was thinking I’m doing good. That was the happiest moment of my performance. (on her
experience this season) In this season I had the Youth Olympic Games in my home country, in Korea and I
think I grew stronger through that experience. With this experience I came to Junior Worlds and I managed
to set a personal best score. (on what she is looking forward to in the off season) The season is over now
and after coming home to Korea I’ll take some rest. Then I’ll go to Canada to prepare my new program. I
want to learn something new from there.
ETA that Jia has posted a photo of her small gold medal (SP) & silver on her Insta: https://www.instagram.com/p/C3-t82CPjBn/

Rena Uezono (JPN), 2024 ISU World Junior bronze medalist
In the short program I made a mistake and I regret my performance. But from the practice the next day on I
made sure to feel better and forget the short program and focus on the free program. (on what was her
happiest moment today) After the short program I was able to switch my feeling and I was able to grow
from this. I was able to have a good experience at this competition and I also found new things to work on.
For next season during off season I want to work on that and I’ll probably get a new program and want to
work on that as well.


PRESS CONFERENCE
Junior Ice Dance, after Rhythm Dance

Leah Neset/Artem Markelov (USA) 1st after the Rhythm Dance

Neset: (on today’s performance) I think we're happy with how it went. Try to just do our job and have fun.
(on the favorite part of your rhythm dance) I feel like my favorite part kind of changes throughout the
season. I think one of my favorite parts is the lift. (on why none of the top three got a season’s best score) I
guess I'm not really sure, but I think we will try to give it our all and do our best (in the free dance).
(on what to take to build on for next season) I guess I would take from this season like learning how to
skate under pressure and to be able to really enjoy the program even when there are nerves.

Markelov: (on today’s performance) Yeah, we're really trying to enjoy this moment and just perform our
hearts out. (on the favorite part of their Rhythm Dance) I think my favorite part is the step sequence.
(on none of the three top teams scoring a season’s best) I just think every competition is totally separate
and the important thing is to just do your best, which I think we all did. (on what to take to build on for next
season) I think what I would take from this season is that you just need to do your job and focus on what
needs to be done and just do it as in practice.

Darya Grimm/Michail Savitskiy (GER) 2nd after the Rhythm Dance
Grimm: (on today’s performance) I think we gave everything today that we could do, probably. We tried to
skate well and just try to do something really good. I think we did that. (on the favorite part of their Rhythm
Dance) I think my favorite part is the last part where the music switches because it's fun and it's at the end
and you just give everything until the end. The rotation lift is also fun. (on what to take to build on for next
season) I think we'll learn a lot how to skate under pressure as well and how to deal with the nerves and
just enjoy the program and have fun and just don't think about much except the program and just go from
element to element but still try to enjoy it and just have fun. I think that would be something I would like to
continue learning and also doing. (on their comeback after last year’s withdrawal from Junior Worlds due to
illness following the Rhythm Dance) I was really excited to go here (Taipei), especially because it's such a
great place and just really exotic and I'm really happy to be back and to be able to skate here because it
was pretty sad that we couldn't skate (the free dance) last year and I was, I'm trying to not do this mistake
again (she ate seafood and fell sick). And I really hope we can get a good free dance and just skate.

Savitskiy: (on today’s performance) Junior World Championship is always the last competition in the
season for us and it's always the most important competition because you have the most time to prepare
for it, and it's always good to perform the best and especially this competition, and I think we've done that
today and so we're really happy. (on the favorite part of their Rhythm Dance) I actually think quite the
opposite (of Darya) – I like the beginning the most – the beginning with the transition to the twizzles and the
twizzles, just the first part. The last part is really nice, but I like the first part more. (on none of the top three
teams scoring a season’s best) I think every single one of us poured heart and soul into those programs,
and at the end of the day it's not for us to decide what points we get. I think everyone did their best and
delivered strong performances. (on what to take to build on for next season) We skated a lot of big
competitions this season. Of course it's always hard to go in as favorites, to keep up with expectations, but
at the end of the day we just need to do what we do every day in practice, and just deliver what we can
deliver. (on last year’s withdrawal from Junior Worlds due to Darya’s illness and being able to compete
here) We're really glad to be here because Junior World Championships is the last competition of the
season. It's what we built up to from the very beginning of the season and so we're really happy to be here.
We hope we can deliver a great performance tomorrow and yeah, we try to avoid street foods and seafood
and whatever (why Darya fell ill last year).

Elizabeth Tkachenko/Alexei Kiliakov (ISR) 3rd after the Rhythm Dance
Tkachenko: (on today’s performance) It felt very strong in general and so we're really proud of ourselves.
(on the favorite part of their Rhythm Dance) I really like our beginning because it's very in character – like
race cars – and it's original so I really like it. (on what to take from here to build for next season) I feel like
we learned how to also perform under pressure, but also remembering that, in the end, it's a dance and you
have to express yourself and just enjoy it.

Kiliakov: (on today’s performance) We did a lot of work after (JGP) finals to try and iron out as many things
as we could. We think we did a good job today of delivering on our products. (on the favorite part of their
Rhythm Dance) I also definitely really like the beginning just because it has such a strong first impression;
it’s really intense. (on why none of the top three scored a season’s best here) I just think every competition
is totally separate and the important thing is to just do your best, which I think we all did. (on what to take
from here to build for next season) I think my biggest takeaway is just focus on ourselves and not worry
about everything going on around you and just work on improving your own skills.


Golden Skate's Instagram account has photos of/quotes from 18 women in the mixed zone after the FS and 16 ice dance teams after the RD: https://www.instagram.com/goldsk8/
 
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Sylvia

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PRESS CONFERENCE
Junior Ice Dance, after Free Dance

Leah Neset/Artem Markelov (USA), 2024 ISU World Junior Champions

Neset:
(on being the new champions) We're very grateful for this opportunity and grateful for our team and coaches and family. And we’re very excited.
(on the highlight of your season) I would say the highlights for this season were probably this competition and the (JGP) Final. They're the biggest competitions that we've done so far, so it was really exciting to experience.
(on what you think made the difference that you were able to step up and be on the podium this year) I think just keeping working hard, especially in the off season, and trying to grow as a team and become better.
(on the relationship with your coaches) I think we really trust our coaching team. We're really grateful to them. (Echoing Savitskiy’s answer) The coach is always right.
(on how this medal will impact your career) I think it's a big achievement for us that definitely took a lot of work to get here. We're really happy to be here. I think the day-to-day work stays the same, regardless of the results. So we’ll just keep working and try to improve everything.

Markelov:
(on being the new champions) It's definitely hard to believe right now, I think we need to sleep on it and then can realize it probably.
(on the highlight of your season) I think the biggest accomplishment is the growth that we achieved both as people and as skaters. And I think that's what I'm the most proud of and happy about.
(on your future plans re. junior or senior next season) We're going to decide it with our coach later after we go back and have time to analyze everything and think.
(on the relationship with your coaches) I agree (with Savitskiy), it's a 50-50 relationship and if we don't like something we can discuss it and find a compromise that will satisfy both parties.
(on how this medal will impact your career; adding after Neset) There's always room for improvement.
(on what your highest priority is to develop further) I think for our team is definitely power and performance so we'll keep working on it. (on what’s next) We actually are getting our wisdom teeth pulled out! So that's the first thing we're going to do. Both of us – we’ll have it done on the same day and then we'll have a week of recovery after that.

Elizabeth Tkachenko/Alexei Kiliakov (ISR), 2024 ISU World Junior silver medalists
Tkachenko:
(on the highlight of your season) We're really proud of how during these big competitions we managed to keep our cool and perform our best. And I feel like we really grew as a couple throughout this season.
(on how this medal will impact your career) I feel like at big competitions like these we learn a lot about ourselves and how to compete under pressure and what works for each other. I feel like we can really take away (this experience to) use it for upcoming seasons.
(on what’s next) We're going to go cheer for our (male) singles skater for Israel and I guess we're just going to take a deep breath and enjoy some time off.

Kiliakov:
(on winning the first World Junior Ice Dance medal for Israel) We're very grateful for all the people of the Israeli federation that helped us get to where we are. We're also very proud of our achievement. So we're looking forward to working harder to achieve even more.
(on the highlight of your season) Besides the obvious answer of Junior Worlds and the JGP Final, I would say that the highlight this season has just been the programs we've been able to put out because we worked really hard to make them interesting.
(on what you think made the difference that you were able to step up and be on the podium this year) I think for us, it’s finding our unique strengths and using them to put out the best programs.
(on your future plans re. junior or senior next season) We have a lot of thinking to do amongst ourselves and of course with our federation. We trust that we'll make the right decision in the end.
(on the relationship with your coaches) I feel like we're all in a place where in our careers that we know what feels right and what feels wrong. And so, of course, the coaches have more experience, but there's always kind of the back and forth and making sure that what we put out is the best for everybody.
(on how this medal will impact your career) I feel like these achievements, if anything, are indicators that what we're doing is working, and so of course we're going to build off of that to keep getting better.
(on what your highest priority is to develop further) I think for us this season we really opened up a new frontier for ourselves with the kind of artistry and performance of our programs, and we just really want to keep growing in that direction.
(on what’s next) I’ll be taking my midterm exams. But, besides that, definitely just some time with friends and family and a less pressure environment.

Darya Grimm/Michail Savitskiy (GER), 2024 ISU World Junior bronze medalists
Grimm:
(on winning the first World Junior Ice Dance medal for Germany) We're really happy and very grateful, especially to our coaches, for helping to get here to this moment. And it feels great to be the first one to get a medal for Germany. It was really important for us that we could show good programs and be able to get this medal.
(on the highlight of your season) The highlights of the season were definitely Junior Worlds and the Grand Prix Final. And I'm really happy that we could show good programs at both these events and show an even better performance here and just grow as a couple together.
(on what you think made the difference that you were able to step up and be on the podium this year) I think not being able to compete last year pushed us even harder this year. We really wanted to show our best this year and to compete for a medal and that’s what we managed to do. And I think it's just important to keep working. I'm really happy we could do that after the disappointment (of withdrawing from the free dance due to her illness) last year.
(on how this medal will impact your career) I don't think much will change after the medal because our coaches will continue to push us. We are going to continue to push ourselves and just keep working. We're not at the end. We're not the Olympic medalists or Olympic champions yet. We're not at the end yet, so we just have to continue to work and just do the best we can.
(on what’s next) My coach just suggested I should eat fish now! (laughing) I don't think I will. But we're going home and I will continue to go to school and we have a little bit of off time. And then we're going back to practice and going to continue to work and prepare for next season.

Savitskiy:
(on winning the first World Junior ice dance medal for Germany) I said this at the (Junior) Grand Prix Final already, but historical achievements like this are very important and we hope to inspire people of Germany to come into skating, to get into ice dance, and just be an example for future generations and for the Federation to have more funding and inspire people to do ice dance.
(on the highlight of your season) I think every single competition leading up to this point is in and of the highlight itself. And concluding this season as a medalist is just such a phenomenal achievement for us. It really shows our growth during the season and we're really happy for that.
(on what you think made the difference that you were able to step up and be on the podium this year) I think avoiding eating fish at the dinner before the free dance (how Darya fell ill last year at Junior Worlds) was a major step for us… I'm just kidding! But I think the experiences we gained over the last seasons just helped us improve and put out better programs each year and I think that was the most important step for us… besides the fish.
(on your future plans re. junior or senior next season) This is a decision we will make with our coaches back in Oberstdorf. I really don't know how much to say (since) we haven’t decided yet.
(on the relationship with your coaches) I think it's a 50-50 relationship. We have input, the coaches have input; of course, the coaches’ opinion is always right. That's the first rule of our coaches. The coach is right, and the second rule is that if the coach is wrong, the first rule applies. So now we have a lot of say, if we don't like something, we tell the coaches and then we discuss it together, and we always find a good honey spot in the middle.
(on how this medal will impact your career) I think the medal just shows how much we've grown over the years, how much experience we've gained as a couple. And it just goes to show that we have a lot of potential, we have much to achieve, and if we stay on the right path, we'll probably achieve even more.
(on what your highest priority is to develop further) I think for us it's pretty much the same as Leah and Artem – we have to work on our power and our strength, especially towards the end of the program. We will try to implement even more difficult elements than we had this year. And overall, to improve everything.
(on what’s next) I heard the street food here (in Taipei) is pretty good, so I'll try that. Because I didn't have much opportunity before the competition. When we come back (to Germany), we will have a few days off, do a little bit for German television, and then just get back to practice.
 

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PRESS CONFERENCE
Junior Men, after Free Skating

Minkyu Seo (KOR), 2024 ISU World Junior Champion

In the first half of the season I couldn’t make it to the Junior Final or Youth Olympic Games and I was really
disappointed about that and really wanted to come to here. Coming here and winning is very meaningful for
me. Before the Free Skating I wanted to do something great for my father who is at home and for my
mother, who is cheering for me here. I made one mistake but I managed to not drag it through the end of
the program. This is my first time at Junior Worlds and coming off with the gold is a huge success. (on his
experience) From this Junior Worlds I felt I mentally somehow grew. I met a lot of great skaters such as Rio
(Nakata) and Adam (Hagara). They have great jumping skills and gave great performances so it was really
a great experience for me. And I think this Junior Championship would become a turning point of my
skating life, so I want to do better for the upcoming season. (on adding the triple Axel to his programs) After
I missed the Junior Grand Prix Final and the Youth Olympic Games, I decided I have to up my technical
content and I worked very hard off ice, almost seven hours per day, training and make my body harder to
adjust to myself the higher technical elements. (on the strength of the Korean men now) Recently the
Korean men become more and more competitive. So when I see my friends doing some difficult jumps like
quads and triple Axels, I really want to resemble them and I try harder. I think that it's not a secret – it’s the
competitiveness among the Korean men. (on the first thing he wants to do in the off-season) I don’t have
anything particular in mind right now, but since I'm planning to step up my technical elements, - I'm trying to
do some quadruples. I'm thinking about how much should I extend my off ice training.

Rio Nakata (JPN) 2024 ISU World Junior silver medalist
I was disappointed about the Short Program when I missed my spin. I always don’t do well in my Short
Program. When I came into the Free Skating I was so nervous. After the Youth Olympic Games in January
I felt a lot of regret and I was a bit angry at myself. Coming to Junior Worlds I knew there are many good
skaters and in order to win a medal I had to try many things and to become a better skater. And I also felt
that to become a better skater, I have to work really hard from now on, so I want to take some rest and
want to do my best from now on. (on the first thing he wants to do in the off-season) I want to say good luck
to Adam (Hagara), for the World Championship. In this off -season, I want to practice two quads in my
program, and work hard on my jumps, spins and skating skills.

Adam Hagara (SVK), 2024 ISU World Junior bronze medalist

I am really happy about the bronze medal. I tried my best in the Short Program and Free Skating. I am little
bit disappointed with first Axel but I did my best. It is a new experience for me to win the bronze medal at
Junior Worlds and this medal means a lot to me. My hard work paid off and connecting into senior Worlds I
want to take a few days off, then focus on senior Worlds, train hard and see how it goes at senior Worlds.
 

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Getty Images by Toru Hanai for the ISU:

Women's FS/podium, Rhythm Dance (March 1)

Pairs FS/podium, Men's SP (Feb. 29)

Women's SP, Pairs SP (Feb. 28)
Men's FS, Free Dance, medalists (March 2)

Gala Exhibition (March 3) - there are photos of Luke Wang throwing Michail Savitskiy (I saw a fun clip of Michail doing a dance lift with Luke before he landed the throw 2S :lol:) and Berulava throwing Rio Nakata (ETA) clip is linked in the EX Gala thread; there's also a Getty pic of TPE's Feng-Yi Lin on top of Lachlan Lewer's head ;)

More photos by Robin Ritoss have been added:
 
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ISU's recap of the Junior Men (the 7 other recaps by event are linked on the right under Related News): https://www.isu.org/figure-skating/...ld-title-for-korea-in-taipei?templateParam=15

Jack Gallagher's Team Japan singles-focused recaps:

Men's FS:

Women's FS:

Men's SP:

Women's SP:
 

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I noticed that skaters also are sharing Junior Worlds photos from this website: IMAGO (Gala on March 3 going back to practice photos on Feb. 26)

Sherry Zhang just shared her photos, which include an international gathering of 9 girls from 7 countries (AUS CZE FIN HKG JPN SUI USA) in a hotel room & a Team USA group shot at the banquet: https://www.instagram.com/p/C4KUpWKLF59/
"... During the six minute warm up for the freeskate, I sliced my right calf with my left toe pick. The cut was deep but its getting better now 🤠 ..."
 
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A selection of banquet & other photos:

TPE’s Tzu-Han (Anna) TING was a guest skater in the gala and had her belated 18th birthday celebration at the banquet: https://www.instagram.com/p/C4HqsM0rDJk/

Jacob Sanchez’s pics: https://www.instagram.com/p/C4GntPKvqfg/

Luke Wang’s gala & banquet pics: https://www.instagram.com/p/C4J05lnrkzQ/

Rena Uezono shared Team Japan’s formal team photo & others: https://www.instagram.com/p/C4GMYsnJX5z/

Team Japan's table (with Team Korea behind them) is the 2nd pic shared by Ikura Kushida (one of the girls in Sherry’s hotel room gathering, mentioned in the above post): https://www.instagram.com/p/C4IcBr8JzXV/

Taipei sights & food photos plus the Lion Dance on stage (#9) at the banquet, shared by Ethan Peal: https://www.instagram.com/p/C4JAJDkL_5n/

Korean ice dancer Jinny Kim took 3 sets of pics with skaters at the banquet: https://www.instagram.com/p/C4F2n_vxzTl/ & https://www.instagram.com/p/C4F3rdKRJ_r/ & https://www.instagram.com/p/C4IRhYXRzWW/
 
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Coach David Richardson’s reel video of Taipei highlights with Team GBR (this was Lucy Hay's final competition as she announced her retirement today, as posted in the British skating thread in GSD): https://www.instagram.com/reel/C4HwPUNo3B7/

Angelina Kudryavtseva’s post about her and Ilia Karankevich’s first & only competition of the season (due to her left leg injury/surgery before the start of the JGP season): https://www.instagram.com/p/C4NDMUbNYIp/

Slovak fed. shared a photo of their 2 pairs & Adam Hagara in front of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall at night: https://www.instagram.com/p/C4Dg_ylopbV/

One fan’s photos with skaters: https://www.instagram.com/p/C4N6bnwOx9g/

Photographer Raniero Corbelletti’s video showing some of the stuffie gifts held by skaters in the kiss & cry: https://www.instagram.com/reel/C4CskfPSMDd/
 

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Dania Mouaden’s post & photos, including 1 with Scott Moir & 2 of Team France at the banquet: https://www.instagram.com/p/C4DsEjGSID1/

Silver medalist Rio Nakata’s post (final clip shows him landing a throw 2S courtesy of Berulava in the gala finale that wasn't fully seen in the livestream): https://www.instagram.com/p/C4DWRfmJkG0/

Tzu-Han Ting’s behind the scenes photos at the Gala (photos & clip): https://www.instagram.com/p/C4PiW2MLuv9/

ETA - re-posting here from the U.S. Pairs news thread in GSD - Flores/Wang's interview with Golden Skate in Taipei: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcL4BBjCUpY
 
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