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Tsurskaya survives fall to take ladies lead in Torun

Yamamoto jumps to first in men's; Atakhanova, Spiridonov set pairs pace
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Russia's Polina Tsurskaya can clinch a trip to the Junior Grand Prix Final with a top finish in Torun, Poland. -Getty Images

Russian skaters took charge in ladies and pairs Thursday at the Junior Grand Prix (JGP) in Torun, Poland, while Japan's Sota Yamamoto set the pace in the men's competition.


Skating to "Adagio in G minor" by Tomaso Albinoni, Polina Tsurskaya earned 61.04 points. The young Russian landed an impressive opening triple-lutz-triple toe combination, although she fell on a triple flip midway through her program. Tsurskaya capped off her performance with a Level 4 layback spin and sits in first heading into the free skate.

Teammate Ekaterina Mitrofanova sits second after avoiding falls en route to scoring 57.69 points during her "Bolero" short program. Mitrofanova opened with a triple toe-triple toe combination followed by a triple flip and two Level 4 spins.

Japan's Kaori Sakamoto is third after coming away with 56.89 points. She hit her opening triple lutz-triple toe combination in her "Malagueña" short, gaining enough points to overcome a fall and still be in medal contention.

Team USA's Megan Wessenberg (48.90) and Akari Nakahara (47.86) sit seventh and 10th, respectively.


Amina Atakhanova and Ilia Spiridonov are first after earning 59.70 points for their short program. Skating to The Nutcracker, the Russian duo skated a clean program, landing an opening triple twist and side-by-side double axels.

Despite a fall on their side-by-side double axels, Russia's Ekaterina Borisova and Dmitry Sopot are second with 55.40 points. Skating to "Ninja" by Maxime Rodriguez, they capitalized on an opening triple twist, as well as Level 4's on their lift and step sequence.

Canadian duo Bryn Hoffman and Bryce Chudak are in third after earning 50.49 points for their Notre-Dame de Paris short. Their skate was highlighted by a throw quad salchow and Level 4 step sequence.

Sitting in contention for the podium, Team USA's Chelsea Liu and Brian Johnson (50.15), and Joy Weinberg and Maximiliano Fernandez (48.87), are in fifth and sixth place, respectively.


Yamamoto leads the men after the short, earning 75.16 points for his performance to "Poeta" by Vicente Amigo. He opened with a triple axel before executing his remaining two jump elements -- a triple lutz-triple toe combination and triple flip -- in the second half of his program.

JGP Slovakia gold medalist Roman Sadovsky hit a double axel and triple flip in his performance to "The Prophet" by Gary Moore. The Canadian skater earned a program-high 11.53 points for his triple lutz-triple toe combination and sits in second place with 71.13 points.

Despite only performing a single toe in combination with his triple lutz, Latvia's Deniss Vasiļjevs is in third place with 69.40 points. Vasiļjevs performed a triple flip in the seocnd half of his performance to "Puttin' on the Ritz."

Team USA's Aleksei Krasnozhon and Tony Lu sit within striking distance of the podium, in fifth and sixth place, respectively. Krasnozhon, who won bronze in his JGP debut in Latvia earlier this season, earned 62.44 points for his efforts, while Lu finished with a personal-best 61.69.