Press Release

Murakami takes ladies gold in the Netherlands

Zawadzki rallies to come away with silver

Agnes Zawadzki will make her senior Grand Prix Series debut in Canada.
Agnes Zawadzki will make her senior Grand Prix Series debut in Canada. (Michelle Harvath)

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(03/13/2010) - The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2010 concluded in The Hague, The Netherlands, on Saturday with the ladies free skating and the exhibition gala.

Kanako Murakami (JPN) crowned world junior Champion
Kanako Murakami of Japan skated off with the gold medal at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2010. Agnes Zawadzki (USA) surged from eighth to snatch the silver medal and Russia's Polina Agafonova claimed the bronze. All three medalists debuted at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships.

Murakami skated next to last and gave a strong performance of her "Swan Lake" program. The ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champion reeled off a five triple jumps including two flips and only doubled a Salchow. The 15-year-old picked up a Level 4 for her three spins and a Level 3 for the footwork, but the Lutz received a deduction for the wrong edge take-off. Murakami earned 106.47 points (56.71 element score/49.76 program component score). She totaled 165.47 points and moved up from second to first.

"I did very well today. There was only one disappointment, I missed the triple Salchow. I just did a double. It is such a strange feeling that I'm here," Kanako said, smiling. "I haven't yet decided whether I will compete in juniors or seniors, but I hope to show better performances next season," she explained.

Zawadzki's entertaining routine to Chicago featured a triple loop, two Lutzes, a triple Salchow and toeloop as well as difficult spins and steps. The only glitch came on a shaky triple flip that received an edge call. The U.S. junior champion scored 105.81 points (58.21/47.60) and took the silver at 156.79 points in what was her first international competition.

"This meant a lot, because it's my first international and getting second is great. I didn't have much experience coming into it, but I think I gained a lot and I learned a lot," the 15-year-old said. "I was a little disappointed [yesterday], because I've been doing clean shorts in competitions. My coach just told me to trust my training and so I did. I felt pretty confident and relaxed."

Agafonova opened her program to "Romeo and Juliet Ouverture" by Peter Tchaikovski with a triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination and followed up with four more triples, but the judges deducted for a wrong edge take-off on her flip. The 14-year-old scored highly again for her excellent spins and collected a personal best score of 97.99 points (55.03/42.96). She was ranked fourth in the free skate but remained in third place overall at 154.27 points.

"I did everything I could. I'm for the first time at this competition, and I didn't expect to be third right away. I had hoped to make the top ten," the 14-year-old commented.

Polina Shelepen (RUS) moved up from seventh to fourth with a solid performance that included a double Axel-triple toeloop combination (151.65 points). Overnight leader Anna Ovcharova (RUS) plummeted to fifth after falling on two jumps (147.52 points). Kate Charbonneau (CAN) finished sixth (147.46 points).

Russia was the most successful nation at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships with five medals with the ice dance gold and four bronze medals. Team Japan took the two singles titles and one silver in the pairs. China earned a gold in the pairs and silver in the men's. Canada got one silver in ice dance, and the U.S. had one silver medal in the ladies.