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Fourth JGP event this week in Romania

Shepelen, Hino, Stepanova and Bukin highlight international entries

Polina Shelepen of Russia won her second Junior Grand Prix medal of the season.
Polina Shelepen of Russia won her second Junior Grand Prix medal of the season. (Getty Images)

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By Kristin Zinsmeister, special to icenetwork.com
(09/20/2011) - A number of skaters who have already medaled at an International Skating Union (ISU) Junior Grand Prix (JGP) Series event this season compete this week in Brasov, Romania.

Ladies
Polina Shelepen, who won gold in Latvia, will compete for the top spot in Romania along with teammate Polina Korobeynkiova, who placed fourth two weeks ago at 2011 JGP Australia. Ashley Cain, the 2010 U.S. novice silver medalist, competes in her second Junior Grand Prix of the season, having placed sixth at JGP Latvia in early September. Japan's Yuki Nishino, who placed second at 2009 JGP Belarus and sixth at the 2011 Japanese Championships, is in the medal hunt as well.

Men
Japan's Ryuju Hino, who won the event in Latvia, is one to watch heading into Romania, while Canadian junior champion Nam Nguyen hopes to improve on his first JGP performance in Latvia, where he placed 12th. American Harrison Choate, who won the junior title at the 2011 Gardena Spring Trophy, makes his JGP debut in Romania as does Shotaro Omori, who placed third as a junior at the 2011 Gardena Spring Trophy.

Ice Dancing
Challenging for podium spots are Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin of Russia and Ukraine's Anastasia Galyeta and Alexei Shumski. The latter duo has little time to rest as they compete for the second consecutive weekend; they earned the silver medal last week in Gdansk, Poland. Reigning U.S novice bronze medalists Kaitlin Hawayek and Michael Bramante are the lone ice dancing team to represent Team USA in Romania. They make their international debut in Brasov.