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China, Russia, France win golds at JGP France

Brown wins Team USA's lone medal (silver) in Courchevel

Jason Brown, pictured here with coach Kori Ade, won his third career silver medal in the Junior Grand Prix Series.
Jason Brown, pictured here with coach Kori Ade, won his third career silver medal in the Junior Grand Prix Series. (Laurie Johnson)

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By Renee Felton, special to icenetwork.com
(08/25/2012) - Jason Brown earned Team USA's lone medal, a silver, at the opening event of the 2012 Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series in Courchevel, France. He was joined on the podium by gold medalist Boyang Jin of China and Japan's Ryuju Hino.

Jin made his JGP debut in Couchevel after most recently finishing fourth at the 2012 Chinese Figure Skating Championships. Easily winning both segments of the competition, Jin amassed 194.13 points. He executed the event's lone quadruple jump, a toe, an element which totaled 11.87 points. A second element, a triple Axel-double toe combination, also received more than 11 points.

Brown, the reigning JGP Final champion, earned 185.81 total points and moved up from third place after the short program to edge Hino. Brown's program components score was by far the highest of the event. He received a PCS of 66.86 points for his "Liebestraum" free skate, more than 10 higher than that of Jin.

"I am truly honored to bring home a medal for Team USA, and I hope I represented U.S. Figure Skating proudly," Brown said. "I can't wait to get back to training and take what I've learned from this event and grow stronger from this experience."

Hino performed the highest-scoring element of the competition, a triple Axel-triple toe that netted 14.17 points. Despite a plethora of high-scoring technical elements, Hino placed third in the free skate and finished with 181.61 points overall.

American Harrison Choate took fourth to open the season.

The ladies medals belong to three newcomers to the JGP Series. Russia's Elena Radionova won by a nearly 30-point margin over silver medalist Rika Hongo of Japan. Radionova's teammate, Uliana Titushkina, earned the bronze. Americans Vanessa Lam and Ashley Cain finished fourth and fifth places, respectively.

Radionova, who is just 13 years old and finished fifth at the most recent Russian championships, totaled 177.79 points. Her free skate netted 116.64 points, including 64.19 on technical elements.

Her free skate, set to music from the soundtracks of And Finally I Love You and The Country of Deaf, started out with a triple Lutz-triple toe, her second triple-triple of the competition, which earned 10.90 points. From there, the program included 10 more elements that all received positive grades of execution. Other highlights included a triple flip, two Level 4 spins and a second triple Lutz.

Hongo moved up from third place after the short program to narrowly win silver. She earned 149.38 points for the week. Like the two other medalists, Hongo also included a triple-triple combination in her short program. Her triple toe-triple toe kicked off her Samson and Delilah free skate and received 8.90 points.

French ice dancers Gabriella Papadakis and Gauillaume Cizeron were the lone veterans to come away with a gold medal. The duo, which has competed three times at the world junior championships and finished fifth at the event in 2012, overcame a narrow gap to move up from second place after the short dance. Papadakis and Cizeron trailed eventual silver medalists Valeria Zenkova and Valerie Sinitsin of Russia by a little more than half a point going into the free dance. The French posted a final score of 131.13 points.

The bronze went to Madeline Edwards and Zhao Kai Pang of Canada, who earned their first international medal in France.

American teams of Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter, and Holly Moore and Daniel Klaber finished sixth and eighth, respectively, in their international debuts.