Chen looks to keep winning streak alive in Croatia

Reigning world junior medalists Yu and Jin, Yan seek redemption in Zagreb

Nathan Chen and Hannah Miller aim for their second medals in the 2012 JGP Series.
Nathan Chen and Hannah Miller aim for their second medals in the 2012 JGP Series. (Stefanie Mathewson)


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By Mimi Whetstone, special to
(10/02/2012) - The 2012 Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series enters its sixth competition this week in Zagreb, Croatia, where several returning medalists will take the ice with their eyes on the 2012 JGP Final. American Nathan Chen, who won his JGP debut in Austria last month by a whopping 37 points, is among those hopefuls.


Japan's Rika Hongo will try to reach the top of the podium after a second-place finish at JGP France. Hongo earned a personal-best score of 96.22 points in Courchevel for her Swan Lake free skate, which included seven triple jumps. American Hannah Miller will join Hongo in the race for gold, after capturing silver in Linz. Miller took the bronze last year at JGP Italy, giving her a medal at every JGP event in which she's competed. Miller's teammate, Angela Wang, also hopes to return to the podium after rebounding from an eighth-place finish in the short program to earn bronze at JGP Lake Placid last month.


Chen looks to go 2-for-2 on the JGP circuit after earning an impressive 222.00 points in Austria. He is attempting to extend his winning streak to nine; he has not finished off the top step of the podium since his second-place showing as an intermediate at the 2009 U.S. Junior Championships. Han Yan of China, the reigning world junior champion, hopes to challenge Chen after a disappointing fifth-place finish last week at JGP Slovenia. Also vying for medals are Jin Seo Kim of Korea, who won bronze at JGP Austria, and Chen's teammate, Harrison Choate, who finished just off the podium, in fourth, at JGP France.


Margaret Purdy and Michael Marinaro of Canada will compete for their second title of the series after winning gold at JGP Lake Placid. Challenging Purdy and Mariano will be reigning world junior silver medalists Xiaoyu Yu and Yang Jin of China, who settled for fourth place at JGP Austria. Vasilisa Davankova and Andrei Deputat of Russia, who finished third at the 2012 World Junior Championships, will also attempt to top the podium after earning silver at their first JGP of the season, in Lake Placid. Also competing for medals are Americans Madeline Aaron and Max Settlage, the bronze medalists at JGP Lake Placid.

Ice Dancing

Russia's Valeria Zenkova and Valerie Sinitsin will attempt to win their fifth straight JGP medal, having earned a gold, two silvers and a bronze at their last four assignments. Their teammates, Evgenia Kosigina and Nikoli Moroshkin, also hope to claim the title after finishing second at JGP Lake Placid. Challenging the Russians will be Mackenzie Bent and Garrett MacKeen of Canada, who took the bronze in Austria.