Team Fintastic Junior (FIN) successfully defended their title as the ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships concluded in Innsbruck (AUT) on Saturday. Team Skyliners Junior (USA) claimed the silver medal and the bronze went to the newcomers from Team Elite Junior (USA). It was an exciting battle until the end with only 1.50 points separating the winners from the bronze medalists.

Team Fintastic Junior repeats as ISU World Junior Champions

The top three teams were almost tied in the Short Program, separated by less than one point heading into the Free Skating.

As defending Champions, Team Fintastic Junior (FIN) took a narrow lead in the Short Program with 72.83 points, earning a level four for the Twizzle Element and the No Hold Element. Skating to a selection of music that included “The Mosquito Coast” by Antonio Pinto and “Glass Onion” by The Beatles, the Finns picked up a level four for the Move Element, the Intersection, the Synchronized Spin and a level three and four for the No Hold Element and the step sequence. The team from Helsinki scored 132.78 points for the Free Skating and totaled 205.61 points to repeat as ISU World Junior Champions. It was the fifth medal overall for the team that had claimed three silver medals before in addition to their gold from 2020.

“We are proud to be able to achieve our goal and keeping the title as World Junior Champions. We went out and had fun and worked as team and it definitely paid off,” Team Captain Linnea Lehtinen said.

The Team Skyliners Junior (USA) stood in third following the Short Program and as well put out an excellent performance in their Free Skating to “Whose Side You Are On”, Convergence” and “Paramount”. The 2018 and 2019 ISU World Junior medalists collected a level four for six elements, including the Intersection, Pivoting Block and No Hold Element. The Americans achieved the highest technical score and with a Free Skating score of 132.05 point overtook their national rivals Teams Elite Junior to claim the silver medal at 204.39 points overall.

“We still can’t believe it. After two years we are finally able to travel, attend the World Junior Championships and it’s just amazing,” Team Captain Misora Ooka shared. “We did pretty well with our program this time and it was great that we were able to skate at this competition. We are really proud of our score, since we improved so much since our last competition,” she added.

Team Elite Junior (USA) debuted at the ISU World Junior Championships and made an impact. The Skaters were second in the Short Program. Their upbeat Free Skating “Missy Elliot” was highlighted by strong Intersections and Move and No Hold Elements. The Americans scored 131.70 points and slipped to third at 204.11 points.

“Obviously we are so proud to be able to participate and perform so well at our first World Championships. We are so proud that we came together as a team and make this dream come true,” Team Captain Isabella Walsh commented. “We really just wanted dedicate this skate just to each other, we accomplished that goal. We were having fun all the time and enjoyed the program.”

Team Musketeers Junior (FIN) pulled up from fifth to fourth at 193.29 points, edging Les Supremes Junior (CAN) at 192.36 points. Nexxice Junior (CAN) came sixth at 172.68 points.

A total of 23 teams representing 18 ISU members – Australia, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey competed in the Championships.

This was the seventh edition of the ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships that was a biennial event and has become annual beginning of 2017. The event was cancelled in 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic.

Innsbruck (and Austria) hosted the event for the first time.

Following the IOC recommendation, in order to protect the integrity of ice skating competitions and for the safety of all the participants of international ice skating competitions, the ISU Council based on Article 17.1.q) i) of the ISU Constitution, agreed that with immediate effect and until further notice, no Skaters belonging to the ISU Members in Russia (Russian Skating Union and the Figure Skating Federation of Russia) and Belarus (Skating Union of Belarus) shall be invited or allowed to participate in international ice skating Competitions including ISU Championships and other ISU Events (Full Statement to be read on ISU website).

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