2011 Grand Prix Final

Junior Men's Event

by

Alexandra Stevenson

 
Final Standings
Place Skater Country SP FS
1 Jason Brown USA 2 2
2 Han Yan CHN 3 1
3 Joshua Farris USA 1 3
4 Maxim Kovtun RUS 4 4
5 Ryuju Hino JPN 5 6
6 Keiji Tanaka JPN 6 5

Short Program

Planned Program Content

 
Starting Order - Short Program
1. Keiji Tanaka, JPN
2. Ryuju Hino, JPN
3. Maxim Kovtun, RUS
4. Jason Brown, USA
5. Joshua Farris, USA
6. Han Yan, CHN

Start Time: 20:35

 

Short Program Placements
Place Skater Country
1 Joshua Farris USA
2 Jason Brown USA
3 Han Yan CHN
4 Maxim Kovtun RUS
5 Ryuju Hino JPN
6 Keiji Tanaka JPN

Joshua Farris


1.Joshua Farris,72.99 (39.21+33.78), from Colorado Springs, who is taught by Christy Krall and Damon Allen at the Broadmoor FSC, took a significant lead of 4.2 points over his teammate Jason Brown, who lies second, as the first day of the Jr & Sr Grand Prix Final drew to a close on Thursday evening in this small arena. The pre-event front-runner, Han Yan of China, who is quite noticeably ill with a cold and fever, lies third of the six Finalists.

Dressed in a royal blue shirt, Farris, 16, performed a beautifully flowing, maturely presented routine to Debussyís Clair de Lune, which had showed great feeling for the music. He was the second qualifier, having won both his events, in Gdansk, Poland, and Tallinn, Estonia, but with less points than Han Yan of China won his JrGPs in Innsbruck, Austria and Milan, Italy.

Farris was smiling after his showing. "I opened with a great triple Axel, probably one of the best Iíve done in competition this year (earning +0.86 GoE over its base value of 8.5). I did my triple flip but fell out of the circle a little bit (on the landing so) I did a double toe (instead of the planned triple) to have a nice skate. That received +0.60.

"My spins were great." (All three got the maximum Level 4, with +0.79 for the change foot camel, +0.43 for the flying sit and +0.79 for the concluding change foot combination.) "I also did a really good Lutz (+1.0). Overall, I felt really good about the program. It felt very easy and over my feet." His Level 3 straight line steps earned an extra +0.64.

This is his second year of competing in the JGP Final. Last time, he was sixth and last in Beijing so what has changed in the last twelve months? "I feel much more confident. I was focused on myself instead of others this time. That is something Iíve done all year. I donít think it was my personal best. There were things that were better than other programs. But it was my second best of the season."

2.Jason Brown, 68.77 (36.16+32.61) who trains in Highland Park and Northbrook, Ill. with the Skokie Valley FSC, accomplished his international Personal Best with a routine to Grand Guignol by the Bajofondo Tango Club, dressed in an intense black with gold trimming. His score was 4.54 more than Yanís despite his trying "only" a double and not triple Axel.

Speaking about the Axel, Brown, who will turn 17 on December 15, explained, "Itís coming. Itís one of those jumps where I keep thinking itís coming and itís coming. Every day I think it gets closer. We were thinking about doing it in the short but decided not to. Iím not planning to try it in my free skate.

"I felt really good about my short program. I stayed focused. I tried to use my excitement to my advantage and express to the audience how much fun I was having. Hopefully they felt that way.

I have improved in my program components and my skating skills. I have gotten faster and am more confident in what I do. I think my spins have improved and the speed into my jumps."

Jason, who has been skating since he followed his older sister, Jordan, to the rink, was 7th in the last World Juniors. He qualified with a win in the Brisbane, Australia, JGP, and a silver in Milan behind Farris, his current teammate.

He said, "Although this was my personal best. There were parts of the program that werenít as strong as other competitions, but as a whole it was my personal best." He was optimistic about the upcoming Free. "Iím going to use the short program and go forth from there. I want to stay focused and keep up with how well I did today. Iím going to try my best to go through my long like I did my short today. I tried to stay calm. Itís been amazing to be at this event. Weíve been watching the six best senior men in the world. Itís unbelievably motivating."

3. Han Yan, China, 64.23 (31.87+3.36) singled his opening attempt at a triple Axel. Because of his illness he had been having problems with this jump in practice. The 15-year old, who finished 6th in the last world junior championships and won silver last season in this event, explained, "I missed the takeoff, but it wasnít because I was feeling pressure." All his other six moves gained positive GoEs.

4.Maxim Kovtun, from Sverdlovsk in Russia, 63.68 (32.75+30.93) is a new Nicholai Morosov protťgť. He performed to a mixture of tunes, starting with Summer of í42, created by the group, Neshchastnyi Sluchai (which means Accident). The 16-year-old landed his triple Axel but doubled the first jump in his planned combination of two triple toe loops. "I donít know what went wrong and Iím disappointed. Itís my easiest jump. The audience was very supportive, so it was easy to relate to them. The ice was very good. It was easy to skate on this ice."

5.Ryuju Hino, from Tokyo, 60.12 (33.58+26.54) turned 16 on December 2, skated to Gliereís Russian Sailorís Dance and executed a triple Lutz that was practically horizontal in the air. Amazingly he was able to land without falling but five of the judges punched in -3 and the rest -2.

6. Keiji Tanaka, Japan, 58.15 (30.87+27.28), who turned 17 in November, skated to Astor Piazzollaís Violentango. "I am disappointed with todayís performance," he admitted. He messed up the landing of his triple Axel, had a bad landing on the triple Lutz and a bad entry into his change foot camel spin.

 

Free Skating

Planned Program Content

 
Starting Order - Free Skating

1. Keiji Tanaka, JPN
2. Ryuju Hino, JPN
3. Maxim Kovtun, RUS
4. Han Yan, CHN
5. Jason Brown, USA
6. Joshua Farris, USA

Start Time: 19:00

 

Free Skating Placements
Place Skater Country
1 Han Yan CHN
2 Jason Brown USA
3 Joshua Farris USA
4 Maxim Kovtun RUS
5 Keiji Tanaka JPN
6 Ryuju Hino JPN

Han Yan


 


1.Overall 208.41 Jason Brown, 2.FS 139.64 (69.92+69.72). Brown, who placed ninth in the US Senior Mens championship earlier this year, and 7th in the world junior championships in South Korea, does not yet have a triple Axel, but he makes up for this in other ways. Not one single move of his 12 elements received a negative GoE, a feat no other competitor matched. He was the only competitor to earn Level 4 for his steps. He chose to do them in a straight line and earned +1.20 over the base value of 3.9. He also gained a +3 GoE (the maximum) from one of the nine judges for his opening triple Lutz, another +3 from a different judge for his Level 3 flying change foot combo spin, and two +3s along with unanimous +2s from the rest of the judging panel for his final element, a Level 3 change foot combination spin.

After his performance, set to Flow Like Water by James Newton Howard for which he wore black with some blue highlights, the 5í5" Brown, who wears his long hair tied back and trains in Northbrook, Illinois, said, "I felt the crowd was amazing. I felt a lot of support. I tried my hardest to be in the moment. We have changed around a couple of elements since the last (Junior) Grand Prix (he won in Brisbane and was second in Milan). And we moved a bunch of things to the second half. The arrangement worked better. I got a lot of confidence from being here and having another chance to compete in an arena other than US nationals.

"I am like speechless thinking about my past two years. Ever since I got on the Junior Grand Prix circuit, My goal was to make it to the Final. Just to be here is unbelievable. I sure hope I get my triple Axel by nationals." His coach, Kori Ade, said. "In his first year as a senior (in Greensboro in nationals earlier this year), it was more important to show everyone he could skate and entertain, rather than try something which was uncertain and bound to affect the overall impression. And that was right. He got a standing ovation. The triple Axel will come but for now we are concentrating on him becoming an audience pleasing, all round skater."

2.Overall 205.93 Han Yan, China, 1.FS 141.70 (77.86+63.84). Despite being sick with a cold which affected him more during the SP, but was still obvious from his coughing after the FS, he won this portion, advancing him up a place but still leaving him 2.48 behind the gold-medalist. In the free he was only 2.06 ahead of Brown. Skating to Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs) which was written in 1878 by the Spanish composer and violin virtuoso, Pablo de Sarasate, he opened with a triple Axel which was so good it received three +3s and the rest+2s. Yan also was rewarded with one +3 for his triple flip to triple toe and another for his second triple flip set for when the bonus marks click in.

His second move was a +1.57 quad toe. Though there were no major errors, he was forced to do a double three turn on the end of his first triple Lutz and he singled both a double toe attached to his second triple Lutz and an intended three jump combo became double Axel to double toe to single toe. His technical mark for the FS was 7.94 above Brownís but Brownís components were 5.88 better. Yan said, "Generally, I am not very satisfied with my performance. I am not feeling so bad (as the previous day in the SP) but it wasnít my best. I have been sick for a month. Coming here I wanted to give my best despite the illness and, considering the circumstances, I did OK."

3.Overall 203.98 Joshua Farris, 3.FS 130.99 (63.85+69.14 -2). Farris squandered his initial over four lead, with two falls. "I just made stupid mistakes that I shouldnít have," he admitted. He had changed his routine, previously set to The Transformers by Steve Jablonsky, to the more traditional Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2. "It's not that (officials from USFigureSkating) didn't like the program," he explained. "They said they thought it didn't fit me or my personality. They thought it was a little too heavy. I found this music (the Rachmaninoff). I have wanted to skate to ever since I was little, and my coach (Damon Allen) agreed it was a good choice."

He started off his routine well with a +0.86 triple Axel, a +1.0 triple flip to triple toe, a +0.50 triple Lutz to double toe and a +0.36 Level 4 flying sit spin. But then he fell during his straight line steps. That definitely shook him up. "After that fall, it kind of hurt a little bit. I had to get my legs out from underneath me and I just couldnít quite do it soon enough. I am very disappointed. It didnít bother me that I had to skate last or that I was in the lead. I just made stupid mistakes that I should not have made."

After the steps he did a Level 4 change foot camel spin which earned +0.57 but then he fell on his triple Axel which was meant to be combined with a double toe. Then he doubled his planed triple loop. But then, things got back to normal. A double Axel, a second triple Lutz, a triple Salchow and his concluding move, a Level 3 change foot combination spin, all received positive GoEs. He said, "I am very happy I medaled. I am a little disappointed in how I skated, but they can't all be perfect. I was good enough to medal for sure, but I am definitely going to train harder. Iím happy because I am a little more calm than what I had been in the past, which is good. Iím going to rest a little bit and enjoy the holidays but keep working really hard, getting ready for nationals."

4.Overall 193.76 Maxim Kovtun, from Sverdlovsk in Russia, 4.FS 130.08 (69.22+60.86). Kovtun presented a routine in which he played the movie character, Austin Powers, to the music by the American composer, George S. Clinton. Although he put his hand down on his first element, a quad toe, he received credit for the full rotation and banked 9.30 points. He then doubled his first triple Axel attempt which was combined with a triple toe loop. However, he then brought off his second attempt at a triple Axel, receiving +0.43 over its base value of 8.5. Although he received an "e" for his triple flip, he brought off two good triple Lutzes after the half-way point when the 10% bonus clicks in, the first combined with two double toes. Two of his spins earned Level 4 but his change foot camel was only Level 1.

He said, "I was just lacking a little bit for a good performance. I felt it was very hot in the arena. Unfortunately, I was unable to watch the seniors because I had to concentrate on my own preparation. I gained a lot of experience skating in front of a large crowd. My next competition is Russian nationals where Iím planning to do two quad toe loops in the Free. (In Russia, skaters get a bonus for trying quads in their nationals.)

5.Overall 172.75 Ryuju Hino, from Tokyo, 6.FS 112.63 (60.77+52.86 -1). Hino skated to music from The Matrix Ė Revolutions. He began with a +0.29 triple Axel to triple toe but then got an "e" for wrong edge takeoff on his triple flip and put his hand down on a near fall on the second jump of his triple Lutz to double toe combo. Later he had a bad fall on his second triple Axel attempt and had to execute a double three turn to hold onto to an unstable landing on his second triple Lutz. His technical score, however, was more than five points ahead of his teammate.

He said, "This competition taught me a lot. I found so many places I can improve. Some elements were better, some were worse, and some were as usual as in my training. I learned that I have to practice harder and harder. Unfortunately, I couldnít see Akiko (Suzukiís silver medal winning performance) live but I heard the result. I was so happy for her."

6.Overall 171.14 Keiji Tanaka, Japan, 5.FS 112.99 (55.33+57.66). Tanaka, who won silver in the world junior championships earlier this year, trains in Osaka. He beat his teammate marginally in the FS, by virtue of significantly superior component scores, presenting a routine to the music from the television show, The Untouchables, played by Ennio Morricone.

But he had multiple faults, including having to turn a double three to hold onto the landing of his first element, a triple Axel, meant to be a three-jump combo, and singling his second attempt at this jump. He admitted, "I always aim to have clean performances without mistakes. I watched the Senior Men (which took place immediately prior to the Junior Menís Free) and I was inspired by their performances. I wish that I could follow in their footsteps and become one of the best skaters like them." Perhaps he was too inspired and just tried too hard.

 

2011 Grand Prix Final Men's Medalists

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