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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

JGP Latvia Men's Preview

Jordan Moeller is making his Junior Grand Prix debut here after winning the Junior Men's event at Gardena Trophy last spring.  He scored nearly 200 points there and that puts him at the top of the pack here but he's never competed in front of an ISU panel.  He'll have to manage the pressure of his first major competition and hold off several previous medal winners to make the podium.

Boyang Jin placed 4th at Junior Worlds last season after winning a gold and silver medal on the JGP circuit and qualifying for the JGPF.  He was fairly inconsistent over the season which prevented him from reaching his full potential.  At only 15 years old and with China having just brought up Han Yan to the senior ranks, Jin likely has a few more seasons to prove himself and take the junior scene by storm.

Shoma Uno won a silver medal on the JGP last season and finished 7th at Junior Worlds.  He was only a few points behind Jin at Junior Worlds and could easily challenge him here and make his 2nd podium.

Other contenders include Jin Seo Kim and Roman Sadovsky who took home bronze medals last season.  Adian Pitkeev is also in the mix even though he failed to medal last season.

A skater to watch for is Michael Christian Martinez who split his time last year between the senior and the junior ranks.  He had some good performances and definitely improved throughout the season to finish 5th at Junior Worlds.  He is a very enjoyable skater to watch and when his jumps are on can score very well.  If he can continue the progress he's made he's on track for a breakout season.  Luiz Manella of Brazil has also had an impressive summer, winning 1st place in the senior men's event at the Liberty Summer Competition.  He finished just 15th at Junior Worlds last season and could be making a big jump here.

My podium predictions:
Gold: Boyang Jin
Silver: Jordan Moeller
Bronze: Michael Christian Martinez

Brendan Kerry, AUS: He placed 21st at Four Continents.  His personal best is 144.26.  He is 18 years old.

Pavel Ignatenko, BLR: He placed 14th at Junior Worlds and 13th at Europeans.  He finished 7th at JGP Turkey and 11th at JGP Croatia last season.  His personal best is 171.18.  He is 18 years old.

Luiz Manella, BRA: He placed 15th at Junior Worlds.  His personal best is 162.53.  He is 18 years old.

Ivo Gatovski, BUL: This is his JGP debut.  He is 15 years old.

Roman Sadovsky, CAN: He won bronze at JGP Lake Placid and finished 10th at JGP Slovenia last season.  His personal best is 158.77.  He is 14 years old.

Boyang Jin, CHN: He placed 4th at Junior Worlds.  He won gold at JGP France and silver at JGP Slovenia to qualify for the JGP Final last season where he finished 5th.  His personal best is 194.13.  He is 15 years old. 

Zijing Teng, CHN: This is his international debut.  He is 17 years old.

Samuel Koppel, EST: He placed 32nd at Junior Worlds.  His personal best is 94.11.  He is 18 years old.

Juho Pirinen, FIN: This is his JGP debut.  He is 17 years old.

Simon Hocquaux, FRA: He placed 17th at Junior Worlds.  He finished 10th at JGP France last season.  His personal best is 152.61.  He is 17 years old.

Armen Agaian, GEO: He finished 20th at JGP Turkey and 15th at JGP Germany last season.  His personal best is 117.21.  He is 17 years old.

Adrien Bannister, ITA: This is his international debut.

Shoma Uno, JPN: He finished 7th at Junior Worlds.  He placed 6th at JGP Slovenia and won silver at JGP Germany last season.  His personal best is 188.48.  He is 15 years old. 

Sota Yamamoto, JPN: This is his international debut.  He is 13 years old.

Glebs Basins, LAT: This is his international debut.

Deniss Vasiljevs, LAT: This is his international debut.  He is 14 years old.

Arturas Ganzela, LTU: His personal best is 87.27.  He is 17 years old.

Sondre Oddvoll Boe, NOR: He finished 26th at Junior Worlds.  He placed 15th at JGP France and 12th at JGP Austria last season.  His personal best is 134.88.  He is 15 years old.

Michael Christian Martinez, PHI: He placed 5th at Junior Worlds and 16th at Four Continents.  He finished 4th at JGP USA and 6th at JGP Croatia last season.  His personal best is 191.64.  He is 16 years old.

Krzysztof Gala, POL: He placed 17th at JGP Slovenia last season.  His personal best is 123.02.  He is 17 years old.

Jin Seo Kim, KOR: He placed 26th at Worlds and 19th at Four Continents.  He won bronze at JGP Austria and placed 4th at JGP Croatia.  His personal best is 176.43.  He is 16 years old.

Daniel Patriche, ROU: He placed 25th at JGP Slovenia last season.  His personal best is 88.20.  He is 15 years old.

Adian Pitkeev, RUS: He placed 6th at JGP USA and 8th at JGP Slovenia last season.  His personal best is 154.97.  He is 15 years old.

Vladislav Tarasenko, RUS: He finished 8th at JGP USA.  His personal best is 161.70.  He is 16 years old.

Giray Senol, TUR: He finished 37th at Junior Worlds.  He placed 16th at JGP Turkey and 23rd at JGP Slovenia last season.  His personal best is 118.66.  He is 16 years old.

Igor Reznichenko, UKR: His personal best is 134.40.  He is 18 years old.

Jimmy Ma, USA: This is his JGP debut.  He is 17 years old.

Jordan Moeller, USA: This is his JGP debut.  He is 18 years old.

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