Minkyu Seo (KOR) tops Men’s Short Program at ISU World Junior Championships

Minkyu Seo (KOR) tops the Junior Men’s Short Program as the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships continued Thursday in Taipei City (TPE). 

Minkyu Seo (KOR) grabs Junior Men’s Short Program

Korea’s Minkyu Seo grabbed a lead of two points over Francois Pitot of France and Slovakian Adam Hagara in the Junior Men’s Short Program.

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Korea’s Minkyu Seo takes the lead in the Men’s Short Program at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei © ISU

Seo put out a smooth performance to “Flower Dance”, nailing a triple Axel, triple Lutz, triple flip-triple toe combination as well as level-four spins and footwork. The Junior Grand Prix Istanbul Champion cracked the 80-point mark for the first time with 80.58 points.

“I missed the Junior Grand Prix Final and the Youth Olympic Games and I really wanted to go there, so I am really happy to compete here at Junior Worlds and happy to pull out my best in the Short Program,” Seo said.

“All the skaters today showed great performances and it is very close. It will be a tough competition in the Free Skating and I will do my best to pull out the best of myself to show my strength.”

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Minkyu Seo (KOR) performs in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei © ISU

Pitot’s expressive performance to “Separate Ways – Stranger Things” was highlighted by a triple Axel, a triple Lutz and difficult spins. However, the Junior Grand Prix Osaka Champion reduced his combination to a triple flip-double toe. Nevertheless, the Frenchman achieved a personal best of 78.79 points.

“Not everything went well. I tripped a little bit but I remained calm during my program, so I’m very happy about that,” the ISU Junior Grand Prix Finalist said. “Second place is a nice place to be in, and I will keep focusing on the free.

“I think the key for Saturday is the quality of jumps, spins and choreography in the Free Skating to make a lot of points. Now I have a quad Salchow in the beginning of the program and we’ll see with my coach and staff at the practice what we will do. Of course I want to go for it, but quality is the key and we are very close,” he added.

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Francois Pitot (FRA) on his way to second place in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei © ISU

Skating to “Another Love”, Hagara produced a triple flip-triple toe, triple Axel, triple Lutz and two level-four spins to set a personal best as well with 78.02 points.

“I’m really happy with the skate,” the Youth Olympic Games silver medalist said. “Of course there are things I can improve and I will work on them but I think I did my best and I will try to do my best in the free skate as well.

“My strategy for the free skate is not to put too much pressure on myself. I’m just trying to enjoy the free skate, not going to do something special. Just concentrate on the elements and try to feel the music and enjoy the moment that I’m here and I can skate.”

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Adam Hagara (SVK) in action in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei © ISU

The Free Skating promises to be exciting with competitors ranked closely together. Aleksa Rakic (CAN) came fourth on 77.74 points followed by ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champion Rio Nakata (JPN) on 77.60 points. Edward Appleby (GBR) is ranked sixth (75.69 points).

The Junior Men’s event concludes Saturday with the Free Skating.

See the full results here.

Schedule of the event

The schedule of the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships is as follows:

Wednesday, February 28:        Junior Pairs & Junior Women’s Short Programs
Thursday, February 29:            Junior Men’s Short Program, Junior Pairs Free Skating
Friday, March 1:                       Junior Rhythm Dance & Junior Women’s Free Skating
Saturday, March 2:                   Junior Free Dance & Junior Men’s Free Skating
Sunday, March 3:                     Exhibition Gala

For full entries and results, please see the ISU event page and the official website. Follow the discussion on social media using #WorldJuniorFigure and #FigureSkating. 

Where to watch the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2024:

The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships will be live streamed on the Skating ISU YouTube Channel. Geo-restrictions will apply in markets where TV rights are in place. You will find the full list in the Where to Watch news here.

Subscribe to the Skating ISU YouTube Channel to receive alerts when the live streams start and when new videos are posted. 

(Source: ISU Skating News)


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