Neset/Markelov (USA) lead in Rhythm Dance at ISU World Junior Figure Skating

Leah Neset/Artem Markelov (USA) took the lead as the Ice Dance competition started with the Rhythm Dance at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships Friday in Taipei City (TPE).

Leah Neset/Artem Markelov (USA) dance to the lead

ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Champions Leah Neset/Artem Markelov (USA) danced to a solid lead in the Rhythm Dance. Germany’s  Darya Grimm/Michail Savitskiy came second, just ahead of Elizabeth Tkachenko/Alexei Kiliakov of Israel. 

Leah Neset and Artem Markelov (USA) win the the Junior Ice Dance Rhythm Dance at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei © ISU

Dancing to “Still Loving You” and “I Hate Myself For Loving You”, Neset/Markelov turned in a smooth performance, highlighted by a level-four straight line lift and fast twizzles that were rated a level four and three. The Rocker Foxtrot Pattern Dance sequences and the midline steps garnered a level two. The US Junior Champions scored 70.16 points.

“I think we’re happy with how it went. We tried to just do our job and have fun,” Neset said.
“I feel like my favorite part (of the program) changes throughout the season. One of my favorites is the lift.”

Markelov added: “We just try to enjoy this moment and perform our part well,” and added that he likes the step sequence the best. 

Leah Neset second shot

Leah Neset and Artem Markelov (USA) at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Chinese Taipei © ISU

Grimm/Savitskiy picked up a level-four for their rotational lift, the twizzles while the midline steps received a level three and two in their dance to “Ticket to the Moon”.

The ISU Junior Grand Prix Final bronze medalists earned 66.11 points. 

Darya GRimm Mic 2

Darya Grimm and Michail Savitskiy (GER) in the the Junior Ice Dance in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei  © ISU

“The Junior World Championship is always the last competition in the season for us. It’s always the most important competition, because you have the most time to prepare for it and it’s always good to perform the best. I think we’ve done that today and so we’re really happy,” Savitskyi said.

“My favorite part (of the program) is the last part, where the music switches, because it’s fun and it’s at the end. You just give everything until the end of the performance,” Grimm said. 

Tkachenko/Kiliakov completed two level four elements in their upbeat dance to “The Race”, portraying racing car drivers. The Junior Grand Prix Armenia Champions netted 65.88 points. 

Elizabeth T Alexi 3

Elizabeth Tkachenko and Alexei Kiliakov (ISR) at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei © ISU

“We did a lot of work after finals to try and iron out as many mistakes as we could. We think we did a good job today of delivering on our performance,” Kiliakov said. 

 “It felt very strong, so we’re really proud of ourselves,” Tkachenko added. “I really like the beginning (of the program) because it’s very in character, like race cars, and it’s original.” 

Noemie Maria Tali/Noah Lafornara (ITA) are currently ranked fourth at 62.58 points followed by  Elliana and Ethan Peal (USA) on 61.65 points. ISU Junior Grand Prix Finalists Celina Fradji/Jean-Hans Fourneaux (FRA) round up the top six (61.52 points). 

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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