The UK camp at the Junior World Challenge Cup in Gothenburg was overwhelmed with emotion as Wight Jewels held onto 15th place after the free, stretching their lead over Frost Work of Hungary. It’s a huge result for the team, who took two programmes full of untested changes into the competition and netted their best placing yet at the JWCC and a personal best score for the season.
Frost Work were first to skate in the group also comprising Majestic Ice of Australia, and Duke Town Twinkle Stars of the Netherlands, setting a daunting target of 66.76 for the lower order teams to beat. It was too much for second to skate Majestic Ice, who reached 60.64 but who none the less maintained 17th place after nerves seemed to get the better of Duke Town Twinkle Stars. The Netherlands team had looked fast and confident in practice, skating their long programme cleanly, but on the day itself suffered four falls which, with two deductions for interruption in excess, played havoc with their score: they finished 18th with 42.94. It’s an illustration how cruel the sport can be, in this instance to one of the friendliest teams on the international circuit: it also reinforces the need for teams to be allowed to compete internationally to get the necessary experience to cope with pressure.
Wight Jewels, first to skate after the resurface, are no stranger to such pressure, having pulled themselves up from behind at the British Championships in November 2011. Their free programme to a medley of Michael Jackson songs has been a favourite with the team, and the routine lifted them to 17th at the JWCC in Neuchatel in 2011. It did even better this time around, with a clean skate securing the 15th place the team earned in the short with an overall total of 71.92, increasing the lead over Hungary from a slim 0.49 to a more comfortable 5.16. The experience of the Spring Cup in Milan in February proved invaluable in allowing extra changes to be made to improve on the overall 63.45 achieved there.
A score of 71.92 is a personal best for the Jewels for the season, and a real achievement under the scrutiny of the toughest judging panel of all. And not bad considering that moments after the first element co-captain Izzy Coeshott’s boot lace unravelled, leaving her to skate the rest of the programme with one boot undone.
There was, at least briefly, another moment to enjoy the words “Wight Jewels are currently in first place” that, with 14 teams still to skate, confirmed that they had achieved their goal of at least 15th place.
Similar emotionally charged moments of personal victory continued throughout the competition, with tears of joy aplenty. Idel of Russia broke the 100-mark on 100.83 to overtake Cool Dreams Junior of Switzerland for 11th place, and Germany’s Team Berlin Juniors advanced from what has been a fairly traditional 10th place to 9th over Sweden’s Team Spirit. Making any headway in a top ten dominated by the two teams allowed from each of the five main nations is a real achievement.
As expected with such commanding scores in the short, the Finnish teams took first and second places: Fintastic held on to its advantage take first place overall on 171.67, with Musketeers second on 168.76. Canadian team Les Supremes edged into third place with 146.40 after Braemar of USA suffered five deductions for four falls and excessive use of ice, ending up with 145.08 and fourth place.
JWCC website: www.jwcc2012.se
Note that websites created for an event rarely last a year. Visit the official site while possible for information about the JWCC 2012, and the special studio site at http://studio.jwcc2012.se/ for the interviews with team members.