Anyone unable to get to the first ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships in Helsinki has certainly been treated to the full spectacle online. Not only is the opening ceremony and its circus theme still available online, along with interviews with the teams, but the short programmes are available to view on demand, rather than having to cope with differences in time zones caused by live streaming.
The decision to upload team programmes to the ISU’s YouTube channel is, frankly, a stroke of genius for those of us viewing the event this year from the unaccustomed comfort of an armchair instead of a frozen rinkside seat. Video quality is superb and, apart from a few technical glitches, programmes have been available very quickly after the results have been posted. Of course, it has been a bit odd knowing the results before seeing a team skate, but it is easy to get used to.
Team GB, Nottingham’s Icicles, skated 9th, with the seeded draw, presumably based on team performance in the event’s predecessor, the 2012 Junior World Challenge Cup (JWCC), keeping them out of the bottom group. For that, and the resulting later start to the day, they will have the Wight Jewels’ 2012 performance to be grateful for.
The Icicles are doing well in 15th place out of 20 with 29.82. As expected this is down on their score at the British championships, and down on their score at the Mozart Cup in January. Icicles are just behind the Czech Republic (Kometa), which is on 33.22, and will do well to close the gap: they need to do so to turn in the best British result at a junior world championship level competition since the inaugural JWCC. Cool Dreams of Switzerland is closer still behind the Icicles on 28.35: a gap of 1.47 is a precarious margin, given the strength of the Swiss free programme demonstrated at Rouen in February.
At the top is is Finland 1 (Fintastic) in first on 64.32 and Finland 2 (Musketeers) in second on 61.57. Russia 1 (Spartak Junost) is a surprise placing in third at 55.11 , but closely followed by Canada 1 (Nexxice) on 54.29 in fourth. That may switch around in the free, but the Finns look set to retain their traditional hold on the top spots.
As previously noted by iowskaters.com, results at junior level are in general higher this year. At last year’s calendar equivalent, the JWCC, Fintastic and Musketeers scored 55.90 and 54.04. Russia 1 has made a huge leap from 41.73 in 2012 to 55.11. It will be interesting to see whether the trend continues into the free programme.
The opening ceremony and interviews with the teams are at: https://stll-fi.directo.fi/2013-junior-synchro-worlds/webtv/
The short programmes are at http://www.youtube.com/user/skatingisu. Tomorrow’s long programmes will be uploaded using the same procedure as today: skating begins at 3.00pm (1.00pm GMT). Click on the Browse Videos tab to get to the event videos.
Teams names have been sadly lost by the ISU in an event focused on nationalities, but as far as iowskaters can work out the teams correspond to: Australia – Majestic Ice, Austria – Sweet Mozart, Canada 1 – Nexxice, Canada 2 – Les Supremes, Czech Republic – Kometa, France – Black Diam’s, Finland 1 – Fintastic, Finland 2 – Musketeers, Germany – Team Berlin Juniors, Great Britain – Icicles, Hungary – Sportorszag Junior, Italy – Hot Shivers, Russia 1 – Spartak Junost, Russia 2 – Sunrise 1, South Africa – Team Rainbow, Sweden 1 – Convivium, Sweden 2 – Team Spirit, Switzerland – Cool Dreams, USA 1 – Lexettes, USA 2 – Skyliners.
Official site: http://www.stll.fi/2013-junior-synchro-worlds/
Event Facebook site: http://www.facebook.com/juniorsynchroworlds2013