Skating a flawless short program, China’s Wenjing Sui and Cong Han have positioned themselves to win a third-straight World junior pairs title. With 59.29 points, Wui and Han hold a 4.57-point lead over teammates Xiaoyu Yu and Yang Jin (54.72). Russia’s Ekaterina Petaikina and Maxim Kurdyukov are in third with 51.18 points. Less than a half-point out of third place are U.S. junior pairs champions Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier, whose 50.81 tops their previous best international short program score (42.25), earned during the 2011 Junior Grand Prix.
Kylie Duarte and Colin Grafton, the 2012 U.S. junior bronze medalists, sit in eighth place after earning 48.24 points. U.S. junior silver medalists Britney Simpson and Matthew Blackmer are in 11th place with 46.83 points.
All three U.S. teams train in Colorado Springs, Colo., under coaches Dalilah Sappenfield and Larry Ibarra.
Russian ice dancing teams hold the top three spots after the short dance Wednesday. Victoria Sinitsina and Ruslan Zhiganshin, the 2011 Junior Grand Prix Final champions, earned a score of 63.78 points. Close behind are teammates Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin (62.68) and Anna Yanovskaya and Sergey Mozgov (58.89). The French team of Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron are in fourth place (58.09) followed by 2012 U.S. junior champions Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton (57.76). Two-time U.S. junior ice dancing silver medalists Lauri Bonacorsi and Travis Mager are in eighth place with 54.53 points. Rachel and Michael Parsons, who placed fourth at the U.S. Championships, are in 16th place with 45.37 points.