Only 13 years old, Russia’s Julia Lipnitskaia earned the gold medal, besting silver medalist and U.S. junior champion Gracie Gold by more than 15 points. Russia’s Adelina Sotnikova, the 2011 World junior champion, won the bronze medal.
Lipnitskaia, who scored 123.96 for her free skate, capped an unbeaten season with a World junior-record score of 187.05 (breaking the 2005 record set by Japan’s Mao Asada). Gold, 16, had 171.85 points total, while Sotnikova earned 168.45 points.
Skating to “Romeo and Juliet,” Lipnitskaia landed seven triple jumps and earned Level 4 on three spins. She will not be age eligible for the world championships until the 2013-14 season.
Gold, skating to soundtracks from “The Mission” and “The Untouchables,” opened with a solid triple Lutz-triple toe, followed by a double Axel-triple toe. Her strong spins, a triple flip, a second triple Lutz and a triple Salchow helped earn a personal-best free-skate score of 113.85 points. Gold trains in the Chicago area under Alexander Ouriashev.
Sotnikova, 15, opened her program, skated to a modern arrangement of “Bolero” with a triple Lutz-triple loop. She scored 111.88 points for the program.
Team USA’s Christina Gao, who placed fifth competing as a senior at the U.S. Championships, took seventh with 151.09 points and American Vanessa Lam, 16, placed 13th with 138.94 points.
Flanked by American skaters, China’s Han Yan earned the highest score in ISU World Junior Championships history to win the gold medal. He needed every bit of his 222.45 total points, squeaking past Team USA’s Joshua Farris (221.97) by 0.48 points. American Jason Brown earned the bronze with 214.90 points.
Han beat American Adam Rippon’s 2009 record of 222.0 points.
It is the first time in eight years that Team USA has placed two men on the World junior podium. In 2004, Evan Lysacek won the silver and Jordan Brauninger earned bronze.
Yan, who will be 16 on Tuesday, turned in two personal-best performances to become the first junior men’s champion in Chinese history. He impressed with his quadruple toe as he performed to “Waltz No. 2 by Dmitri Shostakovitch.” His six triples helped net a free skate score of 147.57.
Farris, 17, earned a personal-best 146.54 for his free skate. Farris, who trains in Colorado Springs under coach Christy Krall, opened with back-to-back triple Axels, the first combined with a double toe loop. Skating to Rachmaninov’s “Piano Concerto No. 3,” he landed five more triples jumps.
Skating to “Flow Like Water,” Jason Brown, 17, earned the highest program component scores in the free skate. He turned heads with his ’Tano Lutz (one arm extended overhead) that gained +3s from five judges on his way to a 144.70-point free skate. Brown finished with 214.90 points. Brown trains in Chicago under coach Kori Ade.
U.S. junior silver medalist Timothy Dolensky, 19, finished 12th with 169.94 points.