Judge and Tkacheva Make Most Of Maiden Junior Grand Prix

Irish skaters Dillon Judge and Sophia Tkacheva have concluded their ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating debuts finishing 21st and 25th in their respective categories in Kosice, Slovakia.

Judge took to the ice at the Steel Arena on Day One of the event in the Men’s Short Programme. Skating to “Mack the Knife” performed by Bobby Darin, he attempted a triple Salchow-double toe loop combination, a double Axel and a triple flip. Despite a mishap on a flying sit spin, he managed to earn a new personal best score of 34.52 points leaving him in 22nd place overnight.

The following day, Judge was back to skate in the Free Skating segment of the competition. He opened with a triple Salchow-double toe loop combination, a double Axel and this time round successfully completed a flying sit spin. He also included solo triple Salchow and second double Axel attempts as well as two other jump combinations in his routine to a medley of songs by Jamie Callum. He scored another personal best of 62.99 points for the free to give him a total of 97.51 points to move up one spot in the overall standings.

“It was great being surrounded by some of the best Junior skaters in the world,” Judge said. “It gave me the opportunity to see how they perform close up and take away some ideas which will help me improve. It was great being in an environment where everyone was passionate about ice skating.

“I have learnt from this performance that I need to work harder on elements. I lost some significant points due to small errors. Using the feedback received from the judges, my coach Margaret and I will use this to help improve for my next performance.”

Tkacheva made her Junior Grand Prix debut in the Women’s Short Programme on the evening of Day One. She began her programme with a double Axel and a double Lutz-double toe loop jump combination. Both a flying sit spin and a change foot combination spin were graded Level 4 by the technical panel. She received a new personal best score of 32.00 points which saw her in 25th place at the midway stage of the competition.

After a day’s break between the short and free, Tkacheva returned to the ice on Day Three. Performing to “Voila” by Barbara Pravi, she attempted three jump combinations in her routine as well as a double Axel. She once again secured Level 4 for a change foot combination spin and posted another personal best score of 49.07 points for the free. She finished with a total of 81.07 points.

“My experience at my first JGP was unforgettable,” Tkacheva said. “I made some mistakes which gives me something to work on for the rest of the season. The atmosphere of the Grand Prix was incredible and being able to participate in a competition where people come from all over the world is something I will always remember.

“I’ve learned that no matter what happens to go for every element and to learn from any mistakes. It’s also very important to enjoy the experience of being at a competition like the JGP.”

Performance Videos

Dillon Judge Short Programme

Dillon Judge Free Skating

Sophia Tkacheva Short Programme

Sophia Tkacheva Free Skating