(March 10, 2010 - THE HAGUE, The Netherlands) – Brittany Jones of Toronto and Kurtis Gaskell of Guelph, Ont., placed seventh in pairs on Wednesday at the world junior figure skating championships.
Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China won the gold medal at 170.71 with Narumi Takahashi and Mervin Tran of Japan second at 157.23 and Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov of Russia third at 145.35.
Jones and Gaskell produced a personal best score of 133.41 points to earn another strong international showing this season. This past fall, they were bronze medallists at a junior Grand Prix in Poland.
“This was a very good experience for us,” said Gaskell, 19. “We did gain some international experience earlier this year but still, this felt pretty new to us and we are thrilled with the result. We had a nice and smooth long program.”
Jones, who started skating with Gaskell three years ago, says the result is a great springboard into next season.
“It was really strong and it gives us a confidence boost for next year,” said Jones, 14. “It was great to get all of our new tricks out there including our double Axel. That should get us more attention internationally.”
Canadian junior champions Margaret Purdy of Strathroy, Ont., and Michael Marinaro of Sarnia, Ont., were ninth, also with a personal best 129.29, and Kaleigh Hole of Virden, Man., and Adam Johnson of Chatham, Ont., were 11th.
The U.S., stands 1-2 in men’s competition after Wednesday’s short program. Grant Hochstein leads with 71.35 points followed by Keegan Messing in second at 68.90. Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan is third at 68.75.
Ronald Lam of Coquitlam, B.C., is in 12th at 56.57 and Andrei Rogozine of Richmond Hill, Ont., is 13th at 56.07. They were personal best scores for both skaters. Both competed at two junior Grand Prix events earlier this season.
“They both performed well overall,” said Canadian team manager Louis Stong. “The men's field here is very deep. Both are determined to be terrific in the long program.”
In ice dancing, Alexandra Paul and Mitchell Islam, both of Barrie, Ont., are fifth after Tuesday’s compulsory dance. Olivia Martins of Toronto and Alvin Chau of Richmond Hill are 13th and Abby Carswell of Toronto and Andrew Doleman of Dundas, Ont., 23rd.
Competition continues Thursday with the men’s long program and the original dance.
For more information visit: www.isu.org