Ilia Malinin dominates at World Junior Figure Skating Championship

The American won by the largest margin of victory in over 15 years as the U.S. captured gold in the women’s competition too

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Figure Skating - World Figure Skating Championships - South of France Arena, Montpellier, France - March 26, 2022  Ilia Malinin of the U.S. in action during the men's free skating REUTERS/Juan Medina
Figure Skating - World Figure Skating Championships - South of France Arena, Montpellier, France - March 26, 2022 Ilia Malinin of the U.S. in action during the men's free skating REUTERS/Juan Medina

It was an American sweep at the World Junior Figure Skating Championship in Tallinn, Estonia over the weekend

Ilia Malinin was simply dominant over the field, en route to his first junior men’s title. The 17-year-old won by 41.8 points over Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Shaidorov, breaking the previous record margin of 17.12 points set in 2009.

Malinin, who did not qualify for the Beijing 2022 Olympics, landed four quadruple jumps in Saturday’s free skate. He became the third American man to win junior skating gold in the past six years.

Jan 7, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Isabeau Levito skates during the championship ladies free skate program at the 2022 Toyota U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 7, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Isabeau Levito skates during the championship ladies free skate program at the 2022 Toyota U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

On the girls’ side, Isabeau Levito, 15, won by a much smaller margin than Malinin. She bested South Korea’s Shin Jia by .54 points to claim the gold medal. American Lindsay Thorngren took home the bronze.

She became the first American woman to win gold in any world junior or senior championship since 2008. Levito was too young to be named to the Olympic team in Beijing.

No Russian skates were allowed to compete in Estonia due to their country’s invasion of Ukraine. The top five skaters in the world entering the junior championship are all Russian. Levito ranked sixth.

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