Despite a broken bone in her foot, Whitehorse’s Bryn Hoffman and Alberta skating partner Bryce Chudak cracked the top-10 at the biggest junior pairs competition of them all.
The Hoffman-Chudak team placed eighth out of 14 at the 2016 ISU Junior World Figure Skating Championships in Debrecen, Hungary, on Thursday.
“Our goal heading into worlds before we found out my foot was fractured was to place top five. I guess you could say we’re a little bit disappointed, but at the same time we’re super lucky to be able to attend worlds,” said Hoffman. “It was by far the biggest competition we have ever participated in, the atmosphere was unlike any other event I’ve been to. There were cameras everywhere! It was a ton of fun. It was also amazing to have the opportunity to travel to Europe for the second time this season.”
Hoffman sustained a fractured heel during a warm-up skate at the Canadian championships, where they took silver, in January. However, the broken bone wasn’t discovered until about four weeks later.
Because of the injury the team had to take a couple key components out of their routines at worlds.
“We had to take out our triple twist and our side-by-side triple sal chow in the long program, which kind of sucks because those are two of our most difficult elements,” said Hoffman. “Other than that, it didn’t affect a ton for the actual competition. We basically trained super effectively and did as little as possible to not irritate my foot.”
Hoffman and Chudak took sixth in the short and 10th in the free with a combined score of 138.12. Not only were they just about four points from their previous best, they achieved a personal best score of 52.20 in their short program.
“We were really happy with it,” said Hoffman. “We didn’t do a triple twist, which we did at nationals, but that’s OK. We skated pretty well.”
“In the long program we did make a lot of mistakes. We fell on both throws and there was a mistake on our side-by-side double axel too. It wasn’t our best skate, but overall we’re pleased.”
In the final standings, Hoffman and Chudak placed third for North American teams behind a U.S. team in fifth and Canadian teammates Justine Brasseur and Mathieu Ostiguy in seventh. (Brasseur and Ostiguy placed fourth at nationals, two spots behind Hoffman and Chudak.)
A team from the Czech Republic placed first, ahead of two Russian teams.
The worlds marked Hoffman and Chudak’s final competition in junior before making the leap to senior next season. The team, which trains in Calgary where Hoffman attends university, also placed fourth at ISU Junior Grand Prix competitions in Colorado and Poland so far this season.
“This was our last competition of the season, so we will have meetings with our coaches soon to make a plan moving into the senior level for next year,” said Hoffman. “Right now we are going to take a few weeks off the ice to heal and rest.”
Hoffman is just Yukon’s second skater to compete at the world championship. Whitehorse’s Matthew Powers competed at the 1991 junior worlds in male singles, coincidently also in Hungary – but in Budapest.
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