This year, South Africa has a team going to Canillo for the 2019 Open d’Andorra (20-24 November 2019)

Western Province will take pride in the fact that not only are we sending skaters all over the world, but in this case it has four going to a single competition.

These skaters have worked hard to achieve their selections and are all currently performing very well. The four are coached by Megan Allely Painczyk who will be accompanying them to the competition and will have a busy time between the practices and competition which, at two per skater, consists of 8 programs in total!

Matthew Samuels (Senior Men) has had a resurgence of late and is back at his crowd-pleasing best. He has had good season so far, qualifying his Free Skate for 2020 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at the 2019 Lombardia Trophy in Italy.

He will be motivated to qualify the Short Program in Andorra which will grant him eligibilty to compete at this prestigious event with recent men’s winners including the late Denis Ten, Patrick Chan, Nathan Chen, Jin Boyang and Shomo Uno. Interestingly, current and 2 time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu has never managed higher than second place at 4 Continents. But if his recent display at Skate Canada 2019 is anything to go by, this may change!

Another skater with a “score to settle” is Gian-Quen Isaacs (Junior Ladies) who will be hunting down the Free Skate qualifying score for the Junior World Championships 2020. Having nailed down the Short Program in Gdansk at the Junior Grand Prix of Poland earlier this season, she has been working on building up her Free Program and if all goes to plan, she should manage to cross the line in Andorra. Her performances this season have been getting better and better and now, with more triple jumps working for her, she looks set to impress.

Abigail Samuels (Junior Ladies) will be returning to international competition with this event where her new programs, with more challenging elements could work in her favour. With a renewed vigour and massively improved conditioning, Abigail has been having one of her most impressive seasons to date and if she has clean skates in Andorra, she could leave with and impressive scoresheet! Her jumping in particular has seen great improvement in recent months and due to the fact that there are specific requirements in Junior Ladies, she is in a perfect position to close the curtain on Junior Ladies with her best score ever.

The youngest member of the team, Emma Walker (Advanced Novice Ladies), has also been having a productive season. With personal best scores (including meeting the new International selection score) and programs that have been continuously evolving to accommodate more difficult and higher level elements, the hard work is certainly paying off. The improvements have been steady and consistent, matched with a growing confidence. After a missed opportunity at CIP, with a Free Skate that didn’t follow the script, Emma will be setting her sights on a new personal best score and a satisfying end to the year.

For Entries, Schedules and Scores please CLICK HERE

For the competition website, please CLICK HERE

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