OSTRAVA, Czech Republic – Takahiko Kozuka became the first Japanese to win a Junior Grand Prix final with a comfortable victory in the men’s event in the Czech Republic on Saturday.
Kozuka topped both the short and free programs to claim first place with 178.72 points on his Junior Grand Prix debut ahead of American skaters Austin Kanallakan (165.53) and Geoffrey Varner (165.37).
“It was my debut so obviously I’m delighted to win,” said the 16-year-old high school student from Nagoya. “I was able to stay composed despite the tension and didn’t make any major mistakes in either the short program or the free program. That was my best performance of the season.”