There were overall three junior skaters entered to the junior event of Golden Spin on behalf of Croatian skating federation.
Katarina Kitarović and Hana Kosić in junior ladies event, Charles Henry Katanović in junior men event.
A respectable amount of skaters on team Croatia. Unfortunately, not everything went according to the plan.
Only a few days before the beginning of the event, the name of Katarina Kitarović was no longer mentioned as a participant at the press conference. Damir Mravec of Večernji list paper had the story for the Croatian daily newspaper. According to coach, Ivana Jakupčević, Kitarović has been struggling with an old back injury that has risen its ugly head and it is not certain when the promising junior will be back on the ice.
Just hours before the start of the ladies short program on Wednesday, Decembre 5th, Hana Kosić also withdrew from the event. The fifteen-year-old Kosić has competed earlier in the season on her first Junior Grand Prix event in Ostrava where she placed 32nd overall. On 30th Golden Bear hosted by Skating club Medveščak in Zagreb from 25th till 28th of October, she ended up in 17th place in the junior ladies event.
According to the ISU Communication No. 2205, Decisions of the ISU Council –minimum total element score or junior ladies for World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2019 is 23 points for short program and 38 points for the long program. At the moment, none of the Croatian junior ladies has that requirement to compete at the biggest event in their category, that will take place in March 2019. Hana Kosić has earned 16.90 points in the short program at JGP in Ostrava and 17.91 in Zagreb at Golden Bear, while for the long program she has earned 23.38 points at JGP in Ostrava and 29.49 in Zagreb at the Golden Bear. Katarina Kitarović has last competed in February 2018 at Dragon trophy in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
In the junior men category, Charles Henry Katanović withdrew on the day of the long program. He placed 6th in short program but could not skate the long program as he came down with fever. Katanović has participated at Junior Grand Prix this season in Ljubljana Cup, Slovenia and Bratislava, Slovakia. On either of those two competitions has he earned the TES minimum for Junior World Figure Skating Championship 2019. For Junior men, TES minimum is 23 points for the short program and 42 points for the long program. At Christmas cup in Budapest, Katanović came very close to the required points in the short program, earning 22.01 points.
Unfortunately, this is not the worst that has happened to the eighteen-year-old. On December 2nd, his longtime coach and choreographer, Jean-François Ballester passed away from the heart attack at his home in La Chaux de-Fonds, Switzerland, where he was coaching Katanović and many others. Ballester was respected for contributing to the development of many French skaters, like Bruno Massot. When Massot teamed up with Aliona Savchenko of Germany, Ballester was part of their coaching team and the amazing victory in at Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang 2018.
It is uncertain what awaits Katanović, but as far as competing, there will not be many more chances in next months to earn TES minimum for Junior World Figure Skating Championships in March 2019.
As far as ladies go, if neither Kitarović or Hosić manage to achieve the necessary points, Hana Cvijanović could compete at both (senior) European Championships taking place in Minsk, Belarus in January and at Junior Worlds in Zagreb, Croatia in March. Cvijanović is, as of December 2nd, 16 years of age and Rule 108 of Special regulations and Technical Rules Single & Pair Skating and Ice Dance 2018 allows her to compete as junior till the age of 19.