Canadian ice skaters win three medals at Grand Prix Final

Last event before the Winter Olympic Games

Canadians won three medals at the ISU Grand Prix Final on Saturday, the last major international figure skating event before the Olympic Winter Games in February.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir took the silver in ice dancing while Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford added a bronze in pairs and Kaetlyn Osmond was also third in women’s competition.

In ice dancing, Virtue and Moir lost for the first time since their return to competition last season.

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France won the gold with 202.16 points. Virtue and Moir followed at 199.86 and Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the U.S. were third at 188.00.

“We made a couple of uncharacteristic glitches that we don’t even make in training that often,” said Moir of Ilderton, Ont. “We don’t like not winning competitions but in the grand scheme of things it was still a performance we were proud of.”

The three-time world champions are pleased with their progress towards the Olympics.

“We’re on track,” said Virtue of London, Ont.

“We’ve had an extremely successful season and we just have to continue taking care of the little details and making the tweaks so our programs are at their best come February.”

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In women’s competition, Osmond made a couple of mistakes in her Black Swan skate including a fall on her triple Salchow to drop from first after the short program to third with 215.16 points.

“The mistakes that I made were silly ones and they won’t happen again,” said Osmond of Marystown, N.L. “I made a lot of changes to my program since my last competition and I did those well.”

It was a 1-2 Russian finish with Alina Zagitova first at 223.30 and Maria Sotskova second at 216.28.

In pairs, it was a comeback medal for Duhamel and Radford who climbed from fifth place after the short program to the medal position earning 210.83. Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany were first at 236.68 and world champions Wenjing Sui and Cong Han second at 230.89.

“We took a nice step here and continued to build,” said Radford. “We want to take another step up at the national championships (in January) get some more levels and hit that big peak at the Olympic Games.”

In junior ice dancing, Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of Greenfield Park, Que., were sixth.

“It was a nice experience,” said Lagha. “It was cool to skate at a big event like that.”


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