BARRIE, Ont. – Meaghan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont., landed a quadruple Salchow throw for the first time in competition on Thursday en route to the gold medal in pairs at the Skate Canada Autumn International.
Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., also added a victory in women’s competition as Canadians marched six times to the podium to conclude the sixth stop on the ISU’s new Challenger Series.
Duhamel and Radford, bronze medallists at the last two world championships, totalled 203.16 points in a decisive victory. Haven Denny and Brandon Frazier of the U.S. were second at 167.28 and their compatriots Jessica Calalang and Zach Sidhu were third at 156.46.
‘’We know that if we want to nail it by the time the world championships come around we are going to have to try it at every single competition,’’ said Duhamel. ‘’The key for us is that we’ve been landing it every single day in practice and that’s given us a lot of confidence to attempt it in our program.’’
Radford says a big challenge is not forgetting about the rest of the program once the quad Salchow is completed.
‘’There’s a lot of adrenaline after we land it,’’ he said. ‘’The crowd went wild but we could feel inside that we still had a job to do and a long way to go. We really kept our composure for the rest of the program.’’
Natasha Purich of Sherwood Park, Alta., and Andrew Wolfe of Calgary were fourth, Vanessa Grenier of Sherbrooke, Que., and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., fifth and Brittany Jones and Joshua Reagan of Toronto seventh.
In women’s competition, Daleman won the gold medal with 165.59 points. Angela Wang of the U.S. was second at 163.68 and Julianne Seguin of Longueuil, Que., third at 158.99.
‘’To come out with the gold medal is such a great feeling,’’ said Daleman, 16, an Olympic team member last season. ‘’It shows the hard work pays off. It sets me up with so much more confidence for the rest of the season.’’
Seguin is also enjoying a brilliant season in pairs with partner Charlie Bilodeau on the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit with two victories. Now she’s added to her medal collection in singles as well.
‘’The focus this year for me is primarily in pairs so to get a medal tonight is really exciting,’’ she said. ‘’It sets me up well for Skate Canada.’’
It was also a big night for 16-year-old Nam Nguyen of Toronto who landed his first quadruple Salchow in competition to soar from fifth after the short program to the silver medal. He scored a personal best 159.55 to win the free skate and totalled 225.63. Ross Miner of the U.S. was first overall at 227.36 for the gold and Jeremy Ten of Vancouver took the bronze at 212.64.
Nguyen only landed the quad Salchow for the first time in training on Saturday.
‘’I thought to myself what a relief to land it just in time for this competition,’’ he said. ‘’It was exciting to come out here and be able to show everyone that I could do it. I had started working on my quad in March, the progress was pretty good and each week I was getting closer and closer to success.’’
Ten was also pleased with his free skate.
‘’I’ve been working really hard with that program and I wanted to get that emotional connection out there,’’ he said. ‘’I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season.’’
Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C., was sixth and Andrei Rogozine of Newmarket, Ont., 11th.
In ice dancing, Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France took top spot with 150.20 points. Piper Gilles of Toronto and Paul Poirier of Unionville, Ont., climbed from fourth to second overall at 142.52 and Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sorensen of Denmark were third at 131.62.
‘’Today was a display of resilience for us,’’ said Poirier. ‘’The short program didn’t go as planned so we wanted to put that behind us today and just focus ahead. We were pleased with the performance.’’
Alexandra Paul and Mitchell Islam of Barrie were fourth, Nicole Orford of Burnaby, B.C., and Thomas Williams of Okotoks, Alta., sixth and Andréanne Poulin of Ile-Bizard, Que., and Marc-André Servant of Vaudreuil, Que., eighth.