MARSEILLES, France – Canadian world champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford won the bronze medal Friday in pairs at the ISU Grand Prix Final figure skating competition. The medal followed a world record performance in the short dance for Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.
In pairs, Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morosov of Russia won the gold medal with 213.85 points. Xiaoyu Yu and Hao Zhang of China were second at 206.71 and Duhamel and Radford remained third at 205.99.
‘’We struggled with our side-by-side jumps and those are normally our strengths,’’ said Radford from Balmertown, Ont. ‘’We can’t afford missing them because it costs us too many points. We need to find the proper focus for those elements because everything else was really good.’’
Julianne Séguin of Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau of Trois-Pistoles, Que., climbed to fifth with 186.85.
‘’Today was really great after a hard performance in the short,’’ said Séguin. ‘’We had a good connection and everything flowed perfectly for us.’’
In ice dancing, Virtue and Moir improved their world record short dance score from 79.47 cracking the 80-point barrier to 80.50 to stand in first place. Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the U.S. are second at 77.97 and Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France are third at 77.86.
‘’It was a great skate for us,’’ said Moir, from Ilderton, Ont. ‘’We were able to bring the energy up in our performance in a pressure situation We were able to be in the moment at a big competition and had a ton of fun in the process.’’
Virtue, from London, Ont., says the reason the couple returned to competition this season is to experience those moments once again.
‘’We’re embracing the nerves, the pressure, the challenge,’’ she said. ‘’That was a great part of the appeal for us. Now with the lead we can’t be cautious. We have to attack the free dance tomorrow.’’
There was more good news for Canada in women’s competition as Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L., is second after the short program scoring a personal best 75.54. Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia leads at 79.21and Satoko Miyahara of Japan is third at 74.64.
‘’To get another clean program is really exciting,’’ said Osmond, who landed a triple-triple combo, triple Lutz and double Axel. ‘’It is so rewarding for me to be at the Grand Prix Final for the first time in my career. Every time out I improve something and hope that tendency continues for the free skate.’’
The men’s and women’s free skates and free dance are on Saturday.
Full results: ISU Grand Prix Final