SAITAMA, Japan – Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje produced Canada’s best result at the 2019 ISU World Figure Skating Championships on Saturday with a fifth place finish in the ice dancing event.
All three Canadian ice dance teams cracked the top-10.
Gabrielle Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France earned a fourth world crown in five years with 222.65 points. Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov of Russia were second at 211.76 and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the U.S. were third at 210.40.
Weaver and Poje, from Waterloo, Ont., remained fifth at 205.62. Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto moved from eighth to seventh with 200.92 and Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sorensen of Montreal stayed in 10th at 188.10.
Weaver and Poje skated to a piece from the Quebec rock opera Starmania in honor of the late Dennis Ten of Kazakhstan. The 2014 Olympic bronze medallist was killed in a car jacking last year.
“We felt so free and calm and that’s exactly the place we wanted to perform this program in,” said Weaver. “This program is more than about the levels and the score.”
Still the Canadians were less than five points from the podium.
“We’ve been in the top-five for a long time,” said Poje. “And it feels like just finding those little details, those little extra special things that make you unique and try and bring those out in the performances.”
Gilles and Poirier performed their international admired program to Don McLean’s hit song Vincent (Starry, Starry Night).
“It wasn’t our best performance of the season,” said Gilles. “We put pressure on ourselves because we wanted to move up in the standings. Still we’re going to miss this program but we need to keep progressing going towards the next Olympics.”
For Fournier Beaudry and Sorensen, their first worlds were a success.
“It was amazing to skate this program,” said Sorensen. “We felt good. Everything we’ve been working on came together quite well and it’s nice to do a clean skate you can be proud of.”
In men’s competition, Nathan Chen of the U.S. successfully defended his title with 323.42 points. Two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan was second at 300.97 and Vincent Zhou of the U.S. was third at 281.16.
Keegan Messing of Sherwood Park, Alta., was 15th and Nam Nguyen of Toronto 16th.
“I lost my head out there,” said Messing. “The mistakes came from not thinking properly. That’s why it hurts a little bit.”
Nguyen also struggled.
“The Axels kind of got away from me,” he said. “It was kind of weird because they had been solid for me in practice. But other than that I felt good about the performance.”
Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/season1819/wc2019/