CHONGQIN, China – The new Canadian pairs team of Lubov Ilyushechkina and Charlie Bilodeau are in second place after the short program while ice dancers Laurence Fournier Beaury and Nikolaj Sorensen of Montreal are third after the rhythm dance in Friday’s action at the Cup of China figure skating competition, the fourth stop on the ISU Grand Prix circuit.
World champions Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China lead the pairs competition with 80.90 points followed by Ilyushechkina and Bilodeau with a personal best 68.98 for second and Cheng Peng and Yang Jin of China in third at 68.50.
“We really like the feeling we’ve developed for this short program and it was quite stable,” Bilodeau told @goldenskate. “There were some mistakes, but we got our lucky 68 (score).”
In ice dancing, Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov of Russia are first at 85.39, Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. second at 80.34 and the Canadians follow at 78.41.
Fournier Beaudry and Sorensen have enjoyed a terrific season so far. They were third at the season opening stop in Las Vegas last month and also won two medals on the ISU Challenger Series including one gold.
Chinese skaters are 1-2 in men’s competition with Han Yan first at 86.46 and Boyang Jin second at 85.43. Matteo Rizzo of Italy follows in third at 81.72.
Keegan Messing of Sherwood Park, Alta., stands fifth with 76.80 while Conrad Orzel of Woodbridge, Ont., is 10th.
There are no Canadians in the women’s event.
The free skates are on Saturday.
Full results: ISU GP SHISEIDO Cup of China 2019