DRESDEN, Germany – Conrad Orzel of Woodbridge, Ont., climbed from fifth spot after the short program to win the silver medal on Friday at the seventh and final stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix figure skating circuit.
Jun Hwan Cha of South Korea took the gold with 220.54 points, Orzel followed with a personal best 196.30 and Mitsuki Sumoto of Japan was third at 195.74. It was only Orzel’s second career international assignment.
‘’This was a breakthrough for my long program,’’ said Orzel. ‘’I’ve never really put all my elements together as I did today and I think I finally learned how too compete with all these elements in competition.’’
The 16-year-old Orzel produced a clean free skate which included a quad jump and two triple Axels in combination.
‘’The big difference to today compared to my last competition is I didn’t stress so much about my placement,’’ he said. ‘’I don’t think anyone expected me to earn a medal here but it happened because I finally showed what I’m capable of.’’
Thirteen-year-old Iliya Kovler of Richmond Hill, Ont., gained seven placings after his short program for 19th overall.
‘’It’s quite exciting to come back strong after a disappointing short program,’’ said Kovler. ‘’I was able to shake off my nervousness for the free. I’m positive I’ll bring a lot more to the rink next time and be much better.’’
Ice dancers Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of Greenfield Park, Que., finished less than point from a medal position placing fourth.
Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons of the U.S. won the gold medal with 157.63 points. Anastasia Shpilevaya and Grigory Smirnov of Russia were second at 148.02 and their compatriots Arina Ushakova and Maxim Nekrasov were third at 140.21.
Lajoie and Lagha were third after the Thursday’s short program but couldn’t hang on finishing with a personal best 139.67 for their second fourth this season on the circuit. Alicia Fabbri of Terrebonne, Que., and Claudio Pietrantonio of Laval, Que., were sixth.
‘’It went exceptionally well for us, it’s unfortunate we couldn’t have placed higher,’’ said Lajoie, 15. ‘’It’s been a good season for us so far but there’s still a lot of work to do in order to increase our scores even more.’’
In women’s competition, Sarah Tamura of Burnaby, B.C. is sixth after the short program.
In pairs after the short program, Evelyn Walsh of London, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Strathroy, Ont., are eighth and Justine Brasseur of Brossard, Que., and Mathieu Ostiguy of Ste-Angèle-de-Monnoir, Que., are ninth.
Competition ends Saturday with the free skates for women’s and pairs.
Full results: ISU JGP Pokal der Blauen Schwerter 2016