Shanghai / China

The second competition day of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2015 concluded with the Pairs Free Skating in Shanghai, China, on Thursday. The Oriental Sport Center was almost filled to capacity

Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN) crowned World Champions

Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford of Canada skated to the gold medal and their first World title. China’s Wenjing Sui/Cong Han claimed the silver medal while the bronze went to their teammates Qing Pang/Jian Tong.

Skating to a medley of songs by Muse, Duhamel/Radford produced a triple twist, side by side triple Lutz and triple toe-double toe-double toe, a throw triple Lutz and four level-four elements. Duhamel only touched down with her hands on the throw quadruple Salchow while Radford wobbled on the side by side spin. The two-time World bronze medalists scored 144.55 points and racked up 221.53 points to win the first gold for Canada in Pair Skating in 14 years. Back in 2001 Jamie Sale/David Pelletier had won the title. “Eric and I are very proud about not only our performance, but our entire season that led to this experience and this performance here. We didn’t have a perfect skate. We knew we didn’t need a perfect skate, but we fought until the very end and that was what we knew we needed to do. So when the music finished we were proud of ourselves and that was our goal. So it was achieved even before we were awarded the gold medal, which was a huge bonus”, Duhamel told the press.

Sui/Han opened their performance to “Francesca da Rimini” by Petr Tchaikovski with a quadruple twist and followed up with a triple toe-double toe-double toe combination, throw triple flip, side by side triple Salchow and throw triple Salchow. The two-time Four Continents Champions collected a level four for one lift and the two spins and earned a personal best with 142.49 points. They moved up one spot to second and won their first World medal with 214.12 points. “Today we skated last and the atmosphere was very fierce, all the audience cheered for us and we did feel the pressure. But this time what we gain is more than we can describe. We became stronger. This silver medal didn’t come easy to us. We cried right after our scores came up and I’m still speechless right now”, Han commented.

Pang/Tong’s program to “Io Ci Saro” featured a side by side triple toe, triple twist, throw triple Salchow and loop as well as three level-four lifts. The two-time World Champions set a seasons best of 140.18 points, but still slipped to second at 212.77 points. Pang/Tong competed in 16 World Championships and took two gold medals, one silver and three bronze medals (including this one). “The atmosphere was great. We are so glad to have made the decision to come back to skate on our home ice and feel the passion from the audience. This is our last competition, as you already know”, Pang noted. “The first (highlight) is definitely the 2006 Calgary Worlds where we on our first World title, the second one are the 2010 Worlds in Turin for our second world title. And we’ll never forget these World Championships”, Tong added.

Cheng Peng/Hao Zhang completed a successful day for the Chinese Pairs by finishing fourth (206.63 points). Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov (RUS) dropped from fourth to fifth (198.91 points) and Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS) came sixth (198.46 points).

The ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2015 continue Friday with the Free Dance and the Men’s Short Program.