Lethbridge / Canada

Skate Canada International continued Saturday in Lethbridge, AB with the Free Skating and the Free Dance. Skate Canada International is the second of six events of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2015/2016 series.

Ashley Wagner (USA) skates to gold

Ashley Wagner (USA) skated to gold in the Ladies event. Russia’s Elizaveta Tuktamysheva pulled up from seventh place to take the silver and the bronze went to Yuka Nagai of Japan.

Performing to the “Moulin Rouge” soundtrack, Wagner landed five clean triples and posted a new personal best sore with 131.79 points. Overall she racked up 202.52 points to win her fourth Grand Prix title. “Today was a really solid performance for me. To go out and deliver that performance and receive that score with the mistakes that I had I think it’s a really good sign for things to come this season”, the U.S. Champion commented.

Tuktamysheva rallied back from a sub-par Short Program. She stepped out of her opening triple Axel, but went on to complete six triple jumps and three level-four spins in her routine set to “Peer Gynt” by Edvard Grieg. The reigning World Champion won the Free Skating portion with 133.62 points and totaled 188.99 points. “Yesterday was not a good day for me, but I’m happy that I was able to pull myself together and I showed all jumps that I can do and to skate you can say a clean  program”, the European Champion said.

Nagai’s program to “August’s Rhapsody” included a triple Lutz-triple toe combination and a triple Lutz-double toe-double loop, but she made some errors on other jumps. The Japanese skater collected 109.57 points, as seasons best, and slipped from second to third at 172.92 points. The 16-year-old won the bronze in what was her debut at the senior Grand Prix. “I still can’t believe that I’m in third place. My program was not enough today, but I enjoyed my skating”, Nagai told the press.

Kanako Murakami (JPN) slipped from third to fourth (171.59 points) while Gabrielle Daleman (CAN) moved up from eigth to fifth (170.33 points).

Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN) dance off with gold

Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje of Canada danced off with the gold medal. Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA) claimed the silver and Russia’s Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev earned the bronze.

Weaver/Poje produced smooth footwork and impressive lifts in their routine to “On the Nature of Daylight” by Max Richter. Four elements merited a level four and three elements a level three. The World bronze medalists picked up 105.70 points, a seasons best and accumulated 173.79 points overall. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the way this event unfolded. We had a lot to focus on between the two programs and we were able to come together and really perform the best we could for right now”, Weaver explained.

Shibutani/Shibutani turned in a strong performance to “Fix You” by Coldplay as well, earning a level four for five elements. 102.36 points was a seasons best for them as well, which added up to 168.36 points overall. “We’ve been skating really well all week. This summer went well as far as preparation. We really believe in our programs. The competition this week was a tremendous experience for us. It was a great way to start off the Grand Prix series”, Alex Shibutani offered.

Bobrova/Soloviev interpreted “Anna Karenina” and collected a level four for their twizzles. Lifts and the spin as well. They 2013 European Champions were awarded 96.73 points and had 161.11 points overall. “Today it was difficult for us, we had to deal with nerves, but we are very happy with what we showed today, although it wasn’t our best by far”, Soloviev shared.

Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri (ITA) placed fourth at 154.74 points followed by Ksenia Monko/Kirill Khaliavin (RUS) with 147.57 points.

Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN) take Pairs title

Canadians Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford took the Pairs title. Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov of Russia picked up the silver and the bronze went to Kirsten Moore-Towers/Michael Marinaro of Canada.

Duhamel/Radford’s program to “Hometown Glory” by Adele was highlighted by a side by side triple Lutz, a quadruple throw Salchow, triple twist and five level-four elements. The reigning World Champions scored 143.70 points and totaled 216.16 points. “Before we skated it felt very challenging. We felt pretty nervous. We just put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We really wanted to go out there and have a great performance”, Radford said.

Performing to a selection of music by Frederic Chopin, Tarasova/Morozov hit a triple twist, side by side triple Salchow as well as a triple toe-double toe-double toe combination to earn 127.19 points. The 2014 World Junior silver medalists collected 191.19 points overall to win their second consecutive medal at Skate Canada. “It was a good free skating today. We are happy that we did all elements and it was the best free skate of the season so far”, Morozov explained.

Moore-Towers/Marinaro’s “Romeo and Juliet” program included a triple twist, triple toe-double toe-double toe combination and a throw triple loop, but they aborted the Axel Lasso lift. The Canadians scored 111.68 points and remained in third with 174.85 points. “Overall we were very happy with our performance today. It’s our first Grand Prix medal together, so it’s super exciting”, Moore-Towers commented.

Marissa Castelli/Mervin Tran (USA) ranked fourth in their debut at the Grand Prix (173.40 points) followed by Vera Bazarova/Andrei Deputat (RUS) with 156.15 points. Valentina Marchei/Ondrej Hotarek (ITA) withdrew before the Free skating as Hotarek had suffered an injury.

Patrick Chan (CAN) strikes gold

Canada’s Patrick Chan struck gold in the Men’s event. Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan rallied back from sixth place to take the silver and Daisuke Murakami of Japan settled for the bronze.

Performing to a Chopin medley, Chan nailed a quadruple-triple toeloop combination and followed up with seven triples including an Axel and two level-four spins. The three time World Champion earned 190.33 points and with a total of 271.14 points moved up from second to first place. “It was a high stress, challenging competition for me. I didn’t feel good on the six minutes warm up. When I stepped on the ice (to compete) I skated with no thought of what is around and who is watching”, the Olympic silver medalist explained.

Hanyu came back from a disappointing Short Program and redeemed himself with three quads (one Salchow and two toeloops) as well as two triple Axels in his program to the Japanese movie soundtrack “Seimei”. However, he fell on a triple Lutz. The Olympic Champion got 186.29 points and collected 259.54 points overall. “My score wasn’t good in the short program. I popped the quad toe and the Lutz combination was not good. So I didn’t get the points in the short program, but I believed that I can do it (today). So I was able to do all my quads in the free skating”, the reigning World silver medalist said.

Overnight leader Murakami also turned in a strong performance to a piece titled “Anniversary” as well that featured two quadruple Salchows and six triples. The Japanese received 171.37 points and accumulated 252.25 points overall. “This was my first time sitting in first in a Grand Prix event. Skating after two World and Olympic medalists was definitely a different situation for myself and I am glad I kept my composure”, the 2014 NHK Trophy Champion commented.

Adam Rippon (USA) dropped from third to fourth (239.69 points) and Nam Nguyen (CAN) came fifth with 238.82 points.

Skate Canada International concludes Sunday with the Exhibition Gala. For full entry lists of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2015/16 please refer to www.isu.org under Single& Pair Skating/Ice Dance then select Grand Prix.