Gilles and Poirier sprang a surprise on Saturday to delight the home fans with their first ISU Grand Prix gold © International Skating Union
Canada’s home favorites Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier upset two-time World Ice Dance medalists Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) to win their maiden ISU Grand Prix gold medal on Saturday in Kelowna. Great Britain’s Lilah Fear/Lewis Gibson stepped up one spot to take the bronze at Skate Canada, the first Grand Prix medal of their career.
Gilles/Poirier delivered a fluid dance to the romantic song “Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell, executing intricate footwork and lifts. The 2019 Four Continents bronze medalists collected a level for for their combination spin, the combination lift and the straight line lift and a level four and three for the twizzles and one foot step sequence to set a new personal best score of 126.43 points. Gilles/Poirier totaled 209.01 points to overtake overnight leaders Hubbell/Donohue and win the title.
The Canadian couple were thrilled when they heard their winning score © International Skating Union
“We’ve worked really hard for this moment. I think we really trusted our training and knew exactly what we needed to do when we came here. We just went for it and skated today’s program and that’s all that we can do. We have plenty more to do in the next couple of weeks to keep this streak going, but I think we’re really up for the challenge,” Gilles said.
“It’s definitely an exciting day for us, but I think we’re really motivated and excited to go back home and start training for Rostelecom,” Poirier added.
Overnight leaders Hubbell and Donohue had to settle for the silver medal on Saturday © International Skating Union
Hubbell/Donohue’s emotional dance to “Shallow” and “Alibi” by Lady Gaga featured level-four twizzles and lifts as well as a level-three combination spin and serpentine step sequence. The ISU Grand Prix Final Champions ranked second in the Free Dance at 123.10 points and slipped to second overall at 206.31 points.
“I felt there was so much energy in the rink. We skated after Lilah (Fear) and Lewis (Gibson) and the crowd was absolutely crazy. We tried to feed off that and we really enjoyed another successful Skate Canada,” Hubbell commented.
Fear and Gibson's lively routine earned them their first Grand Prix medal with bronze in Kelowna © International Skating Union
Fear/Gibson got the crowd at Prospera Place going with their upbeat Madonna Medley. The British Champions collected a level four for four elements, but the midline step sequence garnered only a level two. Fear/Gibson scored 118.68 points for their Free Dance, a new personal best and pulled up one spot to claim the bronze at 195.35 points.
“For us, this is huge. We didn’t expect it. We were really happy that we had two great skates and scored very well,” Gibson shared.
Kaitlin Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker (USA) gave a solid performance to a Flamenco version of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, but dropped from third to fourth place on 194.77 points. Sara Hurtado/Kirill Khaliavin (ESP) remained in fifth place on 180.64 points.
ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Standings Ice Dance
Overall, 60 skaters/couples representing 14 ISU members are competing at Skate Canada International from October 25 - 27. The top 6 qualifiers of the Grand Prix series in each discipline will proceed to the Final in Torino (ITA), from December 5 - 8, 2019. Full entry lists, results, the General Announcement of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series are available on isu.org.
Where to watch and follow the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2019?
Viewers will be able to watch the Series either via their national broadcaster / channel and for countries where there are no broadcasters, the ISU will offer a live stream on the Skating ISU YouTube Channel as of season 2019/20. You will find the full list in the Where to watch news here.
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ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2019/20
The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series started in 1995 (previously known as the ISU Champions Series) and consists of six international senior invitational events and the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. The skaters are seeded and invited to the six Grand Prix of Figure Skating events based on the results of the previous ISU World Figure Skating Championships. Competitors collect points in their ISU Grand Prix events towards the qualification for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. Only the top six Skaters / Couples in each discipline can qualify for the Final.