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World silver medalists Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) came out on top in the Rhythm Dance as the Skate Canada International continued in Laval, QC with the Ice Dance event. Russia’s  Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov were second in the first segment of the competition and Olivia Smart/ Adrian Diaz of Spain came third.

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Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)

Hubbell/Donohue put out a characteristic Tango performance to “Alevare” and “Tangata del Alba” by Astor Piazzolla, highlighted by well synchronized twizzles, a curve lift and smooth step sequences. However, the first Tango Romantica sequences garnered a level one. The U.S. Champions, who train in nearby Montreal, posted a season’s best with 80.49 points.

“Zach and I were very excited to compete here in Laval. We had a lot of friends and family in the audience, so we had a lot of support. We wanted to give a stronger performance than last week in Skate America and we feel like we were able to do that, and we stayed in the moment and enjoyed being here in this beautiful arena,” Hubbell said.

GP CAN Victoria Sinitsina Nikita Katsalapov RUS CREDIT ISU 1054044536

Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov (RUS) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)

Sinitsina/Katsalapov’s elegant dance to “Verano Porteno” featured level-three Tango sequences and they picked up a level three and four for the twizzles, while the midline step sequence and the rotational lift were graded a level two. The Muscovites scored 74.66 points.

“Not everything was smooth tonight, there were some small mistakes, but we improved our Tango from our previous competition in Bratislava. We are not super happy, but we are not upset. It was a good, working performance, with full power and excellent commitment and we hope to skate well tomorrow,” Katsalapov said.

GP CAN Olivia Smart Adrian Diaz SPA 2018 CREDIT ISU 1054044480

Olivia Smart/ Adrian Diaz (SPA) 2018©International Skating Union (ISU)

Dancing to “A Evaristo Carriego”, Smart/Diaz produced level-four twizzles and a level-four straight-line lift to earn 72.35 points. “Me and Adrian are very pleased with how we performed our Rhythm Dance today. We were very centered in ourselves and we did what we do in training every day,” Smart said.

“We know we have a lot to work technical-wise, we know it’s step by step a work in progress throughout the season.”

Marie-Jade Lauriault/Romain Le Gac (FRA) came fourth on 68.90 points with a lively Tango and Foxtrot from the “Chicago” soundtrack. Shiyue Wang/Xinyu Liu (CHN) sit in fifth (66.96 points), while Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN) finished sixth after she slipped in the Tango Romantica (66.95 points).