(December 14, 2007)
Tessa Virtue / Scott Moir
TURIN, Italy – Jessica Dubé of Drummondville, Que., and Bryce Davison of Cambridge, Ont., are in fourth place after Friday’s short program in pairs at the ISU Grand Prix Final figure skating competition.
Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany lead with 72.14 points, Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang of China are second at 71.40 and their compatriots Qing Pang and Jian Tong third at 66.68. Dube and Davison follow at 57.06.
A costly mistake on the lift hindered an otherwise strong performance for the Canadian champions. They qualified for the final with a win at Skate America and second place at Skate Canada.
‘’The lift is our best element and it’s very rare we make a mistake on it,’’ said Dubé. ‘’So we were disappointed about that. The rest however was the best we’ve done all season. We haven’t really set a goal in terms of results here. We just want to comeback tomorrow with a flawless performance.’’
In ice dancing, Olympic silver medallists Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto of the U.S., leads after the original dance at 63.64 points, Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schenfelder of France are second at 63.29 and Oksana Dommina and Maxim Shabalin of Russia third at 62.31.
Tessa Virtue of London, Ont., and Scott Moir of Ilderton, Ont., are in the medal hunt in fourth at 61.14. They qualified for the final with a victory at Skate Canada and silver at the NHK Trophy in Japan.
‘’It’s very close in points from first to fourth,’’ said Michael Slipchuk, Skate Canada’s director of high performance. ‘’It’ll all come down to the free dance. It’s a good start for Tessa and Scott against a very strong field.’’
Daisuke Takahashi of Japan leads after the men’s short program with 84.20 points, Stephane Lambiel of Switzerland is second at 83.80 and Evan Lysacek of the U.S., third at 79.70. Sixteen-year-old Patrick Chan of Toronto landed his triple Axel after struggling with it in warm-up and is sixth at 68.86. However his jumping overall wasn’t as solid as usual.
‘’The component marks weren’t as high,’’ said Chan. ‘’When you don’t execute the jumps as usual, the judges hit you hard. But there’s still the long program and tomorrow is a whole new day.’’
It was the biggest competition of Chan’s career and he admitted he felt the jitters.
‘’I was a bit uneasy,’’ said Chan, who qualified for the for the final winning the Grand Prix stop in Paris and placing third at Skate America. ‘’But overall the competition is a great, great experience. It’s a good taste of events I hope to compete at in the future such as the worlds and Olympics.’’
Competition ends Saturday