(March 17, 2005)
Two Canadian pair teams finished in the top-10 at the 2005 International Skating Union (ISU) World Championships on Wednesday.
|Utako Wakamatsu and Jean-Sebastien Fecteau |
Canadian silver medallists Utako Wakamatsu and Jean-Sebastien Fecteau placed eighth overall, while two-time Canadian Champions Valerie Marcoux and Craig Buntin overcame an injury to finish ninth overall.
Wakamatsu, 23, who was born in Aomori, Japan but now lives in St-Leonard, Que., and Fecteau, 29, of St-Leonard, Que., were in ninth position following Monday’s short program. The duo completed a number of successful elements in their program, including a side-by-side triple toe loop-double toe loop combination, a triple twist, a throw triple Salchow and a variety of difficult and innovative lifts.
Wakamatsu and Fecteau were awarded a total of 102.23 points for their free skate, which brought their combined point total to 159.42.
This was Wakamatsu and Fecteau’s first time competing at the ISU World Championships as a pair.
|Valerie Marcoux and Craig Buntin |
Marcoux, 24, of Gatineau, Que., and Buntin, 24, of Kelowna, B.C., also skated a strong performance. They began their program with a side-by-side triple toe loop-double toe loop series, a triple twist and a throw triple loop. The program also included an impressive throw triple Salchow and difficult lifts.
They earned a total of 100.89 points for their free skate, which gave them a combined point total of 156.83 points.
“It was fun to be out there and have the crowd behind us and cheering for us,” said Marcoux. “Especially in the last part. It gave us the extra energy that we needed.”
Successfully defending the World Championship title they won last year in Dortmund, Germany were Russians Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin. The duo’s combined point total was 198.49.
Winning the silver medal was the Russian team of Maria Petrova and Alexei Tikhonov, who earned a combined point total of 188.21.
Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang, of China, took home the bronze medal. Their combined point total was 180.22.
Two-time World Champions Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao, of China, withdrew from the event before the free skate due to an injury to Zhao.
Based on Wakamatsu and Fecteau’s eighth-place finish and Marcoux and Buntin’s ninth-place finish, Canada will be eligible to send two pair teams to next year’s Olympic Winter Games and the 2006 ISU World Championships in Calgary.
The 2005 ISU World Championships continues with the original dance and the men’s free skate on Thursday. Check the TV schedule for broadcasts.
See full results at www.isufs.org/events/fsevent00007859.htm.