(September 26, 2009 - MINSK, Belarus) – Kaleigh Hole of Virden, Man., and Adam Johnson of Chatham, Ont., won the bronze medal in comeback style in Saturday’s pairs competition to conclude the fourth stop on the ISU junior Grand Prix circuit.

Hole and Johnson, in their first year together as a pair, posted the second best long program of the day to climb from seventh after Thursday’s short program to third overall.  They now have two junior Grand Prix medals this season after winning gold at the start of the month in Lake Placid.

Highlights of their long program included landing the side-by-side triple Salchow and the throw triple Salchow.

“We just wanted to come out and do the long program like we have been in practice,” said Johnson, 20.  “We weren’t going to worry about the scores.  I feel overall it was an improved performance on what we did in Lake Placid.  We certainly didn’t expect to start the season with two medals.”

Hole, 16, said she and her partner were not rattled by the short program result.

“We just had to put that behind us,” said Hole, a former singles skater before hooking up with Johnson this past March.  “Our strength is our jumps and throws and that’s what impressing the judges right now.”

The two medals put the Canadian pair in an excellent position to qualify for the Grand Prix final December 3-6 in Tokyo.

There were two more top-10 performances in pairs for Canada. Maddison Bird of Barrie, Ont., and Raymond Schultz of Toronto were fifth and Kristen Tikel of Kitchener, Ont., and Ian Beharry of Guelph, Ont., were ninth.

In ice dancing, Ksenia Monko and Kirill Khaliavin of Russia won the gold medal, Rachel Tibbetts and Collin Brubaker of the U.S., were second and Alisa Agafonova and Dmitri Dun of Ukraine third.

Karen Routhier of Quebec City and Eric Saucke-Lacelle of Sherbrooke, Que., second after the original dance, dropped to fifth overall.  Nicole Orford of Burnaby, B.C., and Malcom Rohon-O’Hallaron of Victoria, completed their international debut in ninth.

In men’s singles, Liam Frius of North Vancouver was eighth.  The event was won by Artur Gachinski of Russia.

For more information visit: www.isu.org

 
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