Two seventh place finishes for Canada at ISU Junior Grand Prix

ZAGREB, Croatia – Anthony Kan of Richmond Hill, Ont., and the pairs team of Mary Orr of Brantford, Ont., and Phelan Simpson of Lunenburg, N.S., were seventh on Friday at the seventh stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit.

In pairs, Maria Vigalova and Egor Zakroev led Russia to a 1-2 finish with Daria Beklemisheva and Maxim Bobrov second and Renata Oganseian and Mark Babei of Ukraine third.

Orr  and Simpson placed seventh with 125.98 points and Keele Gingrich and Davin Portz of Calgary, the Canadian novice champions, were 11th in their international debut.

At their previous junior Grand Prix stop last month in Estonia, Orr and Simpson were sixth but bettered their score here by nearly six points.

‘’After Estonia we really worked on our components and skating skills,’’ said Orr, 18.  ‘’We could really see the difference here.’’

Since joining forces three years ago, Gingrich and Portz have steadily improved with each outing.

‘’Being at an international competition was a whole new ball game for us,’’ said Portz, 18.  ‘’It was a great learning experience and it is really going to help us move forward.  It was amazing to see the throws and lifts and the variety of elements the top teams possess.’’

In men’s competition, Shoma Uno of Japan took gold with Nathan Chen of the U.S. second and June Hyoung Lee of South Korea third.

Kan totalled a personal best 170.64.

‘’It felt really good,’’ said Kan, 19, about his performance.  ‘’My goal was to deliver a clean program but I was OK with just landing everything.  I’m happy where I’m at for this point in the season.’’

Nicolas Nadeau of Boisbriand, Que., was 10th.

After the short dance, Audrey Croteau-Villeneuve of Montreal and Jeff Hough of Russell, Ont., are sixth and Hannah Whitley of Creemore, Ont., and Elliott Graham of Angus, Ont., are 10th.

On Thursday in the women’s short dance, Grace Lin of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que., and Sarah Tamura of Burnaby, B.C., both 13, are 18th and 22nd.

Competition ends Saturday with the free dance and women’s free skate.

Full results:

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