Gilles and Poirier in medal contention at Grand Prix

BORDEAUX, France – Canada’s Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier neared their personal best score for the short dance on Friday to stand second at the fifth stop on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France lead the field with 64.06 points just ahead of the Canadians at 61.90. The personal best for Gilles, from Unionville, Ont., and Poirier from Toronto, is 62.38 set at the Four Continents meet last season.  Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the U.S., stand third at 60.19.

‘’Paul and I were really happy with our performance today,’’ said Gilles.  ‘’It is the first competition we felt really on and had no major mistakes.  Our energy level could still be a bit higher but we are happy where we stand heading into the free dance.’’

Alexandra Paul of Midhurst, Ont., and Mitchell Islam of Toronto are sixth.

Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines Ont., and Michael Marinaro of Sarnia, Ont., are seventh after the pairs short program and Véronik Mallet of Sept-Iles, Que., 11th after the women’s short.

Canada has no entries in men’s competition.  All free skates are on Saturday.

Strong start for Iliushechkina and Moscovitch

Meanwhile at the Warsaw Cup in Poland, new pairs partners Lubov Iliushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto’s Cricket, Skating and Curling Club, made a scintillating debut on Friday and are in first place after the short program with 55.40 points.

‘’We are happy with tonight’s outcome,’’ said Moscovitch.  ‘’It wasn’t our best skate but we had some solid elements in the program that we are happy with.  It was our first international as a team and it was also the first time we competed with the triple twist.  Our skating is on track for where we need to be at this point and we are looking forward to the free program.’’

After success with other partners, Iliushechkina and Moscovitch teamed up in the spring of 2014. She had competed for her native Russia, and received her clearance certificate from the ISU this fall, allowing her to skate for Canada alongside Moscovitch.

Lina Fedorova and Maxim Miroshkin of Russia are second at 53.96 and their compatriots  Arina Cherniavskaia and Antonino Souza-Kordyeru third at 52.96.

The free skate is Saturday.  Iliushechkina and Moscovitch are the only Canadian entries in Warsaw.

Full results: 2014 Trophee Eric Bompard:

2014 Warsaw Cup:

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