SHANGHAI – Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford won Canada’s first world pairs figure skating title in 14 years on Thursday to cap a perfect season.
The Canadians posted the top score in both the short skate and Thursday’s free program, finishing with a total of 221.53 points, a personal best score. Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China won the silver medal at 214.12 and their compatriots Pang Qing and Tong Jian got the bronze with 212.77.
‘’The dream has become a reality,’’ said Radford. ‘’We had a little error at the start of the program but we recovered and fought till the end.
‘’We are so excited and proud of ourselves. You never know if you’ll be able to stand on top of a world podium no matter how hard you work.’’
This is Canada’s first victory in the pairs event at worlds since Jamie Sale and David Pelletier won gold in 2001.
Thursday’s victory capped a perfect season for Duhamel, from Lively, Ont., and Radford, from Balmertown, Ont. They won three Grand Prix events including the Grand Prix Final as well as the Four Continents championships and Canadian championships.
Duhamel left the ice unsure how the judges would score their program.
‘’All I knew is that we had given everything we had,’’ she said. ‘’Ironically this season we wanted to put the focus on enjoying our skating and we started to win.’’
World junior silver medallists Julianne Séguin of Longueuil, Que., Charlie Bilodeau of Trois-Pistoles, Que., were eighth and first-year partners Lubov Iliushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto 13th.
“It’s our first international competition at the senior level and we are proud of our performances,” said Séguin. ‘’We reached our goals and learned a lot.’’
In women’s competition after the short program, Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., is 10th and Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., 21st.
Russians Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and Elena Radionova are 1-2.
“It was quite the experience,” said Chartrand celebrating her 19th birthday. “I had a good skate and to get close to my personal best at worlds is very satisfying.”
Daleman dislocated her knee two weeks ago.
“That wasn’t a good skate,” she said. “I was proud though that I fought through it and I know I can get it back together for the free skate.”
Competition continues Friday with the men’s short and free dance featuring Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., who are second after Wednesday’s short dance.
Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/wc2015/index.htm