HAMILTON – Nexxice from Burlington, Ont., won the gold medal for Canada on Saturday at the 20-country ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships held before an impressive and patriotic crowd of 7,600 at the FirstOntario Centre.
It is Canada’s first world crown since 2009 when Nexxice also took gold.
The top-seeded Canadian team finished with 214.73 points performing to Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Finland won the free skate but added to their short program score Friday it wasn’t enough to catch the Canadians as they totalled 214.06. Russia won the bronze medal at 203.48.
Skating for Nexxice were Shannon Aikman-Jones, Maria Albanese, Ellicia Beaudoin, Emma Bonafiglia, Kelly Britten, Courtney Broadhurst, Lee Chandler, Alessia Chiovitti, Carla Coveart, Samantha Defino, Courtney Gray, Yu Hanamoto, Renata Khuzina, Victoria Kwan, Kristen Loritz, Nichole Manahan, Kerrin Caitlin McKinnon, Victoria Smith, Kiersten Tietz and Gillian Tyler.
‘’I don’t think it has sunk in that we are world champions,’’ said Lee Chandler. ‘’It was just a surreal experience with the crowd. In the end they really lifted us. This is a program we have been practicing since September and the girls came together today and performed it better than ever.’’
The second Canadian entry, les Suprêmes, from St-Léonard, Que., produced the fourth best free program to climb from seventh to sixth overall.
Skating for Les Suprêmes were: Elodie Marie Acheron, Audrey Bédard, Jessica Bernardo, Lou-Ann Bezeau-Tremblay, Joannie Brazeau, Sara Irma Corona, Alexandra Del Vecchio, Laurie Désilets, Jacqueline Hampshire, Maria-Victoria Langon, Clémence Léa Marduel, Agathe Sigrid Merlier, An-Kim Nguyen, Minh-Thu Tina Nguyen, Anne-Louise Normand, Geneviève Rougeau, Marina Rousseau, Laurra Olivia Sena, Claudia Sforzin and Yasuko Uchida.
‘’It was incredible, the crowd showed us so much love,’’ said Laura Désilets. ‘’We didn’t feel any added pressure being in Canada. We were really pleased with both our programs and we achieved our goals for this season.’’
This was the third time Canada has hosted the event in its 16 year history. Canada has now reached the podium in 11 of those 16 years.
Full results: 2015 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships