BRATISLAVA, Slovakia – Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto won the gold medal Saturday in ice dancing at the 23rd Ondrej Nepela Trophy figure skating competition, the third stop on the ISU Challenger Series circuit.
Gilles and Poirier, third after Friday’s short dance, were the last skaters to perform and shot to the top of the standings with a strong free dance to finish first with 159.14 points. It is the first international victory for the couple which formed in 2011. They have finished second three times on the Grand Prix circuit and second at the 2014 Four Continents.
Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland of Britain were second at 156.22 and Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the U.S. third at 154.34.
Russian skaters swept the women’s event with Evgenia Medvedeva first, Anna Pogorilaya second and Maria Artemieva third. Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., was fourth less than six points from the podium with 171.72 points.
In men’s competition, Jason Brown of the U.S. prevented another Russian sweep placing first. Three Russians followed including Mikhail Kolyada in second and Gordei Gorshkov in third.
Keegan Messing of Sherwood Park, Alta., was fifth.
The fourth stop on the Challenger Series circuit is this upcoming weekend in Espoo, Finland.