CHICAGO – Canadians Julianne Séguin and Charlie Bilodeau won the gold medal in pairs on Saturday at Skate American, the first stop on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit.
Séguin and Bilodeau were the first skaters in the final flight and saw their score of 197.31 go unbeaten by the following three couples. Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier of the U.S. were second at 192.65 and Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov of Russia third at 185.94.
‘’Our long program was really good,’’ said Séguin, of Longueuil, Que. ‘’It was at the level that we wanted. We delivered a strong performance and we were confident throughout the program. We are proud of ourselves.’’
‘’We showed we could put behind the errors we made in the short program,’’ added Bilodeau from Trois-Pistoles, Que. ‘’We just looked forward to the next program and making sure all the elements were there. We are super happy.’’
In women’s competition, Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., was just edged for the bronze medal finishing fourth at 186.63. Americans were 1-2 with Ashley Wagner earning the gold at 196.44 and Mariah Bell the silver at 191.59. Mai Mihara of Japan was third at 189.28.
Daleman landed a triple-toe, triple-toe combination to open her free program and produced a strong finish landing several jumps. Her only mishap was a fall on a triple Lutz.
“I’m very happy with how it went,” said Daleman. “I never gave up on the program and it was a great experience. I’m going to take away what I learned today, go home, work really hard only and comeback stronger in my next event in two weeks.”
In men’s competition, Shoma Uno of Japan is first after the short program with 89.15 points. Adam Rippon of the U.S. follows at 87.32 and his compatriot Jason Brown is third at 85.75. Nam Nguyen of Toronto produced a clean program, which included a quad Salchow-triple to combo and a triple Axel, followed in fourth with a personal best 79.62.
“I felt pretty good out there,” said Nguyen, fifth earlier this season at the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic. “I was relaxed and I just wanted to be comfortable to relax in front of the audience and that’s exactly what I did.”
In Nice, France at the Nice Cup, Carolane Soucisse of Chateauguay, Que., and Shane Firus of Barrie, Ont., finished seventh in ice dancing. Canada’s other entry Eri Nishimura of Toronto is in 22nd place after the women’s short program.
Full results Skate America: ISU GP 2016 Progressive Skate America