Virtue and Moir add Grand Prix Final champions to their laurels

MARSEILLES, France – Canadian Olympic and world champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir ended their Grand Prix Final gold medal drought on Saturday with the victory in ice dancing at the ISU Grand Prix Final figure skating competition.

It was the Canadian couples sixth appearance at the event and the first time they’ve earned gold. They’ve been runner-up four times.

Virtue and Moir, skating to emotional music by Coeur de Pirate and Sam Smith, totalled 197.22 points. World champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France were second at 192.81 and Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani third at 189.60.

‘’For us a Grand Prix title is pretty huge,’’ said Moir from Ilderton, Ont. ‘’It’s a great finish to the first half of the season and we are really pleased with the work we’ve done so far.’’

While the performance appeared flawless, Moir admitted there is still some polish to add.

‘’We are excited because when you’re off a little bit and have the training we have we are still able to come through with a good performance and get the marks that we did,’’ he said.

In women’s competition, Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L., making her Grand Prix Final debut, produced a clean program but still dropped from second to fourth overall with a personal best 212.45 points. She was less than six points from the silver medal position.

World champion Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia took the gold with 227.66, Satoko Miyahara of Japan was second at 218.33 and Anna Pogorilaya of Russia third at 216.47.

‘’Obviously I’m really happy with the free program,’’ said Osmond. ‘’The few mistakes that I did were really silly ones for me and wish I could take them back. Still there’s a lot for me to be proud of in that skate.’’

On the men’s side it was a day to forget for Toronto’s Patrick Chan as he fell three times and placed fifth. Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan won the gold, Nathan Chen of the U.S. was second and Shoma Uno of Japan third.

Full results: 2016-2017 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final

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