SAITAMA, Japan – Gabrielle Daleman finished 11th in the women’s event Friday at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships but for the two-time Olympian it may have been one of the most important competitions of her career.

The 21-year-old Daleman, from Newmarket, Ont., has battled with mental healthy issues over the past two years and was proud to show that she is fighting back hard from the darkest moments in her life.

“The most important thing that I learned this season is that no matter what life throws at me I always rise at the end,” she said. “That’s exactly what I’m proving here. I had the worst two years of my life and to be here and get a top-12 finish means the world to me.”

Daleman won the bronze medal at the 2017 worlds. She is hopeful she is on track to return to her previous form.

“I view this free skate as such a success,” said Daleman. “Yes the last half wasn’t the best for me. Still, I’m very excited with how I carried the program.”

“I’m so happy to be back.”

Olympic champion Alina Zagitova of Russia won the gold medal with Elizabet Tursynbaeva of Kazakhstan second and two-time world champion Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia third.

Alaine Chartrand

Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., was 23rd.

The standings are very close in ice dancing after the rhythm dance with less than four points separating positions two to eighth.

Defending champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France are first at 88.42, Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov of Russia second at 83.94 and their compatriots Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin third at 83.10.

Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje

Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., are fifth at 82.84, Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto eighth at 80.44 while Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sorensen of Montreal are 10th at 74.76.

“It was a magical experience out there but not perfect,” said Weaver. “We had great focus. The only person in my line of sight was Andrew and it took until our second bow to realize the audience was standing.”

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier

Gilles and Poirier made adjustments to their routine for the worlds.

“The changes absolutely paid off,” said Gilles. “We received higher levels on the aspects we were working on and that was an accomplishment for us.”

Fournier Beaudry and Sorensen had a wardrobe malfunction when the button that holds the strap to Sorensen’s pants to his skates broke.

“That’s why we train,” said Sorensen. “We’ve done this dance so many times that even with a little thing like that you may not be in the moment as much as you would like to be, but we still did a decent program so we’re very happy.”

Competition ends Saturday with the free dance and the men’s free skate. The event is streamed live at CBC.ca starting at 11:30 p.m. (EDT) Friday evening. (12:30 p.m. Saturday in Japan)

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/season1819/wc2019/