FUKUOKA, Japan – Three fourth place finishes in Friday’s events has moved Canada from fifth to fourth overall at the ISU World Team Trophy figure skating competition.

With one day of competition remaining, the U.S. still leads with 98 points followed by Japan at 79, Russia at 70, Canada at 59, France at 54 and Italy at 52.

In ice dancing, Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., took fourth spot in the free dance with a season’s best 124.18 points. World champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France were first with 135.82.

“We were determined to skate with ease and confidence today,” said Weaver, celebrating her 30th birthday. “It was an incredible six minutes between the program and the support we got from the crowd. Special memories for sure.”

In the men’s free skate, the Americans cashed in 23 points with a 1-2 finish. World champion Nathan Chen was first with 199.49 edging Vincent Zhou at 198.50. Shoma Uno of Japan took third at 189.46 followed by Keegan Messing of Sherwood Park, Alta., with 178.04. Nam Nguyen of Toronto was seventh at 164.40.

“Apart from tripling one of my quads my performance went very well today,” said Messing. “I decided to go with a very strong and confident program. This is the last time doing my Chaplin routine and I’m very sad to see it go.”

In the pairs short program, Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro of Sarnia, Ont., were fourth earning 68.38 less than two points from third spot. Natalia Zabiiako and Alexander Enbert of Russia topped the field with 75.80.

Skaters compete in their disciplines with their short and free programs. After the results, they receive placement points (first is worth 12 points, second place 11 points and so on), which are then added together.

Competition ends Saturday with the women’s and pairs free skates.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/season1819/wtt2019/