Canadian ice dancers fourth at ISU Junior Grand Prix

GDANSK, Poland – Miku Makita and Tyler Gunara of Vancouver improved their score and equaled their result from their last appearance on the ISU Junior Grand Prix placing fourth in ice dancing Saturday at the fifth stop on the circuit.

Avonley Nguyen and Vadym Kolesnik of the U.S.won the gold medal with 174.68, Loicia Demougeot and Theo le Mercier of France were second at 162.70 and Ekaterina Katashinskaia and Aleksandr Vaskovich of Russia were third at 162.19.

Makita and Gunara totalled 154.11 which bettered the 149.63 they skated three weeks ago at the second stop in Lake Placid where they also placed fourth.

“We needed to skate our best to get in the top-four again,” said Gunara. “It’s nice to see that only in our second international competition we improved.”

Jessica Li of Brossard, Que., and Jacob Richmond of Toronto were ninth.

In men’s competition, Joseph Phan of Laval, Que., was all smiles after a much improved free skate to finish fifth overall with 207.70 points. Daniil Samsonov of Russia won the gold with 250.51, Yuma Kagiyama of Japan was second at 245.35 and Daniel Grassl of Italy third at 228.64.

Phan ranked fourth for his free skate. Skating to Beetoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto he opened with a quad toe triple toe combo followed by a triple Axel and triple flip. Two weeks ago in Riga he fell on his triple Axel and the program unravelled from there.

Corey Circelli of Toronto was 10th with a personal best 172.72 and four ranks higher than in his international debut in Riga.

“I need to push myself more when I’m out there and really go for it,” said Circelli. “I didn’t show enough confidence or speed in my programs. There were seven skaters that earned over 200 points so it was definitely the strongest event I’ve ever been involved in.”

The sixth stop on the circuit is this Thursday to Saturday in Zagreb, Croatia.

Full results:

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