Gilles and Poirier in fight for gold at ISU Grand Prix in Moscow

MOSCOW – Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier almost duplicated their rhythm dance performance from last month’s victory at Skate Canada International to stand second at the sixth stop on the ISU Grand Prix circuit in figure skating.

Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov of Russia are first with 86.09 points followed by the Toronto couple with 82.56 just 0.02 off their personal best set at Skate Canada. Sara Hurtado and Kiriil Khaliavin of Spain are third at 72.01.

“I think we’re starting to learn how to compete how we practice at home,” said Gilles. “We wanted to keep pushing, and didn’t allow ourselves to calm down too much.”

World junior champions Marjorie Lajoie, from Boucherville, Que, and Zachary Lagha, from St-Hubert, Que., are eighth.

In men’s competition, Russia stands 1-2-3 with Alexander Samarin first at 92.81, Dmitri Aliev second at 90.64 and Maka Ignatov third at 87.54.

Canadian champion Nam Nguyen of Toronto is sixth but is only 0.53 points from third spot with 87.01. He delivered a clean program landing a quad Salchow-triple toe combo, a triple Axel and triple flip.

“I’m really happy with how I put myself out there and I think it’s really important for me to keep believing in my confidence,” said Nguyen, the silver medallist at Skate Canada International.

The Russians also grabbed the top three spots in the pairs short program led by Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii.

Evelyn Walsh of London, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Trenton, Ont., are fifth after a personal best 62.76 less than six points from third place.

Canada has no entries in women’s competition.

All four free skates are on Saturday.

Full results: ISU GP Rostelecom Cup 2019

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