Canadian ice dancers snare silver to conclude first ISU Junior Grand Prix

COURCHEVEL, France – Miku Makita of Annmore, B.C., and Tyler Gunara of Burnaby, B.C. won the silver medal in ice dancing on Saturday to conclude the first stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

It was a first Junior Grand Prix medal in four appearances for the Canadian couple which joined forces in 2016. It was also Canada’s second silver of the competition. On Friday Kaiya Ruiter of Calgary took silver in the women’s event.

In ice dancing, Katarina Wolfkostin and Jeffrey Chen of the U.S. took the gold with 165.01 points followed by Makita and Gunara in second at 149.39. Hannah Lim and Ye Quan of South Korea were third at 144.27.

‘’We came back here in the long and did what we wanted to do,’’ said Makita. ‘’We trained really hard to be well prepared to deal with the altitude here.’’

Makita and Gunara, fifth at the Youth Olympics and eighth at the world juniors in early 2020, earned level fours in their Tango for their combination spin, straight line lift and rotational lift.

‘’It was weird competing again after a year and half and having judges on the panel and people watching you,’’ said Gunara.

Hailey Yu and Brendan Giang of Burnaby, B.C., climbed to eighth from ninth with their free skate.

‘’We just wanted to think back to our training and be as confident as we could,’’ said Giang. ‘’I wish we would have felt this normal as we did in our free dance, in the rhythm dance but overall it was pretty good for the first time this season.’’

It was a 1-2 American finish in men’s competition. Ilia Malinin took the gold with 214.64, Lucas Broussard was second at 192.31 and François Pitot of France third at 182.26.

Pitot edged Canadian junior champion Corey Circelli of Toronto in fourth by a mere 0.09 points. Circelli fell on his opening triple Axel and struggled in his skate after an impressive short program to stand second on Thursday.

‘’It was definitely a tough one today,’’ admitted Circelli. ‘’I’m still trying to process what happened. I think all the management around the competition I need to get use to again.’’

Courchevel will also be the second stop on the circuit this upcoming Thursday to Saturday.

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