Canadian Ice Dancers in Medal Hunt at Season Opening ISU Grand Prix

LAS VEGAS – Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sorensen of Montreal stand in third place after Saturday’s rhythm dance at Skate America, the opening stop on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

The U.S. is 1-2 with three-time defending champion Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donahue first with 83.58 points and Madison Chock and Evan Bates second at 82.55. Fournier Beaudry and Sorensen, eighth at the 2021 worlds, follow at 75.33.

Carolane Soucisse of Chateauguay, Que., and Shane Firus of North Vancouver are eighth.

Medals were handed out in two events Saturday evening and both Canadians entries placed eighth.

In men’s competition, Vincent Zhou of the U.S. collected a third international victory this season as he took the gold with 295.56. Shoma Uno of Japan was second at 270.68 and three-time world champion Nathan Chen of the U.S. third at 269.37.

Nam Nguyen of Ajax, Ont., dropped from seventh after the short program on Friday to eighth. He opened with a strong quad Salchow in his free skate but singled his triple Axel which proved costly.

‘’I’m really proud of the fight and perseverance I put in through in both programs,’’ said Nguyen. ‘’It’s a good start for me and I’m looking forward to just improving for the rest of the season.’’

In pairs, the Russian team of Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov took the gold with 222.50 points. It marks their first Grand Prix victory in three seasons; they were fourth at worlds this past March.

Japan’s Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara were second (208.20) for their first career Grand Prix medal while 2021 world bronze medalists Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii of Russia slipped from second to third at 205.53.

Evelyn Walsh of London, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Trenton, Ont., remained in eighth.

‘’We’re disappointed with both skates we put out,’’ said Walsh. ‘’It was our first event of the season so there’s still a lot of room to grow.’’

Competition ends Sunday with the free dance. There are no Canadian entries in the women’s event.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/season2122/gpusa2021/

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