James and Radford Win Free Skate But Miss Medal at Golden Spin of Zagreb

ZIBEL, Croatia – Canada’s Vanessa James and Eric Radford won Friday’s free skate in pairs but it wasn’t enough to lift them into the medals at the Golden Spin of Zagreb, an event on the ISU Challenger Series circuit.

The first-year partners took fourth spot overall on the strength of a personal best free skate score of 130.83 for 187.57 total. Unfortunately, the short program on Thursday didn’t go as well as they stood ninth.

‘’We skated with a little bit more to prove in the free skate,’’ said Radford from Balmertown, Ont. ‘’It wasn’t as free and relaxed as at the Grand Prix in France (last month), but this was our cleanest program with the highest score so that’s all we can ask for is taking those steps in the right direction.’’

Audrey Lu and Misha Misha Mitrofanov of the U.S. won the gold with 195.32 followed by Anastasiia Metelkina and Daniil Parkman of Georgia in second at 189.60 and Iuliia Artemeva and Mikhail Nazarychev of Russia third at 189.29.

Kirsten Moore-Towers of St.Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro of Sarnia, Ont., were eighth despite ranking sixth in the short and seventh in the long just ahead of Evelyn Walsh of London, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Trenton, Ont., in ninth.

It was the fifth competition for James and Radford this fall. Most recently they were also fourth at their two Grand Prix assignments.

‘’We are definitely proud of this performance after the disappointment of the short program,’’ said James from Scarborough, Ont. ‘’It’s going to give us a lot of confidence.’’

Canada’s Keegan Messing is first after Thursday’s short program in men’s competition with 90.26 with Deniss Vajiljevs of Latvia second 84.46 and Brendan Kerry of Australia third in 84.36.

Conrad Orzel of Woodbridge, Ont., is eighth and Joseph Phan of Laval, Que., 24th.

The men’s free skate is Saturday. There are no Canadian entries in women or ice dancing.

Full results: http://granuli.hr/gs2021/html/

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