James and Radford fifth after short program at ISU World Championships

MONTPELLIER, France – Vanessa James and Eric Radford posted Canada’s top result in Wednesday’s short programs to open the 2022 ISU World Figure Skating Championships® ranking fifth in pairs.

American teams are 1-2 with Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier first at 76.88 and Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy Leduc second at 75.85. Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara of Japan are third at 71.58.

James and Radford opened with a perfect triple twist which set the tone for a clean program scoring 66.54

‘’We felt free, motivated and liberated,’’ said James, who placed 12th with her first-year at the Olympics. ‘’It was pure enjoyment on the ice for us and it felt so good. We let a few levels go and there were a few bobbles but how we felt on the ice was a rare moment.’’

Their compatriots Evelyn Walsh of London, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Trenton, Ont., are eighth. Walsh and Michaud were making their third appearance at the worlds. They were 12th in 2019 and 2021.

‘’We made mistakes on a couple of elements which were costly,’’ said Walsh. ‘’There were a lot of good things to the program and the actual skating was better.’’

In women’s competition, Madeline  Schizas of Oakville, Ont., earned 64.20 points in a clean short program to stand in 10th spot. The 19-year-old Olympian opened with a triple Lutz-triple toe-loop combo, followed by a triple loop and later on also landed a double Axel.

Kaori Sakamoto of Japan is first at 80.32, Loena Hendrickx of Belgium second at 75.00 and Mariah Bell of the U.S. third at 72.55.

‘’I’m happy with my skate after an up and down kind of week,’’ said Schizas. ‘’It was a strong performance, and I showed a lot of resilience.’’

Competition continues Thursday with the men’s short program and the pairs free skate.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/season2122/wc2022/

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