OBERTSDORF, Germany (September 24, 2022) – Canada’s Keegan Messing launched his 2022-23 season with a gold medal in men’s competition at the Nebelhorn Trophy, a stop on the ISU Challenger Series circuit, which concluded on Saturday. Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., added another victory as Canadians marched four times to the podium. Canada also won the Fritz Geiger Memorial Trophy as the top country at the competition ahead of Ukraine and Germany.
Messing was third after the short program but roared to top spot on Friday with the best free skate to finish with 245.74 points. Sihyeong Lee of South Korea took the silver with 235.71 and Roman Sadovsky of Vaughan, Ont., won the bronze with 222.74.
‘’Tensions were high this week,’’ said Messing, a two-time Olympian. ‘’It was a constant battle to overcome the nerves. In the short program, the nerves won. In the free skate I was able to conquer them and put out a solid performance.’’
Sadovksy, 23, was first after the short program.
‘’I struggled with the short last season, so it was nice to start off with a really strong short,’’ he said. ‘’The long wasn’t quite what I wanted but I think I just need a little more mileage and, hopefully as the season progresses, it will improve.’’
In pairs, Stellato-Dudek and Deschamps, moved from second after the short program to win the gold with the top free skate totalling 192.74. Alisa Efimova and Ruben Blommaert of Germany were second at 186.17 and their compatriots Annika Hocke and Robert Kunkel third at 184.47.
‘’It wasn’t perfect, but we stayed together,’’ said Stellato-Dudek. ‘’We came here really prepared and we think we put out two really solid performances to start the season.’’
The fourth medal for Canada was won on Saturday by Carolane Soucisse of Chateauguay, Que., and Shane Firus of North Vancouver, B.C., with the bronze in ice dancing. They totalled 73.23 points with Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson of Great Britain earning the gold with 85.80 and Allison Reed and Saulius Ambrulevicius of Lithuania the silver at 78.98.
‘’It’s nice to be back on the podium and it’s where I think we should be,’’ said Soucisse. ‘’We skated with confidence and attacked.’’
Molly Lanaghan and Dmitre Razgulajevs of Scarborough, Ont., were fourth. World championship silver medallist Loena Hendrickx of Germany won the women’s event with Canadian champion Madeline Schizas of Oakville, Ont., placing fifth.
The Challenger Series provides opportunities for senior skaters to compete at an international level and earn world ranking points. Full results can be found here.