BUDAPEST – Canadian ice dancers Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha connected for gold for the second time this season on Sunday with a victory at the sixth stop on the ISU Challenger Series figure skating circuit.
The 2019 world junior champions cracked the 200-point barrier for the first time on international ice totaling 202.40 points placing first in both the rhythm dance and free dance.
It bettered the 193.35 score they earned in their victory two weeks ago at a Challenger Series event in Czechia. It’s also the third straight Challenger Series event Canada has won gold. Last week in Finland, Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen of Montreal were first.
As was the case in their previous win Lajoie, from Boucherville, Que., and Lagha, from St-Hubert, Que., weren’t totally satisfied.
‘’The free dance was a little bit too safe,’’ said Lagha, who’ll compete with his partner at Skate Canada International in two weeks. ‘’But it’s OK. Now we go home, work and get the job done again.’’
Evgeniia Lopareva and Geoffrey Brissaud of France were second at 192.85 and Katarina Wolfkostin and Jeffrey Chen of the U.S. were third at 180.46.
Alicia Fabbri of Terrebonne, Que., and Paul Ayer of Calgary took fourth spot with 168.85 in their international season debut. There were 15 entries.
‘’We put out a really strong performance in the rhythm dance and connected with the crowd,’’ said Ayer. ‘’We had an unfortunate mistake in our free dance but before and after that it was solid.’’
The two ice dance teams were the only Canadian entries at the competition.
The Challenger Series provides opportunities for senior skaters to compete at an international level and earn world ranking points.