SAPPORO, Japan – Canadian ice dancers Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen earned their first career gold on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit on Saturday at the NHK Trophy.
The Montreal skaters totalled 210.41 points, a career high at the international level.
It was one of two medals on the day for Canada. In pairs, Brooke McIntosh of Toronto and Benjamin Mimar of Terrebonne, Que., collected a bronze medal for their first Grand Prix podium finish.
In ice dancing, the Canadians edged world championship bronze medallists Madison Chock and Eva Bates of the U.S. second at 209.13. Another American couple Caroline Green and Michael Parsons was third at 191.10.
“There are a lot of emotions and a lot of thoughts,’’ said Soerensen. ‘’We were just extremely proud of being able to deliver these two performances that brought us to the top of the podium.’’
The Canadian Olympians also won silver at their other Grand Prix assignment two weeks ago in France and will advance to the ISU Grand Prix Final next month for the first time in their careers.
In pairs, McIntosh and Mimar overcame a fall in their program to post an international best 175.65.
Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara of Japan won the gold with 216.16 and Emily Chan and Spencer Akira Howe of the U.S. were second at 187.49.
“We are very happy about our first Grand Prix medal, and I am proud of my partner,” Mimar said. “Even with fall she fought to the end.”
Japanese skaters were 1-2 in men’s competition with world champion Shoma Uno taking the gold and Sota Yamamoto the silver. Junhwan Cha of South Korea was third.
Stephen Gogolev of Toronto was eighth and Conrad Orzel of Woodbridge, Ont., 10th.
The sixth stop on the circuit is this upcoming Friday and Saturday in Espoo, Finland.
Full results: ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating NHK Trophy