Gilles and Poirier Lead After Rhythm Dance at ISU Grand Prix Final

TORINO, Italy (December 9, 2022) – Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto are in first place after the rhythm dance, while Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., nearly reached the podium in pairs on Friday at the ISU Grand Prix Final. The competition regroups the top-six performers in each event during the regular senior and junior Grand Prix seasons.

In pairs, world championship silver medallists Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara of Japan completed a golden sweep of their three Grand Prix assignments, topping the six-team field with 214.58 points. Alex Knierim and Brandon Frazier of the U.S. were second at 213.28 and Sara Conti and Niccolo Macii of Italy snuck into third with 187.02. The Italians caught Stellato-Dudek and Deschamps, who dropped to fourth overall with 184.28.

The Canadians won gold and silver in their Grand Prix events this season. However, Stellato-Dudek was ill this week which kept her off the ice in training. While she expressed her disappointment, Deschamps viewed it as a learning experience.

‘’We were able to accomplish some things. Sure, the result wasn’t what we wanted but once we overcome our emotions we are going to get back up and build for the next one.’’

Gilles and Poirier earned an 85.93 score in the rhythm dance which was slightly better than Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S., who came in second at 85.49. Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri of Italy stand third at 84.55.

‘’We don’t’ often see the scores this tight after the rhythm dance,’’ said Poirier, who won both Grand Prix stops this year with Gilles. “It’s exciting to see. Everyone in this field is so good and so strong. It’s great for the audience as well.’’

Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen of Montreal are also in the medal hunt with 83.16 for fourth.

‘’We’re happy with what we put out there,’’ said Fournier Beaudry, a gold and silver medallist with her partner this season on the circuit. ‘’Our goal is always to go out there and try our best to win. This is also a challenge to see how we measure against these teams.’’

In junior ice dancing, world junior bronze medallists Nadiia Bashynska and Peter Beaumont of Ajax, Ont., lead after the rhythm dance. The Canadians, who won their two Junior Grand Prix assignments this season, totalled 67.74 points. Phebe Bekker and James Hernandez of Great Britain are second at 64.58 and Hannah Lim and Ye Quan of South Korea third at 64.21.

‘’We just wanted to give our best performance for the audience and we gave it our all,’’ said Bashynska. “I’m so excited for the free dance. It’s the most detailed and the most heart-felt program we’ve ever done in our lives.”

Competition ends Saturday with the senior and junior free dances, as well as the junior pairs free program. For full results, click here.

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