Quebec Pair Skaters Win Gold in International Debut at Austrian Junior Grand Prix

Linz, Austria (September 2, 2023) – Martina Ariano Kent of Mount Royal, Que., and Charly Laliberté-Laurent of Boucherville, Que., started off their international competitive career with a bang on Friday as they won gold in the pair event at the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating competition that wrapped up Saturday in Linz, Austria. Chloe Nguyen of Vancouver, B.C. and Brendan Giang of Burnaby, B.C., captured silver in ice dance.

Ariano Kent and Laliberté-Laurent, who have only been skating together for five months, led the competition in both the short program and free skate and finished the competition with a total score of 158.28. Olivia Flores and Luke Wang of the USA took silver with a total score of 147.22 while Wenning Shi and Zhiyu Wang of China captured bronze with a total score of 123.50.

“We didn’t think about changing any elements or doing anything differently than we do in practice,” said Laliberté-Laurent following the free skate when asked if they considered changing anything after sitting in first after the short program. “We weren’t really going out there for a medal, it was more about having fun during the competition and we did that.”

Nguyen and Giang were also making their international debut as a team and laid down two great skates to finish second with a total score of 144.75. Darya Grimm and Michail Savitskiy of Germany won gold (154.33), while Elliana and Ethan Pearl of the USA captured bronze (142.83). The second Canadian ice dance team of Savanna Martel and William Oddson, both of Calgary, Alta., finished 9th overall with a total score of 118.76.

“Because it’s our first international together, and our first season together, I think we just came in not expecting much, but I think we’re both really happy with how we did,” said Giang following their free skate.

Nguyen added: “We just wanted to come out and have a good skate and we did that. We’ve been putting out good skates in practice and we just wanted to do the same thing here.”

Kara Yun of Burnaby, B.C. competed in the junior women’s competition and finished seventh overall with a total score of 156.24. Jia Shin of Korea won gold (201.33), while Haruna Murakami of Japan took silver (168.37), and Minsol Kwan of Korea took bronze (165.93).

In the junior men’s competition, David Li of Richmond, B.C., finished 8th overall with a total score of 177.02. Adam Hagara of Slovakia won gold (220.33), while Hyungyeom Kim of Korea took silver (211.76), and Beck Strommer of the USA the bronze (210.92).

The next Junior Grand Prix of the season takes place this upcoming week in Istanbul, Turkey from September 6-9, 2023 and will feature nine NextGen skaters for Canada – one woman, two men, one pair team, and two ice dance teams.

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