Beijing, China (December 8, 2023) – Canadian skaters captured their first medal of the ISU Grand Prix Final on Friday with Deanna Stellato-Dudek of Chicago, USA and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., winning a bronze medal in the senior pair competition.
The pair was sitting in second following their short program on Thursday, and despite no major mistakes, some small execution errors dropped them into third in the free skate to finish the competition with bronze and an overall score of 204.30.
“We were the top team by, like, 10 points so we know this is way below expectations,” said Stellato-Dudek about their performance and the fact that they were the top-team coming into this competition. “But we are still scoring really competitively with mistakes on almost all the big elements, so if we can just clean it up, we’re know going to get higher than what we got at Skate Canada.”
Deschamps added: “After coming back from the Cup of China, we have been working on a lot of stuff and we were able to perform it today. We are so proud overall of the week and also what we wanted to make better this week.”
Minerva Fabienne Hase and Nikita Volodin of Germany also had some small mistakes in their program, and have been battling illness, but hung on to win the gold medal with a total score 106.43, while the Italian team of Sara Conti and Niccolo Macii had the best free skate of the day to move up to take the silver medal with a total score of 205.88
Lia Pereira of Milton, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Brantford, Ont., who were competing in their first Grand Prix Final, finished sixth with a total score of 185.16.
“We’re proud of what we did today,” said Pereira. “Coming from a not-so-good short – we haven’t had to do that yet, we’ve been fortunate to skate good shorts in most of our competitions so far, so that was a setback mentally and I think we did a really good job recovering from that today, and wanting to continue to push ourselves and have new experiences.”
While the senior pair competition wrapped up, competition began for senior ice dance, and saw strong performances from all six teams. Piper Gilles of Toronto, Ont., and Paul Poirier of Unionville, Ont., the reigning Grand Prix Final Champions are the top Canadian team, sitting in third with a score of 85.17 for their rhythm dance.
“I think we’re pleased. We’ve made quite a few changes in the program since the Cup of China to try to boost the energy, and we’re really proud of that skate. We just enjoyed the moment,” said Gilles.
Laurence Fournier-Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen of Montreal, Que., had a small touch in their side-by-side twizzles that put them in fifth with a score of 74.82, while Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of Saint-Hubert, Que., the youngest team in the competition, are sitting just behind in sixth with a score of 74.74.
Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the USA are sitting in first with a score of 89.15, while Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri of Italy sit second with a score of 85.82.
The ISU Grand Prix Final concludes Saturday with the free dance for the senior ice dance teams, and the free program for the junior pair skaters.
For full results please click here