Beijing, China (December 7, 2023) – Deanna Stellato-Dudek of Chicago, USA and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., came into the 2023 ISU Grand Prix Final as strong favourites after an undefeated Grand Prix season, and didn’t disappoint on the first day of competition, taking second place in the senior pair short program.
Skating to the music “Oxygène”, the pair gave a dynamic performance, but were a little less than perfect on the landing of their throw triple loop, which gave the German team of Minerva Fabienne Hase and Nikita Volodin the opening to take top spot in the short program.
“We’ve been struggling with this short all year. We’ve never done it well in my opinion and today was no different. We had a struggle on the throw, struggle on the jump. So still a pretty good performance other than that, but you can’t have that many mistakes,” said Stellato-Dudek following the performance.
The German team leads going into the free skate on Friday with a score of 72.56. Stellato-Dudek and Deschamps scored 71.22, while the Italian team of Sara Conti and Niccolo Macii are sitting third with a score of 70.30.
Lia Pereira of Milton, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Brantford, Ont., had a fall on their throw triple loop and are currently sitting in sixth with a score of 61.78.
In the junior pair competition, Ava Kemp and Yohnatan Elizarov of Winnipeg, Man., ended the day as the top Canadian team with a new personal best score for their short program of 57.91 to sit second behind Anastasiia Metelkina and Luka Berulava of Georgia who dominated the competition to score 70.48.
“We’re a little bit disappointed in our spins, I was so disoriented in that spin with the huge stadium, but we’ve been working hard on spins, and in our practices they’ve been pretty good, but things happen,” said Elizarov. When asked about their goals for the competition, he added: “We just want to score PBs, and we got one, so we’re halfway there.”
Martina Ariano Kent of Mount Royal, Que., and Charly Laliberté-Laurent of Boucherville, Que., finished the day in third with a new personal best score as well of 55.97, while Jazmine Desrochers of Mississauga, Ont., and Kieran Thrasher of Amherstburg, Ont., sit just behind in fourth with a score of 54.91.
The ISU Grand Prix Final continues Friday with the free program for the senior pair, and the rhythm dance for the senior ice dance teams. The event concludes on Saturday with the free program for the junior pair skaters, and the senior ice dance teams.
For full results please click here.