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Golden season so far for Weaver and Poje

OSAKA, Japan– Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont. skated to ice dance gold on Sunday to conclude the NHK Trophy, the sixth stop on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

Weaver and Poje have won three international events this season including their two Grand Prix assignments to qualify for the Final December 11-14 in Barcelona.

The world silver medallists totalled 169.42 points skating to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with Ksenia Monko and Kirill Khaliavin of Russia second at 152.54 and Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker of the U.S. third at 146.41.

‘’We are very happy with the result,’’ said Poje.  ‘’There are a couple of things we still want to do better for the Grand Prix Final.  But we feel better about the program and connected with it today.’’

The Canadians made some changes to their free dance after their victory at Skate Canada last month.

‘’There were a couple of mistakes but this performance was a real confidence boost,’’ said Weaver.  ‘’Our experience came through today.’’

On Saturday, Meagan Duhamel of Lively, Ont, and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont., took gold in pairs and also qualified for the Grand Prix Final.

Duhamel and Radford win gold at ISU Grand Prix

OSAKA, Japan – Meaghan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont., won the gold medal Saturday in pairs at the NHK Trophy, the last stop on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit before next month’s Final.

The Canadians won their two Grand Prix assignments this season and easily qualify for the Final set for December 11-14 in Barcelona.

Duhamel and Radford totalled 199.78 points for the victory.  Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov of Russia were second at 183.60 and Xiaoyu Yu and Yang Jin of China third at 182.00.

‘’The long program was a lot more challenging for us today after a great short program (on Friday,’’ said Radford.  ‘’We were expecting more of ourselves but we understand it is still relatively early in the season and we don’t want to peak right now.  But we know it’s going to take a lot more than we had today to be on top of the podium in Barcelona and ultimately at the world championships.’’

Duhamel fell on the quad Salchow throw but says the manoeuvre it is an essential part of their program.

‘’We were happy to win today but it is not as fun when you don’t skate your best,’’ said Duhamel. ‘’It’s good for us to get the quad out there at every single competition because we want to be able to land it in the program consistently by the time we get to worlds.’’

In men’s competition, Daisuke Murakami of Japan was the winner with Sergei Voronov of Russia second and Takahito Mura of Japan third. Elladj Balde of Pierrefonds, Que., climbed from seventh to sixth and Jeremy Ten of Vancouver remained eighth.

Baldje produced a clean program which included a quadruple toe loop and triple Axel.  He suffered a concussion last month which left him off the ice for three weeks.

‘’I’m extremely happy with my performances this week,’’ said Baldje.  ‘’Considering the situation that I had only two weeks of full training I did a really satisfying job.’’

Ten also landed a quad, for him a first in competition.

‘’I really patted myself on the back for getting credit for that quad,’’ said Ten.  ‘’Right now I feel I’m in control of my emotions and my nerves and it shows in how much I’ve improved this season. It was a great way for me to end the Grand Prix season.’’

Gracie Gold of the U.S. took the gold in women’s competition with Alena Leonova of Russia second and Satoko Miyahara of Japan third.  Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., gained a spot after the short to finish sixth.

‘’I didn’t put so much pressure on myself for the free skate after a tough short program,’’ said Daleman, a 2014 Olympian.  ‘’I just wanted to have fun with it.’’

In ice dancing, world silver medallists Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., are first after the short dance with 67.51 points.  Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland of Britain are second at 60.49 and Ksenia Monko and Kirill Khaliavin of Russia third at 59.70.

‘’It was a great program for us today,’’ said Weaver.  ‘’There were a couple of level issues but we felt it was much stronger than at Skate Canada.  Now we just want to build on that momentum for the free dance.’’

The free dance is on Sunday.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/gpjpn2014/index.htm

Duhamel and Radford dominate pairs short at Grand Prix

OSAKA, Japan – Meagan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont., built a solid a lead in the pairs event after Friday’s short program at the NHK Trophy, the last stop on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit before next month’s final.

Duhamel and Lively, two time world championship medallists, scored 72.70 points landing side by side triple Lutz, a throw triple Lutz, triple twist and executing four level-four elements.  Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov of Russia are second at 64.60 and Xiaoyu Yu and Yang Jin of China third at 60.15.

‘’The way we skated today is how we skate every day in practice,’’ said Radford. ‘’This is how we aim to skate at every competition. It feels amazing to skate like that and we’re really looking forward to carrying the momentum into the long program.’’

Other short program Canadian results on Friday: Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., stands seventh in women’s competition while Elladj Balde of Pierrefonds, Que., and Jeremy Ten of Vancouver are seventh and eighth in the men’s event.

The ice dancing competition starts Saturday featuring Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont.  The free skates for men, women and pairs are all on Saturday.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/gpjpn2014/index.htm

NHK Trophy marks last stop for Canadians on ISU Grand Prix circuit

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will send four entries, for a total of six skaters, to Osaka, Japan, for the 2014 NHK Trophy from November 28-30, 2014. Canada will have one entry per category in men’s, ladies, pair, and ice dance at the sixth and final competition on the International Skating Union’s (ISU) Grand Prix of Figure Skating circuit.

The top six skaters or teams in each category qualify for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final, taking place from December 11-14 in Barcelona, Spain.

Olympic silver medallists (team) and two-time world bronze medallists Meagan Duhamel, 28, Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford, 29, Balmertown, Ont., will be Canada’s pair entry. This will be the first time competing at this event for the representatives of Walden FSC and CPA Saint-Léonard. Earlier this season, Duhamel and Radford won gold at the inaugural Skate Canada Autumn Classic International, and gold at their first ISU Grand Prix assignment of the season, Skate Canada International. They are coached by Richard Gauthier and Bruno Marcotte at CPA Saint-Léonard.

World silver medallists Kaitlyn Weaver, 25, Waterloo, Ont., and Andrew Poje, 27, Waterloo, Ont., will be the Canadian entry in ice dance. They have previously won silver at this event in 2010 and 2011. Earlier this season, Weaver and Poje won gold at the Nebelhorn trophy, and gold at their first ISU Grand Prix assignment of the season, Skate Canada International. Representing Sault FSC and Kitchener-Waterloo SC, the seven-time Canadian medallists are coached by Pasquale Camerlengo and Angelika Krylova in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Elladj Baldé, 24, Pierrefonds, Que., is one of two Canadian entries in the men’s category. This will be the first time competing at this event for the representative of CPA Anjou Kinsmen. Earlier this season, Baldé placed fifth at the Nebelhorn trophy. He trains at the Detroit Skating Club with coaches Yuka Sato and Jason Dungjen.

Jeremy Ten, 25, Vancouver, B.C., will represent Canada in men’s. Ten has previously competed at this event in 2009, placing 10th and 2010, placing 11th. This season, the representative of Grandview Skating Club won bronze at the Skate Canada Autumn Classic International, and placed 10th at his first ISU Grand Prix assignment of the season, the Rostelecom Cup. Ten is coached by Joanne McLeod and Neil Wilson at the Champs International Skating Centre.

Gabrielle Daleman, 16, Newmarket, Ont., will represent Canada in ladies. This will be the 2014 Olympian’s second ISU Grand Prix assignment at the senior level. Earlier this season, the representative of Richmond Hill FSC won the Skate Canada Autumn Classic International, and placed fifth at her first ISU Grand Prix assignment, the Cup of China. Daleman is coached by Andrei Berezintsev and Inga Zusev and trains at the Richmond Training Centre in Richmond Hill, Ont.

Skate Canada High Performance Director Mike Slipchuk will be travelling with the Canadian skaters as the team leader. Dr. Laura Cruz of Toronto, Ont., and physiotherapist Shirley Kushner of Westmount, Que., will be the Canadian medical team onsite. Benoit Lavoie of Baie St-Paul, Que., and Jean Senft, of West Vancouver, B.C., will be the Canadian officials at the event.

For results and full entries please visit www.isu.org.

CANADIAN ENTRIES AT 2014 NHK TROPHY

Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Pair Meagan Duhamel / Eric Radford 28/29 Lively, Ont. / Balmertown, Ont. Walden FSC / CPA Saint-Léonard Richard Gauthier / Bruno Marcotte
Ice dance Kaitlyn Weaver / Andrew Poje 25/27 Waterloo, Ont. – Houston, TX/ Waterloo, Ont. Sault FSC / Kitchener-Waterloo SC Pasquale Camerlengo / Angelika Krylova
Mens Elladj Baldé 24 Pierrefonds, Que. CPA Anjou Kinsmen Yuka Sato / Jason Dungjen
Mens Jeremy Ten 25 Vancouver, B.C. Grandview SC Joanne McLeod / Neil Wilson
Ladies Gabrielle Daleman 16 Newmarket, Ont. Richmond Hill FSC Andrei Berezintsev / Inga Zusev