NAGANO, Japan – Skating to Adele’s My Hometown Meaghan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont., won the gold medal in pairs on Saturday at the NHK Trophy, the sixth stop on the ISU Grand Prix circuit.
Duhamel and Radford earned 202.72 points for their fifth straight victory on the circuit. They will easily qualify for the Grand Prix Final in two weeks in Barcelona. Xiaoyu Yu and Yang Jin of China were second at 191.02 and Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim of the U.S. third at 190.66.
The Canadians had two noticeable mistakes in their free skate but their loaded program remained superior to the rest of the competition.
“As was the case in the short program, we missed a few things we know we can do a lot better,” said Radford. “On the plus side, we got great execution on our pairs elements such as lifts, twists and spins. So we have a lot of good things we can bring with us to the Grand Prix Final. We may change a couple of things so we can go for a cleaner skate which we will need to do to remain competitive with the other top teams.”
Duhamel agrees the program needs to show more polish.
“We need to go to Barcelona and do a clean short and clean long,” she said. “When we skate clean programs we are in control of our own destiny. That was the situation last year and we’ll do what it takes to achieve that again.”
Second-year partners Lubov Iliushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto were fifth with a personal best 180.63.
In men’s competition, Elladj Balde of Pierrefonds, Que., was 11th while Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L. moved from eighth to sixth overall after her free skate in women’s singles.
Osmond was pleased to improve on her 11th place finish at Skate Canada last month.
“It was a long gap between here and Skate Canada,” she said. “For me I just really wanted to go out and compete after all the training.”
Canada had no entries in ice dancing.