OAKVILLE, Ont. – Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto won the gold medal in ice dancing at the Autumn Classic International figure skating competition which concluded on Saturday at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex.
Gilles and Poirier, skated a new free dance performed to Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now, and totalled 202.49. Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson of Britain took the silver at 184.09 and Marie-Jade Lauriault and Romain Le Gac of France were third at 182.91.
“It felt really good and both of us were really excited about performing this program,” said Gilles. “At camp we felt it was a very good start and it has grown even more here today. We’re going to give it the effort and time it needs to develop.”
Last season, the couple produced a smash hit with their free dance to the song Vincent and they wowed the crowd once again with their new skate.
“We kept the program going and didn’t let the glitches affect the performance,” added Poirier. “We’re really excited to see where both our new programs will take us.”
Carolane Soucisse of Chateauguay, Que., and Shane Firus of North Vancouver, second after the rhythm dance on Friday, dropped to fifth overall at 172.90. The couple showed some impressive moves in their skate to a Tom Jones medley but Firus had an unfortunate fall in the middle of the program.
“I made a big error on the twizzles,” said Firus. “That cost us quite a few points but other than that I thought the program went quite well.”
Two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan won the men’s event with 279.05. Kevin Aymoz of France took the silver at 262.47 and Keegan Messing of Sherwood Park was third at 256.02.
Messing fell on his opening quad Lutz but came back strong hitting two quad toes – one of which he touched down with his hand, and two triple Axels -including one in combination- to maintain his medal position.
“Everything was a push and a fight,” Messing said. “I had a terrible warm-up, went backstage to set my mind straight. I came back took each element at a time and fought through.”
Conrad Orzel of Toronto delivered the fifth best free skate but remained sixth at 214.98. He also had two quad toes and two triple Axels in his skate.
“The long program didn’t start out as planned,” he said. “I did a triple Lutz instead of a quad. Thanks to my training I was able to reset and forget about it and refocus on the rest of my skate.”
Full results: 2019 Autumn Classic International – Skate Canada