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Gilles and Poirier Win Silver Medal at ISU Grand Prix

GRENOBLE, France – Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto won the silver medal on Saturday in ice dancing to conclude the fifth stop on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

The top three from Friday’s rhythm dance remain unchanged. The 2020 world champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France took the gold with 221.25 points, Gilles and Poirier followed at 203.16 and Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin of Russia were third at 200.29.

‘’This week was a success,’’ said Poirier. ‘’We didn’t have our strongest rhythm dance, but we felt like the free was really a great improvement. Our scores were lower this week so we are going to have to really listen to the feedback and see what we can to do raised them.’’

Along with their victory at Skate Canada International last month in Vancouver, Gilles and Poirier can book their ticket for the Grand Prix Final December 9-12 in Osaka, Japan.

‘’Qualifying for the Grand Prix final was very satisfying because that will be an important event for us leading up to the Olympic Games,’’ added Poirier. ‘’It gives us a lot of motivation.’’

In pairs, Canadians Vanessa James and Eric Radford took fourth spot, just over five points from the podium with 196.34, their best score since they formed a new partnership in April and in their four international events this season.

Russia was 1-2 with Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii first at 216.96 and Iuliia Artemeva and Mikhail Nazarychev second at 205.15. Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier of the U.S. were third at 201.69.

Third after the short, James and Radford needed to reset at the start of their long when the wrong music started playing. Unbothered, they delivered a scintillating program until near the end when a lift attempt was aborted.

Yuma Kagiyama of Japan maintained his lead in the men’s event to win gold with 286.41. His compatriot Shun Sato was second at 264.99 and Jason Brown of the U.S. was third at 264.20.

Canada’s Keegan Messing maintained his sixth place producing a season best free skate to finish with 253.06. He touched his hand down on his first quad, then successfully landed the second in combination and also landed two triple Axels, also with one in combination.

He is pleased with his progress after a slow start to the season.

‘’It was a fairly good event for me,’’ said Messing, sixth at the world championships last season. ‘’After Skate Canada my coach and I took a hard look at the long program and decided to switch things around a little bit… and you know what, I think we have a system that will work for the rest of the season.’’

World champion Anna Shcherbakova led Russia to a 1-2 finish with Alena Kostornaia second. Japan’s Wakaba Higuchi prevented a Russian medal sweep moving from sixth after the short for the bronze. There were no Canadian entries.

The next stop on the circuit is this upcoming Friday and Saturday in Sochi, Russia.

http://www.isuresults.com/results/season2122/gpfra2021/

Gilles and Poirier Stand Second After Rhythm Dance at ISU Grand Prix

GRENOBLE, France – In what is their biggest test so far this season, Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier are in second place after the rhythm dance at the 2021 Internationaux de France, the fifth stop on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

The Toronto ice dancers, victorious at their first two international events this season including Skate Canada International in Vancouver last month, trail 2020 world champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France first with 89.08 points.

Gilles and Poirier, the 2021 world championship bronze medallists, earned 81.35 with their skate to Elton John music while Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin of Russia are third at 79.89.

‘’We are on the mission here this year to qualify for the Grand Prix final,’’ said Poirier. ‘’The changes we made after Skate Canada International seemed to work. The scores are not where we want them to be, but we are looking forward to the free skate.’’

Meanwhile first-year partners Vanessa James of Scarborough, Ont., and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont., produced their best short program this season to stand third in pairs with 71.84.

Russia is 1-2 with Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii first at 77.17 and Iuliia Artemeva and Mikhail Nazarychev second at 73.02.

“We made a few changes because we had a problem with how it was laid out,’’ said Radford about the short program. ‘’It’s a little bit more seamless now. The results showed that it was the right choice.”

In the men’s short program, Yuma Kagiyama of Japan dominated the field with 100.64 points. Only 5.29 points separate second from seventh. Deniss Vasiljevs of Latvia is second at 89.76 and Jason Brown of the U.S. third at 89.39.

Canada’s Keegan Messing didn’t land his quad toe or tripe-triple combo cleanly and stands sixth at 85.03, still within striking distance of the podium.

‘’It was a tough go of it, my legs felt a little bit shaky out there,’’ said Messing, at his third international event this season and second Grand Prix. ‘’I fought for every point and focused on continuing the performance. All in all, I can walk away with my head held high and I’ll get them in the long.’’

Russians stand 1-2-3 after the women’s short program. World champion Anna Shcherbakova is first, Alena Kostornaia second and Kseniia Sinitsyna third. There are no Canadian entries.

Competition ends Saturday with all four free skates.

http://www.isuresults.com/results/season2122/gpfra2021/

Five Canadians Set to Participate in the Fifth ISU Grand Prix Event

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will have three entries for a total of five skaters competing at the 2021 Internationaux de France in Grenoble, France. Canada will have one entry in men, one entry in pairs and one entry in ice dance. This is the fifth event in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating and the event takes place from November 19 to 21, 2021.    

Keegan Messing, 29, Girdwood, Alaska, USA will be the lone Canadian entry in men. Messing finished fourth at the 2021 Finlandia trophy and recently placed fifth at the 2021 Skate Canada International. He is coached by Ralph Burghart in Anchorage, Alaska, USA. 

National pairs team, Vanessa James, 34, Scarborough, Ont., and Eric Radford, 36, Balmertown, Ont., will be the only Canadian entry in pairs. They finished fourth at the 2021 Skate Canada International and garnered a silver medal at the 2021 Autumn Classic International. This is their first season competing together internationally. They are coached by Julie Marcotte in Montreal, Que. 

Ice dance team Piper Gilles, 29, Toronto, Ont., and Paul Poirier 30, Unionville, Ont., will be the sole Canadian entry in ice dance. So far in 2021, they have placed first in both the 2021 Skate Canada International and 2021 Autumn Classic International. They are coached by Carol Lane, Juris Razgulajevs and Jon Lane in Scarborough, Ont.   

Dr. Shae Zukiwsky, Senior Director, Performance Excellence and Manon Perron, Skate Canada High Performance Advisor will be the team leaders at the event.  Dr. Lee Schofield of Toronto, Ont., and physiotherapist Mike McMurray of Oak Bluff, Man., will be the medical staff onsite. Cynthia Benson of Quispamsis, N.B., and Nicole LeBlanc-Richard., of Dieppe, N.B., will be the Canadian officials for the event.  

 

CANADIAN ENTRIES AT INTERNATIONAUX DE FRANCE 2021 – GRENOBLE, FRNACE 

MEN 

Keegan Messing (29) / Girdwood, Alaska, USA / Ice Palace FSC / Coached by Ralph Burghart 

PAIRS 

Vanessa James (34) and Eric Radford (36) / Scarborough, Ont., and Balmertown, Ont. / EPJM and C.P.A. Saint Leonard / Coached by Julie Marcotte 

ICE DANCE 

Piper Gilles (29) and Paul Poirier (30) / Toronto, Ont. / and Unionville, Ont. / Ice Dance Elite, Scarboro FSC / Coached by Carol Lane, Juris Razgulajevs, Jon Lane