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Lajoie and Lagha Produce Season Best Performance in Fifth Place Finish at NHK Trophy

TOKYO –Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha completed a season’s best performance Saturday in their free dance to finish fifth in ice dancing for Canada’s top result at the NHK Trophy, the fourth stop on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

World champions Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov of Russia won the gold medal with 215.44 points. Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. were second at 210.78 and Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson of Great Britain third at 191.91.

Lajoie and Lagha were in a three-way battle for the bronze and produce the fourth best free dance on Saturday but remained fifth overall at 187.38. Their rhythm dance, free dance and total score were all season’s best amongst their four competitions so far.

‘’This is a great way to finish this section of the season,’’ said Lagha, from St-Hubert, Que. ‘’It was like we learned to stay calm while we skated and with the crowd and everything it was a great week overall.’’

The pairs event was won by Russia’s Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov with 227.28. Their compatriots Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov took second with 213.27.

Evelyn Walsh of London, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Brantford, Ont., remained sixth with 167.98, which was more than 20 points better than their score in an eighth-place result at Skate America last month.

‘’Things that we worked on since Skate America definitely got better,’’ said Michaud. ‘’But there’s still a lot we want to keep working on. There were some different mistakes this time and we are still not where we need to be.’’

Shoma Uno of Japan took the men’s crown for his first top-level international figure skating title in nearly three years, distancing American Vincent Zhou in a battle of Olympic medal contenders.

Two-time Canadian champion Nam Nguyen of Ajax, Ont., remained in 10th spot.

‘’It was a tough week,’’ he admitted. ‘’I’d been working really hard since Skate America leading into this event but unfortunately it didn’t reflect too well this week. When I get back home there’s about 90 percent of the free program I need to deal with.’’

Kaori Sakamato successfully defended her women’s title on Saturday, with a season-best 223.34. Japanese compatriot Mana Kawabe, who started the day 2.68 points back in second, totalled 205.44 to take silver, with South Korea’s You Young rounding out the podium a further 1.84 points behind.

There were no Canadian entries in the women’s event.

The fifth stop on the circuit goes this upcoming Friday and Saturday in Grenoble, France.

http://www.isuresults.com/results/season2122/gpjpn2021/

Lajoie and Lagha Within Striking Distance of Podium ay NHK Trophy

TOKYO – Ice dancers Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha are less than two points from third place after Friday’s rhythm dance to highlight Canadian performances Friday at the NHK Trophy, the fourth stop on the ISU figure skating circuit.

World champions Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov of Russia are first at 86.33, Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. second at 86.02 and Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson of Great Britain third at 76.43.

Three teams are in a heated battle for that third spot. Sara Hurtado and Kirill Khaliavin of Spain scored 76.40 for fourth and Lajoie and Lagha are fifth at 74.45.

It was a season best score for the Canadians competing for the fourth time this season. They were fourth at the Autumn Classic International, seventh at Finlandia Trophy and sixth at Skate Canada International two weeks ago.

In men’s competition, Japan’s Shoma Uno capitalised on injured Olympic figure skating champion Yuzuru Hanyu’s absence to lead after the short program with 102.58 points. Vincent Zhou of the U.S. who has won his three previous events this season, is second at 99.51 and Junhwa Cha of South Korea third at 95.92.

Two-time Canadian champion Nam Nguyen of Ajax, Ont., stands 10th. His first jump, a quad Salchow – triple toe loop combination did not go as planned as he doubled the Salchow.

In pairs, Russian world champions Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov lead after the short program with 78.40, ahead of compatriots Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov at 75.78.

Evelyn Walsh of London, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Brantford, Ont., are sixth at 56.97, over two points better than their score at Skate America in October.

In women’s competition, Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto leads after the short program ahead of compatriot Mana Kawabe and South Korea’s You Young. There are no Canadian entries.

Competition ends Saturday with all four free skates.

http://www.isuresults.com/results/season2122/gpjpn2021/

Five Canadians are Heading to Japan for the 2021 NHK Trophy

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will have three entries for a total of five skaters competing at the 2021 NHK Trophy in Tokyo, Japan. Canada will have one entry in men, one entry in pairs and one entry in ice dance. This is the fourth event in the 2021/2022 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating and the event takes place from November 12 to 14, 2021.  

Nam Nguyen, 23, Ajax, Ont., will be the lone Canadian entry in men. Nguyen finished second at the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge and finished eighth at Skate America 2021. He is coached by Robert Burk, Danielle Rose and Ken Rose in Richmond Hill, Ont. 

Evelyn Walsh, 20, London, Ont., and Trennt Michaud, 25, Trenton, Ont., will be the only Canadian entry in pairs. Walsh and Michaud placed eighth at Skate America 2021.  They are coached by Alison Purkiss, Andrew Evans and Paul Macintosh in Brantford, Ont. 

Marjorie Lajoie, 20, Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha, 22, Saint-Hubert, Que., will be the lone ice dance entry representing Canada. Lajoie and Lagha finished sixth at the 2021 Skate Canada International and placed fourth at the 2021 Autumn Classic International., They are coached by Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon, Romain Haguenauer, Pascal Denis and Josée Piche in Montreal, Que. 

Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada High Performance Director will be the team leader. Dr Daphne Anderson of Calgary, Alta., and physiotherapist Meghan Buttle of Toronto, Ont., will be the Canadian medical staff onsite. Debbie Islam of Barrie, Ont., and Janice Hunter, Vancouver, B.C., will be the team officials attending the event.  

 

CANADIAN ENTRIES AT THE 2021 NHK TROPHY – TOKYO, JAPAN 

MEN 

Nam Nguyen (23) / Ajax, Ont. / Richmond Hill Training Centre / Coached by Robert Burk, Danielle Rose, and Ken Rose 

PAIRS 

Evelyn Walsh (20) and Trennt Michaud (25) / London, Ont., and Trenton, Ont. / Brantford Skating Club and Trenton Skating Club / Coached by Alison Purkiss, Andrew Evans and Paul Macintosh 

ICE DANCE
Marjorie Lajoie (20) and Zachary Lagha (22) / Boucherville, Que. and Saint-Hubert, Que. / CPA Boucherville and CPA Saint Lambert / Coached by: Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon, Romain Haguenauer, Pascal Denis and Josée Piche