MISSISSAUGA, Ont. (October 29, 2022) – Ice dance veterans Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto successfully defended their Skate Canada International title on Saturday, producing their best-ever international score in the process. Gilles and Poirier delivered the best rhythm dance and free dance totaling 215.70 points, bettering their 2021 World Championships score of 214.35 where they won the bronze medal.
‘’We are absolutely thrilled,’’ said Gilles, seventh with Poirier at the 2022 Winter Olympics. ‘’We created a moment out there in both programs and just enjoyed ourselves. Having everybody here and feeling the energy is the moment we missed last year.’’
Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson of Great Britain took the silver at 209.18, while Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of St-Hubert, Que., snared their first career Grand Prix medal with 195.49 points. Marie-Jade Lauriault and Romain Le Gac of Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, Que., took fifth spot at 189.07, also an international best.
‘’I’m very proud we won our first Grand Prix medal in Canada,’’ said Lajoie, who won the world junior title with Lagha in 2019. ‘’The program was really good today. We were nervous but we forgot what was around us when we were skating. Being at home is more stressful but it’s a better stress.’’
Canada’s Keegan Messing missed the podium in the men’s event by a mere 0.31 points, placing fourth with 250.72. World champion Shoma Uno led Japan to a 1-2 finish with 273.15, followed by Kao Miura in second at 265.29. Matteo Rizzo of Italy was third at 251.03. Stephen Gogolev of Toronto produced the fifth best free skate to move from 11th to seventh overall and Conrad Orzel of Woodbridge, Ont., was 11th.
‘’I couldn’t have asked for a better skate,’’ said Messing. ‘’To go out and perform like that, I’m so happy. I keep saying I’m not skating for a medal but for myself this year.’’
In pairs, world championship silver medalists Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara of Japan took the gold with 212.02. Emily Chan and Spencer Akira Howe of the U.S. won the silver with 186.48 and Sara Conti and Niccolo Macii of Italy were third at 186.18. Brooke McIntosh and Benjamin Mimar of Toronto were fourth at 175.49 and Kelly Ann Laurin of St-Jérôme, Que., and Loucas Éthier of St- Adolphe, Que., were seventh.
Rinka Watanabe of Japan surged from sixth spot after the short program to win the gold in the women’s event with 197.59. Starr Andrews of the U.S. climbed from fifth to second at 191.26 and Young You of South Korea took the bronze with 190.15 despite posting the fourth best short program and free skate. Madeline Schizas of Oakville, Ont., was seventh and Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., 10th.
On Sunday, select athletes will be taking part in the Exhibition Gala. For full results from the event, click here.