Vancouver, Canada (October 28, 2023) – Deanna Stellato-Dudek of Chicago, USA and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., showed that they are well on the path towards their goal of standing on the podium at the World Championships in Montreal next spring with a commanding free skate that earned them the gold medal in the pair competition at 2023 Skate Canada International.
Piper Gilles of Toronto, Ont., and Paul Poirier of Unionville, Ont., also retained their Skate Canada International title for the fourth year in a row with a beautiful performance in the free dance to win gold in ice dance.
Stellato-Dudek and Deschamps scored a personal best of 142.34 in their free skate to the theme from “Interview with a Vampire” to win gold by 27 points (214.64 total score) over the Hungarian team of Maria Pavlova and Alexei Sviatchenko who took silver (187.78). The Italian team of Lucrezia Beccari and Matteo Guarise captured bronze (181.42).
“I’m very happy with today’s performance which is a rarity for me,” laughed Stellato-Dudek following their performance. “It’s still early in the season, but we’ve been waiting for a performance like this for years. We were sick of it last year and never skating even close to a clean long program, so we worked really hard to be able to put this out today.”
Kelly Ann Laurin of St-Jérôme, Que., and Loucas Éthier of Deux-Montagnes, Que., improved on their short program performance where they were sitting in seventh, to finish the competition in fifth overall with a total score of 168.12. Brooke McIntosh of Toronto, Ont., and Benjamin Mimar of Terrebonne, Que., finished sixth overall with a total score of 166.00.
Gilles and Poirier performed a moving free dance to music from “Wuthering Heights” to win their first gold of the season with a total score of 219.01. Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson of Great Britain and Allison Reed and Saulius Ambrulevicius of Lithuania retained their positions from the rhythm dance to capture silver (209.55) and bronze (192.01) respectively.
“This has been such a successful competition for us,” said Poirier. “We’ve been able to debut both of our new programs which has been really exciting just to put them out there in the world. We’re proud of how we skated and contained our nerves, and we’re both really looking forward to improving on both of these skates as we go through the season.”
Alicia Fabbri of Terrebonne, Que. and Paul Ayer of Brossard, Que. finished seventh with a score of 173.34, while Molly Lanaghan of Doncaster, GB and Dmitre Razgulajevs of Ajax, Ont. placed ninth.
Madeline Schizas of Oakville, Ont., bounced back from her disappointing short program on Friday with a flawless free skate in the women’s competition that gave her the second highest score of the day, which saw her move her up from eighth to fourth overall with a total score of 189.91.
“I’m feeling really good. I was very disappointed after my short yesterday, but I was able to pull it together in the free to put up a really big score which is what I was really looking for. I know I can skate a good short, but sometimes the free gets away from me so I was really happy,” said Schizas whose free skate score of 132.47 is a new personal best and season’s best.
Kaori Sakamoto, the reigning world champion, continued her dominance in the free skate to win the gold with a total score of 226.13. Chaeyeon Kim of Korea took the silver with an overall score of 201.15, and Rino Matsuike of Japan took bronze with an overall score of 198.62. Senior Grand Prix rookies Kaiya Ruiter of Calgary, Alta., and Sara-Maude Dupuis of Montreal, Que., finished the competition 10th (155.44) and 11th (151.95) respectively.
The men’s competition saw Wesley Chiu of Vancouver, B.C., take the title of the top Canadian as he finished in seventh position with a total score of 221.54. Toronto’s Conrad Orzel finished 10th with a total score of 213.12, and Aleksa Rakic of Burnaby, B.C., finished 12th with a total score of 189.38.
It was a close fight for the gold, with Sota Yamamoto of Japan squeaking through to take the gold with an overall score of 258.42 – just ahead of his teammate Kao Miura who took silver with an overall score of 257.89. Matteo Rizzo of Italy captured bronze with a total score of 246.01 after an inspired performance that saw him move up to the podium from eighth after the short program.
Next up for Canadian skaters is the Grand Prix de France taking place in Angers, France from November 3-5, 2023. For full results, please click here.