TAIPEI CITY – Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., won the bronze medal Friday in ice dancing at the ISU Four Continents Championships while Patrick Chan of Toronto stands fifth after the men’s short program.
In ice dancing, the Americans finished 1-2. Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani took the gold with 181.62 points and Madison Chock and Evan Bates, the world championship silver medallists, followed at 174.64.
Weaver and Poje, the defending champions, followed at 173.85.
“We didn’t have our strongest skate,” said Weaver. “We fought through, we didn’t let it discourage us. Most days things come together for us but some days it doesn’t. Today was one of those. We’re still happy to go home with a bronze medal and we know we are capable of being the best.”
Poje says the result just fires them up even more for the next month’s world championships in Boston.
“We are going to use this as a learning experience,” he said. “We are going to make sure we get out the little stumbles and bumps out of the program. We plan to go into Boston full of confidence and full of energy.”
Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto were fifth and Elisabeth Paradis of Loretteville, Que., and François-Xavier Ouellette of Laval, Que.,were sixth.
In the men’s short program, Boyang Jin of China stands first at 98.45 with Shoma Uno of Japan second at 92.99 and Han Yan of China third at 89.57. Takahito Mura of Japan is fourth at 89.08 followed by Chan at 86.22, a season’s best in international competition.
‘’I haven’t felt comfortable in training all week,’’ said Chan, who sat out last season. ‘’Considering that, I’m really happy with the skate, staying on feet, playing it smart and not making major mistakes. Staying in the final group for the free skate was also important.’’
Chan, a three-time world champion, says he is following his game plan.
‘’This season I want to take my time, be methodical. So far every competition it has been getting better,’’ he said.
Liam Firus of North Vancouver is 14th and Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C., 20th.
Competition continues Saturday with the free skates in pairs and women’s competition.
Full results: ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships