SAITAMA, Japan (March 24, 2023) – Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier are in third place in the rhythm dance as they chase a world medal for the second time in their career, at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships.
Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. lead with 91.94 points followed by European champions Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri of Italy at 88.21. Gilles, from Toronto, Ont., and Poirier, from Unionville, Ont., scored 87.34 in their first competition in three months. They have three international victories this season including the Grand Prix Final.
‘’We were a little nervous in some places,’’ said Gilles. ‘’We came into this event not to focus on the scores but make sure we put two solid performances down and not give anything away.’’
Also in the medal hunt are Canadian champions Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen of Montreal, Que., who are fifth at 85.59. They have two international medals this season including gold at the NHK Trophy Grand Prix held in Japan last November.
‘’We would like to step on the podium for the first time at Worlds and I think we have a really good chance with the results we’ve had this year,’’ said Soerensen. ‘’But once we finish the program and have done the kind of performance we did today, that we were both happy with, then the job and the goal is accomplished and the rest is out of our control.’’
Kaori Sakamoto of Japan successfully defended her women’s world title with Haein Lee of South Korea second and Loena Hendrickx of Belgium third. Two-time Canadian champion Madeline Schizas of Oakville, Ont., climbed from 16th after the short program to 13th with the 11th best free skate.
‘’No matter where I placed I can be proud with how I skated,’’ she said. ‘’I had a tough year putting out skates I wasn’t super thrilled with so we decided to go back to a program I was comfortable with.’’