Espoo, Finland (October 8, 2023) – The reigning Canadian champions in ice dance, Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen of Montreal, Que., captured a bronze medal on Saturday to close out the Finlandia Trophy Figure Skating competition in Espoo, Finland.
Fournier Beaudry and Soerensen were sitting in seventh after their rhythm dance but rebounded beautifully in their free dance to take first place in the free skate – bumping them up to a bronze-medal winning finish with a total score of 188.56.
“This was our first-time out this year and we felt really good,” said Soerensen who together with Fournier Beaudry was a silver medallist at the 2023 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships. “We haven’t had the mileage we would like on both programs, but today with our free program we were so happy to show a good program and to show the potential of our programs this year. We’re really happy with the material that we have, and we just enjoy it so much every day.”
Lily Hensen of London, Ont., and Nathan Lickers of the Six Nation of the Grand River Territory, Ont., who were bronze medallists at the 2022 ISU CS Ice Challenge, finished eighth overall with a total score of 157.48.
Juulia Turkkila and Matthias Versluis of Finland had the Finnish fans cheering as they won the gold medal with a total score of 193.73 while Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko of the USA took silver with a total score of 191.14.
In the pair competition, Brooke McIntosh of Toronto, Ont., and Benjamin Mimar of Terrebonne, Que., the 2022 NHK Trophy bronze medallists, finished sixth overall with a total score of 157.50.
“I thought we fought from the beginning to the end. We didn’t put up the first lift as the rhythm was off, so that’s a lot of points, but in general, we just have to keep working because we’ve been training well for the last three weeks so it’s going to come,” said Mimar following the free skate.
Ellie Kam and Danny O’Shea of the USA dominated the pair competition, winning gold with a total score of 182.07. Rebecca Ghilardi and Filippo Ambrosini of Italy captured the silver medal with a total score of 177.03, and Maria Pavlova and Alexei Sviatchenko of Hungary took bronze with a total score of 169.39.
Women’s skater Fiona Bombardier of Newmarket, Ont., was competing in her first senior Challenger competition and was sitting in 9th following her short program but struggled a bit with her free program to finish the competition in 11th with a total score of 145.70.
“It was really exciting because it was my first senior challenger event, so I was really excited coming into this and preparing for this,” said Bombardier. “For the short, I was more ready for it, and I felt more confident going into it than the long, but I was still here to gain some experience and have a good time and that’s what I did.”
Yelim Kim of Korea won gold (187.91), while Rinka Watanabe of Japan took silver (180.36), and Anastasiia Gubanova of Georgia the bronze (179.61).
In the men’s competition, Gabriel Blumenthal of Burnaby, B.C., finished 12th overall with a total score of 186.49 after also competing in his first Challenger competition.
Japanese skaters Kao Miura and Shun Sato took the gold (267.81) and silver (261.23) medals respectively while Aleksandr Selevko of Estonia captured bronze (238.25).
The ISU Challenge Series moves to Hungary next week for the Budapest Trophy event which takes place from October 13-15, 2023 in Budapest and will feature two Canadian ice dance teams.
For full results please click here: https://www.figureskatingresults.fi/results/2324/csfin2023/index.htm