Virtue and Moir dance off with gold

Weaver, Poje fifth at Four Con­ti­nents — Pa­trick Chan off to bad start

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS -

PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA — Cana­di­ans Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir cap­tured the gold medal in ice danc­ing Fri­day at the ISU Four Con­ti­nents Fig­ure Skat­ing Cham­pi­onships.

Virtue, from London, Ont., and Moir, from nearby Ilder­ton, scored 196.95 points after the free dance to claim first place.

They had led the field after the short pro­gram.

Amer­i­cans Maia and Alex Shibu­tani took sec­ond place with 191.85 points, while their U.S. team­mates Madi­son Chock and Evan Bates took the bronze medal with 185.58 points.

Kait­lyn Weaver of Toronto and An­drew Poje, of Wa­ter­loo, fin­ished in fifth place — one spot ahead of Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto.

Virtue and Moir scored a per­sonal best 117.20 with their free dance to “Pil­grims on a Long Jour­ney” by Mon­treal’s Coeur De Pi­rate, and Sam Smith’s “Latch.”

“What an hon­our for Tessa and I to be Four Con­ti­nents cham­pi­ons,” Moir said.

“It was ob­vi­ously a goal of ours just to qual­ify for this event at the be­gin­ning of the year.

“To­day was an in­ter­est­ing per­for­mance for us as we left a cou­ple of points on the board, but it was re­ally spe­cial for us to be in that venue. We re­ally felt the en­ergy and we’re re­ally happy with cer­tain parts of our per­for­mance.

“We’re go­ing to be pretty ex­cited, look­ing for­ward to the next five weeks for the world cham­pi­onship.”

Mean­while, it was a tough day for Cana­dian star Pa­trick Chan, who fell on his open­ing quad toe loop and stum­bled on the land­ing of a triple toe loop to fin­ish in fifth place with 88.46 points after the men’s short pro­gram.

Chan is a three-time win­ner of the Four Con­ti­nents meet, the fi­nal tune-up for next month’s world cham­pi­onships in Helsinki and a test event for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.

Amer­i­can Nathan Chen took first place after open­ing with a quad lutz-triple toe loop com­bi­na­tion at the Gangne­ung Ice Arena and adding a quad flip and a triple Axel for 103.12 points.

Shoma Uno of Ja­pan was sec­ond with 100.28 points after land­ing all his jumps cleanly, while Olympic cham­pion Yuzuru Hanyu had 97.04 in third.

Hanyu opened with a quad loop but could only man­age a dou­ble Sal­chow in­stead of a planned quad Sal­chow as part of a com­bi­na­tion jump that in­cluded a triple toe loop.

Boyang Jin of China was fourth with 91.33 points.

The women’s and pairs free skate is on Satur­day. The men’s free pro­gram is Sun­day.


Cana­dian gold medal­lists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir per­form on Fri­day in the ice dance free dance com­pe­ti­tion at the ISU Four Con­ti­nents Fig­ure Skat­ing Cham­pi­onships in Gangne­ung, South Korea.

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