Canada’s Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier made sure their first trip onto the medal podium at a Grand Prix Final was memorable. They won gold.
The world bronze medallists, who held a half-point sliver of a lead over Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates after the rhythm dance on Friday night, pulled away with their free dance upon Saturday.
Skating to music from Madonna’s “Evita, ” they scored 129. 71 for the free dance and 215. 64 overall.
“We didn’t compete against any of the times we did it before, we just let it skate today and I think it topped the other programs because we just fell in love with the moment and the feeling and it was wonderful. ”
Chock and Bates won silver with 211. 94 while Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri of Italy claimed the bronze (206. 84).
Gilles and Poirier, who’d never finished higher than fifth — in 2014 and ’19 — followed in the footsteps of compatriots Shae-Lynn Bourne plus Viktor Kraatz, Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, and two-time Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir as Grand Prix Last champs.
The 30-year-old Gilles, and Poirier, 31, also won both of their Grand Prix assignments this season — Skate Canada International and Grand Prix Finland.
After contemplating retirement following the Olympics, the duo made it a point to regain their own jubilation for the sport.
`’Our goal for this season is really to recapture our joy of skating, ” Poirier said. `’It was really stressful during the Olympics. Yes, we want to win and be the best in the world but more than that we want to feel really proud of the work we’ve done and enjoy every performance.
The Grand Prix Final features the top six skaters or teams in each of the four disciplines after the Grand Prix circuit.
Canadians Nadiia Bashynska and Peter Beaumont, meanwhile, won ice dance gold in the junior Grand Tarifs Final on Saturday, scoring 167. 26.
Hannah Lim and Ye Quan of South Korea took silver (162. 53) and Katerina Mrazkova and Daniel Mrazek of Czechia were third (161. 54).
`’That’s why we are here, ” Beaumont said. `’Having two clean skates which we are super proud of, especially here in the Final. The particular [upcoming] world juniors are in Calgary so we are aiming for the platinum there as well. ”
Ilia Malinin of the U. S. rebounded from a sloppy short program with a strong free skate to win bronze.
“I didn’t particularly feel pressure just because I won the world championship, ” Uno said, “but at this competition, especially during the free program, all the other skaters did so amazing that it instead motivated me to enjoy it. ”
In the women’s event, Mai Mihara took advantage of a mistake-strewn program by Japanese countrywoman Kaori Sakamoto to win gold. She finished with 208. 17 points to outdistance 15-year-old American Isabeau Levito, who leaped from fifth place after her short program to take silver. Loena Hendrickx associated with Belgium held on to bronze.
Sakamoto, the reigning world champ, plummeted from first after her short program to fifth place.
Malinin’s comeback in order to earn a medal after a fifth-place short program began with the 18-year-old American landing a quad axel, the jump only he has ever landed in competition. Malinin added three more quads in his program set to “Euphoria” by the English musician Labrinth, though he barely hung onto two of them.
He finished with a strong triple flip-triple axel to climb into the bronze-medal position.
Yamamoto featured three quads in his free skate, one in combination with a triple toe loop, allowing the 22-year-old former world junior bronze medallist to put the pressure on Uno as he took the particular ice at Torino Palavela.
Uno wasn’t flawless, holding onto his triple axel and putting a foot down on his quad toe loop. But the two-time Olympic medalist rotated through all five of his quads and finished atop the Grand Prix Final podium for the first time.
“I think I was able to bring out what I’ve been doing up until now, ” Uno stated, “but I think parts where I didn’t have enough practice also showed themselves, so I want to improve them until I can feel satisfied with my short and free programs. ”
WATCH | Gilles, Poirier lead after rhythm dancing: