Canadian ice dancers Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier won the ISU Grand Prix Espoo on Saturday for their second victory of the season.
Skating to music from the “Evita” soundtrack, the world bronze medallists finished with 219. 49 points in Espoo, Finland — their best-ever international score. Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker of the U. S. were second (202. 46), while Finland’s Juulia Turkkila plus Matthias Versluis won the bronze (191. 79).
“What worked well this week is how much we trusted our training and trusted each other, ” said Poirier. “We didn’t force anything and really let the skating happen by itself like we know how to do. We are really proud of our performance today. ”
Gilles and Poirier opened the season with a triumph at Skate Canada International last month. They’ll vie for gold at the Grand Prix Final, running from Dec. 8-11 in Turin, Italy.
Canadian Madeline Schizas finished fifth in women’s singles with 187. 84 points.
Japan’s Mai Mihara won the gold with 204. 14, whilst Belgium’s Loena Hendrickx (197. 41) claimed silver ahead of Japan’s Mana Kawabe (203. 91).
Mihara also captured gold at the MK John Wilson Trophy earlier this 30 days.
Canada’s Keegan Messing finished eighth within the men’s competition in his Fantastic Prix finale. The 30-year-old, who plans to retire after this season, had been fourth after Friday’s short program, but fell badly on his opening quadruple toe-loop, hitting the side of his head on the ice. He scored 205. 02.
Japan’s Shun Sato won silver (262. 21), followed by France’s Kevin Aymoz (255. 69).
Malinin won his senior Grand Prix debut in Skate America to begin the growing season before triumphing at Espoo Metro Areena. Malinin scored 280. 37 from Skate America, which stands as the highest men’s score of the Grand Prix season.
In the pairs competition, Italy’s Rebecca Ghilardi and Filippo Ambrosini topped the particular podium with 189. 74 points after posting the best score in both the short program and free skate.
Germany’s Alisa Efimova and Ruben Blommaert won silver (170. 75), while Georgia’s Anastasiia Metelkina and Daniil Parkman took home bronze (166. 56).
The Grand Prix Espoo is the sixth and final Grand Prix of the season. Skaters are assigned to two Grand Prix events, and the top six in each discipline compete in the Great Prix Final. The stop in Finland replaced the Rostelecom Cup, which was stripped from Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, and helped to finalize the field for the annual showdown of the world’s best.
Fifteen-year-old Isabeau Levito of the U. S. qualified in the women’s event along with Mihara, Hendrickx, Olympic bronze medallist Kaori Sakamoto and Rinka Watanabe of Japan, and Kim Yelim of South Korea.
Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps will represent Canada within pairs. World champions Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier and the duo of Emily Chan and Spencer Howe will represent the United States. Ghilardi and Ambrosini also qualified along with Italian teammates Sara Conti and Niccolo Macci, while Riku Miura plus Ryuichi Kihara of Japan round out the field.
The tightest competitors might come in ice dance, with Gilles and Poirier and fellow Canadians Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen in the field. It will also feature U. S. Olympic teammates Hawayek and Baker and Madison Chock and Evan Bates, along with Great Britain’s Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson, and Italians Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri.