Canadian pair skaters advance to Olympic free skate but do not make top 10


The two Canadian pairs in the Olympic short program pair figure skating moved on to the free skate on Friday in a day that saw one of the top teams set a new world record.

Canadians Vanessa James and Eric Radford are 12th with a score of 63.03, while Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro are 13th with a score of 62.51 going into Saturday’s free skate at Capital Indoor Stadium.

But it was China’s top pair of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong who broke their previous world record and season’s best of 82.83 with a score of 84.41 with their program at the Impossible mission soundtrack.

Their lone bobble was slightly off in their side-to-side spins, but they otherwise put in an impressive performance with solid technical elements, including a big triple twist and huge speed in their triple flip throw.

WATCH | Chinese skaters Sui and Han hold a narrow lead:

Chinese skaters Sui and Han hold narrow lead after short program

Sui Wenjing and Han Cong lead by 0.16 points after posting an 84.41 score at home to Beijing 2022. 6:24

“I am so honored to break the record in my homeland,” Sui said afterwards.

“But the short program is just the beginning. We hope to show our best level in free skating.”

Two Russian duos occupy the second and third positions after the short program. Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, world championship silver medalists in 2018 and 2019, are second after scoring the season’s best score of 84.25 and could have broken the world record if not for the Chinese pair already done. Their power and artistry rivaled that of the Chinese duo, and they were only two-tenths of a point behind.

“I think we felt relieved to have finished the short program,” Morozov said afterwards. “We skated well and we are happy with our performance.”

2021 world champions Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov scored a season-best 82.76 to take third place.

“The result speaks for itself. We did our best to execute a clean skate, and we did all the elements, executed [them] well,” Galliamov said afterwards. “Overall, we’re happy with our performance.”

The top 16 pairs qualified for the free skate, where medals will be awarded, which begins Saturday at 6 a.m. ET.

All the action will be streamed live on CBC Gem, the CBC Sports app and the CBC Sports Beijing 2022 website.

James and Radford only teamed up about a year ago and initially intended to skate together in exhibitions. James, who was born in Canada, had competed for France in three previous Olympics, while Radford and his former partner Meagan Duhamel won team gold and pairs bronze at Pyeongchang in 2018 and an Olympic medal. team silver in Sochi in 2014.

WATCH | James and Radford are 12th after the pairs short program:

James and Radford 12th after the pairs short program

Canadians Vanessa James and Eric Radford scored 63.03 in the Beijing 2022 short program. 6:33

The pair decided to compete together this season with an eye on Beijing. But after taking fourth place after the short program at the Canadian Championships – the qualifying event for the Olympics – they withdrew from competition, citing the fact that they had not fully recovered from COVID-19. , which they had contracted in December.

Although they didn’t compete in the free skate, they secured the second of Canada’s two Olympic pairs berths based on their scores earlier in the season.

Their score after Friday’s Olympic short program of 63.03 was a far cry from their season-best 71.84 due to small bobbles, including movement on side-to-side turns, as well as James doing his triple loop toe side by side a double.

WATCH | James and Radford after a mistake in the short program: “It’s a bit surprising”:

Radford & James after a mistake in the short program: “It’s a bit surprising, a bit disappointing”

Canadian pair skaters Vanessa James and Eric Radford discuss their short program where they scored 63.03. 1:25

After their skate, Radford called the mistake on the side-to-side jumps “unfortunate”, while James called it “disappointing”.

“We trained very hard, we trained well,” James told CBC’s Elladj Baldé. “I didn’t miss a toe loop so it’s a bit surprising for me today and a bit disappointing because we got the job done and it’s there so it’s more me reassessing my mental focus .”

Moore-Towers and Marinaro, who placed 11th at PyeongChang 2018, both crashed on the thrown triple loop but skated an otherwise clean program.

WATCH | Oral history: The skating scandal that rocked the 2002 Winter Olympics

Oral history: The skating scandal that rocked the 2002 Winter Olympics

How a counterpart from the judge almost deprived Canadians Jamie Salé and David Pelletier of a gold medal. 7:51

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