Duhamel and Radford skate to Grand Prix pairs gold in Japan
World champion pairs figure skaters Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford have continued their winning ways taking first place at the NHK Trophy in Nagano, Japan on Saturday.
The Canadians registered 202.72 points to win the ISU Grand Prix event, beating Xiaoyu Yu and Yang Jin of China (191.02) and Americans Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim (190.66).
Duhamel and Radford suffered deductions on a couple of throw jumps, which they’ll look to clean up ahead of the Grand Prix Final in the second week of December when most the world’s top figure skaters gather in Barcelona.
“We have a lot of good things we can bring with us to the Grand Prix Final,” Radford said. “We may change a couple of things so we can go for a cleaner skate which we will need to do to remain competitive with the other top teams.”
Earlier this season Duhamel and Radford delivered gold on home ice at Skate Canada International.
Other Canadians competing at the final Grand Prix event ahead of the finals were Kaetlyn Osmond, who was sixth in the women’s competition; Elladj Balde was 11th among the men; Lubov Iliushechinka and Dylan Moscovitch finished fifth in pairs as they continue to work on their partnership that began last season.
The conclusion of NHK Trophy decides who qualifies for Barcelona, the biggest international competition of the 2015-16 season outside of World Championships in spring.
Canada has four entries. In addition to Duhamel and Radford as the top qualifiers, Julianne Seguin and Charlie Bilodeau will also compete in pairs. Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje were the top qualifiers in ice dance thanks to their two victories. Patrick Chan also found himself amongst the six men’s qualifiers in big part due to his comeback win at Skate Canada.