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Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Canada perform during the Ice Dance-Free Dance at the Figure Skating World Championships in Stockholm, Sweden, Saturday, March 27, 2021.AP Photo/Martin Meissner
AP Photo/Martin Meissner

Gilles and Poirier skate to bronze at ISU World Championships

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier danced their way to the world championship podium for the first time, winning bronze in Stockholm, Sweden on Saturday.

The Canadian ice dancers delivered a personal best combined point total of 214.35 to secure their first world medal on the final day of competition at the 2021 ISU World Figure Skating Championships.

Stepping onto international ice for the first time in over a year, Gilles and Poirier captured Canada’s first and only medal of the competition in Sweden. The Canadians had been sitting in fourth position with 83.37 points after performing their rhythm dance to “Mack and Mabel” on Friday.

“We were absolutely thrilled,” said Gilles. “I think we are just so completely confident in our training and our ability. We got to enjoy performing again, which is why we skate.”

Sitting less than two points out of the bronze medal position, the pair returned to the ice on Saturday to perform their magical free dance with a podium in sight. Skating to “Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell, their performance earned them 130.98 points and pushed them into third position overall.

Russian skaters Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov captured the gold medal with a total of 221.17 points. The silver medal went to America’s Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue who posted 214.71 points.

READ: Team Canada eyes Olympic qualification at 2021 World Figure Skating Championships

In the men’s singles competition, the only Canadian in action was Keegan Messing. Messing finished off the podium in sixth position with an overall score of 270.26 points. On Friday, Messing skated to Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” in the short program putting him in fifth position heading into the free program. Then on Saturday he skated his free program to “November Rain” by Guns N’ Roses and posted 176.75 points to secure his sixth place final position.

Also skating in Stockholm was Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro who finished sixth overall in the pairs competition. Madeline Schizas made her world championship debut in women’s singles finishing 13th overall.

Saturday marks the final day of competition at the 2021 ISU World Figure Skating Championships.