April 24th, 2024

Canada’s Gilles, Poirier claim ice dance silver at figure skating worlds

By Daniel Rainbird, The Canadian Press on March 23, 2024.

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Canada perform their free dance in the ice dance competition at the 2024 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Montreal, Saturday, March 23, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christinne Muschi

MONTREAL – Canada’s Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier put on a passionate performance to win silver in ice dance Saturday at the world figure skating championships.

Skating to the “Wuthering Heights” soundtrack by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Gilles and Poirier posted the best score of the free dance with a season-best 133.17 points. They finished with 219.68 total points after placing third in Friday’s rhythm dance.

Toronto’s Gilles and Paul Poirier of Unionville, Ont., twirled and saluted to cheers at centre ice after giving the home crowd goosebumps at the Bell Centre. It’s their third medal at the worlds after winning bronze twice (2021, 2023).

The performance wasn’t enough to dethrone defending champions Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the United States. The 2022 Olympic champions captured gold with a season-best total score of (222.20) after placing first in the rhythm dance.

Italy’s Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri claimed bronze (216.52).

Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of Saint-Hubert, Que., ranked fifth after a beautiful program to “Roses” by Jean-Michel Blais. They posted a personal-best 208.01 points.

Montreal’s Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Danish-Canadian partner Nikolaj Sorensen moved from 10th to ninth (199.91). Sorensen and Fournier Beaudry withdrew from the Canadian championship in January after USA Today reported an American figure skating coach and former skater accused Sorensen of sexually assaulting her in 2012. The allegations have not been proven in court.

The men’s singles free program was later Saturday to end the Montreal world championships.

It’s Montreal’s first time hosting the event since 1932. The city was supposed to stage the 2020 championship but the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the competition.

Boston will hold the 2025 competition.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 23, 2024.

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