The undefeated season continues for Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.
The ice dancers won gold on Friday at the ISU Four Continents Championships, their third career title at the event that features the world’s top skaters from outside Europe. The victory comes on what will be Olympic ice one year from now at the Gangneung Ice Arena, the newly constructed venue for PyeongChang 2018.
Virtue and Moir built on their short program lead to win the gold with an overall score of 196.95 points, finishing ahead of Americans Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani (191.85) and Madison Chock and Evan Bates (185.58). Both of those teams were on the world podium last season.
“It was obviously a goal of ours just to qualify for this event at the beginning of the year,” Moir said of their comeback after a two-year hiatus. “It was such a great competition. Today was an interesting performance for us as we left a couple points on the board, but it was really special for us to be in that venue. We really felt the energy and we’re really happy with certain parts of our performance. We’re going to be pretty excited, looking forward to the next five weeks for the world championships.”
The 2010 Olympic champions scored a personal best 117.20 in the free dance, improving upon their mark from December’s Grand Prix Final. All of their elements but one were assigned level four, the highest degree of difficulty, putting them well within reach of the current world record of 118.17 set by France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron in winning the 2016 World Championships. Virtue and Moir already have the best ever short program and total scores.
Canada is also looking strong in other events. Gabrielle Daleman and Kaetlyn Osmond sit first and second after the ladies’ short program, separated by just four one-hundredths of a point. Canada’s pairs stand third, fourth and fifth following the short programs, led by two-time world champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, after he had an unusual fall on the side-by-side triple Lutzes. Those free skates will all take place on Saturday before the competition closes on Sunday with the men. Patrick Chan is in fifth place, eight and a half points from the podium, after falling on his quad toe and stumbling out of the triple toe he then had to tack onto the triple Lutz in his short program.