All three Canadian entries at the ISU Grand Prix Final stood on the podium on Saturday in Nagoya, Japan.
For Virtue and Moir, it was the first time they hadn’t stood on the top step of the podium since their comeback to competition began last season. They scored 118.33 to finish second in the free dance to their top rivals, Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (120.09).
The French duo, who had led by half a point after the short dance, totalled 202.16 for the gold medal to defeat Virtue and Moir by 2.30 points. American siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani claimed the bronze with 188.00 points.
In both programs, the Canadians and the French had the same base value for their technical elements, but Papadakis and Cizeron received higher Grades of Execution and Program Components Scores. This was their first meeting of the season, making it a highly anticipated preview of what may come in PyeongChang in February. The French won back-to-back world titles while Virtue and Moir were on their two-year break from competition before the Canadians claimed their third career world title this past March.
Duhamel and Radford finished third in the pairs free skate to move up from fifth place after the short program to claim the bronze medal. Their overall score of 210.83 points placed them behind gold medallists Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany (236.68) and Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China (230.89).
It wasn’t a perfect performance as Duhamel fell on a fully rotated throw quad salchow and had some issues with a triple salchow combination, but they didn’t let the program get away from them, fighting right through the lift at the very end.
This is the fourth straight year Duhamel and Radford have been on the podium at the Grand Prix Final.
Meanwhile, Osmond made her first appearance on the podium at the Final. She had been the leader after the short program, but it was extremely tight with just a 0.77 advantage over Russian upstart Alina Zagitova and just over four points separating first from sixth.
In the free skate, Osmond doubled a planned triple loop and fell on an under-rotated triple salchow, but that was enough to slot her into third place overall with a total score of 215.16 points. Zagitova, who does all seven of her jumping passes in the back half of her program to receive a 10 percent bonus on each of them, totalled 223. 30 for the gold medal while her countrywoman Maria Sotskova claimed silver, just over a point ahead of Osmond.
This is Canada’s first Grand Prix Final medal in the women’s event since Joannie Rochette won bronze in the 2004-05 season.
The next big competition for all Canadian figure skaters are the national championships. The senior competition will take place on January 12 and 13, with the Olympic team officially being announced on January 14.