Stellato-Dudek & Deschamps capture gold at Grand Prix de France; Fournier Beaudry & Soerensen win silver
Two Canadian figure skating teams climbed the podium at the ISU Grand Prix de France in Angers on Saturday. Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps won gold in the pairs competition while ice dancers Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen claimed silver.
Stellato-Dudek and Deschamps posted 121.51 points in the free program on Saturday for a grand total of 185.84 points. The 2022 Skate America silver medallists opened their program set to “Cleopatra” with a high triple twist followed by a triple toe-double toe combination. They impressed with their spectacular lifts and a rarely-seen forward outside death spiral.
They grabbed a narrow lead over France after picking up 64.33 points in the pairs short program. They opened their tango program to “Oblivion” with a triple twist and completed a side-by-side triple toe, as well as a level-four spin and death spiral. Stellato-Dudek experienced a fall on the throw triple loop.
With the victory, 39-year-old Stellato-Dudek became the oldest skater to win a Grand Prix event. France’s Camille and Pavel Kovalev finished with silver and 179.85 points. Annika Hocke and Robert Kunkel of Germany rounded out the podium with bronze and 179.73 points.
Earlier this season, Stellato-Dudek and Deschamps captured a silver medal in the pairs competition at Skate America in Norwood, USA. They were accompanied on the podium by teammates Kelly Ann Laurin and Loucas Éthier who claimed with bronze.
Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen delivered a glowing performance in Saturday’s Western inspired dance program that featured difficult lifts and steps. To secure silver, the Canadian duo got a level four for their lifts and twizzles while the one footstep sequence and the dance spin garnered a level three. They were awarded 119.55 points in their free dance, for an overall total of 201.93.
That gave them a strong 14.78 point lead over bronze medallists Evgeniia Lopareva and Geoffrey Brissaud (187.15) of France. Italy’s Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri put out a passionate free dance performance to “My Love Will Never Die” to finish with gold and accumulate a grand total of 207.95 points.
This marks their first ISU Grand Prix of the season after winning gold at the Finlandia Trophy in early October. They’re taking home their first Grand Prix silver medal following four bronze medals in previous seasons.
“For us it’s very special to earn this silver medal, it is our first Grand Prix silver medal. We have high aspirations, we want to go to the Grand Prix Final, and we are one step closer to our goal for this season,” Fournier Beaudry told the press.
In Friday’s rhythm program, Fournier Beaudry and Soerensen posted a personal best of 82.38 points. Skating to “Con Los Anos Que Me Quedan”, “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” and “Conga” by Gloria Estefan, their program included a level four stationary lift and level four twizzles, while the pattern dance step sequence was called a level two by the Technical Panel.
“We are very happy how we skated today in our first Grand Prix of the season, it was exciting,” Fournier Beaudry said following the Rhythm program. “I think that we gave our best. We improved since our last competition in Finland and we are planning to improve from there. Tomorrow is another great day to perform for the audience.”
The Grand Prix de France is the third of six events on the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series. Last weekend, Canadian ice dance teams claimed two spots on the podium at Skate Canada International on Saturday as Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier won gold while Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha moved up a place to take home the bronze.
Next, figure skaters head to Sheffield, England to compete at the MK John Wilson Trophy from November 11 – 13, 2022.