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ISU 4 Continents FS Champs 2014 Day 1
The ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2014 opened in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei, Wednesday with the Short Dance, Pairs and Menâ€™s Short Programs. 96 skaters from 15 ISU members have been entered for the Championships.
Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN) take the lead in Short Dance
Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier of Canada took a narrow lead over Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) in the Short Dance. Alexandra Aldridge/Daniel Eaton (USA) are currently ranked third.
Gilles/Poirier turned in a strong Quickstep and Swing that featured level four twizzles, a level four lift and one level four Finnstep sequence. The Canadians picked up a level three for the side by side diagonal footwork and a level two for the second part of the Finnstep to post a personal best of 62.38 points. â€œIâ€™d say this is our best performance yet. Weâ€™ve had a little bit of an injury earlier this year, so weâ€™ve been pushed back a little bit with our training time. We finally feel like weâ€™re starting to peak and weâ€™re very happy with what we didâ€¯, Gilles said.
Hubbell/Donohueâ€™s dance to Quickstep and Foxtrot by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was highlighted by a smooth Finnstep pattern (level four) and curve lift, but Hubbell stepped out of the twizzles (level two). The U.S. team still earned a personal best of 61.05 points. â€œTodayâ€™s performance was shaky in parts. We obviously made an error during our twizzles sequences. Some things have improved. We got level four on both sides of the Finnstep and weâ€™re happy about that. All in all I think that we have improvement to make during our free dance and thatâ€™s really our strong point. So weâ€™re looking forward to tomorrowâ€¯, Hubbell told the press.
Dancing to Quickstep, Foxtrot and Swing, Aldridge/Eaton collected a level four for three elements and scored a new seasons best of 57.65 points. â€œBecause of the quick turn around from Nationals we could come here and use our great skate and the hype from Nationals to come here and skate to the best of our ability. We feel really fortunate to be hereâ€¯, Aldridge commented.
Kharis Ralph/Asher Hill (CAN) are sitting in fourth at 53.97 points followed by Nicole Orford/Thomas Williams (CAN) and Lynn Kriengkrairut/Logan Giuletti-Smith (USA).
Wenjing Sui/Cong Han (CHN) claim Pairs Short Program
Chinaâ€™s Wenjing Sui/Cong Han claimed the Pairs Short Program with a new personal best score. Alexa Scimeca/Chris Knierim (USA) and Tarah Kayne/Daniel Oâ€™Shea (USA) are currently sitting in second and third.
Sui/Han delivered an excellent program to â€œLa Stradaâ€¯, reeling off a throw triple flip, triple toe, triple twist and four level-four elements. They set a new personal best with 75.26 points. â€œEven though we got a really high score today, we thought we were not even close to perfect. I thought that the quality of the elements still could be improved. Our strategy for this season was to showcase a more mature side of us with refined movements and a dramatic storylineâ€¯, Han explained.
Scimeca/Knierimâ€™s performance to â€œPapa Can You Hear Meâ€¯ was highlighted by a high triple twist, an Axel Lasso lift, but she two-footed the throw triple flip. The team from Colorado Springs earned 66.04 points, another personal best score. â€œHonestly, we struggled a lot this season with our short program and this was our last one for the season and goal was to make it the best, so weâ€™re really proud that we did. I was actually nervous, but my difference was that I tried not to hold backâ€¯, Scimeca commented.
Competing in their first major international event, Kayne/Oâ€™Shea put out a solid program to â€œJames Bondâ€¯ that included a triple Salchow, throw triple loop and four level-four elements. The skaters from Florida collected 62.05 points. â€œOur placement is surprising, however, how we skated to us isnâ€™t a surprise. We train every day a certain way. Today we went out and put out what we train. Itâ€™s a good feeling to put out what you train and to feel strong on the iceâ€¯, Kayne told the press.
Reigning World Junior Champions Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier (USA) came fourth at 58.57 points followed by World Junior silver medalists Margaret Purdy/Michael Marinaro (CAN) with 51.97 points.
The ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships continue Thursday with the Free Dance and the Ladies Short Program.
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– but the sailors praise the new boats
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Photo Credit: Dario Belingheri/Bettini Photo
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photo David Cannon/Getty images