Figure skating: Duhamel, Radford lift Canada to silver at World Team Trophy meet

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

TOKYOMeagan Duhamel and Eric Radford finished second in the pairs competition Saturday, helping Canada win the silver medal at the ISU World Team Trophy figure skating event.

The United States, which won the inaugural event in 2009, entered the final day leading the overall standings and finished with 57 points. Canada was next with 51, two points ahead of Japan.

Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia finished first in pairs, almost 20 points ahead of Duhamel, from Lively, Ont., and Radford, from Balmertown, Ont. The Canadians, who won bronze at the world championship, used a routine that included triple throws and six level-four elements.

“There were some mistakes,” Duhamel said, “but the way that we skated, the way we felt in the middle of the program, we were both very aware and relaxed at the same time.

“What we loved about the competition is that it really built that unit, that feeling of being a team.”

The Canadians used music from the Angel soundtrack for their routine. The team event will be included in the Olympic program for the first time in Sochi.

Akiko Suzuki of Japan won the women’s event, followed by Americans Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold. Canadian champion Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, Nfld., was seventh and Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket 11th.

“I didn’t know what to expect coming here,” said Osmond. “It was a lot of fun and the team provided great support, which made it so enjoyable and lifted the pressure. This whole season has been a dream come true for me.”

It was Daleman’s senior international debut.

“I was honoured to compete here,” added Daleman. “Even though I didn’t have a best skate, I was feeling nervous and the support of my teammates really helped me.”

The World Team Trophy brings together selected skaters from the six countries that scored the most combined points at major senior and junior competitions. A team event will be included for the first time at the Winter Olympics, although the format will differ slightly.

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