Canada’s Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier settled for bronze medals in ice dancing at the 2023 ISU World Figure Skating Championships.
Meanwhile, United States’ Madison Chock and Evan Bates won their first world title finishing with 226.01 points.
Italy’s Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri of followed for the silver at 219.85 and Gilles and Poirier earned 217.48 for Canada’s sole medal of the competition.
Records have it that this marked the first competition in three months for the Canadian Olympians after a wildly successful Grand Prix season, winning both their assignments as well as the Final in December.
Gilles said “This is the best season we’ve ever had. We medaled at every event we entered and that was really rewarding when we weren’t sure we would continue after last season.’’
“We just wanted to put our best foot forward and enjoy every last step of this program,” Gilles said. “We’ve enjoyed doing it every time we’ve gone out there, so performing it on the world stage after being gone for a few months was so rewarding.”
Even though Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen of Montreal, Que., produced the fourth best free skate, they remained fifth at 214.04.
It is germane to note that they had a fantastic season with two international medals including gold at the NHK Trophy Grand Prix in Japan last November.
Soerensen said “We couldn’t have asked for anything more. It’s really fun, you can have four minutes and 10 seconds where you can really feel you’re in the present the whole way. It’s such a rare excitement.”
Japan’s Shoma Uno repeated as world champion in men’s competition with 301.14. Junhwan Cha of South Korea took the silver with 296.03 and Ilia Malinin of the U.S. was third at 288.44. Canada’s Keegan Messing took seventh at 265.16 and received a rousing ovation from the Japanese crowd as he completed his fifth and final Worlds.
‘’I’m a little bummed about the two little mistakes I put out there but overall, I feel pretty damn good,’’ said Messing, whose best Worlds result was sixth in 2021.
‘’I’m skating for an experience, not a medal. I was able to recuperate after my two mistakes and felt I could really grasp the crowd again. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.”