Sports Virtue, Moir trail after short dance at Grand Prix Final

16:08  07 december  2017
16:08  07 december  2017 Source:   cbc.ca

Virtue and Moir have the edge in Grand Prix Final showdown

  Virtue and Moir have the edge in Grand Prix Final showdown The ice dance competition at this week's Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final is apples vs. oranges, and CBC Sports analyst Pj Kwong will take Virtue and Moir's boundary-pushing artistry over Papadakis and Cizeron's steady excellence every time. The favourites at the Grand Prix Final are normally pretty clear. But this year is different.

Patrick Chan has some ground to make up in defence of his Grand Prix Final figure skating title. Canada's Olympic ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir also sit second behind American rivals Meryl Davis and Charlie White after the short dance .

OSAKA, Japan (AP) – Three-time and reigning world champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir have won the ice dance event at the NHK Trophy to secure a place in the International Skating Union’s Grand Prix Final next month.

Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are in the unfamiliar territory at the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Nagoya, Japan.

Rather than leading the pack following Thursday's short dance competition, the duo are in second place heading into Friday's free dance.

  • PREVIEW | Virtue & Moir have edge in ice GP Final showdown
  • WATCH LIVE | Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final

Virtue, Moir trail after short dance at Grand Prix Final© Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images Virtue, Moir trail after short dance at Grand Prix Final

French skaters Gabriella Papdakis and Guillaume Cizeron are in first place with a score of 82.07, while Virtue and Moir have 81.53 – trailing the leaders by 0.54 points.

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Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada compete during the ice dance short dance at the Grand Prix of Figure Skating final in Nagoya, Japan, on Thursday. (Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images). Related Stories.

• Gallery: Short dance at Grand Prix Final • Italians play even with Virtue , Moir in short dance • Rostelecom short dance : Watch. (01/11/2013) - Somewhere along the line this fall, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir realized they felt a bit out of sync with their short dance .

"The plan is to peak in February [at the Olympics] and we are on track,'' Virtue said. "Our performance was a step up from what we did this season on the Grand Prix circuit."

The ice dance competition wraps with the free dance on Saturday (3:55 a.m. ET, CBCSports.ca)

"Hopefully we can have another great skate Saturday and build our confidence for the Olympics," said Moir.

In pairs action, Canadians Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford are in fifth place after the short program.

Germany's Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot hold the lead with a score of 79.43, followed by Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov of Russia (78.83), and China's Wenjing Sui and Cong Han (75.82).

Duhamel and Radford sit 7.25 points behind the Germans, picking up 72.18 points for their routine, which included a mistake on their side-by-side triple Lutz and throw triple Lutz.

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Most of the six elite teams at the Grand Prix championship final took the edict with artistic latitude. Moir and Virtue claimed to be satisfied with the short program result. “Personally, I felt great out there, really in control,’’ said Moir .

Tessa Virtue /Scott Moir Canada 2017 World champions, 2010 Olympic champions Grand Prix Starts: Canada, Japan. Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue U.S. Top U.S. couple in 2017 Worlds short dance Grand Prix Starts: Canada, Japan.

"The throw was a little bit stuck on take-off which resulted in not the same flow when I came out,'' Duhamel said. "Still, we were committed to our performance and we felt pretty good about it."

Chen in prime position

On the men's side, American Nathan Chen has the lead after the short, scoring 103.32 to lead his closest competitors, Shoma Uno of Japan (101.51) and Mikhail Colyada of Russia (99.22).

Skating to "Nemesis," the American opened with a quad lutz, triple toe loop combination and added a quad flip and a triple axel for 103.32 points.

"I made a couple of mistakes on the landing of both quads," Chen said. "But the triple axel was improved from Skate America so I am happy with that and looking forward to tomorrow."​

Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu is still recovering from a leg injury sustained during practice at last month's NHK Trophy and is not competing.

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