Canada’s Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier captured their first International Skating Union title on Sunday in Shanghai, China, winning the gold medal in ice dance at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships.
Skating to music from “Wuthering Heights,” two-time world bronze medallists Gilles and Poirier obtained level fours on their lifts, twizzles and dance spin to receive 128.87 points for a total of 214.36.
Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen of Canada were second with 207.54 points while Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko of the United States took bronze with 194.14.
“We are really proud to have won our first championship here,” Poirier said. “Now we have the world championships in our home country and we will go home and work hard so we can be even better there.”
The world championships are in Montreal in March.
WATCH | Gilles, Poirier skate to Four Continents title:
Fournier Beaudry and Soerensen received level four for the lifts and the dance spin as well as for their twizzles to set a season’s best score of 125.52 points in the free dance.
“We really felt free today and it was super fun to just perform,” said Fournier Beaudry. “I think we stepped it up this week and we just will have a lot of motivation back home to build up towards worlds.”
WATCH | Fournier Beaudry, Soerensen take silver in Shanghai:
Carreira and Ponomarenko impressed with strong lifts and dance spin, but Carreira wobbled on the twizzles, which cost them points and left them in fifth in the free dance with 116.67 points. But the 2022 bronze medalists remained in third place to return to the Four Continents podium after two difficult years.
“The last time we were on the podium at Four Continents it was only two years ago, but a lot has happened since then,” Ponomarenko said.
“Directly after those championships, I had my ankle surgery and I hit some of the lowest lows that I’ve ever had in my life. So being back here and having those two years of growth with Christina and the rest of our coaching team, it’s a big significant moment.”