Two-time defending women’s champion Madeline Schizas led after Friday’s short program at the Canadian figure skating championships, scoring 63.63 ahead of Kaiya Ruiter’s 58.25 and Sara-Maude Dupuis in third at 57.87.
Gilles, Poirier post top rhythm dance score of 86.78 in CalgaryDonna Spencer · The Canadian Press
· Posted: Jan 12, 2024 8:26 PM EST | Last Updated: 6 hours ago
Madeline Schizas of Oakville, Ont., skates during the women’s short program at the Canadian figure skating championships on Friday in Calgary. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)Two-time defending women’s champion Madeline Schizas led after Friday’s short program at the Canadian figure skating championships in Calgary, scoring 63.63 ahead of Kaiya Ruiter’s 58.25 and Sara-Maude Dupuis in third at 57.87.
“I thought the performance was good,” Schizas said. “I felt like I really gave my all in the performance side. The tech elements were not all there.”
Schizas would be the first woman to claim three consecutive wins since Joannie Rochette capped a run of six in 2010. Watching Rochette skate her short program at the 2010 Olympic Games en route to a bronze medal inspired a seven-year-old Schizas.
WATCH l Schizas tops women’s short program:
Madeline Schizas leads after women’s short program at national championshipsMadeline Schizas of Oakville, Ont., sits in first place after scoring 63.63 in the women’s short program at the Canadian National Figure Skating Championships.
Two-time world ice dance bronze medallists Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier posted a top score of 86.78 in the rhythm dance.
The duo returned to the Canadian championship after withdrawing from the 2023 edition as Gilles underwent cancer surgery to remove an ovary.
Marie-Jade Lauriault and Romain Le Gac ranked second with 78 points just ahead of Alicia Fabbri and Paul Ayer with 77.75.
WATCH l Gilles, Poirier sit 1st after rhythm dance:
Canadian ice dancers Gilles, Poirier sit in 1st at Canadian nationalsToronto’s Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier score 86.78 in the rhythm dance at the Canadian National Figure Skating Championships.
Defending pairs champions Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps led by less than a point after a rough short program in which Stellato-Dudek face planted while landing their throw.
“We’ve done probably close to like 100 throws in the past three weeks working on them a lot,” Stellato-Dudek said.
Lia Perieira and Trennt Michaud skated a clean routine to trail by .82 heading into Saturday’s free skate.
Kelly Ann Laurin and Loucas Ethier ranked third just over four points off the lead.
“We’re really proud of ourselves,” Perieira said. “We changed our music after (Grand Prix) final and we have new outfits, so it felt like kind of a new season debut for us midway through the season.
“We were really excited to put that out in front of a crowd today.”
WATCH l Stellato-Dudek, Deschamps lead pairs competition:
Canadian pair Stellato-Dudek, Deschamps in 1st after short program at nationalsDeanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps lead the pairs competition at the Canadian National Figure Skating Championships with a score of 66.86.
Wesley Chiu emerged as the early leader for a Canadian men’s figure skating championship after winning the short program.
The 18-year-old from Vancouver, who was a bronze medallist in 2022 and 2023, shook off a rocky warm-up to post a commanding score of 88.98 at Calgary’s WinSport Arena.
Chiu was the only man to land both a quad-triple combination and a triple axel.
“I’d say it was stressful for sure. I don’t know if any of you guys watched the warm-up, but it wasn’t that great just struggling to find my spatial awareness,” Chiu said.
“I was able to reset and take that aside and step on the ice fresh again. I’ve trained this program lots and I’ve had a lot of success and I’m really comfortable with it. I really had to rely on that today.”
There’s a national men’s title to be claimed in Saturday’s free skate after the retirement of two-time champ Keegan Messing (2022, 2023).
“Being first after the short feels amazing, but there’s a lot of work to be done tomorrow,” Chiu said. “Sort of time to reset 0-0 and go from there.”
Chiu was the lone favourite to put his hand on the brass ring Friday.
2020 men’s champion Roman Sadovsky and last year’s runner-up Conrad Orzel laboured in their short programs to seventh and 10th respectively. 2019 silver medallist Stephen Gogolev struggled through a sore back to 13th.
Orzel, who skated last in the order, felt he lacked a sense of urgency.
“Couldn’t put a foot wrong on the ice in the past three practices here, which gave me that confidence and probably why I was so calm, because I was so sure of myself,” Orzel said. “I was a bit too calm, which is weird to say. I think I need that anxiousness to fire properly.”
Aleksa Rakic’s 75.49 points ranked second and Anthony Paradis was third with a 74.16.
WATCH l Les Suprêmes capture synchronized title:
Two-time defending world champion Les Suprêmes capture national title in CalgaryLes Suprêmes from St-Léonard, Que., finish first in the synchronized competition at the Canadian National Figure Skating Championships with a score of 216.79.
Les Suprêmes won the synchronized title on Friday to dethrone Nexxice, which claimed bronze behind Nova. Based in Saint-Léonard, Que., Les Suprêmes are the two-time reigning world champions.
Canadian champions in men’s and women’s singles, pairs and ice dance will be crowned after Saturday’s free skates at WinSport Arena.
Watch live coverage of the Canadian figure skating championships on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.
With files from CBC Sports