SPORTS

Canada's Weaver, Poje top short ice dance at Grand Prix Final; Bates falls

12/12/2014 04:31 EST | Updated 02/11/2015 05:59 EST
BARCELONA, Spain - Canada's Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje took the lead in ice dance at the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final with the highest score in the short dance on Friday.

The pair from Waterloo, Ont., posted a season's best score for 71.34 for first spot. Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. were second at 65.06 and their compatriots Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani were third at 63.90.

"We nailed our levels and the performance aspects," Weaver said. "Everything from our last competition (two weeks ago at the Grand Prix in Japan) improved. We still left points on the table and have room to grow for the second half of the season."

Poje sees the Final as a mid-term exam.

"We are looking to get momentum going into the second half of the season by bettering our performances every time out," Poje said. "We want to get everything solidified for the second half of the season and we achieved that with the short dance.'"

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto were fourth after a season's best 62.49.

"This program just keeps getting better with every outing," Poirier said. "It's really nice for us at the last two competitions to not have any major mistakes. We are really comfortable with it and we just need to polish it up some more."

The men's short program was later Friday.

In junior pairs, Julianne Seguin of Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau of Trois-Pistoles, Que., broke their Canadian record and won the gold medal.

Seguin and Bilodeau, only in their second season together, totalled a national junior mark 175.57 points to remain undefeated this season in three competitions. They finished ahead of four Russian pairs including Lina Fedorova and Maxim Miroshkin in second at 165.78.

"We've paid attention to the small details in our skating and that's made a big difference," Seguin said. "It's a program that we've worked hard on and we can just let ourselves be carried by the music once we get on the ice."

In junior ice dance Mackenzie Bent of Uxbridge, Ont., and Garrett MacKeen of Oshawa, Ont.,took fourth while Madeline Edwards of Port Moody, B.C., and ZhaoKai Pang of Burnaby, B.C., were fifth. Anna Yanovskaya and Sergey Mozgov led a Russian medal sweep.

Bent and Uxbridge were just over three points from the podium.

"We felt really strong with every step we took and that was our goal," Bent said. "There was nothing to lose for us and we wanted to fight for that medal. It was a great experience for us."

In men's junior competition, Shoma Uno led Japan to a 1-2 finish while Roman Sadovsky of Vaughan, Ont., produced a clean free skate which received a rousing ovation from the crowd. He climbed from sixth to fifth overall.

"I felt like I redeemed myself after a rough short progam," said Sadovsky. "I think I learned that I need to relax more during my skate and take one element at a time and not let any mistakes affect me. I started with a clean slate today."

MORE:cpSports