02/18/2016 11:01 EST | Updated 02/18/2017 00:12 EST

Canada's Weaver, Poje second after short dance program of 4 Continents

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Canada's Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford and ice dancers Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje are all within striking distance of gold at the Four Continents figure skating championships.

Duhamel, from Lively, Ont., and Radford, from Balmertown, Ont., were second after Thursday's pairs short program, despite Duhamel battling an illness all day.

"It prevented us from having a really great skate which is what we were hoping for," Radford said. "But we still did some great elements out there."

China's Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China were the leaders with 78.51 points. Duhamel and Radford scored 71.90. Lubov Iliushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto were fifth while Vanessa Grenier of Johnville, Que., and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., were 10th.

Weaver and Poje, from Waterloo, Ont., were second in the short program with 72.42 points. Maia and Alex Shibutani of the United States were just ahead with 72.86 points.

"We are very pleased with our short dance today," Poje said. "We went out there and had a strong performance. We felt we captured the audience and captured the true feeling of our dance (a waltz)."

"Right now it's very close for the championship," Weaver added. "We like our position heading into the free dance."

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto were fifth while Elisabeth Paradis of Loretteville, Que., and Francois Xavier-Ouellette of Laval, Que., were sixth.

Japan's Satoko Miyahara and Kanako Murakami were 1-2 in the women's short program. Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., was seventh, while Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L., was 11th, and Veronik Mallet of Sept-Iles, Que., was 15th.

"I wasn't quite myself this time," Chartrand said. "I'm pretty disappointed. All I can do is look forward to my free program."

Osmond, who missed all of last season with a broken leg, is pleased with her progress.

"It wasn't perfect but I reached my objectives and it was another opportunity to get out and skate again. For me it's a stepping stone kind of year," she said.  

The Four Continents championships feature skaters from the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania.

Canada's three-time world champion Patrick Chan will skate the men's short program on Friday.

The Canadian Press