Virtue and Moir add to Canada’s gold rush

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The ice dancers got the second half of the Saturday programming at the 2012 Skate Canada International underway and Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir didn’t disappoint! It was a battle of the Carmen’s as both the Canadians and Italians would debut their free dances set to the opera here in Windsor.

Fan favorites Virtue and Moir claimed their fourth Skate Canada International title at the WFCU Centre. The duo scored 104.32 in the free dance to their steamy version of the famous opera for an overall score of 169.41.

Italians Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte also skated a powerful rendition of Carmen to earn them the silver medal. They tallied up 94.98 points in the free dance for a total of 160.06 points. Ekaterina Riazanova and Ilia Tkachenko will return to Russia with a bronze medal after scoring 87.59 points in the free dance for 143.39 points overall.

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Canada moved up a spot from the short dance to finish in fourth place. They netted 83.03 points in the free for a total of 136.74. Fellow Canadians Kharis Ralph and Asher Hill finished in eighth place after earning 76.60 points in the free for an overall score of 126.60.

Javier Fernandez of Spain held onto his lead to defeat defending champion Patrick Chan of Canada. Skating to a Charlie Chaplin themed free skate, Fernandez tallied up 168.07 points for a total of 253.94 points. Chan earned 160.91 points in the free program which gave him an overall score of 243.43. Japan’s Nobunari Oda won the bronze medal after scoring 156.20 in the free skate for a total of 238.34 points.

Canadian Elladj Baldé skated an entertaining and innovative free program to wind up in seventh place. Baldé scored 127.48 in the free for an overall score of 199.94 points. Liam Firus of Canada made his senior grand prix debut here in Windsor, placing 10th with 109.17 in the free for a total of 169.67 points.

Sunday the Exhibition Gala will take place at the WFCU Centre. The show begins at 1:00 p.m. and will feature all of the medalists as well as Florent Amodio, Elladj Baldé, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Elene Gedevanishvilli, Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier, Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue and Paige Lawrence & Rudi Swiegers.

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