Long climb to the podium in front of Moore-Towers and Marinaro at Skate Canada International

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Seven years after a partnership in pairs figure skating, and only months away, Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro are eager to rise to the top of an international podium.

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The two-time reigning Canadian champions, who they say are “more likely” to skate in their final season, began another climb to the podium on Friday at Skate Canada International in Vancouver. Their slightly flawed short program scored 66.43 points, the best of the season, from the judging panel, the admiration of perhaps 1,000 fans present at Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Center, and left them in fourth place overall, behind Chinese, Russian peers. and Germans.

“We’re really trying to soak up every skating moment with a crowd that we can and I think that’s why we mistook a bit of attack for precision,” Moore-Towers said. “We were really attacking him, we wanted him so badly and we needed to be a little more precise. So we were both pretty tight on our triple toes. “

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He came out of his jump and Marinaro’s landing was not smooth. They also lost marks for a triple twist below par. But the rest of the program was solid and the score showed a significant improvement over the Finland Trophy’s 61.60, where they ultimately finished in a disappointing eighth place overall, behind James and Radford, who were fifth. On Friday in Vancouver, James and Radford’s buggy skate scored 65.02 points, while Lori-Ann Matte and Thierry Ferland scored just 57.25.

“We have improved our speed and our flow since the last two races, but there are still too many small errors and we have to find out why,” Radford said, referring to the problems with the triple flip and side-to-side turns.

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Moore-Towers and Marinaro are also trying to fix some technical problems.

“We’d like to go out with a bang in a positive way at the Olympics, but I think the way to do it is by gradually getting better each time we go out,” Moore-Towers said. “So like I said, we were looking for more here. The way I imagined it, it was a 70-something and that was obviously not the case for us today. We must not become complacent, but be happy with the steps we have taken and eager to continue moving in that direction ”.

The team renewed their short program after the result in Finland – “it’s about 85 percent new,” according to Marinaro – and they had just two weeks to get the new look up to date.

They are running out of opportunities to improve what their attention needs and climb the podium steps, of course. They will skate their free show on Saturday at Skate Canada International, compete in their other Grand Prix assignment, the Rostelecom Cup in late November in Sochi, Russia, as well as the nationals in Ottawa in January, and in all likelihood the Olympics. in Beijing and world championships in France to end the season and their partnership.

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“We really want to be the best of ourselves and the best team that we can be,” said Moore-Towers. “I constantly get excited talking about it, just thinking of my younger self. This is everything I ever wanted as a kid and I have been fortunate to have a long and illustrious career and I really want to keep building. I am very satisfied with what I have been able to do and what we have achieved so far. But I still don’t feel done. I know there is more we can do and explore as a team. “

Since joining forces in spring 2014, Moore-Towers and Marinaro have won five Grand Prix medals (two silver and three bronze) finished second and third at Four Continents, fifth in the Grand Prix final, as well as sixth. , sixth, seventh. and eighth in four world championships and 11 th in their only Olympics as a team, PyeongChang 2018.

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After Friday’s skating, they are behind China’s leaders Sui Wenjing and Han Cong by a whopping 12.51 points. Wenjing and Cong, the class from the field in Vancouver, were silver medalists at the 2021 World Cup, where Moore-Towers and Marinaro finished sixth. No other tag team at Skate Canada International finished in the top 10 in the world, so the path to the podium should have been wide open. Instead, the Canadians are also behind Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin from Russia and Germany’s Minerva Fabienne Hase and Nolan Seegert.

In men’s short program action, Keegan Messing of Canada scored a season-high 93.28 points and ranks third behind Americans Nathan Chen (106.72), the reigning world champion, and Jason Brown (94.00). Toronto’s Conrad Orzel scored 73.19 and is ninth, while Toronto’s Roman Sadovsky fell on a fourfold attempt, scored 72.94 points and is 10 th in the field of 12 skaters.

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Twitter.com/sportsdanbarnes

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Reference-torontosun.com

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