Radford, James finish 2nd in 1st pairs event together at Autumn Classic International

October 24, 2021
Radford, James finish 2nd in 1st pairs event together at Autumn Classic International

Canada’s newest pairs duo, Eric Radford and Vanessa James, continued to impress at the Autumn International Classic on Friday, placing second in the free skate to finish their debut event second overall.

The pair received a free-skate score of 115.72 to bring their total to 184.01, well behind Japan’s Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara’s total of 204.06. The Japanese duo won both the short program and free skate, earning 131.74 in the latter.

Despite the second-place finish for the pair, James believes there’s work still to be done.

“We have been training really well… especially in terms of the single elements, the jumps and even the connections and the transitions and the lifts and things like that have been really solid,” James told CBC Sports’ Jacqueline Doorey.

“We weren’t expecting a clean program because you know it’s very early in the season but we were expecting much better than what we did today.”

WATCH | James and Radford discuss first competiton together: 

Vanessa James & Eric Radford react to first competition together

The new Canadian pairs team finished 2nd at the Autumn Classic, their first international event as a duo. 5:42

Fellow Canadian duo Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps narrowly placed third with a score of 112.08, just 0.07 ahead of American pair Katie McBeath and Nathan Bartholomay.

Radford, a three-time Olympic medallist and two-time world champion, announced in April that he and James were coming out of retirement to compete together. James previously competed for France, topping the podium at European and Grand Prix Final championships, as well as earning bronze at worlds.

WATCH | Radford, James place 2nd in free skating pairs event:

Canadian pairs duo Vanessa James and Eric Radford finish 2nd in international debut

Toronto’s Vanessa James, who won a world championship bronze medal while skating for France and world champion Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont., finished second in their international debut at the ISU 2021 Autumn Classic International in Pierrefonds, Que. 7:48

The news came ahead of the season leading up to the Beijing 2022 Olympics, where Canada is slated to send two pairs teams. 

For Radford, this competition was a good starting point for the team.

“It’s only been six months. I think it’s just learning what each other needs in specific moments. Also, we are going to learn what we need to focus on more back home when we train,” Radford said. “I feel like we have established a good base. Now that we have gone through the competition, we know more about ourselves as a team.”

WATCH | Japanese duo victorious in pairs event:

Japan’s Miura and Kihara capture pairs title at Autumn Classic International

Japan’s Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara won the pairs competition at the ISU 2021 Autumn Classic International in Pierrefonds, Que. 8:48

In the rhythm dance event, it was the Canadian duo of Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier who easily grasped the lead with a score of 83.35.

Spain’s Olivia Smart and Adrian Diaz posted the second highest score of 75.20, while the American pairing Caroline Green and Michael received a score of 73.93 to hold onto third place.

Canada’s Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha came in a close fourth, scoring 71.27.

WATCH | Canada’s Gilles, Poirier take lead in rhythm dance event:

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier take ice dance lead at Autumn Classic International

Toronto’s Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Unionville, Ont., lead following the rhythm dance at the ISU 2021 Autumn Classic International in Pierrefonds, Que. 6:30

Meanwhile, Canadian Conrad Orzel took the lead in the men’s short program with a score of 80.82. 

The Toronto native was the lone skater to not have any points deducted.

Bennet Toman placed second with a score of 63.30, while Beres Clements was finished third receiving a score of 55.48 from the judges.

Nam Nguyen and Samuel Angers both withdrew from the event.

WATCH | Toronto’s Orzel takes lead in short program:

Conrad Orzel leads Autumn Classic International after short program

Toronto’s Conrad Orzel scored 80.82 after his short program to lead at the ISU Autumn Classic International figure skating event at Pierrefonds, Quebec. 6:23

In the women’s free skate, Marilena Kitromillis of Cyprus won the gold ahead of two South Koreans — Young You and Seoyeon Ji.

Vancouver’s Emily Bausback was the top Canadian climbing from ninth to seventh. Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., was eighth and Alison Schumacher of Tecumseh, Ont., placed 10th.

WATCH | Marilena Kirtromilis wins women’s title:

Marilena Kirtromilis claims women’s title at Autumn Classic International

Marilena Kirtromilis of Cyprus captures the gold medal in the women’s competition at the ISU 2021 Autumn Classic International. 7:13

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