Canada's Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison performed brilliantly Wednesday, and won the bronze medal in the pairs competition at the world figure skating championships in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Dube, of Drummondville, Que., and Davison, from Cambridge, Ont., ranked fourth heading into the free skate, but they rose one spot to become the first Canadians to reach the podium since Jamie Sale and David Pelletier won the gold medal in 2001.
Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison embrace at the conclusion of Wednesday's free program.
(Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)
"We didn't expect this," said Dube, who combined with Davison to finish seventh in 2006 and 2007.
"They had a wonderful week," said Annie Barabe, who coaches Dube and Davison with Sophie Richard.
"They were consistent all week long and really, really confident — almost too much. I kind of knew they were going to have a good skate, and I'm really happy with that [throw triple] Lutz because it is the first time they landed it in competition."
Dube touched a hand down as she landed the throw triple Lutz, but she and Davison were credited with the second-highest marks — enough to vault them over the Russian entry of Yuko Kawaguchi and Alex Smirnov into third place.
"We came out and had our best performance of the year," Davison said. "We did our job.
"That program has been great to us over the last two years. Well, for the most part, great."
Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany won the gold in Gothenburg, with Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang of China settling for silver.
Szolkowky fell on his triple Salchow, but he and Savchenko impressed in the other elements.
Duhamel, Buntin place sixth
Meagan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and partner Craig Buntin of Kelowna, B.C., placed sixth.
Buntin competed with a torn right rotator cuff.
"I'm not going to lie," he said. "I'm in a lot of pain.
"We cannot tell you how hard we have worked over the past 10 months. "From [January], I couldn't lift my arm, and we were not coming here.
"We needed surgery. To push through the way we have and to come out and skate like that at Meagan's first worlds and after only 10 months as a team, I'm just so proud.
"Oh, my God, that is like a million pounds lifted off my shoulders," Duhamel said. "I'm sure Craig feels the exact same way."
"Well, my right shoulder could not hold a million pounds, it is torn," Buntin quipped. "But I feel the same way."
Anabelle Langlois of Grand-Mère, Que., and Cody Hay, from Grande Prairie, Alta., the reigning national champions, were eighth out of the 20 pairings.
Hay had been ill for two days.With files from the Canadian Press