Road To The Olympic Games

Duhamel-Radford pick up pairs bronze in France

Canada's Meaghan Duhamel and Eric Radford won bronze in the pairs at the Grand Prix Final in Marseille, France on Friday.

Virtue-Moir set world record in ice dance short program

ISU Grand Prix Final from Marseille, France 1:55

Canadian world champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford won the bronze medal Friday in pairs at the ISU Grand Prix Final figure skating competition while teammates Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir set a world record in the ice dance.

In pairs, Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morosov of Russia won the gold medal with 213.85 points. Xiaoyu Yu and Hao Zhang of China were second at 206.71 and Duhamel and Radford remained third at 205.99.

"We struggled with our side-by-side jumps and those are normally our strengths," said Radford from Balmertown, Ont. "We can't afford missing them because it costs us too many points. We need to find the proper focus for those elements because everything else was really good."

Julianne Seguin of Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau of Trois-Pistoles, Que., climbed to fifth with 186.85.

"Today was really great after a hard performance in the short," said Seguin. "We had a good connection and everything flowed perfectly for us."

Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada pose with the bronze medal after finished third in pairs at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Marseille, France on Friday. (Christophe Ena/Associated Press)

In ice dancing, Virtue and Moir improved their world record short dance score from 79.47 cracking the 80-point barrier to 80.50 to stand in first place. Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the U.S. are second at 77.97 and Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France are third at 77.86.

"It was a great skate for us," said Moir, from Ilderton, Ont. "We were able to bring the energy up in our performance in a pressure situation We were able to be in the moment at a big competition and had a ton of fun in the process."

Virtue, from London, Ont., says the reason the couple returned to competition this season is to experience those moments once again.

"We're embracing the nerves, the pressure, the challenge," she said. "That was a great part of the appeal for us. Now with the lead we can't be cautious. We have to attack the free dance tomorrow."

In the women's competition as Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L., is second after the short program scoring a personal best 75.54. Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia leads at 79.21and Satoko Miyahara of Japan is third at 74.64.

"To get another clean program is really exciting," said Osmond, who landed a triple-triple combo, triple Lutz and double Axel. "It is so rewarding for me to be at the Grand Prix Final for the first time in my career. Every time out I improve something and hope that tendency continues for the free skate."

Medvedeva thrilled crowd

Medvedeva thrilled the crowd with a world record score.

"I'm happy with the world record, but the world record isn't my goal," Medvedeva said. "I came close to beating it in Paris (with 78.52 at the Trophee de France last month). It's one step further and it gives me confidence."

Although Medvedeva skated with pure elegance to "River Flows in You" by Lorenzo de Luca, she was still picky about her performance.

"I can do better in the interpretation of my programs and my spins. I'd like to spin faster," she said. "Everything has plusses and minuses and I always strive for perfection. I cannot stop because when you stop doing that you stop improving."

The men's and women's free skates and free dance are on Saturday.

with files from Associated Press

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