Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany edged Russians Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov by .18 to win the pairs competition at the ISU Grand Prix Final Saturday in Quebec City. Canada's Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford were fifth.
Duhamel, from Lively, Ont., and Radford, from Balmertown, Ont., were making their debut in the Final in just their second season together, but struggled through a rocky performance that saw Radford fall on their opening jumps, side-by-side Lutzes.
"Just to be here and among the best teams in the world and be recognized as one of the best teams in the world is a dream come true," Duhamel said. "We're really happy with it."
Seconds before Radford's fall, he took an elbow in the chin from Duhamel on a lift, and said he was still feeling the sting from the blow. Duhamel broke her partner's nose with an elbow at the world championships last spring in Moscow.
The Canadians also received zero points for their death spiral because Duhamel's head wasn't low enough to the ice.
"We knew it wasn't done well, but we hoped it was done well enough to get something," Duhamel said. "But that's five points lost for that. That's a big miss."
Savchenko and Szolkowy won gold with 212.26 points, while Volosozhar and Trankov were second with 212.08. Russians Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov won bronze with 187.77. Duhamel and Radford scored 170.43.