Canadian ice dancers Lajoie, Lagha capture world junior gold
'They showed mastery and maturity, never panicked,' says Quebec duo's coach
Canada has its second-ever ice dancing gold medal at the world junior figure skating championships, courtesy Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha.
"It was our best performance of the year," the 19-year-old Lagha of Greenfield Park, Que., told reporters after Saturday's free dance. "We had to stay focused and not worry about the result, and that's what we did."
Lagha and Lajoie had placed fourth at the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final in December.
"The world juniors are tough to win and they were rewarded for their hard work," said the Canadian duo's coach, Romain Haguenauer. "They showed mastery and maturity [and] never panicked.
"They were clearly the best team and that's how you win championships."
WATCH | Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha's gold-medal program:
Russia takes silver, bronze
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir captured ice dancing gold at the 2006 world juniors.
Lajoie, 18, noted it was stressful to skate last against a strong field.
Russia occupied the other two spots on the podium, with Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva and Nikita Nazarov (171.22), followed by Sofia Shevchenko and Igor Eremenko (170.43).
Alicia Fabbri and Paul Ayer of Quebec squeezed into the top 10, climbing to ninth from 13th.
"After nationals we intensified our training and focused on the details more," said Fabbri, who hails from Terrebonne. "It really paid off in the end."
Meanwhile, it was a 1-2 Russian finish in the women's competition, led by Alexandra Trusova. Anna Shcherbakova was second, followed by Ting Cui of the United States.
Alison Schumacher of Tecumseh, Ont., soared from 16th after the short program to 10th.
WATCH | The entire ladies' free program:
Coverage concludes with the gala performances on Sunday at 10 a.m. ET.