Canadian ice dance pairs take gold, silver at Cup of China on 3-medal day for Canada
Gilles, Poirier edge Lajoie, Lagha in ice dance; Stellato-Dudek, Deschamps win pairs gold
Two Canadian pairs finished atop the ice dance podium on Saturday at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating: Cup of China.
Sitting in second after Friday's rhythm dance, Piper Gilles, of Toronto, and Paul Poirier, of Unionville, Ont., needed a big round in the free dance on Saturday to overtake Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of Saint-Hubert, Que., and the pair delivered.
Gilles and Poirier earned 126.79 points in the free dance to bring their total to 207.83, edging Lajoie and Lagha for gold by just 1.81 points.
The American pair of Caroline Green and Michael Parsons took bronze with a score of 189.33.
WATCH | Gilles, Poirier take gold:
"We are really proud of what we accomplished today," Poirier said. "It's always hard to come back after a not so strong performance and put it behind you, just clear your mind and allow yourself to skate like you know how to do."
The win marks the second of the season for Gilles and Poirier after also securing a win on home soil in October at Skate Canada in Vancouver.
It also marks the fifth straight Grand Prix victory for Gilles, 31, and Poirier, 32, which includes last season's final in Turin, Italy.
Lajoie and Lagha delivered the second best score in the free dance on Saturday at 124.00, but it was only enough for their second silver medal of the 2023/24 Grand Prix season, with the 23-year-old pair also finishing second at Skate America in October.
The Quebec duo won two bronze medals on the 2022/23 circuit.
WATCH | Lajoie, Lagha earn silver:
Stellato-Dudek, Maxime Deschamps win pairs gold
Later on Saturday, Canadian pairs team Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps secured their second straight Grand Prix victory after also winning Skate Canada in October.
Stellato-Dudek, the 40-year-old born in Chicago, and Deschamps, a 31-year-old from Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., entered the day with the lead after the free dance on Friday, and once again earned the best score of the day in the free skate with 131.09 points.
The Canadian duo finished atop the standings with 201.48 points, 10.48 ahead of the silver medallist Italy and 23.42 points ahead of third-place China.
WATCH | Stellato-Dudek, Deschamps win 2nd gold of season:
In other action, Canada's Madeline Schizas finished fifth in the women's program with a score of 179.58.
Japan's Hana Yoshida (203.97) and Rinka Watanabe (203.22) won gold and silver, respectively, while Belgium's Loena Hendrickx (201.49) took bronze.
Next up on the Grand Prix schedule is the Grand Prix Espoo in Finland, beginning Friday.
Live coverage begins at 6:00 a.m. ET on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.
With files from The Associated Press