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Canada's Gilles and Poirier sit 2nd after rhythm dance at Grand Prix of Russia

Canada's Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier sit second after the rhythm dance at the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow on Friday.

Samarin leads Russian sweep of men's short program

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Canada perform their rhythm dance routine at the Rostelecom Cup 2019 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Moscow on Friday. They captured their first Grand Prix ice dance title at Skate Canada International in October. (Yuri Kadobnov/Getty Images)
Canada's Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier sit second after the rhythm dance at the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow on Friday.

This marks the fifth of six skating Grand Prix preliminary competitions ahead of December's Grand Prix final in Turin, Italy.

Gilles and Poirier, who are based in Toronto, finished with 82.56 points going into Saturday's free program. Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov of Russia finished first with 86.09 points, while Sara Hurtado and Kirill Khaliavin of Spain placed a distant third with a score of 72.01.

The Canadian pair recently won their very first Grand Prix title by taking gold in ice dancing at Skate Canada International in October.

WATCH | Gilles and Poirier's rhythm dance performance:

Piper Gilles of Toronto and Unionville's Paul Poirier are just 3.5 pts behind the Russians after the rhythm dance. 6:22

"I think we're starting to learn how to compete how we practise at home," Gilles said Friday. "We wanted to keep pushing, and didn't allow ourselves to calm down too much." 

Meanwhile, Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii are at the top of the board after the pairs short program with a score of 80.14. The Russian duos of Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov (76.81) and Ksenia Stolbova and Andrei Novoselov (68.74) sit second and third, respectively.

Michaud, Walsh 5th after personal best in pairs short:

London's Evelyn Walsh and Trennt Michaud of Trenton, Ont., are fifth after a personal best 62.76 at the Grand Prix in Russia. 5:48

Canadians Evelyn Walsh and Trennt Michaud set a new personal best and are fifth at 62.76.

Russian men dominate short program

The three top finishers in the men's short program all belonged to Russia. Alexander Samarin finished first with 92.81 points, while Dmitri Aliev and Makar Ignatov took second and third with 90.64 and 87.54 points respectively. 

Samarin won a silver medal at the European figure skating championships last January.

Canadian hopeful Nam Nguyen finished in sixth place with 87.01 points. The 21-year old from Ottawa won a silver medal at Skate Canada after setting a new personal best in the free skate.

"I'm really happy with how I put myself out there and I think it's really important for me to keep believing in my confidence," Nguyen said after placing sixth.

Russia finished first and second in the women's short program. Evgenia Medvedeva placed first on Friday with 76.93 points, while Alexandra Trusova finished behind her with a score of 74.21. Mariah Bell of the United States rounded out the top three with 67.11 points.


With files from The Canadian Press

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