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Figure Skating – OBERTSDORF, Germany – Canadian ice dancers Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto won the gold medal Friday at the Nebelhorn Trophy figure skating competition. It is their first international victory since they joined forces in 2011.
 

The Canadian Olympians earned 194.12 points for the victory with the best scores in both the short dance and free dance. Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons of the U.S. were second at 180.95 and their compatriots Christine Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko were third at 177.49.

 
The Canadians free dance was skated to Don McLean’s hit song ‘’Vincent’’ performed by Govardo. Govardo was in the audience to see the Canadians skate.
 
‘’This (free dance) program is very special to us,’’ said Poirier. ‘’We felt grateful that the artist was here to see the first performance. As much as there were some small technical issues I think we were really able to capture the emotional part of the piece today.’’
Gilles feels their skating continues to improve.
 
‘’We are finally learning to be that top team,’’ she said. “It’s taken a lot of difficult lessons to finally figure out how we should skate. We’re finally having that confidence to go out and rely on our training and just be us.’’
 
In women’s competition, Alina Zagitova won the gold medal, Mai Mihara of Japan was second and Loena Hendrickx of Belgium third.
Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., was eighth.
 
‘’Disappointing result,’’ said Chartrand. ‘’I wasn’t happy with the points or the placement. There were still a lot of positives from this week though. I had a lot of great practices and I’m confident all the changes in the off season are going to pay off. I can do so much better.’’
 
Keegan Messing of Brantford, Ont., is first in the men’s standings after Friday’s short pogram with 90.63. Artur Dmitriev of Russia is second at 81.06 and Alexander Majorov of Sweden third at 78.86.
 
In Thursday’s pairs short program, Evelyn Walsh of London, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Trenton, Ont., were fifth but less than seven points from third place.
 
Competition ends Saturday with the men’s and pairs free skates.
 

Full results: Nebelhorn Trophy 2018