Duhamel, Radford fend off teammates in pairs win
Countrymen Moore-Towers, Moscovitch capture silver; Castelli, Shnapir hold on for bronze
|Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford are the first Canadian pairs team to win the Four Continents gold medal since 2002. (Getty Images)|
Duhamel and Radford's program to "Angel" featured a triple twist, difficult lifts, a throw triple loop and Lutz. However, both had to fight for the landing of the side-by-side triple Lutz. The Canadian champions picked up a Level 4 on five elements and scored a season's best 128.74 points for the segment, giving them 199.18 points overall.
Duhamel and Radford are the first Canadian team to take this title since Jamie Salé and David Pelletier won in 2002.
"We made a couple of changes in our program," Duhamel said. "We really worked on the artistic side, and today we saw an improvement in the program component scores since the Grand Prix Final.
"Today, we had to fight for everything. We showed all we have, but for the worlds, we have more."
Skating to a Queen medley, Moore-Towers and Moscovitch produced a triple twist, triple toe-triple toe sequence, a triple Salchow and strong lifts. The only error came when Moore-Towers fell on the throw triple loop.
Moore-Towers and Moscovitch ranked first in the free skate with a season's best of 130.45 points and remained second place overall with 196.78 points.
"We feel great about our performance," Moore-Towers said. "It is a bit unfortunate that we lost the championship on an element we do easily all the time, but we don't intend on that happening next time.
"[At worlds], we want to skate two clean programs," she continued. "We want to better ourselves from here and from nationals, and we're really hoping that lands us on the podium. There are a lot of teams vying for the spot, and we are trying to get it. If we keep working hard and skate the way we know we can, it's attainable."
Castelli and Shnapir completed a triple twist, throw double Axel and throw triple Salchow in their tango program, but Shnapir singled the Axel-toe loop combination. The Americans picked up a season's best 117.04 points for the segment and accumulated 170.10 points.
"We both would have liked a little better short, but overall, we are very happy with where we started and ended," Castelli said.
"For our free skate, we rebounded," Shnapir added. "There was one little mistake on the second jumping pass, but we are thrilled with how the rest of the program went. It was strong, and we felt very confident."
U.S. bronze medalists Felicia Zhang and Nate Bartholomay finished fourth with 167.30 points, ahead of China's Cheng Peng and Hao Zhang (164.82 points) and Canada's Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers (162.30 points).
"It was a great experience," Zhang said. "We've both learned a lot about how we travel, how we train in a different arena in a different country. It's a good step."