Canadian junior pair stands second at ISU Grand Prix Final

Dec 6, 2012

By Louis Daignault , Skatebuzz

SOCHI, Russia – Margaret Purdy of Strathroy, Ont., and Michael Marinaro of Sarnia, Ont., are in second place after Thursday’s short program in junior pairs at the ISU Grand Prix Final being held this week at the figure skating venue for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

Lina Fedorova and Maxim Miroshkin of Russia are first with 54.37 points, Purdy and Marinaro are second at 51.83 and Vasilisa Davankova and Andrei Deputat of Russia third at 51.34. The Canadians won their two junior Grand Prix events this season.

“It felt really good,” said Purdy, 17, three years younger than her partner. “We had a few stumbles but performed well. We really enjoyed skating on this ice and we connected well.”

Marinaro feels a medal is far from being a lock because of the depth of competition.

“It’s a really close competition between all six entries,” he said. “We are really going to have to go out there and skate our best in the long program. It’s a big experience for us to be here especially with the big crowds which is something we are not use to.”

Brittany Jones of Toronto and Ian Beharry of Guelph, Ont., who collected a gold and bronze on the circuit this season, are in sixth spot at 48.11. Jones fell on the side-by-side double Axel which was a one point deduction.

“We’ll be looking to gain a couple of spots in the standings with our long program,” said Beharry, who just turned 21 and is five years older than his partner.

The two pairs are the only Canadian junior entries at the competition. Their free skate is on Saturday.

The senior competition gets underway Friday with Olympic champions Tessa Virtue of London, Ont., and Scott Moir of Ilderton, Ont., in ice dancing, world champion and two-time defending Grand Prix Final champion Patrick Chan of Toronto in men’s singles and Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto as well as Meagan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont., in pairs.

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