(November 7, 2009 - NAGANO, Japan) – Mylène Brodeur of Stanbridge-Station, Que., and John Mattatall of Wallace, N.S., took fifth spot in pairs on Saturday at the NHK Trophy ISU Grand Prix figure skating competition.

Brodeur and Mattatall were sixth after Friday’s short program and delivered the fourth best long to gain a spot in the overall standings with 150.71 points. Despite the improvement, they wanted to fare better.

“Overall the event went O.K. for us but we made little mistakes and in the end left points on the table,” said Brodeur, 10th with her partner at the world championships last year. “We came here hoping we could win a medal. We are pleased that we executed the big elements but we definitely need more consistency in our programs.”

Qing Pang and Jian Tong of China, the 2006 world champions, took the gold with 199.65 points. Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov of Russia, the leaders after the short program, were second at 193.05 and Rena Inoue and John Baldwin of the U.S., took the bronze at 158.78.

Paige Lawrence of Kennedy, Sask., and Rudi Swiegers of Kipling, Sask., were seventh in their senior Grand Prix debut.

“We didn’t have our best skate but we are happy with the experience we gained,” said Lawrence. “It’s going to really help us in our preparations for the national championships (in January).”

In women’s singles, 2007 world champion Miki Ando of Japan won the gold medal with Alena Leonova of Russia second and Ashley Wagner of the U.S., third.

Cynthia Phaneuf of Contrecoeur, Que., completed her first Grand Prix event this season by landing five triple jumps and finishing sixth.  She had the second highest technical marks for her long program.

“That’s unusual for me, because I usually score lower on the technical side,” said Phaneuf, who is skating the same short and long programs as last season. “I was quite pleased when I finished my skate but my component score was hard to take. I thought it should have been better.”

Meanwhile in ice dancing, Vanessa Crone of Aurora, Ont., and Paul Poirier of Unionville, Ont., moved to third after Saturday’s original dance with 81.38 points.

“It was superior to what we did two weeks ago in Russia,” said Poirier, fourth with his partner at the Grand Prix stop in Moscow. “We improved the footwork, delivered a clean technical performance and we felt our level of expression was much better.”

Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the U.S., lead at 101.18 and Sinead Kerr and John Kerr of Britain are second at 91.57. Allie Hann-McCurdy of Nanaimo, B.C., and Michael Coreno of Delhi, Ont., stand in ninth place.

In men’s competition, Brian Joubert of France won the gold medal with Johnny Weir of the U.S., second and Michal Brezina of the Czech Republic third.

Jeremy Ten of Vancouver and Vaughn Chipeur of Edmonton took 10th and 11th spots respectively. Ten gained two spots with the seventh best long program.

“The long program was a fight but I never gave up,” said Ten. “It was a great learning experience to be here amongst such a strong field. It was like a mini world championships.”

Competition ends Sunday with the free dance. It will be carried live at www.skatebuzz.com at 11 p.m. (EST) on Saturday.

For more information visit: www.isu.org

 
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