(March 27, 2004)
All three Canadian ice dance teams performed solid programs in Friday evening’s free dance final at the 2004 ISU World Figure Skating Championships.
Montreal natives Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon, the 2004 Canadian Ice Dance Champions, wowed the audience with their free dance that was highlighted by very difficult and innovative lifts and fast-paced footwork.
Dubreuil, 29, and Lauzon, 28, were awarded marks ranging from 5.2 to 5.5 for technical merit and from 5.4 to 5.7 for presentation.
The duo, who placed 10th at last year’s World Championships, placed third in their group in the compulsory dance, seventh in the original dance and eighth in the free dance to place eighth overall.
“We skated passionately and we enjoyed our performance,” said Dubreuil.
“It was the best we skated, by far, all season so we're happy to finish the season on a high,” added Lauzon.
Also delivering one of their best free dances of the year were Megan Wing and Aaron Lowe. The Vancouver natives displayed great unison throughout the dance, which was strong and powerful.
The judges’ marks for Wing and Lowe ranged from 4.7 to 5.3 for technical merit and from 5.1 to 5.4 for presentation.
Wing, 28, and Lowe, 29, were very pleased with their performance.
“That definitely had to be the fastest performance of the year for us,” said Lowe. “It was a blast.”
Wing and Lowe placed fifth in their compulsory dance group, 12th in the original dance and 11th in the free dance to finish 11th overall, which improves upon their previous best finish at a World Championships, a 12th-place finish at the 2003 World Championships in Washington, D.C.
Skating in their first-ever World Championships after skating together for 17 years, Josée Piché, of Le Gardeur, Que., and Pascal Denis, of Repentigny, Que., were also impressive in the free dance.
Their passionate free dance to Devil and Angel was skated with conviction. After placing 12th in their compulsory dance group, 24th in the original dance and 22nd in the free dance, the duo placed 23rd overall.
Capturing their first World Championships title was the Russian team of Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov, who were awarded nine 6.0’s for the presentation of their Pink Panther free dance.
Placing second were Albena Denkova and Maxim Staviski of Bulgaria, who were the bronze medallists at last year’s World Championships.
Winning the bronze medal, much to the delight of the German crowd, was the team of Kati Winkler and Rene Lohse of Germany.