(December 15, 2006)
It was a great start to the ISU Grand Prix Final for Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon.
Dubreuil and Lauzon, the four-time Canadian Ice Dance Champions, won the original dance on the opening day at the Final, which is being held today and tomorrow in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The 2006 world silver medallists were awarded 60.44 points for their original dance, a tango which they debuted only two weeks ago at the 2006 NHK Trophy in Japan.
“We’re pretty satisfied considering this program is only three weeks old,” said Dubreuil. “It wasn’t perfect, but we skated with a lot of passion.”
Bulgarians Albena Denkova and Maxim Staviski, the 2006 world champions, are currently in second-place with a total score of 60.12, and the Russian team of Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin are third with 59.97 points.
The dance teams will skate their free dances tomorrow. Dubreuil and Lauzon will perform their popular free dance, skated to Etta James’ At Last, which saw its competitive debut at the 2006 HomeSense Skate Canada International.
In the pair event, three-time Canadian Pair Champions Valérie Marcoux and Craig Buntin, who are competing in their first ISU Grand Prix Final, stand sixth after the short program. They earned a total score of 52.98.
Two Chinese teams – Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao and Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang – are first and second, respectively, while Americans Rena Inoue and John Baldwin are third.
The pair final also takes place tomorrow.