(October 16, 2009 - PARIS, France) – Tessa Virtue of London, Ont., and Scott Moir of Ilderton, Ont., stand in first place after Friday’s compulsory dance and original dance at the opening stop on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

Meanwhile in pairs, Jessica Dubé of St-Cyrille-de-Wendover, Que., and Bryce Davison of Huntsville, Ont., are third after the short program.

In ice dancing, Virtue and Moir placed first in both the compulsory dance and original dance to total 100.32 points. Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat of France are second at 91.87 and Sinead Kerr and John Kerr of Britain are third at 90.86.

‘’We were pleased with both our performances,’’ said Virtue, 20. ‘’It’s always a bit nerve-wracking to unveil new routines but it was nice to get that done successfully and have it well received. Our compulsory was smooth and our original dance was strong and powerful. It’s a great way to start the Olympic year.’’

Competing twice in one day didn’t bother the Canadians. The compulsories were held in the morning and the original dance in the evening.

‘’We do our routines twice everyday in training,’’ said Moir, 22. ‘’Obviously there is a lot to do to get ready prior to each skate at a competition but we tried to approach it as if it were two different days.’’

Last year, the Canadian couple missed the Grand Prix circuit due to a leg injury to Virtue. They came back in January and ended the season with a bronze medal at the world championships.

‘’It’s neat to be at the first event of the year,’’ said Virtue. ‘’Not competing last year on the circuit made us realize how important these events are.’’

In pairs, two-time defending world champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany lead after the short program with 72.98 points. Maria Mukhortova and Maxim Trankov of Russia are second at 66.88 and Dubé and Davison third at 64.54.

‘’It was pretty good,’’ said Davison, 23. ‘’There was some stumbling and technical errors but we got the big tricks out. It felt great.’’

‘’We had a tough season last year and it was important for us to get off to a good start like this,’’ said Dubé. ‘’Competing against such a strong field right off the bat is a big challenge but it will only make us that much better.’’

In men’s singles, Vaughan Chipeur of Edmonton is 12th after the short program.

The free programs in ice dancing, pairs and men’s singles are all on Saturday. The event will be carried live on-line at www.skatebuzz.com

For more information visit: www.isu.org

 
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