(October 10, 2009 - ZAGREB, Croatia) – Kate Charbonneau of Winnipeg and the ice dance tandem of Kharis Ralph and Asher Hill, both of Toronto, won silver medals on Saturday to conclude the sixth stop on the ISU junior Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

In women’s singles, Kanako Murakami of Japan won the gold medal with 154.92 points.  Charbonneau, in her first season on the circuit, took the silver at 136.82 and Ellie Kawamura of the U.S., was third at 131.33.

Charbonneau, the Canadian junior champion, skated a clean program landing four triple jumps and a double Axel to climb into the medals after placing fourth in Thursday’s short program.

‘’This is awesome but I knew I could win a medal here,’’ said Charbonneau, 16, eighth last month at the Grand Prix stop in Poland.  ‘’I knew what to expect after having that initial experience in Poland. I was really confident for today. It was the best performance of my career.’’

Ralph and Hill set personal best scores in the compulsory dance, original dance and Saturday’s free dance to finish with 159.85 points.  That bettered the 154.52 total they earned earlier this season at the junior Grand Prix stop in Lake Placid where they finished second as well.

World junior silver medallists Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the U.S., the winners in Lake Placid, won the gold medal again with 171.99 points.  Tatiana Baturintseva and Ivan  Volobuiev of Russia were third at 147.19.

“Every time we compete we want to get a personal best,” said Ralph.  “What helped us today was our improved foot work and the overall performance.  We felt we gained some ground on the U.S., team.  The main area we need to improve are our components marks.  We are really pleased with where we stand right now.”

Veronique de Beaumont-Boisvert and Sebastien Buron, both of Ste-Julie, Que., posted the seventh best free dance score but remained eighth overall.

On Friday in men's singles, Ronald Lam of Coquitlam, B.C., placed ninth.

The seventh stop on the circuit is next week in Istanbul, Turkey.  The senior Grand Prix season gets underway next week as well in Paris.

For more information visit:www.isu.org

Photo by Kitty DeLio

 
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