(October 9, 2009 - ZAGREB, Croatia) – Kharis Ralph and Asher Hill, both of Toronto, posted a personal best score in Friday’s original dance to remain in second place in the ice dance competition at the sixth stop on the ISU junior Grand Prix figure skating circuit.
World junior silver medallists Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the U.S., lead the field with 88.92 points, Ralph and Hill are second at 83.49 and Tatiana Baturintseva and Ivan Volubuiev of Russia are third at 75.60.
In Friday’s original dance, Ralph and Hill earned 51.39 points to better their previous best of 49.58 set in a fifth place finish at last season’s world junior championships. They also posted their best ever compulsory dance score on Thursday.
Ralph and Hill also enter Saturday’s free dance closer to the Shibutani’s than a month ago in Lake Placid when the Americans cruised to the gold and Asher and Hill took the silver. In Lake Placid, the American siblings led by 11 points entering the free dance.
Veronique de Beaumont-Boisvert and Sebastien Buron, both of Ste-Julie, Que., are in eighth place.
In the men’s singles final, Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan won the gold medal with Ross Miner of the U.S., second and Zhan Bush of Russia third.
Ronald Lam of Coquitlam, B.C., was ninth. He was eighth after Thursday’s short program and posted the 10th best score in the free program to drop a spot overall.
“It was alright,” said Lam, 18, fifth at the junior Grand Prix stop last month in Poland. “I landed some good jumps but there are others I need to do better in competition. That’s going to be my focus in training over the next few weeks.”
In women’s singles, Canadian junior champion Kate Charbonneau of Winnipeg stands fourth after Thursday’s short program. She was 15th after her short program last month in Poland but made a dramatic climb in the standings after a strong free program to place eighth.
The free programs in women’s singles and ice dancing are both on Saturday.
For more information visit:www.isu.org