(December 18, 2006)
Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon have now added Grand Prix Final silver to their medal collection.
The four-time Canadian Champions and 2006 world silver medallists captured the silver medal at the ISU Grand Prix Final in St. Petersburg, Russia, on the weekend. Dubreuil and Lauzon, who stood first following the original dance, were third in the free dance and earned a total score of 156.34, placing them second overall.
Dubreuil and Lauzon’s crowd-pleasing free dance, performed to Etta James’ At Last, featured spectacular lifts, a difficult level-four midline step sequence and solid spins. Their one mistake came on the twizzle section when Dubreuil stepped out of a twizzle. They also received a deduction for an extended lift.
This is the highest placement at an ISU Grand Prix Final to date for Dubreuil and Lauzon, who have qualified for every Final since 2000.
“The mistake affected the rest of the performance, I was more cautious and holding back a little,” said Dubreuil. “We also had to change our signature lift at the end, so this lift was new for us and also a little cautious. All this together may have made the difference today.”
Bulgarians Albena Denkova and Maxim Staviski, the 2006 world champions, won their first ISU Grand Prix Final gold medal with a total of 161.24 points, while the Russian team of Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin finished third with a total score of 156.14.
Dubreuil and Lauzon were pleased with their performance throughout the entire week in St. Petersburg.
“We’re looking forward to a rematch with Albena (Denkova) and Maxim (Staviski) at the world championships in March,” added Dubreuil. “Our goal is to win worlds.”
In the pair event, three-time Canadian Champions Valérie Marcoux and Craig Buntin delivered a solid free skate to place third and that portion of the event and fifth overall with a total score of 165.83.
Marcoux and Buntin, who were making their ISU Grand Prix Final debut and placed sixth in the short program on Friday, performed their L’Amour free skate, which featured a side-by-side triple toe loop-double toe loop sequence, a throw triple loop and Salchow and difficult lifts.
The Chinese team of Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao, who were world champions in both 2002 and 2003, won the competition with two strong performances and a point total of 203.19. Germans Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy were second (180.67) and 2006 Olympic and world silver medallists Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang, of China, finished third with a total score of 175.93.
Next up for both Dubreuil and Lauzon and Marcoux and Buntin is the 2006 BMO Canadian Championships, which take place Jan. 15-21 in Halifax.