(December 18, 2005)
It was a successful weekend for Canadian skaters at the ISU Grand Prix Final in Tokyo, Japan.
Jeffrey Buttle, who won silver at this event last year, placed second in both portions of the final to win his second silver medal in as many years at the prestigious event.
The 2005 Canadian Men's Champion and 2005 world silver medallist was pleased with his performance this week.
"I think every year my confidence is getting better and my training is getting better," he said. "There really wasn't a point where I started getting better results. It was more of a progression."
Buttle, who had delivered a strong short program on Friday, earned 63.64 points for technical elements and 74.70 points for program components, giving him a combined score of 138.34 for his free skate.
His overall total for the event was 214.34. Switzerland's Stephane Lambiel, the 2005 world champion, was awarded an overall competition score of 230.10, earning him the gold medal.
Japan's Daisuke Takahashi was third with 212.52 points.
Canada's Emanuel Sandhu, who was fifth in the short program, placed fourth in the free skate to finish fifth overall. Sandhu's overall competition score was 189.46.
Winning their first-ever ISU Grand Prix Final medal were ice dancers Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon. Dubreuil and Lauzon, who have qualified for the past six Grand Prix finals, were third in the original dance and second in the free dance to finish third overall.
The ice dance teams did not perform the compulsory dance at this event.
Dubreuil and Lauzon's romantic Somewhere In Time free dance earned strong marks from the judges. The dance, which was well skated and was highlighted by the duo's trademark lifts, was awarded 51.00 points for technical elements and 45.94 points for program components, bringing their overall competition score to 152.36.
The three-time Canadian Ice Dance Champions were thrilled with their first ISU Grand Prix Final medal.
"Finally!" said Dubreuil. "Our goal this season was to medal in the final. Mission accomplished. Now we know what we have to do to be podium contenders for Olympics and worlds."
Russians and two-time world champions Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov won the gold medal with a total of 165.72 points. Capturing the silver medal were Elena Grushina and Ruslan Goncharov, of Ukraine. The 2005 world bronze medallists earned a total score of 154.53.
Skate Canada congratulates Buttle, Sandhu and Dubreuil and Lauzon for their participation in this year's ISU Grand Prix Final.
Canadian skaters will now look towards the 2006 BMO Financial Group Canadian Championships, to be held Jan. 9-15 in Ottawa.